Forum: Race Officers

Requirement to report the intent to protest in SI's

Mike Vining
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
All,

I am the PRO in charge of a set of SI's at a major regional regatta where there will be 200+ yachts during the course of the event. We have an esteemed group of certified judges and JIT's on hand to handle any of the expected protests in a timely manner. Upon reviewing the draft SI's, the Chief Judge asked me to include in the SI's a requirement for a competitor to report to the RC the intent to protest. Something like:
    1. A boat intending to protest or request redress based on an incident in the racing area that she is involved in or sees shall, at the first reasonable opportunity after she finished, inform the race committee at the finishing line of her intent to protest or request redress and, when applicable, the identity of the protestee.

There are times when an instruction like this should be used. My opinion is competitors see a notification requirement, when not really required, as simply a technical reason to deny a hearing. Not conducting a hearing for a technical/not valid reason is the biggest complaint competitors have. And so reducing the technical requirements for a hearing are desirable. I agree with this philosophy and am trying to apply it and so likely will not include the requirement in this instance. (The CJ and I work together often, and I would otherwise include most anything he asked.)

In this current rules cycle, US Sailing eliminated the prescription allowing for expedited hearings. The expedited hearing provision also reduced the technical requirements that often lead to a "not valid" ruling and upset competitors in my view. I saw it as a positive step forward. Non professional/expert competitors need provisions like this. I am wondering why it might have been eliminated. I had hoped provisions like expedited hearings might become more widespread. (Ref: RRS 2013-2016 US Sailing Prescription Appendix T, Section C)

What is your opinion of the use of this SI?
What was your opinion of the USSailing expedited hearing prescription?

Thanks,
Mike Vining
US Sailing National Judge
US Sailing Regional Race Officer
Created: 18-Jun-08 14:28

Comments

Tom Sollas
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
1
I've never liked this myself (both as a judge and a competitor). That said, I have seen this (and have used this) for local area regattas where judges will often be on call rather than at the event. Hailing is handy, a PRO can call me on my cell to let me know there's likely protests filed, and I can hop in my car and drive the 30-45 minutes or whatever to the event. In these cases, I'll ask they word the SI to simply hail the "intent to protest", but not require the protestee's sail number. I've never seen an SI requirement for "intent to redress", as a decision to file for redress may not occur until a competitor has left the water.

For a larger regatta, such as the one you note, there's no call for the language, as your judges are already there. To me, that's simply an unnecessary hurdle for the competitors, a hassle for the RC as you now have to record all of this and save the paperwork for it, and a hassle for the PC since the PC now has to add this to the validation procedure.

FWIW... I've always given the sailors the benefit of the doubt when it asked if they hailed. If they say they did, I treat it like a hail for protest. No one else has to hear it, so long as the sailor said they hailed it.
Created: 18-Jun-08 17:52
David Brunskill
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • International Judge
2
This SI or something like it is frequently used in Junior regattas in UK and a number of European countries. The objective is to ensure that Junior sailors make their initial protest or redress request decision free of interference from support persons. Whilst running the UK class judge programme for the national junior classes I did experiment with arbitrations on the water between races - when time permitted and only with the consent of the race officer, - no protest form, all tape-recorded and facts found and decisions written up.

I'm not sure what the US Sailing expedited rules processs was so can't comment on that. However the UK rules disputes processes are an attempt to make protests generally more user friendly and are shown on the link. So I hope that is of interest.

http://www.rya.org.uk/racing/racing-rules/Pages/rules-disputes-process.aspx

However in major regattas with adult sailors I don't think that the reporting requirement at the finish line would be particularly welcomed by sailors. So unless the sailors, after being consulted asked for the process to be introduced (they are our customers) I would stick with the tried and trusted.
Created: 18-Jun-08 18:07
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Fleet Measurer
1


If it’s a request that they report their intent as a courtesy to the RC/PC and that this is not a basis of invalidating the protest... then I’m fine with it, but not as a requirement.

