Participation in athletics is a privilege, not a right.  The athlete must earn this privilege through dedication, desire, and discipline.  Without the pursuit of these ideals, the athlete can not do justice to their own potential or to the sport.  Participants are required to read, know and agree to the Student-Athlete guidelines, and parents are required to read, know and agree to these Parents Guidelines.


1 All participants in this program must have previous rowing experience.  A 24 - 30 hour (total instruction time) Learn To Row program is the minimum standard for Learn To Row Programs.  If your child has done a one week or a weekend camp, it may not be enough to teach him or her the required skills necessary to be safe on a very busy river.  A GRS LTR program provides 24 - 30 hours of instruction and rowing.  Instruction in sweep rowing, while helpful, is not adequate for the purposes of this program.

2 Rowing is a strenuous activity.  All students must have the prior approval of their family doctor, or must be medically approved per their school regulations, in order to participate in this program.  Parents will attest to this permission on the information sheet.

3 The parents must make the coaches aware of any physical or medical factor that may affect the students ability to participate in the program.

4 Allowing your child to go to practice or to a race constitutes your approval that your child is healthy enough to engage in that practice or race.  The coaches are not doctors, and can not take responsibility for decisions relating to the day to day health of your child.  You, your child and your doctor should agree on criteria whereby you make decisions regarding participation in practice or a race should your child start to feel ill before that practice or race.  You or your child are required to call the coaches should you or your child decide that he or she is not healthy enough to attend practice.

5 Students participating in the program are required to be covered by health care insurance.  The student is covered for liability through their individual membership in The USRowing Association and their membership to Gordon Rowing Services.  The school that the student attends has no insurance responsibilities towards the student during his/her participation in this program.  Your signature on the information sheet constitutes your assurance that you child has current health care insurance.

6 Parents must sign a Medical  Consent Proxy Form.  This gives coaches and other responsible adults the right to make any needed emergency medical decisions for your child should the need arise during practice or race events.  This enables medical professionals to take action if needed when a parent is not available to give his or her direct consent.

7 Parents are responsible for the student-athlete prior to and directly after practice and races.  This includes all transportation and safety concerns surrounding travel to and from practices and races.

8 Participants are “at practice” once they enter the boathouse, up to 20 minutes before scheduled practice time, and until they leave the boathouse up to 20 minutes after practice ends.

9 The participants are the responsibility of the coach while they are at practice.

10 Participants are not allowed inside the boathouse without their coach being present.

11 Participants are expected to attend all practices, races and squad meetings.  All absences and late arrivals must be approved in advance by preseason agreement or in advance by parental notification.

12 Tardiness, excused or otherwise, may cause a participant to miss an entire practice.

13 If a student is late and the coach is not available, the student is not allowed in the boathouse and must miss the practice.

14 Multiple absences or other violations will affect participation in practice and races.

15 Students are not allowed to cross Kelly Drive, except at the traffic light at the Art Museum  end of Boathouse Row.

16 Due to the high volume of student-athletes at WBC and Vesper BC, parents are requested to stay outside of the boathouse before, during and after practice and race hours.

17 This program is available only to students who attend schools with no rowing team.  As such, the student’s school has no responsibilities or rights regarding the administration of the program.  Parents should understand that they are entering into a private program with James Gordon and Gordon Rowing Services. Boy’s Latin is an exception to this rule.

18 Parents are responsible for payment for the following fees: 

  1. The total fees Payable to Gordon Rowing Services, which includes the program fee of $2500, plus the Equipment fee or $400. The total fee of $2900 is due the first day of the program. 
  2. An individual membership to USRowing. This may be the Basic membership, which is the least expensive membership.
  3. An organizational membership to USRowing under the name of your child’s school.  This fee may be comped if your school is represented by three or fewer students.  The parents from each school will pool their money to pay this $400 fee.

