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A1: General Rules of Racing

A1.1 Definitions

  1. Members of College Boat Clubs are classified either as:
    1. Student Members
      1. Bona fide students (in accordance with University Statute II) of their respective college(s), 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. In extraordinary circumstances, this period may be extended to a given date by a majority vote at a Captain's Meeting.
        4. Should a student's course involve both (2) and (3), with a delay inbetween these, then the latter marks the end their eligibility as a bona fide student.
      2. Students on the Visiting Student Programme holding a valid University Card stating "Visiting Student Programme", who are affiliated to that college.
      3. Students at Oxford University holding a valid University Card or Bodleian Reader's Card 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 the details for the duration, and a list of these Visiting Students with their affiliation will be available on the OURCs website.
    2. Fellowship Members
      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.]
    3. Student and Staff Honorary Members
      1. At a Captain’s Meeting, the captains may choose to grant a person the status of Student or Staff Honorary Member of a College Boat Club for a period of no more than three consecutive terms, subject to the following rules:
        1. All Honorary Memberships must be brought in accordance with the procedural rules associated with a constitutional alteration under 1.11, but an Honorary Membership is not a constitutional alteration.
        2. Honorary Staff Memberships may be awarded to those staff with contracts for full time employment (an average of 25 hours a week or more) with a particular college for a period of no less than twelve months.
        3. The proposal must include:
          1. Name of the person in question.
          2. Details of the type of University card they hold, and the number (if relevant).
          3. Their status within the University and the date of the termination of this status.
          4. 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
          5. 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).
        4. 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.
    4. Associate Members
      1. All other members.
  2. Respective College
    1. For the above points A1.1.1.a-c, respective colleges shall be defined as the College or Private Permanent Hall that Boat Club represents, with the exception of Osler House, which represents Clinical Medical Students. The following boat clubs represent more than one college:
      1. Wolfson College Boat Club also represents St. Cross College.
      2. St Benet’s Hall Boat Club also represents Blackfriars.
      3. Regent's Park College Boat Club also represents female members of Blackfriars.
      4. Linacre College Boat Club also represents Nuffield College.
      5. Queen's College Boat Club also represents Wycliffe Hall.
      6. Wadham College Boat Club  also represents Harris Manchester College.
      7. Christ Church Boat Club also represents Kellogg College.
      8. Magdalen College Boat Club also represents All Souls College.
    2. Exclusivity
      1. An athlete may only compete as a non-asssoicate member of one College Boat club in any academic year.
      2. In the ambiguous cases above, Clinical Medical students may choose to compete either for their College Boat Club, or for Osler House.
      3. Female members of Blackfriars may choose to compete for either St Benet's or Regent's Park.
      4. Participation in an event shall be regarded as having decided which College Boat Club to row under as a non-associate.

A1.2 Transfers

  1. Where a bona fide student or visiting student 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:
    1. 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.
    2. At the next Captain’s Meeting, the OURCs Sabbatical Officer will include a list of transfers requested under this section on the agenda that have been received before the publishing of that agenda.
    3. 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 or visiting student of college A; or
      2. The student has not been a member of College Boat Club B.
    4. In the event of an objection, the OURCs Sabbatical Officer will resolve whether or not the transfer can be brought under this section. This must be resolved before the end of the meeting in which the motion was raised.
    5. 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 except as an associate member, unless they thransfer back to the college where they are currently a bona fide student or visiting student.
  2. A bona fide student or visiting student of a college without a respective College Boat Club (including under rule A1.1.2.i) may transfer to a College Boat Club of his/her choice (hereafter known as College Boat Club A) by the following procedure:
    1. A transfer in this way may only be granted to a student that has not competed in an OURCs event for any College Boat Club previously. Otherwise they should be expected to transfer under A1.2.1.
    2. 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 relevant captain of College Boat Club A;
      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.
    3. At the next Captain’s Meeting, the OURCs Sabbatical Officer will include a list of transfers requested under this section on the agenda that have been received before the publishing of that agenda.
    4. 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 or visiting student of his/her original college; or
      2. The student has previously competed in an OURCs event for any College Boat Club previously.
    5. In the event of an objection, the OURCs Sabbatical Officer will resolve whether or not the transfer can be brought under this section. This must be resolved before the end of the meeting in which the motion was raised.
    6. 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 transfer in this way again, even if he/she does not compete in OURCs events for College Boat Club A, except in extraordinary circumstances (for example, the closure of the boat club), where a transfer may be granted following a majority vote at a Captain's Meeting.