Just like the SI’s that request that one notifies the RC if they retire.

Ang
Created: 18-Jun-08 18:16
Warren Nethercote
Nationality: Canada
Certifications:
  • International Judge
1
I always object to SIs requiring that intent to protest be reported at the finish: it adds no value for the competitor and generates what are perceived to be Chicken-s__t rulings of invalidity. The only value to the jury is an indicator of the possibility of an early dinner, but that doesn't meet the smell test. But the SIs belong to the RC so I have often been forced to live with the requirement.

I acknowledge the principle of junior protests being free of influence from support persons, but I wonder if the young competitor isn't better served in the long run by advice from the coach. US youth events, like British ones, seem to use this requirement a lot. Here in Canada it seems less common, although the Optimists have gone that way since dropping their protest flag requirement.
Created: 18-Jun-08 18:24
Bill Handley
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • National Judge
0
Every SI should have a purpose so what is the purpose of this one ? As far as I can see it is for the nebulous benefit of giving a heads up to the PC before a protest has been lodged. On the downside if has the effect of making it more likely that an otherwise valid protest will be declared invalid for an oversight in communication at the finish line. To my mind the potential downside far out weighs any possible benefit.

The one exception is the use of such an SI at a junior event to make sure that the protest is coming from the competitor and not an over enthusiastic parent.
Created: 18-Jun-08 18:40
Mike Vining
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
1
Ang,

Interesting spin. If it's in the SI's and the way it is stated in my post, it's a requirement for validity. I not a fan of "suggestions" in SI's as SI's are complicated and long enough, but that is possible to suggest it as a courtesy.

David,

Thanks for the RYA link. Very interesting. I have been using an RYA guide for Rule 69 for a few year. This adds a few more RYA documents to my library.

Agreed on the other points when the SI should be used. Regattas with judges on hand and at Junior events to avoid helicopter parent influence.

Thanks,
MIke
Created: 18-Jun-08 18:49
Graham Kelly
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
0
IMO, this provision is likely to eliminate protests driven solely by scoring considerations. It forces potential protestors to decide whether or not they want to file as soon after the incident as possible.
Created: 18-Jun-08 18:50
Matt Bounds
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • National Race Officer
2
There are only two reasons for this provision:
  • An off-site protest committee that must be called in to hear protests
  • A junior event (especially Optis) where you want the sailor to make the decision to protest, not their coach
Otherwise, it is burdensome on everyone (competitors, signal boat staff) except the protest committee, who, as Warren so eloquently put it, can find a chickens**t reason to invalidate the protest.

Mike, I was going to contact you regarding this for "this major event" you're hosting - and I'm PROing the back half of. Please make it go away. NOR amendment if you have to - or you can say in the SIs: "NOR XX.X is deleted. There is no requirement to report protests to the race committee."
Created: 18-Jun-08 19:02
John Siegel
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • National Race Officer
0
I agree with previous comments. The fact that there's a flag requirement to be flown until no longer racing for part 2 protests, should be sufficient. I have no problem with requesting such an action in the SIs, but making it mandatory is too burdensome on competitors. Why would we want to disallow a protest on such a technicality?
Created: 18-Jun-08 19:28
Ralph Tingle
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • National Race Officer
0
Having officiated at many youth/junior events in the UK, your CJ's request is an automatic inclusion in my youth event SIs for the very reasons that David cited.
The youngsters have to learn to make their own decisions on the water (& learn the rules of course) without interference from 'pushy parents' when they return to shore to face an interrogation on their performance.
On-the-water or shoreline arbitrations are especially effective as the session is treated as a learning process as well as making a decision & I have actually used this process in our Sprint events for seniors to make sure that the programme is not held up with lengthy protest hearings
Created: 18-Jun-08 20:19
Lloyd Causey
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
This instruction is often included in weekend regattas where junior classes and adult classes use the same SIs for the weekend.

