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Glossary

NOTE: Unsure of a Crew term that is not on this list? Let us know about it!

2K – Short for 2,000 meters. Also the term used for the 2,000-meter ergometer time-test used to measure performance and one of the factors used in rower boat placement.

Catch – The start of a rowing stroke. The crew literally "catches" their oars in the water while beginning the stroke.

Crab – Not the hard or soft-shelled variety… A rower catches a "crab" when his or her oar doesn't enter the water properly at the catch, and the blade buries itself to varying degrees in the water instead of flowing smoothly through the stroke. Crabs slow a boat down and are to be avoided if possible, but all rowers experience them at one time or another.

Cox Box – This is the voice amplification system used by the coxswain.

Coxswain – The person who sits at the stern or bow of the shell (depending upon the design of the shell) and steers, commands the crew, and generally acts as an "on-site" assistant to the coach. Because coxswains don't pull an oar, relatively small and lightweight people are sought for the position; however, a good coxswain will have as much competitive spirit as the rowers and can make a considerable difference to a crew's success.

Ergometer (ERG) – A rowing machine. An "erg" allows beginning rowers to learn the basics of the stroke before going on the water and all rowers to develop their conditioning. Concept II is the brand of Erg owned by WTW Crew Boosters Association.

Keel – There is a small keel on a shell, but the term "keel" refers to the extent to which the boat is balanced from side to side while rowing. A crew rowing in such a way that the shell is not dipping to port or starboard continually is said to have good "keel" in its row.

Nationals – Usually used to describe the Scholastic Rowing Association of America (see SRAA) National Championships, also known as Scholastic Nationals. The USRowing Youth National Championships is a separate event and is usually referred to as Youth Nationals.

NCASRA – The former National Capital Area Scholastic Rowing Association was a membership organization incorporated to promote, encourage and support rowing at secondary schools in the National Capital Area by sponsoring and conducting spring rowing regattas. On July 1, 2008 NCASRA became the Virginia Scholastic Rowing Association (VASRA). The change reflected the decreased number of member schools outside of Virginia participating in scholastic rowing while the number of Virginia schools had increased. There are also differences in the state governance of scholastic sports, and VASRA abides by Virginia High School League (VHSL) regulations. This was the fourth name for the association and signaled a return to the in-state emphasis of the charter established by the original five schools in 1979. The original name was the Northern Virginia Rowing Association. “Scholastic” was added in 1986.

Oars – Shells are propelled by reaction forces on oar blades as they are pushed against the water. Sculling oars, or sculls, are ~9 feet long, while sweep rowing oars are ~12 feet long. Like the shells, modern oars are lightweight and of carbon fiber construction.
W.T. Woodson Crew Handbook
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Occoquan/Sandy Run Regional Park – This is the place where WTW Crew rows and houses their equipment. Look on a Fairfax County map for Sandy Run Regional Park on the Occoquan River or use the address 10450 Van Thompson Road, Fairfax Station, VA 22039. It takes about 35 minutes each way for the WTW bus to get to and from school and the Occoquan. The rowing course is widely recognized as one of the best on the East Coast.

OLOC – The Occoquan Local Operations Committee requires volunteer teams of two from each member school to support season long regatta support duties. Specific duties and responsibilities are contained in the VASRA Representative Handbook.

Port and Starboard Rowers – In sweep rowing, the designation of a rower according to whether they normally row with an oar on the port (left) or starboard (right) side of the shell.

Power 10 – A set of strokes when the crew makes an extra effort to "get everything on the oar" and make the shell go faster. It can also be executed as a power 15 or 20. It is typically used in races at strategic points to try and gain advantage on the other crew(s).

Power Factor – The “power factor” is determined by dividing the Watts expended during a timed 2K by the weight of the rower, providing a means to normalize erg scores to rower size. Power Factor may also be used in an attempt to balance the power of the rowers of the two sides of the shell. Higher power factors are more desirable, but they cannot always overcome poor technique when it comes to making a boat faster.

Progression – Progression represents both the relative skill and speed hierarchy of boats and the order in which they must be entered in regattas. For example, the First Eight for any team is a faster boat than the Second Eight, and the Second Eight is a faster boat than the Third Eight. No team may enter a Second Eight without entering a First Eight, nor may any team enter a Third Eight without entering both a First Eight and Second Eight. The same progression is true for numbered fours. Junior, Lightweight, Freshmen, and Novice boats are not included in the numbered progression, nor may they substitute for a numbered boat in the progression regardless of relative team skill or speed.