A1.3 Race Secretary

  1. The Race Secretary for each event shall be responsible for the overall organisation of the event. Their duties shall be to:
    1. Fix the dates, times, entry fees, entry deadlines and late entry fees for the event, subject to the approval of a Captains' Meeting;
    2. Send out entry forms to all College Boat Clubs detailing this information;
    3. Appoint an Event Committee and nominate the Senior Umpire(s) for the event. Those eligible to be nominated for Torpids and Eights shall have been ratified by a Captains’ meeting within the past academic year, except during racing when a Senior Umpire may be appointed with the agreement of the ratified Senior Umpires and the Race Secretary;
    4. Make crew-lists available for inspection during the event;
    5. Make modifications to the format of the event either before or during the event to ensure that the maximal amount of racing may take place;
    6. Maintain a list of fines incurred during the event and notify the Boat Clubs concerned of the amount and reason for all fines incurred;

A1.4 Event Committee

  1. The Event Committee shall be responsible for the running of each OURCs event. In addition, this committee shall have the authority to:
    1. Decide, in conjunction with the Senior Umpires, Boatmen, Area Safety Officer (Sport), and on the advice of the EA, whether conditions are safe for the event to be held, and, if necessary, alter the race format to meet safety requirements;
    2. Alter the rules of the river for the duration of the event;
    3. Require participating Boat Clubs to supply umpires and marshals for specified periods;
    4. Require participating Boat Clubs to restrict the number of persons (including cyclists) accompanying crews on the towpath side;
    5. Require participating coxes and at least one officer from each College Boat Club to attend preparatory meetings;
    6. Perform identification spot checks to ensure crews comply with the entry and starting requirments as set out in A1.6 and A1.8.
    7. Impose fines on Boat Clubs for not complying with the above rules, such fines to be confirmed by the Race Secretary, who shall notify the Colleges involved.
    8. Impose other penalties such as disqualification; time penalties, penalty bumps, demotion of coxes, or suspension of a cox (on the advice of the Captain of Coxes) or crew from racing, for dangerous conduct or violations of rules of racing.
    9. Any member of the Event Committee may make a decision under rules A1.7  (ordinary substitutions), A1.10.2 (registration of disputes), and A1.10.3 (action to be taken upon the registration of a dispute). Decisions made under rules A1.7 (extraordinary substitutions), A3.11 (technical bumps), A3.12 (penalty bumps), A3.13 (row-overs), A3.5.4 (time penalties in Rowing On), and A3.5.5 (time bonuses in Rowing On) shall be made by a Race Committee comprised of a minimum of three neutral members of the Event Committee with an appeal lying only to the Senior Umpire in accordance with A1.10 (disputes procedure).

A1.5 Senior Umpire

  1. The Race Secretary for each event shall appoint at least one Senior Umpire.
  2. For Torpids and Eights it is presumed that all ratified senior umpires will be appointed.
  3. Once ratified, a Senior Umpire shall only be removed by a vote of a Captains’ meeting, except during racing when a Senior Umpire may be removed by the Race Secretary and a majority of the other ratified Senior Umpires acting together.
  4. In accordance with the event plan for Torpids and Eights, a person shall be eligible for ratification as a Senior Umpire following a suitable period of training by the existing ratified Senior Umpires.
  5. At any one point during racing, one senior umpire will be known to be on duty and acting as the Senior Umpire with regard to A1.5.2 or A1.5.3.
  6. The ratified senior umpires will consult with each other and act wherever possible collectively and by agreement under A1.5.1.
  7. The ratified senior umpires will agree a coordinating senior umpire to act on their behalf as necessary under A1.5.4 before racing, though the duty Senior Umpire shall operate A1.5.4 during the hours of racing.
  8. The Senior Umpire has the authority to:
    1. Interpret the OURCs rules in the event of any dispute, such a ruling to be binding;
    2. Make the operational decision as to when it is safe for each race to start;
    3. Exclude any crew deemed not ready to start at the designated time or with unpaid fines under A1.8.3;
    4. With the Secretary, make modifications to the format of racing, either before or during the event, in accordance with the approved event plan and risk assessment to ensure that the maximal amount of safe racing may take place.