19 The total fee for 2019 is $2900.  A $500 deposit is due at the time the student accepts the invitation to participate in the program, preferably by late December, before the program starts.  A second deposit is due in late January, about a month before the program starts.  The balance, minus the pre-season deposits, is due on the first day of practice.  If this presents a financial problem, an installment schedule is an option:  The balance is divided into four payments, three of $500 each and one of $400.  The third installment of $500 is due on the first day of practice, the Wednesday after Presidents Day; the fourth installment of $500 is due by the third Friday in March; the fifth in stallment of $500 due by the second Friday in April, the final installment of $400 is due by the first Friday in May.  A few scholarships may be available for qualifying students.  Contact Jamie directly for information.


1 Any pressure to perform that the student-athlete feels should only come from the student him/herself.  The athletes and the coach go through a prolonged learning process in order to decide what are realistic expectations and evaluations for the athlete’s performance.  Parents must realize that they are not privy to this process and should provide unlimited support and encouragement, but should not impose any of their own expectations and evaluations on their child.

2 Participants are required to follow all school policies that are in effect for student-athletes in other sports sponsored by their school.

3 Parents must aid the coaches in creating an effective learning environment by helping to enforce team and school policies.

4 Athletes are expected to conduct themselves in a manner reflecting credit upon themselves, their coaches, their parents, and their school.

5 All squad members are expected to treat each other with courtesy and respect, whether or not they go to the same school.  

6 All squad members are expected to treat the coaches with courtesy and respect.

7 Parents and team members must realize that coaching decisions are made with the welfare of the team taking precedence over the desires of any individual team member.  Students may not be allowed to row in the boat in which they would like to row.  These decisions are not subject to parental consultation.  Coaches will be glad to speak to parents regarding coaching decisions at an appropriate time (see rule 28 in this section).

8 Disruptive behavior, including failure to pay attention to the coach, will not be tolerated.

9 Violations of any team policy will be reviewed by the coaches and penalties will be assessed as the staff sees fit. For minor infractions (behavior issues, tardiness, mishandling equipment, etc.) the penalties will usually take the form of physical activity. If there are continuous violations, even minor ones, it may affect the students participation in practice and regattas.

10 It is not appropriate for a parent to try to discuss their child's situation (team, school, family, or otherwise) with the coach immediately before and after a practice or race.  A better option is a phone call during regular business hours, or in the early evening.  All coaching decisions are final and not subject to review.


Rowing is an outdoor sport, and your child will be practicing during very unpredictable and hostile weather.

1 If school is closed due to weather, practice may still be held, but your child will not be faulted for missing.  Call the coach for weather related information.

2 Always supply your child with two sets of weather-appropriate outdoor workout attire (including a hat) for practice, as well as indoor workout attire.

3 Please make sure that they bring a towel and a dry set of street clothes to change into after practice.

4 Your child should always bring running shoes to practice.

5 Be aware that the student athletes are responsible for all equipment that they use.  All equipment must be put away after practice or races before the students will be available to leave.  This includes away regattas; all students are required secure their equipment before they can leave the boat area.  Also, they are required to meet the coaches at the boathouse to unload the equipment and return it to rowable condition at the club.

6 You are required to have your child on time to practice and all races.  Practice time is the start of activity; your child must be dressed and ready to begin at the designated time.  For races on the Schuylkill River, students must arrive at the boathouse at least two hours before their scheduled race time.  Some regattas will have more than one race for participants.

7 Athletes may not leave practice or a race site unless dismissed by the coach or with prior consent.

8 Parents and students are responsible for transportation of the students to and from practice and races.

9 Students are required to abide by the PSRA rules of conduct and eligibility.  These rules are similar to rules required by most schools and sports governing bodies.

10 If a student must miss a race for which he or she is registered, the student or parents must produce a doctor’s note explaining that the student is too sick to participate, or must pay the associated scratch fee charged to the program.

11 Participation in races is dependent on many factors.  There will be some race days when some athletes will not have a race.  Every effort will be made to have equitable participation by all squad members, but no guarantees can be made.

USRowing and US Olympic Committee SafeSport Policy

The policy that will govern GRS employees is Under Construction

USRowing’s SafeSport Policy (for reference)

© James A. Gordon 2013 Logo ™ Nicole Gordon © 2013