Lightweight Committee Conference Call

CRCA Lightweight Conference Call Minutes

Present: Bucknell-Kish, Georgetown-O’Conner, Lehigh-Meltzer, Wisco- Darley, Miller, UCF-Muhl, LMU-Conway, Stanford-Acosta, Radcliffe-Stevens, Princeton-Rassam, MIT-Kostrewski, PLU-Lawver, St. Mary’s-Younts, Santa Clara-Facchino, Bucknell-Strum (acting secretary)

Recommendations for Lightweight Athlete Selection

History of document was give by Steve.  Programs currently supporting very similar protocols: Bucknell, Lehigh, MIT, Princeton, Wisco.  Recognition that this is a set of recommendations and that there is no enforcement involved.  Discussion on fall weight maximums centered around the possibility of exceptions: of someone coming in at 136-7-8 but being approved by the doctor as a safe candidate to reach 130 by April 1st. Paul noted that in the end, if the athlete knows where they need to be, they will be there, especially considering that the date can be as late as November 30th. General agreement on keeping the ceiling at 136 or below, with no exceptions.  Discussion on hydration testing centered around programs that do not have training support to do hydration test. Considering these are only recommendations, is it ok to set the standard high, especially considering there are already four-five programs doing the hydration testing? Jim contended that the unannounced weigh-in with a proscribed maximum fall weight would help eliminate women being dehydrated for the weigh-in (for programs who cannot do the hydration test). Paul expressed concern that an unannounced weigh-in without a hydration test could possibly result in athletes staying chronically dehydrated while waiting for the unannounced weigh-in.  Action: Steve is going to take all of these thoughts in, confer with Cecile, perhaps call a few of you again, and put together a “final” draft and hopefully we can put it up for a vote via email on November 6.

IRA Lwt 4+ Qualification Criteria

History of the criteria was give by Steve.  Discussion focused on whether we want to use this event as a way to bring more “new” programs to the IRA, as that is one of the major goals of the Committee. General support for the idea of using all six (instead of only four) spots for teams who are not rowing an eight at the IRA. Concern expressed regarding having a “floor” as to how deep into the Dad Vail, WIRA, SIRA, etc. we offer invites to. And, as a result, a contingency plan as to which IRA “eights” programs would then be offered the opportunity to bring a four.  Action: Erik and Dusty will submit a final proposal to Steve and Cecile by November 2.  Action: Steve to confirm the four for 2008. Update: Four is definitely a go for 2008 (final only). Steve will continue to look into the chances of that event growing to twelve crews (heats and finals).

Adjustments to the CRCA-IRA Collegiate Lightweight Women’s Weigh-In Procedure

Discussion centered around increasing the number of weigh-ins to make the sport safer and the athletes’ weights more consistent throughout the season while they are training and racing. General agreement with requiring five weigh ins, with April 1 as the earliest date for weighing in. Some discussion about backing that first date up to the last Friday in March.  This topic was also linked to item #5 and there was signification discussion, to be described in #5.  Action: Sounded like increasing to five weigh-ins is something that folks will be ready to vote on without to many issues. Leaving it at April 1 or pushing it back to the last Friday in March may still be a question. This will be presented for vote with item 1, and hopefully item 2, on November 6.

Increasing the outreach of the IRA-CRCA Weigh-In Procedure

The weigh-in schedules for various races was discussed. Dad Vail, WIRA, Crew Classic follow the day before weigh-in with no subsequent weigh-ins. Dusty is looking into the SIRA, Sara Mai the PCRC and we should consider looking into other major regattas like the Knecht Cup, A10’s, Windermere and ECAC. Thoughts after the fact… Do we want to possibly send out a blanket position paper on the IRA weigh-in procedure and encourage as many regattas as possible to adopt those procedures? Knecht, Windermere, ECAC, all league championships that have lwt events? What about spreading the CRCA position to junior events as well? We need someone who doesn’t already have a committee responsibility to volunteer!  Action: Dusty to check on SIRA, Sara Mai to check on PCRC, Will to check on USRowing Nationals and NE Regionals. Please send info to Steve and Cecile before November 15.