A1.6 Entry Requirements

  1. All crews entered for OURCs events shall:
    1. Represent a single Member Club as recognised under 1.4.
    2. Consist entirely of members of that Member Boat Club as classified under A1.1.
    3. Accept:
      1. the rules of racing;
      2. the event plan;
      3. the risk assessment;
      4. the contingencies specified in the above three items;
      as published on the OURCs website at the start of the event, as binding during the competition.
    4. Enter entirely at their own risk, taking into account the nature of the event and the Event Plan published on the OURCs website by the relevant Event Committee.
    5. Boat as was named on the entry form, taking in to account any substitutions made in accord with A1.7
  2. Men may cox in "Women's" boats and women may cox in "Men's" boats
  3. Women may row in "Men's" boats.

A1.7 Substitutions

  1. All substitutes must be recorded as having passed a swim test on the OURCs swim-test database.
  2. All substitutions must be made and completed before a crew boats for its race.
  3. For events with 'Extra-ordinary' substitutions, a substitution is not considered complete until it has been checked and signed by a member of Event Committee.
  4. It is the responsibility of the captains of member clubs to ensure that such substitutes are legal, noting specifically that the online system may not recognise an illegal substitute. All substitutions approved, whether regular or extra-ordinary, are conditional on the validity of the information provided. In the instance of a substitution being subsequently discovered to be in breach of any of the rules regarding substitutions for that event, the substitute will be considered ineligible to race and the crew will face penalty from the Event Committee.

A1.8 Starting Requirements

  1. The crew and boat must conform to the safety requirements as detailed in 2.3, 2.4.
  2. The crew must conform to the rules on entry requirements and substitutions.
  3. The Member Club must have paid all debts (including fines) incurred up to and including the previous day.
    1. before ANY boat of that college races in Autumn Fours or the Isis Winter League.
    2. before the TOP boat of that college races in Torpids or Eights proper, or the LAST racing crew of that college races in Rowing On.
  4. No boat shall be allowed to start in a race with more or less than its full crew and, having started, no crew member may voluntarily leave the boat.
  5. Crews must row with blades recognisable as belonging to their Member Club, unless they have the permission of the Race Secretary to do otherwise.

A1.9 Identification

  1. To assist in resolving disputes over crew identification, the following rules will apply:
    1. Coxswains shall be required to be in possession of identification for all crewmembers while they are on the water. Such identification must contain a picture of the person being identified. A University card or coxing permit will be sufficient.
    2. Such identification may be used by the Event Committee for adjudication in the event of a dispute concerning crew composition.
    3. Lack of identification may result in automatic loss of a dispute over crew composition.
    4. Complaints about crew composition must be made while the allegedly offending crew is still on the water.

