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C1. Aims of OURCs

The aims of the Oxford University Rowing Clubs (OURCs) are to:

  1. Support rowing within the University;
  2. Organise inter-college rowing competitions;
  3. Ensure the colleges maintain a safe approach to rowing;
  4. Oversee the conduct of college crews; and,
  5. Represent the interests of the College and University Boat Clubs.

C2. Council of Oxford University Rowing

The Council of Oxford University Rowing (COUR) is the University sanctioned executive authority for the overseeing of all safety matters concerning rowing within the University. All safety issues on which COUR makes a ruling shall be binding on members of OURCs.

C3. Membership of OURCs

  1. Members of OURCs are defined as being:
    1. Members of University Boat Clubs, as defined by their respective Constitutions; or
    2. Members of College Boat Clubs as defined in C6.
    3. The OURCs Sabbatical Officer.
  2. The number of honorary members of OURCs who are not members of colleges as defined in C6.1.a should not exceed 20% of the total membership of OURCs.

C4. University Boat Clubs

Within these rules, "University Boat Clubs" shall refer to the following clubs:

  1. Oxford University Boat Club (OUBC)
  2. Oxford University Women's Boat Club (OUWBC)
  3. Oxford University Lightweight Rowing Club (OULRC)
  4. Oxford University Women's Lightweight Rowing Club (OUWLRC)

C5. College Boat Clubs

  1. Within these rules, "College Boat Clubs" shall refer to College and other Boat Clubs affiliated to OURCs, as distinct from the University Boat Clubs.
  2. All College Boat Clubs are required to notify the OURCs Internet Secretary of the names of their Men's and Women's Captains (or Captain and Vice-Captain in the case of single-sex colleges) and a Senior Member, such a list to be maintained on the OURCs website.
  3. College Boat Club Captains are responsible for ensuring that their members abide by the OURCs rules.
  4. Boat Clubs may apply for affiliation to OURCs at a Captains' Meeting upon the presentation of a request signed by a 10 members of the Club, one of which shall be the designated Captain, and another the designated Senior Member.
  5. The Senior Member must be a member of the College, or be otherwise clearly associated with the Boat Club, with the status of Congregation within the University.
  6. Any motion to disaffiliate a College Boat Club is treated as a constitutional amendment (C12).
  7. College Boat Clubs automatically cease to be affiliated on the 1st October if, in the previous year, they have not entered for any OURCs events, paid British Rowing affiliation fees or submitted a British Rowing Safety Audit.
  8. All College Boat Clubs are required to maintain their own Constitution, risk assessment and safety plan. Examples of such documents are to be maintained as an appendix to these Rules. Clubs training on stretches of water other than the Isis and Godstow stretches (as defined in Chapter 2) must send a copy of their risk assessment for that stretch annually to the OURCs Sabbatical Officer for reference. The OURCs Sabbatical Officer may offer advice but will not check or approve the assessment.
  9. All College Boat Clubs are required to be affiliated to British Rowing. Should a club become suspended by British Rowing they are automatically suspended by OURCs until reinstated by British Rowing.
  10. All College Boat Clubs are required to pay an affiliation fee to OURCs, before the Sunday of 5th week of Michaelmas term, which will be used solely to fund the OURCs Sabbatical Officer. College Boat Club affiliations will be based on the number of boats competing in the Eights competition preceding the year of affiliation (excluding boats that fail to row on). The fee per crew must be announced by the OURCs Treasurer by the end of the preceding Trinity Term and confirmed in the first Captains' Meeting in Michaelmas Term. Any affiliation fee unpaid by Sunday of 5th Week may be subject to additional levies at the discretion of the OURCs Treasurer and Secretary and College Boat Clubs with any unpaid fees beyond this date may not enter or compete in OURCs events.

C6. Membership of College Boat Clubs

1.      Membership of College Boat Clubs is restricted to:

    1. bona fide students (in accordance with University Statute II) of the respective college, until such time as:
      1. they leave or suspend their course of study; or
      2. a pass list or class list marking the end of the course is published; or
      3. leave to supplicate for the degree is granted.

Should a students course involve both 2 and 3, with a delay inbetween these, then the latter marks the end their eligibility as a bona fide student.

