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HOTO Volunteer Bulletin #1

UPMC Head of the Ohio

Volunteer Information Packet


Dear HOTO Volunteer,

Thank you for volunteering at this year’s Head of the Ohio Regatta. This is an event that is not possible without volunteers such as yourselves. You have the thanks of the Three Rivers Board of Directors, the boathouse staff, and the members of the rowing community who participate each year.

This packet will provide you with an overview of the various volunteer positions during HOTO weekend. We know that many of you volunteer for multiple shifts and different roles and we cannot thank you enough for your service to support HOTO. There are many moving parts to a regatta, both on and off the water, and we ask that all volunteers be prepared to be flexible and open to changing roles as needed on the regatta weekend.

Please plan to arrive at the Volunteer Check-In Tent on Washington’s Landing 10-minutes before the start of your shift. If weather permits, please plan to wear your HOTO Volunteer shirt throughout your shift (over long sleeves if necessary). If conditions require a jacket then please wear the shirt underneath the jacket.

Parking will be available on Washington’s Landing for volunteers on a first come-first served basis each day. We will not be charging volunteers for island parking this year so please be mindful of your fellow volunteers and only use the island parking for your specific shift. The Shuttle Bus will begin running from the parking lot at 11th & Smallman beginning at 5am.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out before race weekend. We will be happy to answer any questions and address everything we can in advance of the weekend.

Thank you again for volunteering and your continued support of TRRA!


Matt Logue

Executive Director



Volunteers working at the Award tent will be responsible for recording and handing out medals, and allowing teams to take pictures with the trophies (if there is a trophy for that event).

The Chief Referee or Regatta Director will notify the Award tent when races are deemed official and provide the volunteers with the order of finish for each race.

Skills Needed:

  • Friendly personality

  • Organized - systems oriented

  • Ability to work in a team environment.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Only the Chief Referee and Regatta Director can make the race result official.

  • Coaches and parents may try to get their medal early so be prepared to tell them no - not until the race is official.

  • When handing out medals, please make sure you write down the name of the person you are handing them to and the team they are from.



Volunteers in this role will assist with cleaning up the grounds around the boathouses including, but not limited to, the dock area, parking lots, Tent City, and street/vendor areas once racing is complete each day.

Zero Waste PA will be on site all weekend to help with garbage disposal and there will be various dumpsters for both garbage and recycling on the island.

Skills Needed:

  • Ability to lift and sort items.

  • Recommend bringing your own pair of gloves (yard gloves).

  • Ability to work in a team environment.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Bad weather (rain, wind, etc.) will have an impact on this role. Work needs to be done regardless of weather conditions.

  • We will have golf carts and plenty of garbage bags to help with the transportation of clean-up materials.



Volunteers in these roles will have similar responsibilities at opposite ends of the race course. These roles are essential to ensure fair racing for all competitors. Volunteers will be working with USRowing Referees in these locations. These areas can get hectic at times and it is therefore imperative that all volunteers working these areas possess a high level of situational awareness and an ability to remain focused under pressure.

We utilize two timing systems for HOTO: An electronic primary system and a written backup system. Training will be provided on each system prior to the race.

Skills Needed:

  • High degree of situational awareness.

  • Very task-oriented with a high ability to focus in fast-paced situations

  • High degree of comfort and skill using iPads and tablets.

  • Legible handwriting.

  • Ability to work in a team environment and communicate both effectively and efficiently.

  • Good Eyesight and the ability to identify teams are preferred.

Things to Keep In Mind:

  • The Referees run these stations. There are set procedures and protocols they will be following that they will teach you on race day. Each Ref has their own process for these stations so please be adaptable.

  • Sometimes multiple crews will pass the starting line and/or finish line in quick succession. Be prepared to receive and record a lot of information in a short period of time on both the primary and secondary timing systems.

  • If you have a pair of binoculars, please bring them. One of the roles may be as a “Spotter” to help identify the bow and/or back number of approaching crews and binoculars would be helpful in this role.



This role is a “catch-all” role and will require a great deal of flexibility and adaptability on race weekend. If you signed up for this role please take the time to read through the descriptions of all the roles in this handbook as there is the chance you may find yourself stationed anywhere!

Skills Needed:

  • Positive Attitude

  • Adaptable mindset.

  • Sense of adventure.

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • Though seemingly non-specific, this role is critically important. Many of our volunteers wear multiple hats (racer, volunteer, parent, etc.) on race weekend. It is not uncommon for someone to be running late from a race, get slightly delayed while watching their kid race or get stuck on the shuttle bus.

  • This role helps fill the gaps when necessary and ensures both land and water operations run smoothly throughout the course of the weekend.



These roles are very similar and are essential for ensuring the efficiency of all launching and landing operations. Volunteers in these roles will guide and assist coaches and crews with launching/landing their boats, assist with the pre-launch safety inspections and other various tasks.

Skills Needed:

  • Friendly demeanor

  • Authoritative voice

  • Clear understanding of who can, and cannot be in the launching/landing area.

  • Ability to communicate effectively and work in a team environment.

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • There will be a USRowing Referee who will be in charge of the Launch dock. Those volunteering on the Launch Dock will work with the Referee to ensure safe and efficient launch procedures.

  • Only athletes and coaches should be in the launch/recovery area. This includes the lower boatyard and on the docks themselves. It is not uncommon for parents to try and get on the dock or stand on the ramps. We must keep the entire Launch & Recovery area clear so be prepared to kindly (and assertively) ask people to leave the area.

  • People may snap back at you. If you encounter an aggressive parent, coach or athlete, step back and find a race official or the Regatta Director (Matt Logue).