Creation of criteria for invitation to the IRA in the VLWT 8+

Discussed in conjunction with #3… Should we increase the number of requirements for crews to be able to enter the IRA? In addition to weighing-in five times and racing before the IRA, beginning in late March or April 1, should those races all need to be done as a lightweight crew? Paul and Jim proposed that every woman in the lwt eight at the IRA would need to have raced in a lwt eight or four, at least 3-4-5-6 times in the spring. Paul expressed the reasoning: This kind of requirement will force the hand of programs and cause them to make a decision very early in the year, as to whether they are rowing a lwt boat at the IRA or not. In larger terms, it would force them to decide whether they want to make a commitment to lightweight rowing or not. There was concern over who would police and enforce this issue. Steve expressed concern that this lack of flexibility would actually prevent more crews from developing a lwt eight and coming to the IRA versus promote more crews to come to the IRA.  Also related… Should we require the IRA VL8’s to compete at a championship regatta in order to enter the IRA? The sprints schools obviously race at the sprints. Should all of the other VL8’s need to compete at the Dad Vail, or something similar in their region, in order to compete at the IRA? Is the goal similar to the bullet point above? Does this force teams to commit to lwt rowing?  Action: Al to submit draft of initial proposal to Steve before November 15. Paul willing to help.

Future of the IRA

Discussion about what people had heard from the Oct 22 IRA meeting in Boston. LW women’s events don’t seem to be at risk right now. LW men’s rowing seems to be the issue at hand as the IRA is basically a re-run of the sprints. The LW women’s event at the IRA actually brings together a whole new set of programs that haven’t already faced each other two or three weeks earlier.  Action: Cecile to check in with Gary Caldwell before November 15.

Website development

Very little time was used to address this topic.  Action: Submit any new website ideas to Tone before November 15.

Past Items to Revisit

Lightweight Women’s Sculling Head Race – E. Miller to revisit.  Lightweight Education opportunities – S. Kish to revisit.  Adaptive Rowing Issues – T. Lawver to put together a simple proposal before November 15, with the intention of presenting it to the IRA. If the IRA adopts it, perhaps other races will as well.

Confirmation of regular job assignments for spring 2008

Claire-collection and review of pre-IRA weigh-in forms.  Nicole-coordination of CRCA LW awards.  Steve-seeding poll


Possible meeting in Miami for those attending.  Jim voiced desire for further conference calls.

Submitted by Kate Strum (acting secretary).

Annual Board Meeting

CRCA Board of Directors Meeting

The CRCA board of directors met on May 24, 2007 in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, site of the 2007 NCAA Women’s Rowing Championships.

Present: Sandra Chu, Eleanor McIlvaine, Becky Robinson, Kevin Sauer, Andy Teitelbaum, Joe Wilhelm, and Bill Zack.

The following reports were made.

Treasurer’s report: Steve Kish was not able to attend the meeting. But he will provide a detailed financial report in the near future. The association is in sound financial health with a large amount of net assets in the form of cash. Steve will work on all tax issues in the near future. The board agreed to subsidize the first CRCA coaches conference in the approximate amount of $1500.

Awards: The awards system continues to work well. The electronic submission system has made things easier. The expanded eligibility for academic awards and awards for lightweight rowers has resulted in an increase in the number of awards, which is seen as a good thing for all constituencies. There may need to be some consideration given to changing timelines for coaching awards in order to promote more involvement.

Coaches conference: Attendance will be around 30, which is a good start in year one as well as a good size for maximum involvement of attendees. Women’s national team head coach Tom Terhaar has confirmed his plans to attend, as have the other presenters. The presenters have submitted some advanced notes and handouts that will be put in booklet form for the conference.

Hall of fame: The inaugural class in the CRCA Hall of Fame has been confirmed and the induction ceremony will take place during the CRCA / NCAA coaches meeting in Oak Ridge. Much appreciation was expressed to all of the CRCA members involved in this historic and precedent setting endeavor.

Legislative review: The NCAA legislative proposal in DI to establish automatic qualifiers with rowing as a team sport was defeated. The NCAA Championships Cabinet has endorsed the Women’s Rowing Committee recommendation that DI women’s rowing be a team sport instead of the current individual-team sport designation. No change will occur to the 2008 regatta. Depending on further NCAA review and approvals, mostly budgetary in nature, it is anticipated that there will be a team only format in 2009 in 2010. There is hope that this will include bracket expansion to sixteen teams.

Championships: Most discussion was tabled until the subsequent CRCA / NCAA coaches meeting. At that meeting, Tina Krah of the NCAA said that she would make available in advance the agenda for the Women’s Rowing Committee June meeting. All coaches are encouraged to provide feedback and suggestions to committee members, especially those within their region. Selection criteria, along with site and date determination, are always on the agenda.

Nominating: Many board positions will be vacated, with most incumbents unable to run because of term limits. Andy Teitelbaum will solicit candidates. Anyone interested in running for the board should contact Andy.

Polling: The polls went well this year. Thanks were expressed to all participants.

Lightweight: The new awards for lightweight rowers were lauded.