On this page you will find an abundance of useful information for both rowers and their parents.
For most of GAR’s new rowers, rowing is very unfamiliar territory. Parents and guardians can feel overwhelmed by the newness of it all. Many aspects of GAR and of rowing require a little getting used to: the sport itself, with its own language; the organization, with its established ways of doing things; and the regattas, which are a world unto themselves. This material has been put together to help with all of that uncertainty. It contains information about GAR and how it operates, what to expect at regattas, and many other details. In addition, it provides an introduction to the sport of rowing and its terminology.
NOTICE: GAR has made every attempt to ensure that this information is accurate and up to date. It is possible that changes in policy may not yet be included or updated in this version. Please feel free to ask an executive committee member if you have questions regarding club policy and procedures.
What is Gainesville Area Rowing?
Gainesville Area Rowing, Inc. (GAR) is a non-profit Florida corporation created to promote rowing as a sport in the Gainesville/Alachua County area. GAR teaches physical fitness, nutrition, and psychological skills that lead rowers to heightened mental and physical self-awareness. Through the active participation of its members, GAR provides the equipment and professional coaching staff to compete on a national level. GAR includes a high school program, a middle school program, and a Masters (adult) program.
GAR emerged in 1998 from the union of two local high school rowing clubs: Gainesville High School and Eastside High School. GAR rowers have come from schools from all over Alachua county. GAR is a member of Florida Scholastic Rowing Association (FSRA) which sets standards for student rowing in Florida. Although GAR is not officially part of the area’s high school athletic programs we must follow many of their rules, such as athletic health waivers. Additionally, Varsity rowers are awarded athletic “letters” by their respective high schools.
In past years anywhere from 10-40% of GAR alumni go on to row in college. Some have received either full or partial rowing scholarships. GAR alumni have gone on to row for Boston College, Emory, Georgia Tech, Jacksonville University, NYU, Northeastern University, Rollins College, Rutgers University, Syracuse University, U.S. Naval Academy, University of Central Florida, University of Chicago, University of Alabama, University of Florida, University of Iowa, University of North Carolina, University of Pennsylvania, University of Virginia, University of Alabama, Nova Southeastern University, Stetson, University of Rhode Island, University of Texas, Wesleyan, Wellesley, Williams College, and Yale University.
Financial support for GAR comes entirely through dues, fundraising, and donations. GAR does not receive monetary support from any high school or from the Alachua County School Board.
The GAR Organization
All parents or guardians of high school rowers are members of GAR and, as such, have a voice in all discussions and vote on certain matters. The Executive Committee is responsible for setting club policies and for hiring decisions. GAR employs coaches who have the responsibility to conduct practices in a safe manner and to organize the rowers into boats that row competitively.
Note to novice parents: the coaches, Executive Committee, and returning parents are here to make your rower’s introduction into crew as fun and smooth as possible. Feel free to ask any of them any question anytime. Everyone was new once, and there is no question too small to ask. We are all here to help!
The team is dependent solely on the work and support of the its members for its existence. Through the active participation of its members, GAR provides the equipment and coaching staff needed by the team. GAR is a club and does not receive monetary support from any school or from the Alachua County School Board.
Rowing TermsRower ConductSafetyByLawsExec Committee
GAR Regattas – Racing
GAR high school rowers usually participate in three or four regattas in the fall and approximately six regattas in the spring.
Back Water – To make the boat move in the direction of the stern (comparable to going in reverse in a car). Also “back.”
Blade – The wide, flattened part of an oar that touches the water during rowing. Also, the entire oar.
Bow – The front of a boat. Also, the name of the rowing seat nearest to the front of the boat.
Bow Ball – The rubber ball attached to the tip of the bow of a boat to protect against damage and injury in case of a collision.
Bow Loader – A shell in which the coxswain is near the bow instead of the stern. It is difficult to see the coxswain in this type of boat because only his or her head is visible. Having the coxswain virtually lying down in the bow reduces wind resistance, and improves weight distribution.
Catch – The initial engagement of the oar with the water at the beginning of the rowing stroke.
Catch a Crab – To make a faulty stroke, such as one where the blade either enters the water at a wrong angle and sinks too deep or fails to release from the water. If a rower “catches a crab” the shell will usually slow way down or come to a complete stop until the rower can regain control of the oar.
