[CUCBC Captains] Subs eligibility rules

Poppy Hill ph502 at cam.ac.uk
Sat Jan 25 21:13:52 GMT 2020

Dear Captains,


This is in regard to the discussion on the rules for bumps, and how we see the situation.


For those who missed Sunday, the situation is:

Water polo varsity falls on the last day of Lent bumps. There are currently a number of rowers who cannot legally take part in first or second division bumps as they will be representing the University at Varsity. The rules are currently that substitutions must be for academic reasons only for the first and second division.


We want lots of people involved in college rowing

It is beneficial to all boat clubs to encourage talented sportsmen in our colleges to row on top of their other sports. It gives all of us a greater pool of rowers and allows a high standard of rowing.

A University blues sport will naturally be considered a higher priority than college sport. Such high level athletes are often in the top two divisions, and because of the 12 outing rule if they can’t do bumps they are prevented in rowing for their crew for a whole term. It is a shame to take away the opportunity to do both.


The current rules are unrepresentative

Subs are currently allowed for academic reasons, however we have commitments beyond rowing and academics, and legitimate immovable events (blues sports, weddings) in those areas. To allow one, but not the other, is contradictory.


As a result the current system invites abuse. A coach from a different college suggested that one of the rowers affected pull an ‘injury’ on the last day. As I think all captains would agree, we’ve agreed to compete against each other under certain conditions; to not do so takes away the point of the competition. The rules do however need to be realistic, if we are to take away the expectation that they will be abused.


Legitimising Subs for other reasons would not affect the integrity of the competition

As we allow subs for academics and injuries, we can – and do- have subs in top boats.The nature of the reason, whether it is academic or varsity sport, is irrelevant and has no bearing on whether or not we have subs.


This will not create a sudden influx of subs into the top divisions, it will merely change the rules to reflect the realistic reasons for a sub. Requiring a sub is a bad situation for a captain. Training with a complete crew is far preferable to the turmoil cause to training by trying to include a ninth person in outings. This disruption and the difficulty of rowing with a sub for a race far offsets any benefits of fresh legs. No top crew would choose to have a sub if it was all possible to avoid it. 


A 1-sub limit

We would float the idea of a 1 sub limit per crew, in the interest of preserving the same crews. This would protect the integrity of the competition (if it were felt to be needed) but acknowledge that there will always be clashes with things which have to be prioritised over bumps, and not just in our academic lives. We think that 1 sub seems the right level (but would be open to suggestions!), in that whilst single instance of such events happen each campaign, it is unlikely that there would be multiple in a crew. We would also suggest requiring some evidence, rather than just a request, to be presented to cucbc.


So we propose…

- amend the rules, to allow at least Blues competitions (as an immovable and higher priority university commitment).

- we would not be against including immovable family commitments, as we believe it is not in a boat clubs interest to allow subs.

- in the interest of preserving the same crews, we would suggest a one-sub per boat rule, and the requirement of evidence not just an email.

We would welcome any thoughts on the matter, either via the captains’ list or to get in touch directly my crSID is ph502.


All the best,

Poppy Hill

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