Head of the Brazos

  • Hosted By: Baylor Crew


Head of the Brazos – Regatta Rules and Penalties

November 9, 2019 – Brazos River – Waco, Texas

See Entry Packet for all information.


All registrations must be paid in full at RegattaCentral.com. Under certain circumstances, other arrangements might be made. These circumstances are up to the discretion of the Head of the Brazos committee. 

All rowers must submit their full names in every event participating in–-no nicknames. Crews may use their crew name as long as it is spelled accurately for every entry.


Late Entries


Duplicate Entries

Your crew is responsible for recognizing double entries. Double check with your crew as to make sure no duplicate entries is submitted; all registration fees are nonrefundable.


Liability Waivers

Participants in Head of the Brazos are required to sign two waivers.  The first waiver is the USRowing waiver, and the second one is the Baylor Crew liability waiver. Both are found on RegattaCentral.com. No waivers, no bow number.


USRowing Membership

Every crew team must be registered under USRowing.


Crew Representation

A crew team has a definite location, colors, and coach for the rowing season. A junior rower is only eligible to row if he/she competes on the same team for the entirety of the season. No rower may compete for two different teams.  Composite entries are different.


Schedule Changes

All events are subject to change on account of number of teams registered. Events are subject to combination or cancellation if there are only two entries by end of registration. Upon a cancellation, crew team will be contacted and asked if they would like to change events.



Teams may switch all rowers and coxswains up until November 2nd 11:59pm CDT. After November 2nd, only half of the rowers may be switched, as well as the coxswain. Substitution forms will be at registration table.

For Masters, if substitutions decrease the average age under the minimum requirement, the entry is moved to the oldest event. If substitutions increase the average age, the entry remains the same.



No refunds if the scratch is made after the standard deadline. Notify and email HOB committee if a scratch occurs before October 1st a refund will be made. After October 1st scratches, the team is asked to fill out a scratch form so that officials may have an accurate count of what boats are competing.


Regatta Check-in

All crew teams must check-in at the registration table the day of the race before competing and retrieve their race packet with a bib and bow number.


Coaches/Bow/Coxswain Meeting

A meeting will be held on race day at 6:30am for coaches, coxswains, single scullers, and bow rowers of 4x, 2x, and 2- entries. Every person is responsible for the information and river traffic presented at the meeting.


Required Equipment

Every boat must be equipped with a bow ball, quick-release shoes, heel ties that length is only up to three inches, and bow clips. Failure to be equipped with all of these requirements will result in ineligibility.



Both launch and recovery docks will be clearly labeled. Failure to correctly execute which dock to use may result in a penalty. (See penalties section)


Hotseat accomodations

Crews that will need to hotseat shells must let the Launch Dockmaster know as the shell launches for the first event. Crews hotseating must be ready and waiting next to the Recovery Dock five minutes prior to the on-water crew arriving. On-water crews will still dock at the Recovery Dock and will hotseat there.


In situations where only one or two rowers must hotseat from one race to the next, no action will be taken. The rowers will go to the Launch Dock once they arrive at the Recovery Dock and launch under standard procedure. 


Teams who do not communicate their hotseating needs to the Launch Dock Master prior to the launching of the shell will not be permitted to hotseat.

On-time Arrival

All boats are required to be in the starting area 15 minutes prior to race time. A boat that arrives late may be subject to exclusion or be penalized, depending on the dock master’s discretion. (See penalties section)


Novice Rower Classification

Novice boats must contain all novice rowers.  A non-novice sweep rower may compete as a novice sculler (if it is in their first year as a novice sculler) and vice versa.  Collegiate novices must still be in their first year of collegiate competition.

Novice Coxswains

A novice boat is not required to have a novice coxswain.  Coxswain can be of any status.



Any boat showing a disregard for safety, at any time during the weekend (including practice) will be given a 60-second penalty or may be disqualified. Safety violations may include but are not limited to: not following the published traffic patterns; not following the instructions from the Referees and Dock Masters; etc.



Boats must keep to the right (coxswain’s view) of the orange buoys at all times during the event. In areas where there are no buoys (early on Friday before the course has been set or above or below the buoyed course) boats should keep to the left side of the river (coxswain’s view). Traffic patterns should be observed during practice as well as during races. Please see the Race Course Map for further details.



Good sportsmanship must prevail at all times. Instances of unsportsmanlike conduct by scullers, crews, and/or coaches will be reported to the Referees, and penalties may be assigned.


Travel Lane

Once the buoyed course has been set, at all times during the weekend (Friday or race days), crews and scullers proceeding downstream in the Travel Lane must proceed firmly, with no stopping to watch races and shall remain in single file unless there is clear room to pass. The Travel Lane areas are defined as 1) Left side of river (coxswain’s view) from the Baylor Boathouse to the starting chute near Cameron Park. Competitors are expected to prioritize safety and movement of the crews around them while in the Travel Lane. Arch violations en route to the Start will incur a 60-second penalty. The primary warm-up area is in the designated warm-up queue just past the starting chute. Refer to the Race Course Map for details. Competitors should anticipate limited space in the warm-up queue.