Check – Interruption of the forward motion of a shell.
Check It Down – Emergency command to stop a shell as fast as possible by jamming the oars into the water.
Coxswain – Also “cox.” The person who steers the shell and is the on-the-water coach for the crew. The coxswain implements the coach’s strategy during the race, setting the desired pace for each race segment. The coxswain lets the rowers know where they stand during the race and what they need to do to win. Contrary to popular notion, coxswains don’t now and probably never did yell “stroke! stroke!” Coxswains from first-place boats worldwide are thrown into the water by their crews.
Collar – A fitting tightened on the shaft of an oar that keeps the oar from slipping through the oarlock. The collar’s location can be adjusted up and down the length of the oar to increase or decrease leverage.
Coxbox – An electronic device used by a coxswain to amplify his or her voice and broadcast it through speakers located throughout the shell.
Double – A boat with two rowers, each with two oars.
Drive – The second part of the rowing stroke. During the drive, the oar is moving through the water with force and the rower provides the motive force for the boat.
Eight – A boat with eight rowers, each with one oar.
Ergometer – A piece of exercise equipment that closely approximates the actual rowing motion. An ergometer may also be called a rowing machine and is affectionately known as an “erg.” Most popular erg machines utilize a flywheel and a digital readout so that the rower can measure strokes per minute, distance covered, and 500-meter split. Coaches use erg tests to ascertain an athlete’s aerobic and endurance capabilities.
Feathering – Rolling the oar blade from a squared position (perpendicular to the water’s surface) to a position parallel to the water’s surface. Featheringis used to reduce wind resistance from the blade during recovery.
Finals – The last race in a given event at certain regattas. The order of finish during the finals race determines the medals recipients for that event.
Finish – In a rowing stroke, the last part of the drive, just before the release, when the rower’s power is mainly coming from his or her back and arms.
Flight – A race for a particular event at a regatta where there is no advancement to additional races.
Foot Stretcher – An adjustable bracket in a shell to which the rower’s feet are secured.
Four – A boat with four rowers, each with one oar.
Front Splash – Spray kicked up as the oar enters the water at the catch and the rower begins to apply pressure.
Gunwale – The top section of the side of a boat. The riggers secure to the gunwale with bolts. Pronounced “gunnel.”
Heat – A race in the first round of qualifying races for a particular event at certain regattas. A certain number of boats from each heat in a given event qualify for further racing in repecharge, semifinals, or finals races.
Hold Water – A command to slow or stop a boat quickly by burying the oar blades in the water perpendicular to the surface. Similar to but usually less dramatic than “check it down.”
Hull – The outside of the shell that sits in the water.
Layback – The backward lean (toward the bow) of a rower’s body at the end of the drive.
Leg Drive – Power applied to the rowing stroke by the legs pushing the sliding seat toward the bow.
Lightweight – A weight division in some events. All rowers in a lightweight women’s boat must weigh 130 pounds or less. All rowers in a lightweight men’s boat must weigh 155 pounds or less.
Miss Water – Fail to place the oar blade in the water properly during the catch. The drive is less powerful and efficient when the rower misses water.
Oar – A piece of rowing equipment used to drive the boat forward. Only people in a canoes or kayaks use paddles. Rowers use oars.
Oarlock – A U-shaped swivel on a boat’s gunwale upon which the oar rests and pivots.
Pair – A boat with two rowers, each with one oar.
Port – The left side of a boat as you face the bow.
Power 10 – A call for rowers to do ten of their best, most powerful strokes, supplying additional power to advance on a competitor or maintain a lead.
Puddles – Whirlpools left in water by the action of the oars when released from the water.
Quad – A boat with four rowers, each with two oars.
Racing Start – The first 20 to 40 strokes of a race, usually at a higher stroke rate than those for the rest of the race. Shorter strokes are needed to overcome the shell’s inertia.
Ratio – The ratio of the recovery time during the racing stroke to the drive time.
Recovery – The final part of the rowing stroke in which the rower positions his or her oar and body for the next stroke.
Release – The third part of the rowing stroke when the oar is removed from the water and feathered for the recovery.
