Official Rules

Background

Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Race Official Rules & Regulations

Section 1 Eligibility
1.1 Each Team must compete with a minimum of eight women paddlers per boat per race.
1.2 Each Team must race with a drummer.
1.3 A registered team member must be 13 years old prior to the first practice session.
1.4 For participants less than 18 years of age, parents or guardians must read, understand and sign the waivers.

Section 2 Teams
2.1 All team members must be registered.
2.2 A person shall be a registered team member of only one team. However, team members of cancer-survivor teams may be registered on their survivor team and one additional team. The Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival may allow other exceptions at its discretion.
2.3 Each team must race with a minimum of 16 paddlers per boat.
2.4 A registered team member must be listed on the team roster by the Team Manager, have signed the required waiver, and submitted the waiver to be filed by the Team Manager with the Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival.
2.5 Teams are allowed a maximum of 25 registered members, comprising of: one drummer, one Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival qualified steers-person, 20 paddlers, and three alternates. Of any of the above, one person must be registered as the Team Manager.
2.6 Each team must have a drummer.
2.7 The steers-person will be provided by the Festival unless the team has an experienced steers-person who has competed in a previous Dragon Boat Race. At its discretion, the Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival may at any time replace any team’s steers-person with another steers-person, despite that replacement not being a registered member of that team. At its discretion, the Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival may at any time direct that a team not participate further in on-water activity due to its steers-person not being capable.
2.8 At its discretion, the Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival may at any time require a check of crew members against their team rosters.
2.9 Team Managers shall ensure that only registered team members participate in on-water activities. Any team permitting a non-registered person to participate in any on-water activity shall be subject to disqualification and may be prohibited from further on-water participation, subject to the discretion of the Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival.
2.10 At its discretion, the Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival may disqualify and prohibit from further participation any team member or team if such a team member or team displays unsportsmanlike or dangerous conduct.
2.11 Each team and each team member is required to follow these rules.
2.12 The Team Manger shall be responsible for: Team conduct, communication and distribution of information to the team, communication with the Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival, collection and filing of all requisite information and forms with the Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival, liaison with race officials, and attendance at the Team Managers’ meetings. All team managers from the Bemidji area should attend such meetings. Information will be mailed to Team Managers representing teams from out of town.

Section 3 Registration
3.1 The registration fee is $750 per team. Each team must register and pay the non-refundable registration fee due by July 15 (early registration made by May 1 has a $100.00 discount.) As the number of teams able to participate may be limited, registrations will be accepted based on the order that complete registration form with either full payment or $100 deposit are received. Checks shall be made payable to the Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival. Completed forms and payments shall be mailed to: Bemidji Dragon Boats, LLC.  P.O. Box 279, Bemidji, MN, 56619. Registration can also be completed online at www.bemidjidragonboat.com
3.2 Team rosters shall be submitted to the Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival prior to each team member participating in any practice, race or other on-water activity.

Section 4 Waivers
4.1 All team members must sign waivers stating that they have read and understand the conditions of the waiver and are aware of and accept all risks associated with the event, and wave all rights to take legal action against any of the sponsors, their volunteers and employees, the Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival, its volunteers and employees, the Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival organizing committee, its volunteers and employees, the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce, its directors and volunteers, the Bemidji Rotary Club, its directors and volunteers, and any other person, partnership, corporation or association in any way associated with the Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival, for injury or death, or for loss or damage to property, howsoever caused. For participants less than 18 years of age, parents or guardians must also read, understand and sign the waivers.
4.2 Team Managers should submit to the Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival properly signed, dated and witnessed waivers for each team member prior to each team member participating in any practice, race or other on-water activity. The Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival may accept late submission of waivers at its discretion.

Section 5 Dragon Boats and Equipment
5.1 The Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival shall provide dragon boats, paddles, drums and life jackets.
5.2 All equipment shall be returned in good condition immediately following practices and races. In the event that the Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival determines negligence, replacement or repair costs shall be charged to the team responsible.
5.3 Any teams or members wishing to use paddles or personal flotation devices not provided by the Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival must first have these items approved by the Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival at its discretion. Belt style inflatable PFD’s are approved.
5.4 Only the drum and drumsticks provided by the Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival shall be used to signal the stroke rate in addition to non-electrically assisted voice commands.

Section 6 Race Procedures
6.1 Each team member shall wear a personal flotation device during all on-water activities, including practices and races.
6.2 Individuals or teams deemed unsafe by the Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival or its designate may not be permitted to continue on-water activities, including all practices and races.
6.3 the team is required to listen and follow instructions given by the steersperson while in the boat before, during, and after the race.
6.4 Each participant in the Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival is responsible for his or her own safety at all times.
6.5 At its complete discretion, the Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival may dismiss at any time, including but not limited to from any practices and/or races, any person or team for: violating safety principals and/or procedures, participating or attempting to participate in on-water activities while under the influence or in possession of drugs and/or alcohol, violating rules, demonstrating poor conduct or behavior, willfully, recklessly, or negligently damaging or losing equipment, or disobeying the requests or instructions made by officials or their designates.
6.6 Teams may be disqualified from competition if any team member purposely jumps out of the dragon boat and into the water.
6.7 If equipment is damaged or lost through the willfully, reckless, or negligent actions of a person or team, that person or team shall be responsible for financially reimbursing the Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival.
6.8 The starting order for all races will be determined prior to race day by the Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival and will be issued to Team Managers.
6.9 Each race will start as soon as possible following the race preceding it. The order of the races shall remain constant, though start times are approximate. Team Managers are responsible for monitoring the progression of the races and ensuring their team is ready to race when called upon. The Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival may not wait for teams which are not ready to start, regardless if early or late of the posted start time.
6.10 Teams shall report to Staging Area at least 45 minutes prior to the estimated start time of their race. Team Managers are responsible for reporting in their team for each race.
6.11 The Referee and Starter shall have control of the race from prior to the start to the completion of each race. Only steerspersons may communicate with the Referee and such communication should be kept to a minimum.
6.12 Upon completion of the race, all teams shall approach disembarking docks at a very slow pace.

Section 7 Race Penalties / Protests
7.1 Teams missing the start of their race will be given a time of ten minutes for that race for progression purposes. No race official is obligated to wait for late teams.
7.2 Any team with a false start may be given a warning, time penalty, or disqualification as determined by the Race Committee.
7.3 Any crew that affects the progress of any other crew may be asked to immediately stop paddling. Penalties may include a time penalty or disqualification as determined by Race Committee.
7.4 Protests must be lodged by the Team Manager with a member of the Race Committee within 15 minutes of the conclusion of the protested race. There is a $100 Protest Filing Fee, payable at the time of protest. The fee would be returned if the protest is granted. The Race Committee will review all protests and render a decision.
7.5 If there is circumstance that does not have a specific rule designated, it will be up to the discretion of the Race Committee. Should this decision be disputed, a team may protest by following the protocol listed in 7.4.
7.6 The Race Committee is comprised of the Starter, Referee, on-water Steerspersons of race in protest, and one core committee member.

Revised August 1, 2019

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