Question of the Day

Can you explain what a scrimmage is like? If it’s different, how is it different from other races? Preseason kind of race, right (like other sports)?

Scrimmages in crew are basically like scrimmages in any other sport. They’re a test run to see how what kind of impact your training has had thus far and what kinks, if any, still need to be worked out. (That’s how we always approached them in high school/college, other teams might look at them differently.)

Related: Hi! I will be doing a 2000m race with my crew tomorrow. I’m my team’s coxswain. It will be my second race, but my first 2000m race. I understand steering and such, and I know what calls to make for technique, and I know our starts, but my coach hasn’t really gone over the race itself, I guess. What I’m trying to say is that I need some guidance on how the race should go. Also, stake boats terrify me. Any help you can give me would be amazing!

They’re about 98% the same as a regular regatta. How they’re run individually is up to the teams racing but for the most part things are usually pretty lax. Some of the scrimmages I’ve participated in were run specifically for the races, not so much everything else (getting lined up, following a time schedule, etc.). There were never any hard and fast rules on “this is when this race will start, this is when you need to launch”, etc. – whenever you and the crew you were racing got to the start would be when the race would begin. Other races were very strict, just like at a regular regatta. There were official start times, official starting procedures, etc.

Related: I’m a novice rower and I’m racing in my 1st head race this weekend, any tips? I’m freaking out!

For rowers, there isn’t much of a difference between a scrimmage and an actual regatta – you’ve still got to row 1500m or 2000m. The coxswains will be the ones that notice the subtle differences because they’ll be the ones who have to deal with them. How things are done though should be explained at the coxswain meeting (if you have one) but if they’re not, just talk to your coach. He/she will have all the information you’ll need.

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