    1. Senior 'full' fellows or junior research fellows of the respective college, only for the time during which this status is enjoyed at the college. [Emeritus, honorary and visiting fellows are excluded.] Fellows may be required to produce a copy of their contract as proof of status.
    2. Visiting Students at Oxford University holding a reader’s card are eligible for membership of a College Boat Club upon presentation to the OURCs Sabbatical Officer of a letter from and signed by the respective college's Bursar or Senior Tutor stating their affiliation to that particular college and the duration of that affiliation. The OURCs Sabbatical Officer will keep a record of this letter and these details for the duration 

2.      Transfers

a.       Where a bona fide student (as defined by C6.1.a) of college A had been a member of College Boat Club B and wishes to have membership of College Boat Club B, the student may be transferred by the following procedure:

·         The student must provide to the OURCs Sabbatical Officer:

1.      Their name;

2.      Details of the type of University card they hold, and the number;

3.      Written permission of the captains of both College Boat Club A and B. In the event of college A not having an affiliated Boat Club, permission is only required from the captains of College Boat Club B;

4.      Proof of academic status, including the finishing date for their course of study. An enrolment certificate signed by the Senior Tutor, or equivalent, will be acceptable.

·         The OURCs Sabbatical Officer will keep record of these details for the duration of the transfer. Any change in University card number during the duration of their transfer must be sent to the OURCs Sabattical Officer together with a reason for the change in number. If the change is due to a change in role, position or course then the application process must begin again as per 2.a

·         At the next Captain’s Meeting, the OURCs Sabbatical Officer will include a list of transfers requested under C6.2.a on the agenda that have been received before the publishing of that agenda.

·         At the next Captain’s Meeting, the captains will be given the opportunity to register their objection to the transfer. Objections may only be based upon one of the following:

1.      The student is not a bona fide student of college A; or

2.      The student has not been a member of College Boat Club B.

·         In the event of an objection, the OURCs Sabbatical Officer will resolve whether or not the transfer can be brought under C6.2.a. This must be resolved before the end of the meeting in which the motion was raised.

·         Transfers have effect from the end of the Captain’s Meeting at which they are announced by the OURCs Sabbatical Officer. The student will no longer be eligible to row with college A in OURCs events.

b.      The current OURCs Sabbatical Officer, if previously a member of a College Boat Club, can be made an automatic member of their most recent College Boat Club without the approval of a Captain’s Meeting. Once automatically a member of their most recent College Boat Club, the OURCs Sabbatical Officer may follow C6.2.a to be transferred to another previous club.


3.      Formal extended memberships of College Boat Clubs are as follows:

a.       Wolfson College Boat Club includes members of St. Cross College.

b.      St. Benet's Hall Boat Club includes members of Blackfriars.

c.       Linacre College Boat Club includes members of Nuffield College.

d.      Queen's College Boat Club includes members of Wycliffe Hall.

e.       Clinical Medical students may choose between membership of their College Boat Club and Osler House Boat Club, but may only row for one club in OURCs events in any given academic year, except by being granted honorary membership under C6.4. 

f.       Wadham College Boat Club includes members of Harris Manchester College.

g.      Christ Church Boat Club includes members of Kellogg College.


4.      At a Captain’s Meeting, the captains may choose to grant a person the status of Staff or Student Honorary Member of a College Boat Club for a period of no more than three consecutive terms, subject to the following rules:

a)      An Honorary Membership may only be proposed as follows:

·         All Honorary Memberships must be brought in accordance with the procedural rules associated with a constitutional alteration under C12, but an Honorary Membership is not a constitutional alteration.

·         The proposal must include:

                               i.      Name of the person in question;

                               ii.      Details of the type of University card they hold, and the number (if relevant):

                               iii.      Their status within the University and the date of the termination of this status;

 iv.      Proof of this status. For Staff this requires a copy of their contract counter-signed by the relevant college authority, for Students this requires an enrolment certificate signed by the Senior Tutor or Bursar or an equivalent. For the purposes of the motion this must be received and verified by the OURCs Sabbatical Officer prior to the publishing of the agenda;

  v.      The date that they wish the Honorary Membership to expire, which shall be no further in the future than 3 consecutive terms (including the term in which the motion is proposed).

 b)      Honorary Staff Memberships may be awarded to those staff with contracts for fulltime employment (an average of 25 hours a week or more) with a particular college for a period of no less than twelve months.

c)      Honorary Student Memberships may be awarded to the following students if they are no longer eligible under C6.1a:

·         Students working for their medical electives; or

·         Students working on their undergraduate years abroad; or

·         Students working on recognised industrial or business placements as part of their course during their degree.

d)     The OURCs Sabbatical Officer shall keep a record of all Honorary Memberships, their status as Student or Staff and the period of validity. A copy of this record must be maintained as an Appendix to the OURCs Rules and Constitution.

e)      An Honorary Student Membership makes the Honorary Student Member eligible to row as a full member of their College Boat Club.

f)       If an Honorary Staff Member wishes to row in their College Boat Club’s men’s or women’s first VIII, they must first seek permission of the captains by proposing a motion at a Captain’s Meeting. Should the motion pass, a note will be made on the relevant record and in the relevant Appendix.