Several people have opined that it can be an way to insure that the idea to file a protest came from the junior sailor and not his coach or parent.

I think that applies to all sailors. It makes sure the sailor wants to protest, not someone else. I have heard quite a few protests that came after an hour of adult beverages for the sailor and friends.

I personally have no special care one way or the other. As CJ I would not ask the PRO to include it, nor would I request that it be removed. I don't want to install my vision in the SIs, just enforce them. If there are real errors I ask these be corrected.
Created: 18-Jun-08 21:59
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Mike Vining

said
I am the PRO in charge of a set of SI's at a major regional regatta where there will be 200+ yachts during the course of the event. We have an esteemed group of certified judges and JIT's on hand to handle any of the expected protests in a timely manner. Upon reviewing the draft SI's, the Chief Judge asked me to include in the SI's a requirement for a competitor to report to the RC the intent to protest. Something like:
  1. A boat intending to protest or request redress based on an incident in the racing area that she is involved in or sees shall, at the first reasonable opportunity after she finished, inform the race committee at the finishing line of her intent to protest or request redress and, when applicable, the identity of the protestee.
What was your opinion of the USSailing expedited hearing prescription?
What is your opinion of the use of this SI?


I agree with the discussion of the proposed SI in the posts above. It's onerous on competitors and the race committee alike, for, probably little benefit.

I note that the proposed SI is the exact text of rule T3 of the US Sailing (2013) Prescriptions for Expedited Hearings.

As I understand it, 2013 rule T3, combined with 2013 rule T4.1 enabled protest hearings to be held on the water, without the requirement for a written protest.

If it is intended to conduct expedited hearings on the water, then the proposed SI is necessary, in the absence of a written protest, to trigger the protest committee 'assembling the parties'. If it is not intended to conduct expedited hearings on the water, I can see no need for the SI (except the 'ensuring that the protest is the competitor's own idea, and not their coach's or parent's)

I can easily see why the dispensation with written protest and arbitrary limitations on number of witnesses and time for the parties in 2013 Rule T4.3 would not have found favour with the WS Racing Rules Committee in drafting the 2017 RRS Appendix T, I suspect that the Expedited Hearing procedure wasn't all that frequently used.

I don't agree that the 2013 Expedited Hearing process was needed by 'Non professional/expert competitors'. Timely written protests, and hail and flag validity requirements are far from onerous, and provide a well established, orderly process. Abridging those requirements, I would suggest, would favour experienced, 'professional' parties, who would be better able to exploit the relaxations in the 2013 Expedited Hearing procedure.

It seems to me that the current Appendix T provisions, with independent post race penalties and Arbitration are commendably brief and simple, and should effectively minimise time and delay in the protest process.
Created: 18-Jun-08 23:55
Paul Hanly
Nationality: Australia
0
You talked about 200+ yachts. Are they required to fly a red flag? If so the finishers and any RC officer on the finishing boat/position already know of the intention to protest.
Most regattas can have Protest Committee panel members on site so should never need this provision.
Why ought junior sailors be denied having the opportunity to discuss a proposed protest with others/adults when senior sailors nearly always get this opportunity? It is through discussion with coaches (and often with parents if they are experienced and knowledgeable sailors) that juniors develop their knowledge of the rules and processes and get the substantive matters before a Protest Committee.
To me this is an example of a process that will stifle protests involving substantive rules. Enforcement of the RRS is a fundamental part of the sport and ought not be inhibited for the possible convenience of PC members. The answer is to have a panel of potential protest committee members big enough that there is always someone good enough on site if the protests need to be decided then and there. The panel can be formed before the event starts and members for particular protests selected from other divisions or on other criteria to limit conflicts of interest.
Created: 18-Jun-09 03:13
Graham Louth
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
@Paul - Junior competitors are not denied the opportunity to discuss a proposed protest with others/adults ashore before they submit (or not) their written protest; notification of the RC does not require a competitor to submit a written protest if they subsequently decide that they don't want to.