A1.10 Disputes Procedure

  1. Registration of complaints or appeals can be made directly to the Race Committee at Race Desk, or via a marshal with a radio.
  2. The procedure for handling complaints or appeals is as follows:
    1. Complaints against other crews must be registered with the Event Committee within 10 minutes of the end of the race.
    2. Appeals against routine Event Committee decisions (i.e. excluding those treated as resolutions of disputes) must be registered with the Event Committee within 10 minutes of the announced decision. The Captain, or nominated representative of the appealing boat club may withdraw the appeal up until the appeal is decided by the Race Committee.
    3. Having been notified of a complaint or an appeal, the Event Committee shall inform all other interested parties, who then have 10 minutes in which to send a representative to put their case.  In exceptional circumstance, people can contact Race Desk by phone. No evidence shall be accepted more than 20 minutes after the announcement of the appeal. Evidence shall be accepted by a member of Event Committee.
    4. All disputes shall be resolved by a Race Committee comprised of a minimum of 3 neutral members of the Event Committee. When ruling on an initial appeal, the Race Committee shall treat the appeal as a challenge to the original decision at first instance. Evidence must be provided that supports the need to overturn or to re-consider it (including an error by the original decision-maker or new evidence). In the absence of such evidence, the original decision should stand.
    5. The only grounds for appeal against the Race Committee ruling on a complaint or initial appeal are if the OURCs rules have not been adhered to, in which case the appeal must be registered with the Senior Umpire, stating the rule(s) in question, within 10 minutes of the Race Committee ruling.
    6. In the event of the Senior Umpire not being neutral in an appeal against a Race Committee ruling (including the grounds of having been involved in the original ruling), another Senior Umpire or an agreed member of the Event Committee shall be appointed to act as Senior Umpire to rule on the appeal.
    7. The Senior Umpire shall have the authority to interpret the OURCs rules, and may make a ruling as to whether the race committee decision adheres to those rules. The SU may re-submit the appeal to the race committee to re-decide within the rules, or order it to be considered by an alternative race committee if appropriate. Nothing in A1.10 shall be read as permitting a Senior Umpire at appeal to decide the facts, nor validates a decision by any person or persons that is outside of the rules.

A2: Rules of Autumn Fours:

A2.1 Date

  1. Unless resolved otherwise at a Captains' Meeting, Autumn Fours shall be held on one of the two Sundays preceding the Fours Head.

A2.2 Categories

  1. Autumn Fours shall include the following categories:
    1. Men's coxed fours;
    2. Women's coxed fours;
  2. Competitions for other categories may also be offered, at the discretion of the Race Secretary, subject to a minimum of two entries. This may include men’s and women’s pairs races, with mixed college crews allowed, as well as single sculls races.

A2.3 Eligibility

  1. In addition to the general entry requirements specified in 1.6, no-one may be a member of two crews entered for the same competition.

A2.4 Substitutions

  1. Substitutions that do not satisfy the conditions laid out under A2.3 shall be granted at the discretion of the Event Committee.

A2.5 Procedure

  1. The event shall consist of a knock-out competition, raced side-by-side from Longbridges to the Bumps Stone. Every effort will be made, depending upon the number of entries and in consultation with the Senior Umpire, to operate a repechage to guarantee all crews at least two races.
  2. The Event Committee will seek to allow for equipment clashes in the draw if notified by the College in question when entries are made. A boat may be shared by a men’s and a women’s crew, but not between two crews of the same sex, or by more than two crews.
  3. Crews must remain in their racing lane at all times. Should a crew leave its racing lane, and in so doing in the view of the Event Committee gain an advantage that affected the outcome of the race, then it will be disqualified.
  4. In the event of a race being stopped on safety grounds, due to circumstances which are beyond the control of the racing crews, the Event Committee reserves the right to award the race to either crew if it is felt that they held an insurmountable lead.
  5. The finish shall be judged by the bows.

A3: Rules of Bumps Racing:

A3.1 Dates

  1. Unless resolved otherwise by a Captains' Meeting,
    1. Torpids shall be held from Wednesday to Saturday of 7th week of Hilary Term, except for those years in which it clashes with the Women's Eights Head when it shall be held from Wednesday to Saturday of 6th week of Hilary Term.
    2. Eights shall be held from Wednesday to Saturday of 5th week of Trinity Term.