5.      Honorary memberships shall expire at the end of the agreed period, or when circumstances upon which the membership was proposed to the Captains expire, whichever is sooner. Any change in circumstances of the honorary member pertaining to the conditions above must be communicated immediately to the OURCs Sabbatical Officer and the person involved must apply for a new honorary membership under C6 if they intend to continue rowing in OURCs events.


6.      All transfers and memberships are conditional on the validity of the facts presented.

C7. OURCs Committee

The OURCs Committee shall consist of:

1.     The Presidents of the University Boat Clubs.

2.     The OURCs President, who shall be the President of OUBC in academic years commencing in even years and the President of OUWBC in academic years commencing in odd years, and whose duties are to:

a.     Chair OURCs Captains' Meetings.

3.     The OURCs Secretary, whose duties are to:

a.     Manage the affairs of OURCs.

b.     Act, or appoint a suitable deputy in each case to act, as Race Secretary for OURCs events.

4.     The OURCs Treasurer, whose duties are to:

a.     Oversee and keep a proper record of the financial transactions of OURCs.

b.     Issue invoices, receipts and cheques as authorised.

c.     Issue, collect, and keep a record of fines.

d.     Notify College Captains of any fines or other penalties incurred by breach of OURCs rules.

e.     Collect and keep a record of entry fees for OURC events.

f.      Present a full financial report to the OURCs Senior Member at the end of the academic year.

5.     The Captain of Coxes, whose duties are to:

a.     Instruct coxswains in the technique of coxing, safety and the rules of the Isis.

b.     Issue coxing licenses, assess coxswains' status and maintain the register of coxswains.

c.     Decide on penalties to be imposed on individual coxswains for infringements of OURCs rules.

6.     The OURCs Internet Secretary, whose duties are to:

a.     Update and manage the OURCs website and mailling lists.

7.     The OURCs Senior Member, whose duties are to:

a.     Liaise with the University authorities.

b.     Oversee the OURCs accounts.

c.     Assess and distribute any excess funds to the University Boat Clubs.

d.     Adjudicate in cases of appeals against penalties imposed on College Boat Clubs by OURCs.

8.     The OURCs Sabbatical Officer, whose duties are to:

a.     Provide administrative support to the OURCs Committee and the Council of Oxford University Rowing (COUR).

b.     Act as OURCs Safety Adviser.
These duties are detailed in the OURCs Sabbatical Officer's job description, which is available from the OURCs Secretary or the Oxford University Director of Sport.

9.     No more than ten Ordinary Members, who shall assist the OURCs Secretary, Race Secretaries and Captain of Coxes with their duties.

10.   Upon retirement, resignation or a vote of no confidence all committee members must hand over any OURCs' documents or property (including intellectual property rights) in their possession.

C8. Captains' Meetings

1.     The OURCs College Captains' Meeting shall be ultimately responsible for the welfare and administration of the OURCs.

2.     There shall be at least one Captains' Meeting each Term.

3.     Any member of the OURCs Committee may call a Captains' Meeting, although normally it is the duty of the OURCs Secretary or the OURCs Sabbatical Officer.

4.     Notice of a Captains' Meeting must be delivered to all College Captains and OURCs Committee Members at least 48 hours before the meeting. The agenda for every Captains' Meeting must be made available at least 48 hours before the meeting.

5.     A Captains' Meeting must be called within two weeks of a written request from five Captains of different College Boat Clubs to a member of the OURCs Committee. This request shall state the business to be brought before the Meeting, which must be included on the agenda for the Meeting.

6.     The quorum for a Captains' Meeting is 5 members of the OURCs Committee plus Captains from 15 different College Boat Clubs.

7.     The OURCs President shall normally chair Captains’ Meetings, unless resolved otherwise at the Meeting. The chair may not propose or second motions, and may only vote in the event of a tie.

8.     Only the following may propose, second or vote on motions:

a.     Captains of College Boat Clubs, or their designated representative, with each college limited to two votes - one for each gender in the case of mixed colleges, or one each for Captain and Vice-Captain in the case of single-sex colleges.

b.     Members of the OURCs Committee.

c.     Members of OURCs who have been awarded rowing Blues or Half-Blues.

d.     Senior Umpires who have been ratified by a Captains' Meeting in the preceding 12 months.

9.     Motions:

a.     Motions may be proposed in advance of the meeting, in which case they shall be included on the agenda.  Motions, other than those relating to the Constitution or matters of College Membership as covered by C6.3, C6.4 and C6.6, may also be proposed at the meeting itself.

b.     At least one of the proposer and seconder of a motion (preferably the proposer) shall be at the meeting.

c.     Any amendment to C.6.3 must be submitted to the Sabbatical at least seven full days in advance of the Captains’ Meeting at which the motion is proposed.

10.   Voting:

a.     Except where otherwise stated, all motions shall be decided by a majority of those present and voting.

b.     Each person at the meeting shall exercise only one vote, even if they are eligible to vote on two different grounds.

