General Crew FAQs

Why rowing?!?

Participating in YHS Crew requires no prior experience. It is a great full-body, muscle-building, cardio intense, yet low impact workout that you can participate in throughout your whole life. It teaches key life skills such as time management, accountability, responsibility, cooperation, discipline and dedication. And you make life-long friends!

When does the Yorktown crew season start?

The spring season starts in late February, for kids involved in state tournament competition, continues through late May. Spring practices are on the Potomac River at Thompson’s Boat Center. Bus transportation to and from the water is provided.

What is winter conditioning?

2022 Winter training (winter conditioning) starts on November 17. During the cold months when the water conditions on the Potomac are not suitable for rowing, athletes prepare for tryouts and the regular season. Athletes row on ergometers (indoor rowing machines), condition, and strength train to prepare for the regular spring season. Winter practices are two hours and take place at YHS.

There is a fee to participate in winter conditioning practices.

How do I register for winter conditioning?

A link will go live on the Yorktown Crew website in mid-October. Students must have an athletic physical on file with YHS prior to participation.

Is winter conditioning required?

No, but highly encouraged. It allows students to get to know their future teammates and coaches as well as build the strength and stamina they will need to make the team and succeed during the spring season.

If cost is a barrier, who can I reach out to?

Please contact the president of the Crew Boosters,

Is there a refund if my child does not like crew winter conditioning?

Yes, there is a 75% refund if your child quits before November 30th.

Is there a refund for crew winter conditioning if my child does not make the Spring crew team?


When are crew team tryouts?

Tryouts are held along with all the other Spring sports – a week in mid to late February.

Are cuts made for the crew Spring Season?

Depending on how many students are trying out for crew, some years cuts have to be made as we are limited to 100 rowers due to transportation, equipment and staffing limitations.

What are “Green Days?”

Green Days are training on the water out of season, typically in December / January; 2 weeks prior to the start of the season for new rowers to get on the water.

When are the crew Spring season practices? What transportation is provided?

Yorktown Crew Spring practices are 5 school day afternoons per week and on Saturdays (when there is not a race). Spring practices are held on the Potomac River out of Thompson Boat Center (TBC). Transportation to and from Yorktown High School to the boathouse for weekday afternoon practices is provided. Buses leave YHS at 3:15 pm and return about 7:00 pm.

How do students get to and from regattas?

This depends on the location of the regatta. Students have bus transportation to most locations except for scrimmages out of Thompson Boat Center. For those events, parents are to arrange for their child’s transportation.

Are students from other schools eligible to row at Yorktown?

Yorktown students, Arlington Tech and HB Woodlawn students, and eighth graders that will be attending high school at Yorktown are allowed to participate in winter conditioning and try out for the crew team. Eighth graders are responsible for their own transportation to Yorktown. 

Is there a parent meeting for new rowers?

Yes, historically this meeting takes place in October. Please contact the president of the Crew Boosters at for more information. You can also follow Yorktown High School Crew on Facebook and @yorktowncrew on Instagram for updates.

What is the difference between Novice and Freshman boats?

Novice rowers have less than one year of experience. Rowers of any grade level can be Novice. Freshman rowers are in their freshman year of high school and can be in a Novice boat or a Freshman boat. Typically, YHS has Novice, Freshman, and Varsity boats for each gender. You can only be a Novice one year. If you join in 8th grade and row in the Novice boat, you can only row in a Freshman boat when in the 9th grade. However, if you start rowing in 9th grade you can be in a Novice or Freshman boat.

Is crew an upper body strength sport?

Crew is a full body workout that includes leg, core, and arm strength.

Besides the Regattas/ Races, are there other crew events to participate in?

Each year the Crew Boosters hold several fundraising events for parents and rowers to participate in such as the Erg-a-thon, Erg Relays, a holiday wreath sale, a bake sale, and several dining out events. Camp Bob is another Spring event for rowers that is a week long immersive “eat, sleep, row” experience in South Carolina designed to prepare rowers to compete and bond. In addition, Boosters hold several social events throughout the season, pasta dinners for rowers the night before regattas, and there is an end of season celebration and awards banquet.

Do the fundraising events my child participates in offset the cost of my child’s crew registration fee?

The holiday wreath sale is the only fundraiser that is tied directly to your child’s registration fee. Each rower that sells 20 wreaths (Oct-Nov) will receive $xx off their Spring registration fee.

What do the registration fees pay for?

Rower insurance, boat maintenance & storage, gas & oil, transportation, regatta food support, program administration.

How much volunteering is expected?

Every family is required to obtain a certain amount of volunteer points. Volunteer roles range from manning bake sale tables, providing food, cleaning up and chaperoning, to managing fundraisers and programs. Each role is worth points. Bigger jobs are worth more points. Novice families are expected to accumulate 35 points per year. Returning families need to accumulate 50 points per year.

What is US Rowing? Do I need to register my rower? If so, when?

US Rowing is a nonprofit membership organization recognized by the United States Olympic Committee as the national governing body for the port of rowing in the United States. Every rower must have a valid US Rowing membership in order to be eligible to participate in regattas. Memberships are valid for one year; you must renew and sign a liability waiver each year. The Yorktown High School team code is E44E6. Reminders will be sent via the team communication app, Slack, when this needs to happen.