Provided that the requirement is regularly and consistently applied, as it is in many junior classes in the UK, the sailors soon get to learn that it is what they have to do (to the point where they do it automatically even at events that don't require it).
Created: 18-Jun-09 09:24
Rob Overton
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • International Umpire
1
Mike,

I have two comments:

As you say, there are circumstances when the RC notification requirement makes sense. Two of these are: (1) when, at a small event, a protest committee has been retained but, due to a low probability of protests, is not onsite. The notification requirement allows the PRO to call the PC chairman and tell him there is a need for the PC to assemble. In the contrary case, it allows the PRO to call the PC chairman after all racing is done and tell him he can have a drink. (2) In some coached events, the organizers may not want the competitors to talk to their coaches before filing the protest. If that is the case, it is helpful to require the competitors to make a decision on the water rather than after they have come ashore and talked with their coaches. This is why the Intercollegiate and Interscholastic Sailing Associations incorporate that provision in their Procedural Rules. In my opinion, in a high-level event with lots of boats, it is counterproductive to have such a requirement. Not only is it perceived as an artificial barrier to protesting, as you point out, but it requires boats to return to the RC finish boat to notify the RC about protests, just when other boats are finishing and, possibly, rounding the finish boat to clear the line. And what purpose does it serve? Presumably, there's a protest committee waiting ashore. They'll know soon enough whether there are protests.

In answer to your question about why the provision in Appendix T (now V) for expedited hearings was eliminated, here's the answer: Section C of that appendix, titled Expedited Hearings, lasted just four years, from 2013 through 2016. In 2015, I constructed, and US Sailing conducted, a fairly extensive survey of all US Race Administration Officials (Judges, Race Managers, etc.) and a number of sailors about their experiences with and opinions about the various parts of Appendix T. A little to my surprise, Section C received very little support even from those who had used that procedure. Some people were very critical of the process, feeling that it undermined a boat's opportunity to defend herself against a protest, and as I recall, literally nobody supported it strongly. So we dropped that section.

Note, however, that a provision to notify the RC at the finish was in rule T3 of Section C. The idea of Section C was to get protest hearings going as soon as possible -- on the water between races if there were judges available for that, or on the dock when competitors returned for the day. To facilitate that, the PC had to know that the protest existed, so we required protestors to notify the RC at the finish. I guess that's a third reason to have that provision, in addition to (1) and (2) above!
Created: 18-Jun-09 14:04
Mike Vining
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Rob,

Thanks for the second answer to my two part question.

I recall the survey. At the Club level, we had implemented all portions of the old appendix T and I responded. I'm surprised to hear about the negative response to expedited T4.3 hearings. For perspective, I see the series I’m referencing as better than beer can, but below any national championship. Our experience was positive. Think of it this way, there are ten boat on boat rules, and all of the other rules are something else. So to some competitors, just technicalities. We all know that the average racer has difficulty understanding the ten boat on boat rules, so the rest of the rules are even less understood. Then when a hearing is not conducted between two competitors who agree there was an incident because it was deemed “not valid;” the competitors generally don’t understand and are upset. What I hear later is; “The Judges wouldn’t hear my protest.” That’s all that’s understood. Every competitor is protected because both competitors have to agree to expedited hearings. (Honestly, I counselled anyone who asked me to NOT agree to an expedited hearing.) But for the average competitor, it works.

As an additional comment, we also tried to implement on water/dock arbitration/hearings. It wasn’t workable at our Club series because we had to have someone always available to conduct the hearings for maybe three hearings in a thirty race series.

All of that said. I think this changes for a regional or national or world championship. I expect any competitor at that level has a working knowledge of all the rules. And arbitration works in a litigious fleet at big regattas. But those events aren’t average events either.

I thought the expedited hearing provision was a tool in the toolbox that had it’s place. It wasn’t good everywhere. But for some events and competitors it was just the right tool. Though based on your survey, I guess other didn’t agree.

