1. What is the crew program?
The crew program gives LBSS students an opportunity to row in competition against teams from other public and private high schools in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC and, occasionally, from other eastern states.
2. Is previous rowing experience necessary?
No. Few, if any, students entering LBSS have had any rowing experience.
3. Does a student have to be a good athlete to row?
Crew demands endurance, strength and discipline, which we build through regular exercise throughout season and pre-season Winter Conditioning training. Most freshmen rowers have never tried rowing before, so skills and discipline of crew can be learned.
4. What is the racing distance?
High school crew races are typically 1500 meters in length.
5. When does the rowing season begin and how long is it?
Crew is a spring sport. The rowing season begins in late February and concludes in late-May. Daily practices (Monday through Friday) take place on the Occoquan River (Bull Run Regional Park). Saturday practices are in the morning. Rowers are strongly encouraged to take part in pre-season winter conditioning at the school, which begins in mid-November.
6. Where are the regattas held?
Local regattas take place on the Occoquan River at Sandy Run Regional Park in Fairfax County. The address for the boathouse is 10450 Van Thompson Road, Fairfax Station VA 22039.
7. How do the rowers get to the Occoquan for after school practices?
The LB Board has a volunteer carpool coordinator who will circulate a signup sheet for parents to assist with transportation to Bull Run Marina. Though it may seem overwhelming, the details will come out at the beginning of the season and parents make it happen.
8. What does it cost to be a member of the crew team?
Details to follow. Separate fees for Winter Conditioning and Spring Season.
9. Why does it cost so much? How is the money spent?
Rowing is a club sport because only select Fairfax County schools offer crew. As a result, we receive NO financial support from the Fairfax County Public Schools or LBSS. Rowing is supported by the dues paid by each rower's family and by fundraising activities. Income from these sources are used for coaches’ salaries, equipment purchase and maintenance, rack fees for our boats, regatta fees, insurance, and other operation needs.
10. Since rowing is a club sport, can rowers still earn varsity letters?
Yes, rowers and coxswains can earn letters. LBSS crew athletes meet Virginia High School League and LBSS requirements for participation in sports and therefore are eligible to earn varsity letters.
11. Are there any expenses in addition to the dues?
Yes. There are additional expenses for required crew uniforms, parking at Sandy Run regattas, Spring Camps, and travel to out-of-town regattas. The purchase of optional team apparel such as sweats, polo shirts, hats, visors, jackets, etc. is extra.
12. Must parents do anything besides paying the bills?
Yes. All parents are required to volunteer for at least one VASRA position, and one LBSS Crew position at a Regatta. Parents help plan and conduct the activities with the various LB Crew Board and at-large Members, including fund-raising activities, team pasta parties, volunteer assignments at the Occoquan, the annual end-of-season picnic, etc. Parents are also asked to serve as chaperones. Support of, and participation in, fund-raising is especially important. These activities not only make it possible to have a crew program but also provide a way for parents to be involved in their children’s lives and get to know their children’s friends and other LBSS parents.
13. What are the volunteer requirements? I am not familiar with the sport of rowing or how regattas work.
It takes a village to run a crew team, and every family must contribute volunteer hours. Luckily, there are many opportunities, both during the season and through out the year, to contribute.
All families must:
- Volunteer for at least one LB Crew Job
- Volunteer for at least one VASRA Regatta assignment
More information coming soon about what these Volunteering activities entail.
14. Who manages all these activities?
The LB Crew team has a board of directors elected annually for a one-year term. The election is held each year at the end-of-season crew banquet. The board meets on the 2nd Wednesday of every month during the school year. All parents are welcome to attend! Check out your TeamChat Calendar for details.
15. How do I get to the river on regatta days?
Regatta days are hectic times at the Sandy Run boathouse, and there are a few ways to get there. Parents can drop off students at the boathouse, but be prepared to pay a fee (currently $20 for a car with two or more persons). The parking lots close to the boathouse fill up early in the morning and access can be limited. If you want to park near the river, you may have to park in the Loisvale Road lot, and walk on the gravel path through the woods to the boathouse, or you may have to park in the upper lot on Van Thompson near Hampton Road and take a shuttle bus from the parking lot to the boathouse. Finally, an off-site shuttle bus runs as well to the river on regatta days and details will be shared prior to regattas so you can prepare accordingly. The roads on the way to Sandy Run are always clogged with traffic, so if you plan on parking near the river or being dropped off it’s a good idea to arrive early.