Repechage – Also “rep.”An intermediate race at large regattas that ensures that all boats have two chances to advance from preliminary races in which there was no seeding and “luck of the draw” could have affected a boat’s advancement adversely.
Rigger – The framework attached to the body of a shell that supports the oarlock.
Rigging – Adjusting and altering the accessories in and on the shell. Rigging activities include setting the height of the rigger, locating the foot stretchers, setting the location and height of the oarlocks, setting the location of the collar on the oar, and setting the pitch of the blade of the oar.
Rudder – A steering device on the bottom of the boat at the stern. The coxswain steers the boat using cables connected to the rudder.
Run – The distance the boat travels during one stroke. The run is equal to the distance between the puddles made by the same oar.
Rushing the Slide – Moving the seat forward too rapidly during recovery, creating check or “rush.”
Scull – A shell in which each rower holds two oars.
Sculling – Rowing with two oars, one held in each hand.
Seat – The piece of rowing equipment on which the rower sits in the boat and that slides back and forth during the rowing stroke.
Seat Rollers – The wheels attached to the bottom of the seat that allow it to slide back and forth during the rowing stroke.
Semifinals – Also “semis.” A race for a particular event at a regatta that is the last opportunity for boats to qualify for the finals.
Set – The balance of a boat. A “good set” means a level, stable shell that facilitates the synchronization of the rowing stroke among the rowers.
Shell – A racing boat.
Single – A boat with one rower with two oars.
Skeg – A small fin attached straight down from the bottom of the shell to help the shell stay on a true course.
Skying – Recovering with the oar too far above the water.
Slide – The set of runners in which the seat rollers sit and slide.
Slide Control – The rower’s command of the speed at which he or she moves the seat along the slide during the recovery part of the rowing stroke.
Shooting Your Tail – At the beginning of the drive, scooting one’s bottom toward the bow without changing the location of the oar in the water, resulting in a loss of power and low back pain.
Sling – A portable frame with straps upon which a shell can be placed for rigging.
Squaring – Rolling the oar blade from a feathered position (parallel to the water’s surface) to a position perpendicular to the water’s surface.
Starboard – The right side of a boat as you face
Stern – The rear part of a boat.
Stroke – A complete rowing motion, made up of a catch, drive, release, and recovery. Also, the rower sitting nearest to the stern, who sets the stroke length and cadence for the crew.
Stroke Rate – The number of strokes per minute.
Sweep Rowing – Rowing with one oar held by both hands.
Swing – The hard-to-define feeling when near-perfect synchronization of motion occurs in the shell, enhancing performance and speed.
Tap It – A command to take one stroke. “Tap It” is followed by the seat number of the rower who is to take the stroke. Used to align shells at race starts.
Tracks – The equipment that allows the seat to slide back and forth in the boat.
Washing Out – An oar blade coming out of the water during the drive. Washing out creates surface wash, reducing power and unsteadying the shell.
Weigh Enough – Command to stop. Pronounced “way-nuf.”
Gainesville Area Rowing, Inc. Bylaws
Bylaws (As revised February 12, 2008; May 20, 2014; April 8, 2015; February 24, 2016)
ARTICLE I – NAME
The legal name of this nonprofit corporation as established in its Articles of Incorporation in the State of Florida is Gainesville Area Rowing, Inc. Hereinafter, Gainesville Area Rowing shall be referred to as “GAR” or “the Corporation.”
ARTICLE II – PURPOSE
Gainesville Area Rowing (GAR):
Promotes the sport of competitive rowing (crew) in the Gainesville, Florida area obtains and provides rowing facilities, services, equipment, and related items that are reasonable, necessary, and appropriate to carry on the sport of rowing.
ARTICLE III – NON-DISCRIMINATION STATEMENT
GAR does not discriminate in the hiring of coaches or other staff members, in the choice of service or product providers, in the ability to join and/or remain affiliated with GAR, or in the ability to participate in the governance and activities of GAR on the basis of race, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religious affiliation, disability, marital status, education, or economic status, except in cases where the individual would be physically incapable of performing the duties required of a paid position.