Release – The act of getting the oar out of the water cleanly at the end of the stroke and beginning the recovery (gathering the body with the knees coming up) for the next stroke.

Riggers – The metal apparatus on the side of the shells upon which oarlocks are fitted to secure and handle the oars.

SRAA – The Scholastic Rowing Association of America was founded as the Schoolboy Rowing Association of America on May 14th, 1935. The association was formed to foster schoolboy rowing and to stage an annual regatta open to all schools of the world, the winner to be recognized as North American Champions. The first regatta was conducted in May of 1935 and has been held every year since. Women started competing in 1974. The name was changed to Scholastic Rowing Association of America in 1976 to reflect the addition of women. The SRAA has been the principal source of rules and procedures governing high school rowing. The primary function of the SRAA is to run the Scholastic National Championship regatta each May, determining the North American Champions. High school athletics does not allow sporting events to be held which decide national champions; however, this regatta is informally recognized by the rowing community as Nationals.

Scull – A shell configured so that each rower has two oars, one on each side of the boat.

Seat – Where you sit in the shell. Seats are numbered from the bow backward (aft) to the end of the shell. Seat Five would be the fifth rower aft of the bow of the shell.

Shell – The racing boat. Shells accommodate single rowers, pairs, fours, and eights. Eights are the most common type in local interscholastic racing. An eight is approximately 60 feet long, narrow (about two feet wide at its widest point), and weighs about 200 pounds. Shells are Ultra-lite carbon fiber/honeycomb construction and constructed pieces of equipment.

Slide – Two tracks upon which the rower's seat is fixed. The seat moves forward and backward on the slide, enabling the rower to "gather up" his or her body at the start of the stroke and then use the combined power of the legs, back, and arms when actually executing the stroke.

"Stotes" – The Stotesbury Cup Regatta in Philadelphia; is the largest high school rowing regatta in the world with over 5,000 participants and 10,000 spectators. The host organization is the Schuylkill Navy of Philadelphia. This is a championship-type regatta, but independent of the Virginia State Rowing Championships (VSRC) and SRAA Nationals. WTW rowers will participate on a selective basis if they are sufficiently competitive.

Stroke – The stern-most rower in the boat that sits just in front of the coxswain. The stroke sets the pace for the rest of the crew, responding to the commands of the coxswain.
Sweep – A shell configured so that each rower has one oar, alternated from side to side.

VASRA – The Virginia Scholastic Rowing Association (VASRA) governs Virginia high school rowing, providing the policies and rules under which we operate. VASRA provides the organization, resources, and oversight for scholastic competitive rowing regattas on our home course of Sandy Run Regional Park on the Occoquan Reservoir, VA, and at other venues throughout the National Capital region. VASRA is an association of Boosters from 39 High Schools and is organized for the express purpose of fostering interscholastic rowing competition between the high school rowing teams in Virginia. VASRA functions as an athletic conference since rowing is considered a club sport in many of the participating high schools and, therefore, is not officially administered by those schools. As such, all VASRA activities directly sponsor and support scholastic competitive rowing and provide the venue to: (1) stage competitive rowing events; (2) ensure regatta structure, safety, fairness, and consistency; (3) ensure overall program oversight; and (4) facilitate communication among member crew booster support organizations.

VHSL – The Virginia High School League (VHSL) is an organization of public high schools in the Commonwealth of Virginia which join with the expressed written approval of their local school boards. All Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) are members of the VHSL. The league seeks to encourage student participation in desirable school activities by conducting or supporting programs of interscholastic activities in all fields. Public high school rowing in Virginia is no longer recognized by the VHSL as an official high school sport. Per FCPS policy for all sports, the WTW Crew Program will continue to follow VHSL guidelines.

VSRC – The Virginia Scholastic Rowing Championships (VSRC) is the VASRA championship regatta that caps the regatta season on the Occoquan in May. This is the qualifying event for the SRAA Nationals. The VASRA Freshman / Novice Championships are held the week prior at the Ted Phoenix Regatta.