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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. Assist member clubs to develop and 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. Compliance

  1. OURCs shall be administered in accordance with the regulations for University clubs which are published from time to time in the Proctors’ and Assessor’s Memorandum (“the Proctors’ Memorandum”)
  2. The activities of OURCs will at all times be conducted in accordance with the following University policies and codes of practice in force from time to time: Integrated Equality Policy, Code of Practice on Harassment and Bullying, and Code of Practice on Freedom of Speech.
  3. Any event or competition which is approved or advertised by OURCs as an official event of OURCs shall first be approved by the Proctors and relevant local authority. OURCs shall submit to the Proctors an event plan and risk assessment, together with documentary evidence of appropriate insurance cover. OURCs shall observe such conditions as the Proctors may then attach to the running of the event.
  4. No member of OURCs shall participate in any activity overseas organised by OURCs, whether during term-time or vacation, unless the plans for such activity have been notified at least one calendar month in advance of the date of departure from the United Kingdom to the Director of Sport. Each member participating in such activities overseas shall observe any conditions imposed by the Proctors on the recommendation of the Director of Sport, e.g. relating to the deposit of contact addresses, fulfilment of health, safety and insurance requirements, and stipulation of coaches, trainers or Senior Members to accompany the trip.

C4. 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.

C5. 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)

C6. 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 president 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 right to be present at the governing body meetings of that College
  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 president and College Boat Clubs with any unpaid fees beyond this date may not enter or compete in OURCs events.

C8. OURCs Committee

The OURCs Committee shall consist of:

  1. The Presidents of the University Boat Clubs.
  2. The OURCs Chair, 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:
    1. Chair OURCs Captains' Meetings.
  3. The OURCs President, whose duties are to:
    1. Manage the affairs of OURCs.
    2. Act, or appoint a suitable deputy in each case to act, as Race president for OURCs events.
  4. The OURCs Treasurer, whose duties are to:
    1. Oversee and keep a proper record of the financial transactions of OURCs.
    2. Issue invoices, receipts and cheques as authorised.
    3. Issue, collect, and keep a record of fines.
    4. Notify College Captains of any fines or other penalties incurred by breach of OURCs rules.
    5. Collect and keep a record of entry fees for OURCs events.
    6. Present a full financial report to the OURCs Senior Member at the end of the academic year.
    7. Assess and distribute fine income to the University Boat Clubs.
  5. The Captain of Coxes, whose duties are to:
    1. Instruct coxswains in the technique of coxing, safety and the rules of the Isis.
    2. Issue coxing licenses, assess coxswains' status and maintain the register of coxswains.
    3. Decide on penalties to be imposed on individual coxswains for infringements of OURCs rules.
  6. The OURCs Internet president, whose duties are to:
    1. Update and manage the OURCs website and mailing lists.
  7. The OURCs Senior Member, whose duties are to:
    1. Liaise with the University authorities.
    2. Oversee the OURCs accounts.
    3. Assess and distribute any excess funds to the University Boat Clubs.
    4. Adjudicate in cases of appeals against penalties imposed on College Boat Clubs by OURCs.
  8. The OURCs Sabbatical Officer, whose duties are to:
    1. Provide administrative support to the OURCs Committee and the Council of Oxford University Rowing (COUR).
    2. Act as OURCs Safety Adviser.
    3. These duties are detailed in the OURCs Sabbatical Officer's job description, which is available from the OURCs president or the Oxford University Director of Sport.

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

C9. 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 president 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:
    1. 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.
    2. Members of the OURCs Committee.
    3. Members of OURCs who have been awarded rowing Blues or Half-Blues.
    4. Senior Umpires who have been ratified by a Captains' Meeting in the preceding 12 months.
  9. Motions:
    1. 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.
    2. At least one of the proposer and seconder of a motion (preferably the proposer) shall be at the meeting.
    3. 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.
    4. Motions that require the use of OURCs’ funds for the University Boat Clubs, or any single College Boat Club may not be proposed without the approval of the OURCs president and OURCs Treasurer.
  10. Voting:
    1. Except where otherwise stated, all motions shall be decided by a majority of those present and voting.
    2. 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).

C10. 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. Any unsuccessful candidates standing for a post may opt to run for the position of Ordinary Member at the same captains' meeting. They must still get a majority as in C9.
  8. If no candidate is elected to a post, a new election will be held at the next Captains' Meeting.
  9. The elected posts are held for a maximum of 4 terms, starting with the term in which the post was taken up.
  10. Committee Members shall be deemed to have resigned if they cease to be OURCs members during their tenure.
  11. In the event of an elected post falling vacant, a new election shall be held at the next Captains' Meeting.
  12. In the event of a non-elected post falling vacant, the OURCs president may appoint a replacement subject to ratification by the Captains' Meeting.
  13. The President is elected by the members of their squad, and is subsequently ratified as OURCs President at a Captains' Meeting.
  14. 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.
  15. 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).

C11. 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 president shall request the Director of Sport and OURCs Senior Member to take immediate appropriate action in line with University employment policies.

C12. 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 president.
  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.
    1. 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.
    2. 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 president 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.

C13. 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.

C14. 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.

C15. Compliance

  1. So far as may be permitted by law, every member of the Committee and every officer of OURCs shall be entitled to be indemnified by OURCs against all costs, charges, losses, expenses and liabilities incurred by him or her in the execution or discharge of his or her duties or the exercise of his or her powers, or otherwise properly in relation to or in connection with his or her duties. This indemnity extends to any liability incurred by him or her in defending any proceedings, civil or criminal, which relate to anything done or omitted or alleged to have been done or omitted by him or her as a member of the Committee or officer of OURCs and in which judgement is given in his or her favour (or the proceedings are otherwise disposed of without any finding or admission of any material breach of duty on his or her part), or in which he or she is acquitted, or in connection with any application under any statute for relief from liability in respect of any such act or omission in which relief is granted to him or her by the Court.
  2. So far as may be permitted by law, OURCs may purchase and maintain for any member of the Committee or officer of OURCs insurance cover against any liability which by virtue of any rule of law may attach to him or her in respect of any negligence, default, breach of duty or breach of trust of which he or she may be guilty in relation to OURCs and against all costs, charges, losses and expenses and liabilities incurred by him or her and for which he or she is entitled to be indemnified by OURCs by virtue of paragraph a).
  3. C16. Sponsorship

    Sponsorship agreements both signed by the Senior Member and president of OURCs shall be recognised by OURCs and treated as though the agreement is between OURCs and the sponsor. Any liability incurred by the signatories when signing as representative officers of OURCs, shall be indemnified by OURCs.