Right of way

Boats racing have the right of way over all other boats. Boats not racing shall not proceed along any part of the course after the start of the first race of the day until the conclusion of the last race of the day. Practicing on the course between races could result in a 60-second penalty, at the Referees’ discretion.


Competitor start time

All competitors should be in the Start Line Chute area within earshot of the Start Line no less than 5 minutes prior to the scheduled race start time.


Late boats

Late arriving boats should not cross the line of buoys to jump into the starting sequence, but should await instructions from the Referees. Any boat that starts out of sequence against the orders of the Starter will be disqualified.


Warm-up traffic pattern

All Competitors warming up for the start must follow the warm-up traffic pattern except when otherwise directed by the Referees.


All competitors should be in the warm-up queue area five (5) minutes prior to the start of their race. Boats should assemble in the warm-up queue area in numerical order.


Equipment failure

Prior to the Start, if a competitor loses his/her bow marker or experiences equipment breakage prior to the Start, he/she should notify Marshals as soon as possible upon entering the warm-up area.


There will be no guaranteed provision for breakage after the Start.


Start Line Approach

Boats should merge into ONE single file line in numerical order as they enter the Start Chute, allowing an interval of 2-3 lengths (or as instructed by Referees) of open water behind the preceding boat. Boats should maintain an interval of 2-3 lengths as they approach the Start Line. Crews or scullers that fail to follow the commands of Referees may be penalized.


Rules of Racing

Interference and/or buoy penalties are assigned by the Referees following their review of the observations and recommendations. Repeated or severe interference may result in disqualification.


Coxswain on Board

Fours and eights must have their coxswain on board during the entire race. Failure to do so will result in disqualification.


Buoys during racing

During racing, boats must stay on the Course that is between the buoys. If a boat takes a buoy on the wrong side of the hull during an event, it will be assessed as a 5-second penalty for the first buoy, and a 10-second penalty for any additional buoys passed on the wrong side during the same event. A crew that has left the course may only return to the course when it is safe to do so. Re-entry that causes an unsafe situation or impedes the progress of another crew may incur a 60-second penalty


Arch violations under bridges

Going through the rightmost and leftmost pillars under the I-35 bridges, or going in between the pillars between the Suspension, Franklin, Old Railroad, and Railroad bridges (as described by the Race Course map) will result in a 60-second penalty in addition to any buoy violations incurred by doing so. Take note of the Traffic Patterns indicated on the Race Course Map for all bridges along the race course.


Failure to yield (interference)

When a passing crew (The Passer) closes to within one length of open water on the boat being overtaken, it is the responsibility of the slower crew to yield the line chosen by the Passer in a timely manner. The Yield should be completed by the time the overtaking boat has closed within ½ boat length. A crew failing to yield to a Passer when there is adequate room and time to yield will incur a 60-second penalty.


Severe collision

A passing crew (The Passer) has the right to pass on the side of its choice if and when a safe pass can be accomplished. The Passer must allow sufficient room for both their boat and the boat overtaken to stay safely within the race course. If a pass is attempted, the Passer shall not press the right to overtake to the point of severe collision. The actual severe collision incident can be caused by either a Passer or a Passee. During a severe collision one or more of the following may occur:

(A) damage to a boat

(B) personal injury

(C) the boat being overtaken is forced either off the race course or into a bridge or

(D) a rower is struck by the blades of another boat


If a crew causes a severe collision, that crew may be assessed a 60 second time penalty and may face further sanctions.


Safety of rowers

If one or more rowers are lost from a boat during the race, the affected crew should first ensure the safety or rescue of the rower(s). If the rower(s) is (are) safe, the crew may continue to the finish line.


Unsportsmanlike conduct

Incidents of unsportsmanlike conduct by a competitor or crew, including the use of personally abusive language shall be documented by the Referees. The Referees may impose penalties ranging from reprimand to time penalties up to 60 seconds.


Enforcement of Racing Rules

The Regatta covers every section of the course, from start to finish, with fully trained referees. Their calls on questions of interference and buoy violations will be considered final. No re-rows or time credits to fouled entries will be possible. Offenders WILL BE PENALIZED according to the racing rules. Preliminary results will be released following each race, and Official Results will be released once all Referees’ calls have been reviewed.




Time penalty

Buoy (during racing)

1st buoy - 5 seconds

Each additional buoy - 10 seconds


60 seconds


60 seconds

Failure to yield (interference)

60 seconds

Severe collision

60 seconds

Unsportsmanlike conduct

Referee discretion



Appeals Process

Protests resulting from situations occurring on the water will be handled in the manner described in the Rules of Rowing.  For the Head of the Brazos, the written protest (along with the fee prescribed by the Rules) must be submitted to the LOC at the Baylor Crew boathouse no more than one hour after the finish of the last boat of the protesting crew’s event.  Official results will be posted at the Baylor Crew boathouse.