A3.2 Divisions

  1. Unless resolved otherwise by a Captains' Meeting or the Event Committee:
    1. Torpids shall consist of 6 Men's divisions and 5 Women's divisions. The top 5 Men's divisions and the top 4 Women's divisions shall be designated "Fixed Divisions" and the remainder "Rowing On Divisions".
    2. Eights shall consist of 7 Men's divisions and 6 Women's divisions, with the top 5 Men's divisions and the top 4 Women's divisions designated "Fixed Divisions", and the remainder "Rowing On Divisions".
    3. In Torpids divisions shall consist of 12 boats, plus the "Sandwich Boat", except for the bottom divisions, which shall consist of 13 boats. 
    4. In Eights divisions shall consist of 13 boats, plus the "Sandwich Boat", except for the bottom divisions, which shall consist of 14 boats. 
    5. Divisions to be raced in descending order numerically (division 1 being the top division, and men's division 1, the last scheduled division to race).
    6. The boat that finishes first in each division may row as "Sandwich Boat" at the bottom of the next highest division in the same day's racing.
    7. The boat finishing at the bottom of each division shall row at the head of the next lowest division the next day.
    8. Men's divisions 1, 2 and 3, and Women's divisions 1 and 2 shall be designated "Senior Divisions".
    9. All boats competing shall be stern-coxed Eights.

A3.3 Eligibility

  1. In addition to the general entry requirements for OURCs events listed in A1.6:
    1. University squad rowers and coxes are not allowed to compete in Torpids if they have been selected for a Boat Race crew (this does not include designated spares), or if, in the instance of their squad not having made its selection before Torpids, they are still in contention for a seat in a crew.
    2. No person may row in two crews or cox two crews, although it is permitted to row in one crew and cox another. This does not include crews which have failed to row on under rule A3.6.
    3. All crewmembers must be listed as having passed on the OURCs swim test database.

A3.4 Substitutions

  1. Substitutions fall under two categories; regular and extra-ordinary.
  2. If substitutes conform to the entry requirements, then that substitute is considered regular. Any substitution that does not so conform is to be considered extra-ordinary. This includes swapping a rower between crews.
  3. Coxing substitutions that are within the defined coxing restrictions, which may be relaxed for poor conditions, are deemed regular but must still be done in accordance with A1.7. All coxes must be on the OURCs cox database.
  4. Regular substitutions will be approved by the Event Committee upon receipt of the information required and having confirmed that they conform to the rules of racing.
  5. Extra-ordinary substitutes may be permitted at the discretion of a Race Committee in circumstances including, but not limited to, sudden injury:
    1. If a rower in a given boat is injured, it is encouraged that a rower from a lower boat is substituted up; further consequential substitutionsof this type are equally encouraged such that the vacant seat is in the college's lowest boat. It is not expected that men's crews substitute a rower from a fixed division boat in a women's division.
    2. It is expected that this vacancy is then resolved by the use of a regular substitution; examples include: the use of any associate rowers; or the use of rowers of either gender (where applicable) that failed to Row On.
    3. If the college's lowest boat for that gender is in a Rowing On division, and all three associate member slots are in use, a fourth associate member will be permitted. If this boat is in a fixed division, an associate member may be permitted at the discretion of the Race Committee.
    4. In each of the cases in A3.4.5.a-c, the associate member must provide the Race Committee with a summary of their previous rowing experience. If this is judged to be an enhancement to the crew, then the substitution will be refused. If this associate member is eligible to row with another college boat club as a non-associate as detailed in A1.1.1.a-e, then written or oral permission must be given by the relevant club captain, and the decision is still at the discretion of the Race Committee.
    5. If an extra-ordinary substitution is permitted, this must be announced, most often through the tannoy, between 60 and 5 minutes before the relevant division(s) are due to start. Appeals may be lodged at any point until 10 minutes after the results have been announced.
    6. It is at the discretion of the Event Committee to allow any person who has been moved to a higher-ranked boat to move back down to their original boat on subsequent days. This permission will not be granted in the case of Rowing On

A3.5 Associate Members

  1. 'Associate Members' of College Boat Clubs may row in bumps races subject to the following restrictions:
    1. Each College is permitted a maximum of three Associate Members in its Men's crews and three in its Women's crews.
    2. Associate Members may only compete in Rowing On crews, unless a College has no Rowing On crews, in which case they may compete in the College's lowest boat, provided it is not in a Senior Division, including the Sandwich Boats, at the start of the competition.
    3. If a College's lowest crew is in a Senior Division, Associate Members may still be used if specific permission is given by a Captains' Meeting.  All other Associate Member rules must still be followed.
    4. Anyone wishing to appear as an Associate Member for one College who is eligible to appear for another College must have the signed written permission of both College Captains concerned, specifically given for that event/regatta.
  2. Associate Members must be indicated as such on the Entry Form.