Created: 18-Jun-09 16:16
Philip Hubbell
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • Judge In Training
-1
An advantage for the PRO, the competitors, and supporters ashore is that the results of a race without a protest notification can be posted immediately.
Created: 18-Jun-09 17:57
Matt Bounds
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • National Race Officer
0
The results would be posted regardless. With on-line scoring, I've had competitors checking scores between races on a multi-race day.

Results can always be posted with the notation, "Pending protests."
Created: 18-Jun-09 18:23
Michael Butterfield
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • International Umpire
  • International Race Officer
0
I do not like saying to competitors I cannot hear your protest and try to remove these.
is it valid, if you do not report is this not an si breach only?
an addition is a rule change so unless the rule changed is specified this cannot add a validity requirement.
Mike b
Created: 18-Jun-11 08:08
Bill Handley
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • National Judge
0
Mike B is quite right. Rule 85.1 states that and addition to a rule is a change and that any change must specifically refer to the rule being changed to be valid. This clause clearly adds to rule 61 by creating and additional requirement. The clause as written makes no mention of changing a rule and therefore is invalid and can be ignored.

That having been said I think it is bad practice to rely on the fact that the RC has got their documentation wrong to allow the PC to ignore their intentions if they disagree with them. For better or worse the issue should be addressed with the RC before the event and if they are adamant that they want this in the the PC should advise on the correct wording to do this.
Created: 18-Jun-11 10:04
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Fleet Measurer
0

Bill said ...

That having been said I think it is bad practice to rely on the fact that the RC has got their documentation wrong to allow the PC to ignore their intentions if they disagree with them.

I don't know if it would be "ignoring their intentions", but on the flip-side to enforce such a rule by disallowing an otherwise legitimate protest would be tough to defend IMO, especially if the protesting boat challenges the rule-change based upon an improper rule change.

Just poking the skunk here for the purpose of discussion ...

It has often been said by many on this forum, that it's not our place as Judges to consider how we wish the rules were stated, but rather to apply them as written. Do we want to have a double standard where PC's provide broader latitude to RC's to abiding to the rules than to competitors? It has echos of the thread I started recently about how to challenge an illegal rule in an SI.

I know many here believe (and have declared) that consistent and square application of the rules helps to educate those involved to better understand the rules.

Maybe that same attitude is just as good for the goose (competitors) and is it for the gander (the RC's)? ... and that a PC squarely applying the RRS and tossing the rule due to its improper declaration would be a good lesson learned (if not caught prior to the race)?

Ang

Created: 18-Jun-11 19:20
Bill Handley
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • National Judge
0
Ang - you appear to have misunderstood what I was saying. If the SI is invalid it shouldn't be applied and if it is valid it should be applied - end of story, no double standards

What I am saying is bad practice is for a PC to disagree with the intention of and SI but to say nothing because they notice that the instruction is invalid and therefore they will have had it effectively removed by stealth. This leads to a loss of confidence and trust between the RC and the PC. Better to highlight why the instruction is invalid and what needs to be done to make it valid while arguing that it should be removed.
Created: 18-Jun-11 20:55
Lloyd Causey
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Maybe I am missing something but I have always thought it was the RC (with PRO) duty to write the SIs to shape their event as described in the NOR. We in SE USA generally have great cooperation between the RC and judges to reach a common goal. It is very usual for the PRO to ask judges to review the SIs and make suggestions (which are usually minor). I just cannot see me trying to be the driving force with which rules the PRO wants to modify, add to or change as long as it is legal.

Having said that, I often judge events where the PRO does make it mandatory to notify the finish RC boat of intent to protest. I go with what they want. I do not think this is a burden on the RC or competitor.

However if Mike does not wish to do this then he should not do it. It is his call. He can shape his event to his idea as long as the SIs are within allowed changes detailed in RRS.

