Section A
The Basics
The role of a judge in sailing is to ensure the fairness of the competition. The role is unique in many ways. First, a judge is required to determine disputes between competitors. To do this, and to be seen doing it fairly and according to the rules, a judge must be thoroughly familiar with the Racing Rules of Sailing.

Second, a judge is often called upon to assist in many other critical aspects of a regatta, such as reviewing the Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions, deciding issues of measurement and rating rule compliance issues, watching for rule infringements, enforcing propulsion rules on the water, and much more.

Last, and by no means of least importance, a judge is asked to make decisions concerning the fairness of the competition. To do these things well is a challenging and sometimes difficult task.

Sailing owes a debt of gratitude to those people who work to acquire the necessary knowledge and experience to accept this responsibility and to do it well. Those who make such a commitment make a very large contribution to our sport.
Meaning of Terms
Racing Rules of Sailing (the “rules” or “RRS”)
The rules used for racing under the jurisdiction of World Sailing.

World Sailing Codes and Regulations
The definition of Rule includes the following World Sailing Codes:
Regulation 20 Advertising Code
Regulation 21 Anti-Doping Code
Regulation 37 Betting and Anti-Corruption Code
Regulation 35 Disciplinary Code
Regulation 19 Eligibility Code
Regulation 22 Sailor Classification Code

They are not included in the Racing Rules of Sailing because they can be changed at any time during the four-year publishing cycle of the rules. Changes are posted on the World Sailing website at and through member national authorities.

Case Book (the “Cases”)
World Sailing publishes interpretations of the racing rules. The Case Book and recognizes them as authoritative interpretations and explanations of the rules. They are based upon appeals and questions submitted to the Racing Rules Committee. They clarify the meaning of a rule or answer questions about conflicting interpretations.

The rules, changes to the rules, and Cases are adopted by the World Sailing Council, based upon the recommendation of the Racing Rules Committee. Regulation 28.3 indicates that the Racing Rules of Sailing and World Sailing Cases are authoritative interpretations and explanations of the rules for all racing. Judges are required to follow World Sailing rules and Cases when interpreting the rules.

Question and Answer (Q&A)
The World Sailing Racing Rules Q&A are published on the World Sailing website as a joint responsibility of the Racing Rules Committee and Race Officials Committee.

The answers are prepared by experienced Race officials and are intended to provide a service to Race Officials, Member National Authorities and World Sailing Class Associations whereby they may submit questions through World Sailing concerning the Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS).

The answers are not authoritative interpretations and explanations of the RRS but nevertheless represent an important service by providing carefully considered opinions of experienced Race Officials.

It is intended that these Q&A are further considered for inclusion in the World Sailing Case Book/Call Books (Match and Team Racing).

This service is not to be used as a ‘substitute’ appeal process, but is simply to provide considered opinions on questions on the RRS

World Sailing
The international body governing the sport of sailing is World Sailing. It comprises member national authorities, class associations, and other affiliated organizations. Among the many responsibilities and programs of World Sailing is the training and certification of International Race Officials which include International Judges, Umpires, Race Officers, Measurers, Classifiers and Technical Delegates.

National Authority
The national authority is the organization that governs the sport of sailing within its jurisdiction, and is a member of World Sailing. Many national authorities have additional responsibilities, such as cruising and powerboat racing.

National authorities often prescribe additional rules to the racing rules. These prescriptions are included as rules governing sailing within the jurisdiction of the national authority by the Sailing Instructions. They are rarely invoked for international events; although some national authorities prescribe that some of their prescriptions shall not be deleted.

Most national authorities appoint a committee to hear appeals against decisions of protest committees. Appeal procedures vary from country to country through their prescriptions. The highest appeal authority is the national authority under whose jurisdiction the event is held. World Sailing does not hear appeals.

National authorities may submit appeals that they think clarify or help interpret a rule to the World Sailing Racing Rules Committee. If the Committee agrees with the decision, or believes the clarification is beneficial, it will accept the appeal as a World Sailing case, subject to ratification by the World Sailing Council.

Organizing Authority
The body that plans and runs the races or event is the organizing authority. It may be a club, a class association, a national authority, World Sailing itself, or a combination of any of these. The Organizing Authority appoints the Race Committee. The Organizing Authority or World Sailing appoints the Protest Committee or International Jury.

Race Committee
The race committee is the committee appointed by the organizing authority to conduct the races. It is responsible for publishing the Sailing Instructions and for scoring. When the organizing authority has not appointed a Protest Committee or International Jury, the race committee is responsible for appointing a protest committee to conduct hearings. Members of the race committee may sit on the protest committee, except for hearing a request for redress under rule 62.1(a) alleging an improper action or omission of the race committee. In that case, the protest committee must be independent of the race committee. A protest committee that is an International Jury constituted in accordance with Appendix N of the rules shall be independent of and have no members from the race committee.

Protest Committee
The protest committee hears protests, requests for redress and alleged breaches of rule 69. It is appointed by the organizing authority or race committee. It may be independent of the race committee or a subcommittee of the race committee. It may, when meeting the requirements of Appendix N, qualify as an International Jury. International Juries are referred to as Protest Committees when hearing protests and requests for redress.

International Jury
An International Jury is a protest committee that meets the requirements of Appendix N of the rules. It is appointed by the Organizing Authority and subject to approval by the National Authority if required under their Prescriptions. It is completely independent from the Race Committee.

An International Jury is composed of experienced sailors with excellent knowledge of the racing rules and extensive protest committee experience. Its membership is made up of people from different member national authorities, the majority of whom shall be World Sailing certified International Judges. Provided that it conducts itself in accordance with the procedures described in Appendix N, as stated in Rule 70.5, its decisions shall not be subject to appeal.

The responsibilities of an International Jury include hearing and deciding all protests, requests for redress, and other matters arising under the rules of Part 5. When asked by the organizing authority, the race committee or technical committee, it also advises and assists them on any matter directly affecting the fairness of the competition. It decides questions of eligibility, measurement or rating certificates, and authorizes the substitution of competitors, boats or equipment under the rules. The International Jury also decides matters referred to it by the Organizing Authority or the Race Committee.

Technical Committee
The Technical Committee is appointed by the Organizing Authority or the Race Committee of an event to conduct equipment inspection and event measurement as directed by the organizing authority and as required by the rules. Their functions may include measuring boats and checking compliance to the class rules before the start of the competition, and carrying out checks (such as sails set within black bands, distribution of ballast, weight of clothing etc.) during the competition. The Technical Committee also interprets the class rules at events.

Judge, National Judge, International Judge
The term 'judge' is often used to describe a member of a protest committee who participates in decision making. The title 'National Judge' is given to a suitably qualified person by a national authority that runs a program to train national judges. The title 'International Judge' is given by World Sailing to a person who meets the criteria set out in the World Sailing Regulations.

Umpire, National Umpire, International Umpire
An umpire is a specially trained judge who makes decisions on the water, and may impose penalties, during a match or team race or umpired fleet race. Umpires may be called upon to hear protests during match racing and team racing events, as well.

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