16. At what time does practice end?
Although there is a time when the coaches try to end practices, the schedule is ultimately up to the workout, conditions, and boat traffic each day. During winter training, conditioning ends quite consistently around 6:15pm, but times may vary. When the rowing season officially starts, the crews have until dark to get off the water, but, especially at the start of the season, the end of practice can range anywhere from 6:00pm to 6:40pm. Different boats also get off at different times, so carpools across multiple boats should plan on waiting. After daylight savings starts, practice is generally over by 7:00pm. The times for Saturday practices can vary, so you should pay attention to the coaches and captains for Saturday practice times.
17. Where and what are the pasta parties?
Almost once a month on Friday night before the regattas, the crew team holds a pasta party at the LBSS. Everyone eats massive amounts of spaghetti and garlic bread to build up their carbs for the regatta the following day, and good times are had. When attending a pasta party keep in mind that each rower is assigned a food item based on their seat, and that everyone should plan for it to last no longer than 10:30pm. Attendance is not mandatory.
For details like addresses and food assignments one should check TeamSnap app or talk to the captains. Pasta Parties are lots of fun, and they provide a nice big meal before regattas. Just be sure not to eat too much!
17. How do I get to the grandstands on regatta days?
For anyone who wants to view a race the grandstands are one of the best (and only) places to cheer for the team. The grandstands provide a great view of the last 500 meters of each race and there are refreshments there during regattas. On regatta days there are two ways to get to the grandstands. First, there is a gravel footpath that leads to the grandstands from the upper parking lot (Lot C). The walk is about ¾ of a mile and it can be a little steep at times but still by no means strenuous. The footpath runs along the side of the river. The second means of transportation to the grandstands is a shuttle bus that sometimes runs from Lot C to the grandstands. There are no official pick up or drop off times, and the bus just does a continuous loop. There is a fee to ride the grandstand shuttle.
18. How can I get service hours?
The equipment we use for rowing requires a lot of maintenance, so the Crew team requires that every novice and varsity team member perform five (5) hours of service work for the team. There are quite a few ways to get service hours, but the best way is at boathouse workdays. The Bruin Crew team has a few of these every year, both in the fall and before/ during the season. Each workday is usually five hours long, so attending them is a great chance to fulfill your service hour requirement. Other offseason opportunities to complete service hours include Crew car washes and random service opportunities that will be made known through the mailing lists.
If you find yourself struggling to complete your hours after the season starts (they must be complete for you to race), the easiest opportunities are arriving one hour early to Saturday practice as well as staying one hour afterwards. There are plenty of Saturday practices before the first regatta for you to complete service hours. Finally, limited opportunities are available to complete service hours on regatta days. Talk to your Coach regarding any questions about completion of service hours.
Details on Service Opportunities will be shared on TeamSnap Calendar and in the Bruin Crew Newsletter.
19. How do I get information about traveling to “away” regattas?
Information about regattas held away from Sandy Run, is available under What are Regattas?.
Information about hotels rooms for families traveling to Stotesbury and SRAA Nationals should be available on the website in January. Then, in mid-April, eligible rowers will receive a travel packet outlining costs and other details from the LBSS Crew events coordinator.
20. What is winter training and where and when does it happen? Do I have to go?
Winter training is non-mandatory conditioning held at LBSS during the regular winter sports season. Sessions are held at the school from 4pm to 6:15pm, four days per week. Although attendance is not a team requirement, it is HIGHLY recommended. Winter training gives teammates a chance to bond as they work out together, and builds fitness. In the spring season, fast rowers make fast boats!
21. Are there practices over spring break?
Yes! Spring break the team plans a Spring Break Camping trip. Details to follow.
22. Who can answer other questions about the crew program?