Laissez le bon temps rouler!
Created: 18-Jun-11 21:53
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Bill, yea I must have misinterpreted what you were saying there.

Ang
Created: 18-Jun-11 22:34
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Bill Handley
said

Mike B is quite right. Rule 85.1 states that and addition to a rule is a change and that any change must specifically refer to the rule being changed to be valid. This clause clearly adds to rule 61 by creating and additional requirement. The clause as written makes no mention of changing a rule and therefore is invalid and can be ignored.


I don't agree that the SI shown in the OP 'clearly adds to rule 61' at all.

As Mike Butterfield says, a boat [that later demonstrates by hail and flag on the water and delivering a written protest] that she had an intent to protest, breaks the SI. The the words of the SI do not express any intent to interact with rule 61.

My construction is that the SI does NOT affect rule 61 and 63.5 validity requirements, but, if anybody wished, they could protest the boat for a breach of that SI, which would be an incident on its own, and subject to a separate hearing.

I would point out, as I and Rob Overton have discussed earlier, the wording of this SI is a cut and paste from an outdated US Sailing Prescription, which enabled dispensation with validity, so in its original context, there wasn't a problem.
Created: 18-Jun-11 23:21
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Bill Handley
said

What I am saying is bad practice is for a PC to disagree with the intention of and SI but to say nothing because they notice that the instruction is invalid and therefore they will have had it effectively removed by stealth. This leads to a loss of confidence and trust between the RC and the PC. Better to highlight why the instruction is invalid and what needs to be done to make it valid while arguing that it should be removed.


Lloyd Causey
said

Maybe I am missing something but I have always thought it was the RC (with PRO) duty to write the SIs to shape their event as described in the NOR. We in SE USA generally have great cooperation between the RC and judges to reach a common goal. It is very usual for the PRO to ask judges to review the SIs and make suggestions (which are usually minor). I just cannot see me trying to be the driving force with which rules the PRO wants to modify, add to or change as long as it is legal.

I agree with Bill that in an ideal world problems with NOR and SI should be ironed out by consultation between judges and the OA/RC in plenty of time.

Regrettably, thorough and critical review of draft NOR and SI by experienced judges often doesn't happen (and some judges aren't very skilled at document review). It's also a regrettable fact that some OA/RC don't welcome review of their race documents. What then happens is that judges are confronted with published SI that have problems. All too frequently, these problems affect protest procedures, which are a significant concern to judges..

Judges then, at the beginning of the event, have to make some choices, given that a wholesale rewrite of the SI proabably isn't an option. Judges can then, relying on their evaluation and experience:
  • for good ideas that are poorly or invalidly expressed: recommend amendments to the race committee;
  • for bad ideas, whether validly or invalidly expressed, recommend to the race committee that they be deleted or amended
    • if they affect protests and the protest committee, the judges should push strongly for changes; ortherwise
    • for matters not directly affecting protests and the protest committee, the judges might not argue too stronly.
  • some ideas are neither good, nor bad, but may be poorly expressed: depending on time available and relationships, these may be discussed with the race committee, with more or less force, depending on the likely effects on race results of a protest committee finding invalidity or ambiguity..
I agree with Bill's idea that it isn't right for judges to identify an invalid SI, so that they know that if a protest involving it comes up, they won't apply it and do nothing, but for some trivial matters, it may be convenient to just let the matter ride. For example, if there is a SI saying that 'Protests shall be written on a protest form' without expressly changing rule 61.2, then I really couldn't be bothered arguing with the RC: if a protest turns up written on something other than a protest form, then I'll apply rule 61.2 and treat the SI as invalid. Bear in mind that for every fault the protest committee identifies in the SI, there are probably an equal number of faults that they too fail to detect.
Created: 18-Jun-12 00:05
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Fleet Measurer
0
John,

For example, if there is a SI saying that 'Protests shall be written on a protest form' without expressly changing rule 61.2, then I really couldn't be bothered arguing with the RC: if a protest turns up written on something other than a protest form, then I'll apply rule 61.2 and treat the SI as invalid.