ARTICLE IV – AUTHORITY AND AFFILIATIONS
§1.0 Organizational Form
This corporation shall be maintained as a permanent organization and shall function as a nonprofit organization under the requirements of Section 501(c)(3), as amended, of the Internal Revenue Code.
§2.0 Governing Authority
In case of conflict between these Bylaws and the Articles of Incorporation as approved by the Secretary of State of Florida, the Articles of Incorporation take precedence. When either these Bylaws or the Articles of Incorporation conflict with the statutes of the State of Florida, those statutes shall have precedence.
§3.0 Rules of Order
These Bylaws govern the conduct of GAR business and may not be suspended. The current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order governs for questions not addressed herein. A motion to suspend the prevailing rules of order must address the specific purpose of suspending the rules of order and requires the approval of two-thirds of the Members present.
GAR is comprised of GAR Youth (middle- and high-school rowers) and GAR Masters. Priority of equipment, scheduling, and other resources shall go to GAR Youth.
GAR shall maintain membership in good standing in the Florida Scholastic Rowing Association (FSRA) and U.S. Rowing.
In the event of dissolution of the Corporation (see Article VI, Sections 4.2 and 4.4), all of its property and assets shall become the property of the Florida Scholastic Rowing Association after payment of all existing debts. In no event shall any of the assets or property, or the proceeds from the sale of any assets or property, be distributed to GAR members for the reimbursement for any sum contributed by those members or for any other purpose.
ARTICLE V – MEMBERS
The parent, guardian, or sponsor of each middle or high-school rower is eligible to be a voting Member. Members are considered to be in good standing, and are therefore eligible to vote on matters of business for the Corporation, if all financial obligations (e.g., dues) are paid and current. Members and rowers must read and agree to adhere to the policies and procedures as specified in the current GAR Policy Manual and the current GAR Handbook. Members in good standing may vote on matters of business for the Corporation in accordance with these Bylaws and with GAR policies. There shall be one vote for each rower, such that Members who support multiple rowers shall be eligible to cast a number of votes equal to the number of rowers supported. Parents, guardians, or sponsors of rowers under 18 and of rowers 18 or older whose membership they support financially shall have voting privileges. High-school rowers 18 or older who provide their own financial support shall be considered Members and shall have voting privileges (in lieu of a parent, guardian, or sponsor). Members of the GAR Masters Rowing Program shall be non-voting members of Gainesville Area Rowing Inc. Masters members cannot vote on matters of corporate business during general and special meetings and will not be counted towards a quorum. Masters members must read and agree to adhere to the policies and procedures of GAR and to the Masters program’s policies. Masters members will be represented on the Executive Committee by a Masters liaison who will have voting privileges on matters of corporate business that comes before the Executive Committee. Masters Members may hold any office on the Executive Committee and shall have all the rights and privileges of that office.
ARTICLE VI – GOVERNANCE
§1.0 Policies and Procedures
GAR accomplishes its purpose within a framework of policies and procedures that provide structure and organization to the coaches, staff members, and volunteers who are working to fulfill GAR’s purpose. GAR maintains current versions of all policies and procedures in a Policy Manual that is available to all. These Bylaws, the Articles of Incorporation, and the laws of the State of Florida take precedence over policies and procedures in the event of a conflict.
§2.0 Officers and Executive Committee
GAR elects eight officers each year at the Annual Meeting (see Article VI, Section 4.1): the President, a Vice President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, a Fundraising Director, a Public Relations Director, a Facilities Director and a Development Director. These officers shall perform the duties prescribed in the Corporation’s job descriptions and by the parliamentary authority adopted by the Corporation. Officers must be at least eighteen years of age and must be Members in good standing of the Corporation. No individual may hold more than one office at a time. A given individual may serve only two consecutive one year terms in any specific position. In the event of a vacancy, the Executive Committee shall elect a replacement to fill the vacancy. In addition the head coach shall be a voting member of the Executive Committee. Masters members shall appoint a Masters Liaison to the Executive Committee by a method of their choosing. The Masters liaison must be a Masters member. The Masters liaison shall be a voting member of the Executive Committee, and there shall be no term limit on the Masters liaison.
