Rules and Regulations

Rules and Regulations

Conduct In the Boat

We want you to have fun and be safe. Please listen to your coach. The drummer and coach/steersperson must be able to always communicate with the team and each other, and all team members need to be able to hear the commands. Paddles straight up in the air if you need to draw attention to yourself in case of emergency.

Buddy System

Make certain that each of your team members knows who is sitting beside him/her in case the boat swamps/capsizes, which is highly unlikely. Teammates will be responsible for each other’s safety until rescue arrives. STAY WITH THE BOAT!

Life Jackets

Everyone must wear a life jacket during practice and on race day. One is provided, but you may also bring your own.


It is important for the whole team to come to practice, including the drummer. He or she will assist in setting the timing for the team and can be an excellent source of motivation and inspiration during practices and on race day.

Tips & Commands

How To Sit in The Boat

  • Outside hip forward
  • Inside hip back
  • Outside leg extended along the gunwale (inside top railof the boat)
  • Inside foot under the seat or braced effectively and comfortably

Seven Steps of Dragon Boat Paddling Technique
Watch the video:

  • Rotation
  • Reach Extension
  • Top Arm Drive (stab the water)
  • Catch: powerfully drive the paddle into the water at approx. a 45 degree angle, burying the entire blade into the water-your hand should get wet.
  • Pull water with the entire blade until you get to just behind your knee
  • Exit: get that paddle straight up and out of the water quickly, no further back than your hip
  • Recovery: snap the paddle back into the paddles up position for the next catch

Dragon Boat Paddling Commands

  • Paddles Up: Be ready to paddle. All paddlers with paddles above the water (3-6 inches from the surface) ready to enter the water.
  • Take it Away or Go: Begin paddling.
  • Let it Run: Stop paddling and let the boat glide.
  • Hold the Boat or Stop the Boat: Place paddles in the water, with paddle pointed straight down, blade submerged. It will bring the boat to a stop. If you hear the command, “Hold hard,” quickly put your paddle straight down and then back it up one stroke.
  • >Back it Down: Paddle backwards.
  • Draw (left or right side): Initiates a turn using draw strokes by the designated paddlers. Can also be used to get the boat closer to something, a dock, for example.
  • Stabilize/Brace the Boat: Place your paddle blade on top of the water and hold it there. This stabilizes the boat. It is needed when anyone stands up in the boat to change position, etc.

Note: Your coach/steerer will brief you about these commands before your practice. In the boat, when the coach is talking, please continue to paddle and listen. Never stop paddling unless your coach says, “Let it run.”

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