If pressed, how do you think that would stand up to an appeal?

The reason I ask (and in the spirit of our current discussion regarding installing additional barriers to protest filing) is that as we explored in a previous thread, the minimum info required in a valid protest filing as detailed in the RRS is seemingly unworkably minimal (see previous thread https://www.racingrulesofsailing.org/posts/81-exploring-the-absolute-bare-minimum-protest-filing)..

Has anyone seen an appeal where an improperly defined SI-change, which increases the requirements to file a protest, was overturned and disallowed?

Ang

Created: 18-Jun-12 05:12
Michael Butterfield
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • International Umpire
  • International Race Officer
0
If you want this si consider it not a matter of validity. Make id a fixed or discretionary penalty protestanle by rc\ pc

then apply sense like the saw y 5 points for not signing on

mike b
Created: 18-Jun-12 05:51
Paul Hanly
Nationality: Australia
0
Irrespective of the origins of this SI in the original post, it changes what is required under the rules and is therefore a change to the burden of the protesting competitor. I would disallow it unless it is amended to show clearly that is an addition to the rules. I would find a protest otherwise complying valid and proceed to hear it. If the protestee loses they can appeal. Sailing instructions at club level sometimes have additional requirements like this, and sometimes they are in direct conflict with the RRS as well. Any requirement not in the RRS that prevents or changes the validity or otherwise outcome of a protest is a change in the rules in my view. The RC can do it properly. Anyone can bring a possible fault in the SI's to the attention of the RC and they typically can amend them and post a notice. The RC has to do things as properly as any competitor who is expected to display a red flag within 10, 20 or 30 seconds. Surely the objective is to have competirors obey and enforce the rules, particularly boat on boat rules that have safety implications.
Created: 18-Jun-12 06:35
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Angelo Guarino
said

For example, if there is a SI saying that 'Protests shall be written on a protest form' without expressly changing rule 61.2, then I really couldn't be bothered arguing with the RC: if a protest turns up written on something other than a protest form, then I'll apply rule 61.2 and treat the SI as invalid.

If pressed, how do you think that would stand up to an appeal?

The reason I ask (and in the spirit of our current discussion regarding installing additional barriers to protest filing) is that as we explored in a previous thread, the minimum info required in a valid protest filing as detailed in the RRS is seemingly unworkably minimal (see previous thread https://www.racingrulesofsailing.org/posts/81-exploring-the-absolute-bare-minimum-protest-filing)..

Has anyone seen an appeal where an improperly defined SI-change, which increases the requirements to file a protest, was overturned and disallowed?

I'm going to be pretty disappointed if a protest decision that I've participated in gets reversed on appeal because I did not implement a SI that invalidly purported to change rule 61 or 63.5.

Hopefully, I will have followed my normal practice at the beginning of the hearing of at least asking the parties 'Does anyone have any problem with validity?', and then either got no objections and proceeded or taken evidence and argument and formally decided on validity (and written this up in the written decision)

So, when I get the chance to put the protest committee's side of the Appeal in accordance with rule R4.1, I can tell the Appeal Committee:

  • that the SI did not validly amend rules 61 and 63.5 and
  • that no party contested validity in the hearing, or validity was considered, decided and documented by the protest committee.
I've thought about your issue with the bare minimum under rule 61.2. I agree that if the protesting boat doesn't identify the protestee, this puts the process into an endless loop until and unless the protesting boat comes up with the identify of the protestee. I think the function of the provision is to allow a protesting boat that is pressed to get their protest in within the protest time limit to comply with the protest time limit (so she doesn't have to fight that issue in the hearing), then spend some time identifying the protestee and other details. I've had experience with a boat, coming to the protest desk, unable, at that time to clearly identify the protestee: we assisted her by providing the List of Entries and the Entry Forms with boat and sail colours and descriptions. If with all the help that can be given, the protesting boat still cannot identify a protestee, the protest committee could schedule a hearing and decide the protest was invalid, in order to get it off the books:

I certainly haven't seen any appeal overturning a decision that a SI was invalid.