§3.0 Nominating Committee
The Nominating Committee consists of five persons who, at the time of their appointment, have been members of the Corporation for at least four months. The Executive Committee shall appoint the Nominating Committee and announce its membership no later than March. Members of the Executive Committee may not serve on the Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee is responsible for preparing and conducting the elections at the Annual Meeting of the Corporation in accordance with the Policy Manual. The Nominating Committee presents the Corporation with a slate of candidates for President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Fundraising Director, Public Relations Director, Facilities Director and Development Director at least seven days in advance of the Annual Meeting. These candidates will have agreed to serve if elected
§4.1 Business Meeting
The Corporation shall conduct its business in open meetings, with the exception of personnel evaluations and Member finances. The Corporation has two regular forums for business, the Executive Committee Meeting and the Boosters Meeting. The Executive Committee shall make the time and location of all business meetings known to the Corporation at least seven days in advance through an announcement via the Corporation’s group email address and/or through a written letter to all members.
§4.2 Annual Meeting
The Corporation shall hold its Annual Meeting each year between April 1 and May 31. The Executive Committee shall establish the date for the Annual Meeting and make it known to the Corporation at least seven days in advance through an announcement via the Corporation’s group email address and/or through a written letter to all members. During the annual meeting, the Corporation shall elect officers for the next fiscal year.
§4.3 Special Meetings
The Corporation shall hold a Special Meeting when either (1) a majority of the Executive Committee deems it necessary or (2) the Executive Committee receives a written request for a special meeting (the request must explicitly describe the purpose of the meeting) signed by 25% of the Members of the Corporation. The Executive Committee shall set the date, time, and place of the meeting. The Executive Committee must mail and or e-mail written notice of a Special Meeting and a description of the purpose of the meeting to all Members at least seven days in advance.
§4.4 Actions Requiring a Special Meeting
The following business can be transacted only at a Special Meeting following a written notice: revising the Bylaws or Articles of Incorporation and dissolution of the Corporation. The written notice of the Special Meeting must include the specific motion(s) to be made and on which a vote will be taken. The written notice of a Special Meeting to revise the Bylaws must include a detailed description of the proposed changes and the rationale for the changes.
§4.5 Voting Methods
GAR does not permit voting by proxy. GAR permits voting by absentee ballot for the questions noted in Section 4.3 of this Article. Absentee votes must be made in accordance with the Corporation’s established policies in order to be valid and counted. The Secretary must have record of such votes at least 48 hours before the scheduled meeting of the Corporation.
§4.6 Meeting Quorums and Required Voting Margins
Only Members in good standing may vote on business matters of the Corporation. Only Members in good standing who have been Members in good standing for at least six months may vote on changes to the Bylaws or Articles of Incorporation and on any motion to dissolve the Corporation. Unless specified otherwise below, 10% of the Members in good standing constitutes a quorum for transaction of business. Absentee votes count toward the establishment of the quorum. A quorum is not necessary to adjourn a meeting. Unless specified otherwise below, a majority vote decides any question.
|Articles of Incorporation Change||25%||66%||Yes|
|Suspension of Rules of Order||25%||66%||No|
|Major Property Purchase/Sale||25%||66%||Yes|
|Member financially profit from association with GAR||25%||66%||Yes|
ARTICLE VII – FINANCES
§1.0 Execution of Instruments
The President, the Vice President, the Secretary, and the Treasurer, with the approval of the Executive Committee, may enter into contracts and execute and deliver any instrument in the name and on behalf of the Corporation. The Executive Committee may authorize other agents to enter into specific contracts and execute and deliver specific instruments in the name and on behalf of the Corporation.
§2.0 Financial Reports
At the first executive committee meeting in the new fiscal year, the treasurer shall present a financial report for approval by the executive committee. The financial report shall set forth cash on hand and in banks, actual cash receipts and disbursements for the previous fiscal year and a budget for the new fiscal year.
§3.0 Check-Signing Authority
The President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer have the authority to sign checks on behalf of the Corporation. They may do so in the normal course of business without explicit Executive Committee approval for individual transactions. The Executive Committee may also grant such authority to other persons on an as-needed basis. The Executive Committee or its designated representative will conduct a monthly review of all bank statements, receipts, and disbursements.
§4.0 Major Purchases and Sales of Property
Before entering into transactions for capital purchases or sales with a value of $3,500 or more, the Executive Committee must inform the Membership of the proposed transaction and receive approval at a business meeting of the Corporation as indicated in Article VI, Section 4.6.
