waivers & rules

The interpretation of any of the following rules and regulations shall be the final decision of the event operator.


  • Any crew that fails to observe the Rules and Regulations herein may be disqualified.
  • The Event Operator reserves the right to refuse entry to any crew in the race at its sole discretion.
  •  All matters not specifically addressed in this “Rules and Regulations” will be determined, at its sole discretion, by the Event Operator.
  • Unsportsmanlike conduct will be not tolerated and the Event Operator may suspend teams from competition.
  • Event Operator reserves the right to seek legal action against a team or crew member for damages caused by failing to follow the Rules and Regulations or negligent or wrongful acts or omissions.
  • Event Operator reserves the right to waive, amend and add to any of the Rules and Regulations
  • Crew members are not allowed to consume alcoholic beverages during the event.
  • Crew members shall carry, and Event Operator reserves the right to check photo IDs at all times during the event.


  • Crew members must be able to swim at least 100 meters wearing light clothing. It is the responsibility of the organization or individual entering a crew to make sure that all members of the crew comply with this rule.
  • Each crew member is solely responsible for his or her own safety during official practice sessions and during races.
  • Personal Flotation Device (PFD’s) will be provided to all crew members and must be worn in the proper manner at all times while in the dragon boat.
  • You are allowed to provide your own PFD. PFDs must be non-inflatable US Coast Guard approved class III or greater.
  • These rules concerning safety should not be construed as authority over and above requirements necessitated by regulatory agencies.
  • In the event of a swamped boat, all crew members must stay with the boat, report any missing persons to the steer person and wait for further instructions from a safety official.


  • A “Registered Crew Member” is any person who is listed on race roster (also referred to herein as “crew member”).
  • All Registered Crew Members must sign a waiver/release/assumption/indemnity in a form required by Event Operator (“Waiver”) stating that they have read the conditions of the waiver and are aware of the risks associated with Dragon Boat racing, and accept and thus waive any right or course of action they may have against the Event Operator, sponsors, supporters or any organizations connected with the event for injury or death to person(s) or loss/damage to personal property.
  • Crew members who are under the age of eighteen (18) years must have the Waiver signed by a parent or legal guardian prior to participating in any dragon boat activities. Minimum age 14.
  • All crew members must sign and return a waiver to the Event Operator prior to any practice sessions, and for race activities.
  • Event Operator may require signing more than one Waiver.


  • Each boat may carry up to 20 paddlers for the Dragon Boat races. A minimum of 8 paddlers must be women. Each boat must also carry one drummer. Age and gender rules of the drummer must comply with the team’s division.
  • At the time of entry each organization entering a crew shall have the required minimum of 18 paddlers (minimum of 8 must be women) plus one drummer.
  • Event Operator specifically reserves the right to waive or amend the previous 2 rules.
  • Each crew is entirely responsible for its own conduct and for complying with the race rules.

Marshaling, Embarking & Proceeding to Start

  • A crew must assemble in the marshaling area and be ready to board 30 minutes before the time of its race.
  • A crew must follow the directions of the Race Officials from the time it is called to the marshaling area.
  • A crew must board the dragon boat in accordance to instructions given by Race Officials.
  • A crew is not permitted to choose which boat to use and must use the boat assigned by Race Officials.
  • Each boat is assigned to a lane in which it is to race. A crew must race in the assigned lane.
  • After a crew has boarded, it must leave the dock area and immediately proceed to the starting area by using the designated traveling lane.
  • Starting Procedure
    • A crew in the starting area must obey the instructions of the Starter, Judges and other Race Officials under the control of the starter.
    • A crew shall not cross the race course to its assigned starting position until after the preceding race has been started and it is clear that a false start has not occurred.
    • A crew must take up its correct position in the starting area in the lane assigned to it. It is the responsibility of the team and not the Judge, to maintain its correct position before the start.
    • When the Starter is satisfied that the crews are correctly aligned, the Starter will alert all crews by raising the horn and give the verbal warning “Attention please”. After a 1-3 second pause, a horn will then be sounded to signify the start of the race.
    • It is the responsibility of each team captain to make sure that each crew member is familiar with the starting procedure. The starting signal is the horn.
    • In the event that the Starter considers that any crew has started before the horn is sounded, a second horn will be sounded to signify a false start and all crews must stop and return immediately to the start. The race will be restarted. The Starter will issue a warning to any crew that causes a false start.
    • Any crew that fails to return after a false start or that causes two false starts may be disqualified.

race conduct

  • The proper course for each boat is a straight line from its starting position to a corresponding point on the finish line. Each boat must remain in the middle of its allocated lane and may not interfere with other boats.
  • In the event of a boat failing to keep its proper course and thereby interfering with the course of another boat which is on its proper course, or in the event of a collision between two or more boats, the Race Official may, after consultation with other Race Officials, disqualify the offending boat or boats, impose a penalty on the offending boat or order one or more boats to re-race the race, or both, where, in the Race Official’s opinion, the result of the race has been materially affected
  • If, in the opinion of the Race Officials, a boat has been swamped or capsized deliberately by the crew, the Event Operator reserves the right to disqualify and refuse such crew’s entry in this year’s and future races.
  • If, in the opinion of the Race Official, after consultation with other Race Officials, a boat is damaged deliberately by the crew, the Event Operator reserves the right to require such organization to pay for the costs of repairs to the damaged boat.