Here is one handy appeal about validity, which is useful because it discusses the difference between hailing and hearing and displaying and seeing.

http://www.sailing.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/YNSW-151110-Psaltis-Appeal-Decision-FINAL.pdf
Created: 18-Jun-12 07:47
Bill Handley
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • National Judge
0
The question has been raised of Appeal Cases that support this -

WS case 121 - Q1 makes it clear that the rule being changed has to be referred to in the SI and Q2 states that a change can not be made without following this procedure.

RYA Cases 1997/2 and 1998/2 both deal with situations where decisions were overturned because SIs purporting to change the rules were invalid as they were not made correctly.

Finally my statement that the proposed SI is clearly an addition to rule 61 has been questioned. Rule 61 is headed Requirements of Protest and then goes on to list all the things that are required of a protestor for a protest to be valid. This SI requires the protestor to do something more - I can't see how anything could more clearly be an addition to the rule and therefore a change under rule 85.1
Created: 18-Jun-12 08:36
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Mike Vining
said

Think of it this way, there are ten boat on boat rules, and all of the other rules are something else. So to some competitors, just technicalities.

We all know that the average racer has difficulty understanding the ten boat on boat rules, so the rest of the rules are even less understood.

Then when a hearing is not conducted between two competitors who agree there was an incident because it was deemed “not valid;” the competitors generally don’t understand and are upset. What I hear later is; “The Judges wouldn’t hear my protest.” That’s all that’s understood

I just can't let this go past.

First, there are literally millions of boat on boat interactions every week, in which competitors demonstrate a generally effective understanding of the When Boats Meet rules.

Second, my experience in protest hearings and on the water,is that the vast majority of incidents that result in protests are the result of misjudgments of time and space or mistakes in boat-handling. Out of the remainder, a large proportion of claimed 'misunderstanding' of the rules bear the hallmarks of post hoc rationalisation, rather than genuine misunderstanding.

The RRS, generally, and including the protest validity rules are written in plain language and are relatively straightforward.

I would suggest that a competitor's complaint that 'The Judges wouldn’t hear my protest' implying that this was somehow un-understandable, as noted above, is likely more of a self-excuse for failure to comply with the validity requirements, than a genuine complaint that the requirements were difficult to understand.

IF competitors won't read the rules, then I can have little sympathy for them, and I can't see it as a good reason to dumb down the game, which includes all the rules.

Mike Vining
said

All of that said. I think this changes for a regional or national or world championship. I expect any competitor at that level has a working knowledge of all the rules.

I would suggest that any relaxation of the rules to accommodate 'not understanding' should cease immediately you get above internal club level races: once you get outside your own club, competitors have a right to expect all the rules to be properly in play. For those that are inexperienced, that is their chance to learn by experience, before they get to regional and championship events.

And arbitration works in a litigious fleet at big regattas. But those events aren’t average events either.

I have no idea what you mean by 'litigious fleet'. Arbitration works at any level. The purposes of Arbitration is to assist competitors to clarify whether they have broken a rule, and provide an incentive to take a penalty less than disqualification AND to reduce time and delays spent in formal protest hearings.

Even if you can't implement Arbitration immediately off the water, Arbitration at the door of the Protest Room can save considerable time spent in the protest room.

The combination of Arbitration and unrestricted Post Race Penalties provided in RRS Appendix T is highly applicable at club level.

I thought the expedited hearing provision was a tool in the toolbox that had it’s place. It wasn’t good everywhere. But for some events and competitors it was just the right tool. Though based on your survey, I guess other didn’t agree.

RRS Appendix T is much simpler and achieves the same effect.

Created: 18-Jun-12 23:43
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