Glossary

Below is a brief list of terms you might hear your rower use. Please visit Rowing 101 to get detailed breakdowns on these terms, different types of boats, the parts of each stroke, and more.

Novice – non-varsity rowers generally have less than one year of rowing experience; also known as a “Lower Boat”. All eighth grade rowers are categorized as novice.

Varsity – varsity rowers generally have one year of rowing experience; also known as an “Upper Boat”

“Green Days” – 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 

Stern – back of the boat

Bow – front of the boat

Port – left side of the boat from the coxswain’s view; right side from the rower’s perspective as the rower is facing the stern

Starboard– right side of the boat from the coxswain’s view; the left side from the rower’s perspective

Sculling – each rower has two oars (as opposed to one oar)

8 boat – 8 rowers

4 boat – 4 rowers

2 boat – 2 rowers

Coxswain (pronounced “cox-in”) – this position is responsible for steering and race commands; sits in the stern

Shell – technical name for a crew boat

Rigger – the metal pieces that stick out of the side of the boat and hold the oars

Rigging – placing and removing the metal pieces on the shell

Launch – this is the small motorized boat that follows the boats during practices and races

Stroke rate – the number of strokes per minute that a boat is completing

Split – how fast rowers are going on an erg or on water (lower numbers are better)

Catch a Crab – oar catches the water wrong and breaks the rhythm or sometimes stops the boat completely

Feathering/rolling up – Rotating the oar in the oarlock with the inside hand so the blade is parallel to the water

Power 10 – a call for the rowers to take “power” strokes, giving it everything they can for a certain number of strokes

Focus/internal 10 – a call for the rowers to focus on their form and following

Catch, drive, finish, recovery – see image below