A3.6 Rowing On

  1. In the event of there being more entries than places available, crews not assigned places in the Fixed Divisions will be required to qualify by 'Rowing On'
  2. Rowing On races shall be held as an OURCs event under the jurisdiction of the Event Committee with the powers defined in A1.4.
  3. Rowing On races shall normally take place on the Friday preceding the bumps races.
  4. Rowing On races shall be timed rows with a rolling start, measured from Longbridges raft to a semaphore placed approximately midway between Univ Boathouse and the Head, with the fastest crews to qualify.
  5. Crews being overtaken during Rowing On are required to give way. Failure to do so may result in a time penalty.
  6. Crews impeded by other craft during Rowing On may be awarded a time bonus.
  7. In the event of crews having an equal time and if this affects the starting order, the crews involved may organise a private rerow and notify the Event Committee of the result.
  8. Crews failing to Row On shall be refunded half their entry fee.
  9. All members of crews succeeding in Rowing On, irrespective of whether they were properly entered as part of that crew, shall be subject to the restrictions of rule A3.3.1.b as if they were a bona fide part of that crew.
  10. Rowing On results shall become finalised on midnight of the following day, after which no further appeals will be considered and the Event Committee shall resolve any remaining ties by ballot.

A3.7 Withdrawals

  1. The Race Secretary should be notified, in writing, of any withdrawals.
  2. Any crew withdrawn prior to midnight before Rowing On, or, in the absence of Rowing On races, prior to the Friday before the bumps race starts, shall be refunded their full entry fee, and regarded as 'not entered'.
  3. Provided no lower crews of the same sex from the same College Boat Club are entered, Fixed Division crews that were 'not entered' shall be reinserted 6 places lower in the Starting Order for the following year in Torpids, 4 places lower in the Starting Order for Eights. If lower crews of the same sex from the same College Boat Club ARE entered, Fixed Division crews that were not entered will NOT BE REINSERTED.
  4. In the event of a crew withdrawn after the deadline in A3.6.1, but before the Starting Order is finalised, the crew shall be removed entirely from the Starting Order and NOT REINSERTED THE FOLLOWING YEAR, all other crews moved up one place and the fastest crew failing to Row On shall be invited to start at the bottom of the lowest division.
  5. In the event of the Senior Umpires permitting early or late withdrawals from bumps races on safety grounds, arising from a significant loss of river time to colleges, such crews will maintain their places in the following year's Starting Order without penalty. A request for such a withdrawal must be made in writing and signed by the club captain.
  6. Crews withdrawing after the Start Order is finalised, or failing to boat for their race are withdrawn from the competition and not reinserted the following year. Crews in the division are moved up one place and a bungline left empty at the bottom of the division for the day's racing. In the Start Order for the following day all other crews are moved up one place and the fastest crew failing to Row On shall be invited to start at the bottom of the lowest division.
  7. If a crew fails to boat for its race, it shall be regarded as having withdrawn from the competition.
  8. The Event Committee may decide to allow a crew to withdraw for one day of racing.
    1. In Eights, the withdrawn crew's bungline is left empty and the crew subject to a technical bump as in A3.11.
    2. In Torpids, the crew may be reinserted the following day a number of places lower by the discretion of the Event Committee based on the reasons for withdrawal. Other crews in the division are moved up one place and a bungline left empty at the bottom of the division for the day's racing.

