Rules and Procedures

Last updated February 17, 2017

LPBC has some basic rules in place to ensure the safety of everyone who uses the Club. Each associate is responsible for knowing and following these rules, and to remind others of the rules.


General Rules

  • All Associates and guests must know how to swim; expected proficiency is the ability to swim 100 meters in light clothing, and to tread water for at least ten minutes.
  • Key fobs must be carried at all times when using facilities and equipment.
  • After entering or exiting, be sure to close the boathouse gate.
  • The boathouse and apron are Chicago Park District property. The Chicago Park District prohibits the following from the LPBC premises:
    • Alcohol
    • Tobacco
    • Dogs or other pets
  • Associates and guests may use a locker for their belongings for each visit to the club. If you wish to rent a locker for overnight or permanent storage, please visit our Regatta Central page to register for one.
  • Keep the facilities clean by cleaning equipment after use, picking up your belongings, and disposing of your own refuse. There is no staff to do this.


Guest Policy

  • Guests are welcome at the club and are required to fill out a guest waiver, located near the logbooks in the boat bay.
  • Each guest is allowed to come three times a year, after which they are expected to become members in order to continue to use the club.
  • Members are allowed to host two guests at a time, contact the appropriate Director if you would like to bring more than two guests at a time.
  • Associates who admit other non-associates without following the guest policy may have their own key fobs terminated.



  • No individual may offer coaching services to others at LPBC, without prior approval from the Head Coach.
  • All coaching activity must be part of LPBC programming and registered and paid for in advance on Regatta Central.
  • No cash payments may be made at any time for coaching.
  • Use of the motorized launch is permitted for authorized coaches of LPBC only.
  • Individuals found in violation of these rules will have their membership suspended or terminated.


Equipment Usage

  • Make a legible entry in the appropriate logbook every time you use LPBC equipment. This is for both private and club-owned equipment.
  • Rowing shells are categorized by skill level. There are boats for novices, for general use, and for competitive use. Approval by the Rowing Director or Head Coach is necessary to advance to the next level.
  • Any off-site use of Club equipment must be cleared in advance with the Rowing or Paddling Director.
  • LPBC members may not use equipment owned by private individuals, unless they have made previous arrangements with the owners.
  • After use, all equipment must be wiped down and signed back in. Kayaks and canoes must be dried inside and out before being returned to the racks. Please remember to put oars and slings away as well.
  • Do not paddle kayaks without seat, foot brace, or pins.
  • Most equipment parts are not interchangeable; don’t remove or replace parts without explicit instruction or permission of the Rowing or Paddling Directors or Head Coach.


Equipment Damage

  • Should equipment need repair after use, please notify the Facilities Director, Paddling Director, or Rowing Director by email, and by dropping a note in the repair request box located just below the bulletin board opposite the sign-out desk.
  • Please report accidents and major problems to the Rowing or Paddling Director as soon as possible.

Launching, Docking, and Traffic Pattern

  • Please limit your dock time to two minutes or less.
  • All rowing shells must launch with the bow pointing north. Kayaks, SUPS, and canoes launch with bow pointing south. Kayaks and canoes may cross over if clear after launch to go north. A map with traffic patterns is posted in the Boathouse.
  • Rowing equipment goes CLOCKWISE on the water, south on the lake side, north on the Zoo side. Paddling equipment goes COUNTER-CLOCKWISE. Always obey the direction of travel, even if you are the only craft on the water.
  • All shells should turn around at the far ends of the lagoon to avoid interference with other shells and paddlers.
  • At the north end of the lagoon, boats should turn around north of the Fullerton Avenue Bridge.
  • All equipment adjustments should be done on land on slings prior to launching.
  • Shells, sculls, kayaks, and canoes are permitted on the water after dark only if appropriately lit. See club safety rules for the required bow, stern, and personal lights.
  • It is the responsibility of each rower or paddler to ensure their on-water course is clear; verbal cues from other water users are helpful, but should not be relied on.

Cold Weather Safety

  • Rowers – only boats with a minimum of four oars are permitted to go out when the combined air and water temperatures do not meet 100°F.
  • Paddlers – wetsuits, leashes, and PFDs are mandatory. More suggestions can be found here.
  • Dock – Additionally, rowers and paddlers are advised to take extreme caution when choosing to go out without the dock installed. Launching and docking without the dock is notably more dangerous, especially for rowers, and the dock in the middle of the lagoon poses a significant safety hazard.

    If you do choose to row or paddle on the lagoon when the air and water temperatures do not reach 100°F, you are doing so at your own risk. Please be sure to follow the guidelines below to further prevent any incident:

    1. Members must use the log books to sign in/out.
    2. Carry a GPS device with you while on the water (smart phone) in a waterproof and floating container.
    3. Ensure an emergency contact on land knows where you are and your estimated time of return
      If you have any questions regarding safe rowing and paddling conditions, please do not hesitate to reach out to any of the board members for further details.
    4. Check @lpbcbot on Twitter: for the latest air, water, and wind conditions at the lagoon.