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Girls/Boys Novices - Winter/Spring 2024

​The BLS Crew Novice program provides new rowers and coxswains the opportunity to learn to row and to get a sense of the fun, teamwork, community, and competition that comes with being a BLS Crew rower or coxswain. All grade levels are welcome, and no rowing or other athletic experience is required to join the team; all new rowers and coxswains learn the sport together.

Practice Schedule and Logistics (Same for Girls and Boys Novice Squads)

  • Indoor winter training starts Tuesday, January 16, with practices from 3:00-4:30 pm (meet in the “erg loft” area at BLS, near the Athletic Director’s office - in the corridors outside of the Upper Gym).

  • When weather conditions permit (typically in early April for Novices), practice will move outdoors to the BLS Boathouse, and will run from 3:15-5:15 pm.

  • Novice practices take place 5 days/week, Monday-Friday; novices are expected to attend at least 4 days/week.

  • Novices are strongly encouraged to start on January 16th or as soon as possible after that, unless they are participating in a different winter sport; however, new novice registrations may be accepted on a space-available basis until February break (email for late registration). All forms must be submitted by Friday January 12th to start practice on January 16th; Novice rowers who register later must submit all forms at least two days prior to starting practice. 

  • Transportation logistics: Once practices move to the BLS Boathouse, Novices typically travel to practice together on the MBTA #57 BLS supplemental bus, which leaves from outside BLS after school. BLS Crew provides a carpool map to enable families to arrange carpools for the trip home after practice.

How to Register

Please note that the BLS Crew registration forms and process are separate from the regular BLS Athletics registration; rowers must register using the Crew registration form and not the BLS Athletics form. 

Step One: Complete Registration Form

​​Novice athletes’ parent or guardian should register using the BLS Crew Registration Form. Please do not upload forms (step two) until you have completed this step.


Step Two:  Submit Forms

Forms must be submitted once per academic year. Fall rowers do not need to submit forms again in the Spring. No rower will be permitted to attend practice unless all required forms have been submitted.


The following Forms must be submitted via the BLS Crew Forms Submission Portal*

1. Concussion Training Certificate, obtained by completing the NFHS Concussion Training (download the certificate as a pdf) 

2. Signed Rower Safety Pledge: All athletes and parents must read the information regarding opiate and substance abuse provided in this file labeled Opiate Substance Information and will be required to acknowledge on the Rower Safety Pledge that they have read this information. 

* Please read the instructions on the Portal carefully to ensure your Forms are properly named and formatted. 

Step Three: Obtain Sports Clearance

ALL Rowers must obtain a new Sports Clearance every season; prior seasons' Sports Clearances are not valid for subsequent seasons. Athletes no longer need to meet with the Nurse in person to get their Clearances. All rowers are now required to register via the BLS Athletics registration process in addition to registering via the BLS Crew registration process. The BLS Athletics Registration Form, which takes only a few minutes to complete, asks each athlete to upload a physical dated in the last 13 months. The Nurse will use the uploaded form to determine whether the athlete is eligible for a Sports Clearance and will notify the Registrar if the Clearance is granted. The Registrar will notify the rower by email if their Sports Clearance is not granted so please check your email regularly. We strongly recommend that all rowers get their Sports Clearance before December 20th. After December 20th the Nurses will not start issuing clearances again until Jan. 3rd.


The criteria for Sports Clearances has not changed. Each rower must provide a physical dated within 13 months of the start of the season (for Winter 2024, the physical must be dated no earlier than 12/04/2022). Asthma Action Plans and Epi-Pen Authorizations will still be required, where applicable. Those additional forms should all be uploaded to the BLS Athletics Registration Form but can also be dropped off to the Nurse during school hours. Students who have had COVID no longer need to be cleared by their physicians but are encouraged to speak to their doctors before returning to practice.

Step Four: Pass Swim Test 

New rowers must pass a swim test and submit a Swim Test Form form signed by a certified lifeguard before the team begins practicing on the water. Rowers who have not submitted Swim Test Forms will be required to wear a life preserver while on the water. Once a rower has submitted a swim test form, it is valid for all future seasons.

Swim Test Forms may be uploaded to the Forms Submission Portal at the time the other Forms are submitted.


Step Five: Fees and Financial Aid


Rower Fees:  $500.00

Payment is due Friday, March 1st, 2024, for New Novices, unless a financial aid or payment plan arrangement has been made with the Registrar.

See Spring Payment web page for credit card, PayPal, or check payment information.


Friends of BLS Crew is committed to ensuring that crew is affordable for all students and families in the BLS community. If you would like to request financial assistance for the crew program, please send an email to


Questions? ​ Answers to most questions can be found on the BLS Crew New Rowers FAQ. If you don’t find the answer to your question there, please contact the BLS Crew Registrar at

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