A3.8 Starting Order

  1. A Provisional Starting Order shall be prepared by the Event Committee as soon as possible after the Rowing On races and shall be circulated to all College Captains.
  2. Having moved up all crews to fill spaces caused by crews not entering or withdrawn under A3.6.1, or not qualifying in Rowing On, the starting order shall be:
    1. The finishing order of the previous year.
    2. New entries succeeding in qualifying, inserted, in random order, at the bottom of the Rowing On division.
  3. Crews from each College Boat Club shall be numbered sequentially in the first day's starting order, regardless of their designations in the previous year's finishing order or their Rowing On finishing positions.
  4. Unless Captains request otherwise, their own College Boat Club's crews in the Rowing On divisions will be allocated places in order of qualifying speed.
  5. The starting order shall be finalised at midnight before each day's racing, unless it is deemed necessary to postpone finalisation by the SUs for good reason, for example, the unavoidable over-running of appeals. Until this point, the provisional starting order may be amended in the event of further withdrawals, appeal results, or clerical errors.

A3.9 Starting Procedure

  1. Each boat shall be started from a rope 50 feet in length (known as a bungline), held by the coxswain, the other end of the rope to be fastened to a post or bolt on the towpath.
  2. The distance between each starting post shall be 130 feet.
  3. Divisions in bumping races shall be raced at intervals of not less than 25 minutes and not more than 45 minutes (unless safety dictates otherwise).
  4. Not less than five minutes before the start of the division, the Senior Umpire shall order the firing of the 'Five Minute Gun'.
  5. Four minutes later, or later if safety dictates, the Senior Umpire shall order the firing of the 'One Minute Gun'.
  6. One minute later, another gun shall be fired to signal the start.
  7. If the Starting Gun has not fired within seventy seconds from the One Minute Gun the Senior Umpire will notify crews that the sequence of guns shall be repeated from the One Minute Gun.
  8. For a race to be deemed to have taken place, 10 of the 14 boats must be attached to their bunglines when the Starting Gun is fired.

A3.10 Delays

  1. Delays, subject to A3.9.3, may be granted by the Senior Umpire provided that the request is delivered before the One Minute Gun.
  2. Crews needlessly causing the start to be delayed are liable to be fined, at the discretion of the Senior Umpire.

A3.11 Bumps

  1. A bump shall be deemed to have taken place when the Event Committee is satisfied beyond all reasonable doubt that one of the following has occurred:
    1. A boat touches any part of the boat in front of it, the term "boat" to include oars, rudder and crew; or
    2. When the coxswain of the leading boat acknowledges, by raising their arm, that a bump is inevitable; or
    3. When one boat rows clean by another.
  2. A boat shall be liable to be bumped until every part of it has crossed the finishing line.
  3. On achieving a bump, a boat ceases to be part of a race.
  4. In Eights Week, the boat bumped also ceases to be part of the race.
  5. Crews which cross the finish line without being bumped or bumping another crew will be regarded as having "rowed over".

A3.12 Technical Bumps

  1. The Event Committee may award technical bumps if a boat does not start in accordance with OURCs regulations.
  2. In the event of a technical bump, the division shall proceed as normal except that the offending crew shall lose one place.
  3. If the offending crew has attempted to start, any bumps gained by it shall be disallowed while any bumps gained on it shall stand.
  4. The Event Committee may choose not to award a technical bump in Torpids if they decide that a crew never intended to start, in which case the rest of the division shall proceed as normal save that the offending crew shall be placed at the bottom of the division.
  5. The crew benefiting from a technical bump may choose to decline it.

A3.13 Penalty Bumps

  1. Penalty bumps may be awarded by the Event Committee in the event of dangerous conduct, illegal interference with other crews racing, or incompetence leading to a klaxon.
  2. The number of places lost through a penalty bump is at the discretion of the Event Committee
  3. Crews receiving penalty bumps shall automatically have any valid bump gained on other crews disallowed.
  4. Penalty bumps shall not be awarded until the crew involved has been invited to present their case, and shall follow the disputes procedure A1.10.
  5. Any crew that causes a race to be klaxoned due to reasons that do not relate to the actions of another crew should be given a penalty bump (for example due to rudder failure or a person entering the water).
  6. Penalty or racing bumps shall not be awarded against crews that, after gaining a bump, continue to race safely due to reasonable uncertainty over whether or not the bump had occurred

