Spond Tips for Rota Makers

Please note: This guide was written to clarify various issues in an earlier version of Spond. Subsequent Spond updates have removed several rough edges and some points below may not now be relevant or correct.


General Guidance

  1. Before creating an event, authorisation should be obtained from the relevant person on the Committee (TBC). In general rota makers should not edit other peoples events without prior agreement.
  2. Each boat needs four rowers and one cox. For social rows or long trips in warmer weather, people may be happy to have a fifth rower sit in the bow and to take turns rowing.
  3. Each crew’s slot usually lasts one hour. The first crew needs an extra 15 minutes to prepare the boat for launch and the final crew will need about 15 minutes to get the boat back into the yard.
  4. Rowers with restricted availability should have noted this in the comments section of the event so take care not to schedule someone at a time they can’t make.
  5. As appropriate to the event, try to put rowers together according to their preference e.g. early vs late. This will not always be possible for all rowers; most events are set up with a request for people to be flexible.
  6. Each boat needs enough rowers who are experienced and confident enough to make safe decisions about going out in the conditions. There shouldn’t be more than two novices in one crew and there should be at least two people willing to cox in the conditions. If you’re not sure about a rower’s experience you can ask an experienced rota maker or contact individuals directly – all contact details are listed if you click on the person’s name where they have joined the event or waiting list. There are additional rules if any under-16s are involved – see elsewhere for guidance on youth rowing.
  7. You may have to juggle people and times around until a workable rota comes together. This is more complicated when there are a lot of people signed up with restricted availability, and when both boats are in action. Use people who signed up with comments indicating that they could do a double session or cox to fill crews when numbers are awkward.
  8. If the number of rowers/coxes who signed up does not correspond neatly to crews, you may have time to post an incomplete rota and request members to volunteer to fill in any gaps. If there are just one or two extra people it may be more appropriate to post a rota with only the complete crews, leaving out the last to sign up, or those whose availability/preferences didn’t match with anyone else’s. To avoid confusion about who is taking a place on an incomplete rota (and therefore avoiding partial crews waiting in vain at the shore) it may be helpful to keep track of messages posted on Spond afterwards and to post a definitive update when a crew is complete. Remember that newer rowers may not know where to post or how to find the latest information. All changes should be noted in the ‘comments’ section of the event so they are visible to all. Ideally anyone who can no longer make it will find their own replacement, so you may want to include this in your event announcement. If you wish you can contact people to request doubles, coxes or to prompt people who you know are likely to have missed the sign-up but this is entirely up to you and how much time you are willing to put in.

Event Creation

The following steps assume one is using the app, but the steps are similar if using a web browser on a PC etc.

  1. To create an event in Spond or to be made a co-host one needs to have admin privileges. Before a member creates an event, they should get authorisation from the relevent person on the Committee (TBC).
  2. Select the ‘home’ page (house icon in bottom left hand corner)
  3. Select ‘events’ (not ‘posts’) at the top
  4. Press the ‘+’ symbol and choose ‘event’ from the pop-up menu
  5. Choose either ‘one specific date’ or ‘repeating’
  6. Select the group to send it to. This will normally be ‘rowporty@PSKC’. If you use Spond for other clubs, make sure you select RowPorty!
  7. Select who to send it to. This will normally be ‘Main group’.
  8. Scroll down to check that everyone is ticked in the right hand column. All members should be invited to all rowing events.
  9. Fill in the details of the event. The ‘max number of participants’ should be set at ‘1’ so that a chronological waiting list is created, unless only one boat is being organised in which case it can be set at 5.
  10. Do not change the invitation sending date from the default of 5 days – this is to ensure that people cannot “block book” well into the future and to ensure a level playing field for all members.
  11. Press ‘send’ (top right) to post the event on the noticeboard.
  12. Check that it looks correct. If you notice something you need to edit click on the ‘… More’ sign (to the right of ‘join’ and ‘decline’) and chose edit. Note that you can also use this sign to duplicate or cancel an event.

Rower Categories

Rota makers need to be aware of rowers’ experience.

Non-members are entitled to one trial row on Sunday Social Rowing. Non-members do not use Spond, but instead contact Miranda who will pass on details to the Sunday Social Row rota maker, who will endeavour to include them in a crew. In the rota, non-members doing their trial row will be identified by T after their name.

After their trial row, people must join PSKC and will use Spond to book a place. They are expected to indicate their experience in the event comments using codes R1 (first row as a member) through to R5 (fifth row a a member). The rota maker should use these codes after the crew names in the rota.


  • Non-member – one trial Sunday Social Row (T)
  • Fewer than 2 rows as a member – Sunday Social Rows only (R1, R2)
  • 2 to 4 rows as a member – any social row, but not training rows (R3, R4, R5)
  • 5+ rows as a member – any event

Rota Notification

The following steps assume one is using the app, but the steps are similar if using a web browser on a PC etc.

  1. Firstly post the rota as a comment under the event.
  2. Write your comment saying who is doing what, e.g. if there is a designated cox/skipper.
  3. Where applicable, the crew list should use codes R1 to R5 for new members of RowPorty (first RowPorty row to fifth RowPorty row). Participants will have identified themselves as R1 to R5 in the event comments.. Code T should be used for a non-member doing a trial row, normally in Sunday Social Rowing.
  4. Be clear as to where and when each crew should meet. The first crew will need to meet 15 minutes early in the yard, all subsequent crews at the start time on the beach.
  5. Remind rowers that they are now committed and must try to find a replacement if they have to drop out and notify the rest of their crew personally (rather than via you as you may not be available to pass on the message…) Ask them to do this in the ‘comments’ section of the event so that it is visible to all.
  6. Secondly inform those who have responded that the rota has been posted.
  7. Click on ‘Send message to the invitees’ (below the sections showing who is signed up)
  8. Choose ‘Send group message’ and click ‘NEXT’ (top right)
  9. Ensure everyone who has responded (“going” and “wait list”) is ticked in the right-hand column. Those ‘going’ will be pre-ticked but you will need to tick those on the waiting list to include them in the message.
  10. Enter appropriate text such as “The rota has been posted on the event thread. Please read the rota there and post any comments such as a change request on the event thread”.
  11. Press ‘SEND’ (top right)
  12. Finally, if you are unavailable to keep an eye on your rota in the remaining time before the event it is worth mentioning this so that people know to sort any problems out themselves.

Editing Events

When editing events, Spond asks if you want just to edit a single event or that event and all subsequent ones. Generally you should always choose the latter option i.e. that event and all subsequent ones. If you edit only a single event, then it is effectively removed from the series and series edits will not then work.

Last updated: Malcoolm Stewart, 3 February 2021