11.   At least one representative of each College Boat Club shall be required to attend each meeting. Failure to do so is considered a Minor Transgression under R13. A Captain shall notify the OURCs Sabbatical Officer prior to the meeting if they are to be represented by someone else.

12.   No motion which requires the spending of OURCs' funds shall be passed without the presence of the Treasurer (or appointed deputy).

C9. Election of Committee Members

1.     All members of the OURCs Committee except for the Senior Member shall be elected at Captains' Meetings.

2.     All elections must appear as an agenda item for the Meeting.

3.     All candidates must be OURCs members (C3) and must be nominated and seconded by those entitled to vote.

4.     If only one candidate stands for a position, they must achieve a majority of votes in favour over votes against.

5.     If two or more candidates run, then the one who receives an overall majority of votes cast shall be declared the victor. If no candidate receives an overall majority, a second vote shall be taken between the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes in the first ballot.

6.     With the exception of the OURCs Sabbatical Officer, elections have immediate effect from the end of the Captains' Meeting, unless otherwise resolved at the Meeting.

7.     If no candidate is elected to a post, a new election will be held at the next Captains' Meeting.

8.     The elected posts are held for a maximum of 4 terms, starting with the term in which the post was taken up.

9.     Committee Members shall be deemed to have resigned if they cease to be OURCs members during their tenure.

10.   In the event of an elected post falling vacant, a new election shall be held at the next Captains' Meeting.

11.   In the event of a non-elected post falling vacant, the OURCs Secretary may appoint a replacement subject to ratification by the Captains' Meeting.

12.   The President is elected by the members of their squad, and is subsequently ratified as OURCs President at a Captains' Meeting.

13.   The Senior Member is elected by the OURCs Committee, and holds the office indefinitely or until (s) he retires, resigns, or a new member is elected by the OURCs Committee. Such a vote requires a two-thirds majority of voting Committee Members to be passed.

14.   A list of candidates for the post of OURCs Sabbatical Officer, approved by COUR, shall be voted on by the Captains according to the procedure above (C9.3-4).

C10. Removal of Committee Members

1.     Any members of the OURCs Committee may be removed by a vote of no confidence at a Captains' Meeting.

2.     Any motion of no confidence is treated as a constitutional amendment (C12).

3.     If a motion of no confidence is passed, the subject will be regarded as dismissed with immediate effect.

4.     If a motion of no confidence in the OURCs Sabbatical Officer is passed, the OURCs Secretary shall request the Director of Sport and OURCs Senior Member to take immediate appropriate action in line with University employment policies.

C11. OURCs Committee Meetings

1.     A formally convened Meeting of the OURCs Committee has the interim power to interpret the Constitution and Rules, subject to ratification at the next Captains' Meeting.

2.     Any member of the OURCs Committee may call a Committee Meeting, although normally it is the duty of the OURCs Secretary.

3.     Notice of a Committee Meeting, together with an agenda, must be delivered to all OURCs Committee members at least 24 hours before the meeting.

a.     In the case of the business before the Committee Meeting being an extreme transgression, the Captains and Senior Member(s) of the club(s) involved should also be given notice before the meeting is convened.

b.     The Captains or Senior Member(s) may be permitted to make a statement in their defence, either in person or in writing, before any sanctions are decided.

4.     The quorum for an OURCs Committee Meeting is 5 members of the OURCs Committee.

5.     Normally the OURCs Secretary shall chair the Meeting, unless otherwise resolved at the Meeting.

6.     At Committee Meetings, members may not vote on issues in whose outcome they have an interest (the Chair to rule on this if necessary).

7.     The minutes of an OURCs Committee Meeting shall be read out at the next Captains' Meeting and any motions passed subject to ratification by the Captains' Meeting.

C12. Alteration of the Constitution and Rules

1.     COUR has the authority to require changes to be made on safety grounds to sections of both Constitution and Rules that deal with safety issues.  These changes shall be made, and publicised to members of OURCs, within 24 hours of the COUR ruling.  At the next Captains' Meeting a representative of COUR will explain the changes and the reasoning behind them, and record the captains' response to be relayed back to COUR.

2.     Changes to the Constitution and Rules, other than those required by COUR, may only be made at a Captains' Meeting.

3.     Proposed alterations to the Constitution must appear as an item on the agenda circulated in advance of the Meeting.

4.     Motions to alter the Constitution require a 2:1 majority of those in favour to those against, and an overall majority of those present and eligible to vote.

5.     Alterations to other chapters of the OURCs Rules require a simple majority.

C13. OURCs Committee Privileges

OURCs committee members will be entitled to purchase (unless sponsorship is found specifically for the purpose) items of clothing with OURCs marked clearly on them. The use of 'Oxford' alone is not allowed, since it implies official university competitive representation.