ARTICLE VIII – LEADERSHIP ADVISORY COUNCIL
The purpose of the GAR Leadership Advisory Council (“Council”) is to facilitate the efforts of GAR by working within the community for GAR’s benefit, promoting GAR to other organizations, promoting GAR to governmental bodies, encouraging and soliciting donations to GAR, and supporting the organization in any other beneficial way as determined by either the Council or The Executive Committee. The Council is an advisory committee, with no fiduciary, operational, or legal duties.
2.0 Council Members
§2.1 The Council shall be appointed by the GAR Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall announce to the membership, at least 21 days prior to a vote, that it is seeking nominations for the Council. Any GAR member in good standing may nominate a person for the Council . Membership in GAR is not required to be a member of the Council.
§2.2 Council members shall be elected by the Executive Committee. If only one Council position is being filled at the particular Executive Meeting, then the election shall be by majority vote. If more than one Council position is being filled at such meeting, then each Executive member shall receive the same number of votes as the positions being filled, and the Council positions shall be filled by the persons receiving the highest number of votes. In the event of a tie, such position shall be filled by a majority vote in a runoff ballot. In case of an interim vacancy, the Executive Committee shall announce the vacancy, as provided for herein, and fill the vacancy for the remainder of the vacated term. No absentee voting is allowed for electing the Council.
§2.3 There may be up to 15 Council members serving 3 year staggered terms. In the year of implementation, the Executive Committee may appoint up to 5 Council members to 3 year terms, up to 5 members to 2 year terms, and up to 5 members to 1 year terms. Thereafter, each year the Executive Committee may appoint up to 5 members to fill any expiring positions to 3 year terms. There is no limit on the number of terms that can be served by a member. Terms shall run from November 1 through October 31.
§2.4 Council members may serve on the boards of any other organization as they so desire.
§2.5 GAR shall provide Director and Officer Insurance for the Council.
§2.6 Any Council member may be removed by a 2/3 vote of the current members.
§3.1 The Council shall elect a Chair and a Secretary, who shall serve one year terms, with no limit on the number of consecutive terms in such position.
§3.2 The Council shall endeavor to meet at least twice per year. All such meetings to be called by the Chair upon 7 days emailed notice to the Council members and the Executive Committee; by the agreement of a majority of the Council by the sending of an email to all Council members and Executive Committee members with each such Council member calling said meeting being listed on the email; or by a vote of the Executive Committee.
§3.3 The Council meetings may be informal, but shall follow Roberts Rules of Order in the event of a request at such meeting by a member. The meetings shall be open to any member of the Executive Committee, and shall be attended by the GAR President. The meetings are not required to be open to the GAR membership, but may be if so decided by the Council.
§3.4 Minutes shall be taken and provided to the Executive Committee no later than four weeks after the meeting.
§4.1 All Council members shall support GAR.
§4.2 The Council shall support GAR by fundraising, soliciting donations, performing special projects, or engaging in public relations and outreach, as requested by the Executive Committee. The Council may make recommendations directly to the Executive Committee about any matter or issue, but is not required to do so.
§4.3 Any funds raised or solicited shall be payable to GAR, deposited into GAR’s accounts, and accounted by the GAR Treasurer.
§4.4 The Council Chair and Secretary may receive monthly bank statements of GAR from the GAR Treasurer via email, and may have access to all GAR records upon written notice, including viewing access to the financial information contained in QuickBooks maintained by the GAR Treasurer, per the discretion of the Executive Committee.
§4.5 Any audits of GAR financial accounts may be disclosed to the Council, , and copies of any such audits may be provided to the Council Chair and Secretary by the Executive Committee
§4.6 The Board Chair and Secretary may share any such financial or audit information with other Council members upon request.
§4.7 The GAR President and Treasurer, to the best of their ability, shall answer any questions presented by the Council regarding GAR finances or operation of the corporation.
§4.8 The Council shall assist the Executive Committee on ensuring all IRS tax returns are filed in a timely manner, and that the corporation complies with any governmental or regulatory requirements for non-profit corporations.
Legal Copy available for downloading.