A3.14 Technical Row-Overs

  1. The Event Committee may disallow otherwise valid bumps and award row-overs to the crews involved in the following circumstances:
    1. Bumps on crews that were only caught due to unavoidable external influences shall be disallowed.
    2. Boats that have had bumps disallowed shall be awarded row-overs unless they have also accumulated penalty bumps. The Event Committee may decided, in the case of crews being bumped multiple times in Torpids, which of the bumps, if any, should be disallowed.
    3. Boats easying under a reasonable misapprehension that they have gained a bump may be awarded a row-over. In Eights week, boats easying under a reasonable misapprehension that they have been bumped may be awarded a row-over, otherwise all boats are expected to complete the course where possible. The decision in such situations will be entirely at the discretion of the Event Committee.
  2. Over bumps shall stand despite crews in between subsequently being awarded row-overs.

A3.15 Finishing Order

  1. The finishing order of a division, subject to revisions following the awarding of penalty bumps, techincal bumps, and technical row-overs, shall be:
    1. In Torpids, the order in which the remaining boats cross the finishing line except that all boats achieving a bump shall be placed above the boat bumped.
    2. In Eights, the same as the starting order except that the two boats involved in each bump shall exchange places.
    3. The final finishing order for the event should include crews that were ‘not entered’ or withdrawn as set out in A.3.6.1 reinserted with the correct number of places forfeited and other crews moved down the necessary number of places. In the event of there being more than one crew to reinsert, the crews should be reinserted in descending numerical order of division and then bungline, starting from the final bungline of the bottom division.

A3.16 Stopping Racing

  1. In the event of a klaxon sounding during a race,
    1. All boats shall cease racing immediately.
    2. Bumps gained prior to the klaxon shall stand. Any bumps after the first klaxon sounding anywhere on the course are not counted irrespective of whether crews involved have heard it or not.
  2. Crews still racing when the klaxon sounded shall be awarded a row-over.

A3.17 Cyclists

  1. During every day of Torpids, and the first three days of Summer Eights, each crew may only have one bank rider cycling alongside them, unless with the permission of the Race Secretary and the Senior Umpire.
  2. On the Saturday of Summer Eights, cycling is banned on the towpath from bungline 14 to the Folly Bridge for all member clubs, their members, and spectators associated with them.

A3.18 Equipment

  1. Oars with sharp protrusions on the spoons are not permitted.

A4: Other Regattas

A4.1 Event Planning

  1. Permission must be sought for the event to happen from the Proctors at least four weeks before the events. Organisers must arrange to meet or liaise with the Environment agency regarding their event plan at least six weeks before the event. This will require the sending of an event plan and suitable risk assessment to both bodies. The Proctors will also require proof that the event is insured. Advice on event plans, risk assessment and insurance is available via the ASO (Sport) or Rowing Sabbatical.
  2. If access to the boathouses through Christ Church meadow is required, permission should be sought from The Treasurer at Christ Church at least six weeks before the event.
  3. Other local river users must also be notified of the event (a list of whom is available from the Rowing Sabbatical).

A4.2 Permission for River Closure

  1. The Organisers must ask permission for a river closure from a Captains’ Meeting. During a river closure, no crew is allowed on the river except those permitted by competition rules. 
  2. For regattas on a Saturday, the OURCs river closure for college and University crews must start from an hour before sunrise out of courtesy to other rivers users, to allow them the use of the river prior to the regatta start time.

A4.3 Cancellation

  1. If the event does not live up to the safety plan, then the OURCs Secretary and Rowing Sabbatical have the right to cancel the event in the interests of safety.

A4.4 Organisers' Obligations

  1. Organisers are required to publish a full set of rules and the safety plan for their event online before the closing date for entries. They may include some or all of the OURCs Rules of Racing, but must clearly identify which sections are to apply.
  2. Organisers are not permitted to start their regatta earlier than the original published start time, out of courtesy to other river users.