Forum: The Racing Rules of Sailing

correct hearing procedure under RRS36

Aldo Balelli
Nationality: Italy
Certifications:
  • National Race Officer
  • National Judge
Hallo everybody.

So, a protest has been presented for an infraction of part 2, in a race later on abandoned, or during a starting procedure, ended with a general recall.
Procedure A
PC verify there no infraction of RRS 2, no damages or injuries, and ground for a redress to any of the boat.
That's the only fact found. So PC make parts and witness free, and close the hearing, as no boat can be penalized for RRS 36. 
Procedure B
PC go throught the full hearing, parts and testimonies; writes facts found, rule broken of part 2, an as decision: no DSQ -  race abandoned - as per RRS 36 (provided no damages or injuries etc etc)

Definitvely Procedure B is ok, but,  procedure A, is it formally wrong not to define which boat actually broke a part 2 rule, though no penalization is foreseen? 


Created: 21-Dec-26 14:58

Comments

P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
1
Aldo, procedure B. (Emphasis added below)

63.1. Requirement for a Hearing
   
A boat or competitor shall not be penalized without a protest hearing, except as provided in rules 30.3, A5 and P2. A decision on redress shall not be made without a hearing. The protest committee shall hear all protests and requests for redress that have been delivered to the race office unless it allows a protest or request to be withdrawn.”

“Shall” is used … thus the PC “shall hear” the protest (hold a “hearing”). 

Note that 63.1 is not excluded from change by SI/NOR in RRS 86.1. Therefore 63.1 could be changed to exclude hearing such protests by defining a separate process in an SI or NOR. 

Ang

PS: This is a great use for Appx T. - Arbitration.  That process is well defined and provides an opportunity for a judge to check that there is no claim of damage/injury and, if none, to give the protestor an opportunity to withdraw the protest in the face of no possible penalty. 
Created: 21-Dec-26 15:06
John Christman
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • National Judge
  • National Umpire
0
Ang is totally correct.  However, the PC could also point the protestor to rule 36 and, understanding that, ask them if they wish to withdraw their protest.  They should also emphasis that a hearing will be held if they want one.  This is kind of an arbitration without arbitration being enabled.
Created: 21-Dec-26 18:16
Fields Gunsett
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
I will remind any Protest Committee that finds themselves trying to understand RRS 36, that the previous comments are correct, if the protest was filed, you shall hear the protest (RRS 63.1).  In addition to this, when you find that the incident falls in the bounds of RRS 36 there is standard language recommended by World Sailing to explain why a penalty was or was not not applied if a boat was found to have broken a rule.

“If X broke RRS 14 and there is neither injury nor serious damage:
Since the race was [restarted] [resailed] and X had caused neither injury nor serious damage, she shall not be penalized as per RRS 36(b).
If X broke RRS 14 and caused injury or serious damage:
Since the incident caused [injury] [serious damage], X may be penalized as per RRS 36(b), even though the race was [restarted] [resailed].
If X broke RRS 2 or 69:
Since X broke RRS [2] [69] in the incident, she may be penalized as per RRS 36(b), even though the race was [restarted] [resailed].”

Rule 36 is not like when a protest is found invalid and not heard, Rule 36 allows for a penalty to not be given unless the boat that broke a rule meets the specific criterion stated in Rule 36 (a) and (b).
Created: 21-Dec-26 22:47
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
John C re: “This is kind of an arbitration without arbitration being enabled.”

I’ve often been reminded by our forum-friend John Allan that the RRS is an “open” rule set … in that PCs have a lot of leeway to maneuver where the rules do not specifically forbid or define certain actions.

To your point, I don’t see anything in the rules which would forbid a PC from asking a judge outside of the panel/jury to offer the parties an arbitration, even if Appx T was not included in the race-docs.  The effectiveness of the arbitration would be hampered by the absence of the 30% after-race penalty option, but here in the US, RC’s are often referencing US Appx V2 by itself, which brings in the after-race penalty language on its own (without arbitration). 

Also, in the US, the US Sailing Judges Manual still strongly suggests (but does not require in the US Prescriptions) that arbiters NOT be part of any eventual panel that hears the protest (WS JM differs in this guidance). 

So, to underline one of your points John, care should be taken if a PC member decides to pull the protestor aside to discuss the RRS 36 implications, especially in the US.
Created: 21-Dec-28 14:56
P
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
It might not be in the rules, but a protest committee has no business giving any rules advice to a competitor when there is a protest afoot. 

How are you going to respond to the gossip that "Fred didn't keep clear of Bob in the pre-start, but the jury heavied Bob into not protesting "?

What you need,  as Angelo suggested, is someone unconnected with the protest committee to do it, and if you want it to work efficiently it needs to be done before the protestee is required to front up to either an arbitration or a protest. 
Created: 21-Dec-28 23:05
John Christman
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • National Judge
  • National Umpire
0
I would say that there is a big difference between a) making sure a protestor is aware of rule 36 and letting them decide on their own to request withdrawal of the protest, and b) telling the protestor that there is no point in protesting because of rule 36.  It is quite possible that the unconnected party will be the one who says the wrong thing or appears as the heavy.  The other outcome is that the protestor is grateful to have the jury help him not waste his time and that of all the parties and witnesses.
Created: 21-Dec-28 23:33
Philip Hubbell
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • Judge In Training
0
To cover all bases, perhaps better to bring 36 to the attention of the protestor at the beginning of a hearing and invite withdrawal, not before a hearing.
A clever PC might post the text of 36 near the protests list.
Created: 21-Dec-30 18:25
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