Forum: Event Management System

What Information Should be Gathered on a Protest Form

Paul Zupan
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • International Judge
I'm wondering if we aren't over complicating the filing of protests by using in the pre-printed protest forms. RRS requires only that the protestor identify in writing the (a) protestor and protestee, (b) the incident, (c) where and when, (d) any rule the protestor thinks was broken, and (e) who will represent the protestor. But we have forms that request much more information. For example, some forms now have a litany of check boxes for the type of hearing. Does it matter? And should the form include anything about how the protestee was notified? Does that information have any real meaning prior to a hearing? And what about the diagram? Does anyone find it useful at all? And perhaps asking the competitor to "describe the incident" is incorrect. Perhaps it should more accurately be "identify the incident." Wouldn't a very simple form (much like a scoring inquiry) be more accommodating to competitors especially since RRS 61.2 now allows for amending all information except the "the incident" before or during a hearing?

And the follow-on question, what should be on the form that is currently not? Shouldn't we ask if there is damage or injury?
Created: 18-Sep-14 17:26

Comments

Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Paul, I think so.

I know that the answer from many Judges is that if competitors would just read the RRS they would know, but I think that form itself leads one to believe that all that info is required.

I'm remembering my post from almost 1 year ago where I explored that question .. https://www.racingrulesofsailing.org/posts/81-exploring-the-absolute-bare-minimum-protest-filing

Maybe one idea would be .. if a form is perfered to have .. is to have it organized by when the info is required .. in other words:

Section #1: Information required within protest time-limit (minimum info to file)
Section #2: Information required before hearing
Section #3: Information required before or during hearing (optional prior to hearing).

My list from my previous post ..

In summary .. a filing must at least include:
a) the protestor and protestee; (before hearing)
b) the incident;
c) where and when the incident occurred; (before or during hearing)
d) any rule the protestor believes was broken; and (before or during hearing)
e) the name of the protestor's representative.(before or during hearing)


Ang
Created: 18-Sep-14 17:50
Paul Zupan
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • International Judge
0
Ang, I guess the gist of my question is whether or not other judges think we're just plain asking for too much in the form. Perhaps we should think of it in terms of 1. what is required by the rules, and 2. what assists the jury in getting to a hearing (or arbitration).

The rules require a protest be delivered to the race office RRS , so
1. A writing meeting the requirement of RRS must be created (either on paper or electronically). That means the writing must identify the incident. That's it.
2. The rules require that the writing identify the parties prior to a hearing, not at the time of delivery.
3. Everything else can be identified during the hearing.

That means that if a competitor produces a writing identifying an incident, it is sufficient to meet the requirements of a protest (regardless of whether or not it is timely). I think that is the place we start. Then decide what the jury needs to organize a hearing and/or arbitration (plus what the rules require before a hearing).
Created: 18-Sep-14 18:11
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Paul, I'm with'ya 100%. Thinking there will still be the desire for a form though, I was saying that the new form design could actually be created to communicate and teach (instead of obfuscate and distract) what the min info is.

I'm thinking the top box on the form is "Description of Incident" .. and it's designed such that it is really offset from the rest of the form. "Required at time of filing" is prominent in the design of this section. Maybe also a note .. "this min info can be sent electronically if SI's allow"

We're all used to filling out forms online with minimum info .. they have red asterisks * next to them. Why reinvent the wheel maybe and use behavior we are already trained into?

Over time, competitors will see the form, the "incident box", the reminder that electronic is ok ..
Created: 18-Sep-14 18:23
Lloyd Causey
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Since the rules do NOT require the use of this form for a protest, only that it is in writing, why couldn't Paul and/or Angelo devise a simple form to quickly acquire the needed data and use that in substitution of the current form?

Is that forbidden?
Created: 18-Sep-14 18:42
Michael Butterfield
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • International Umpire
  • International Race Officer
0
the current forms are not perfect but do assist in giving you a stear on validity and what hasppened.
from the information if you have a lot of protests you can decide how to schedule them and what may be appropriatrd for the pc resources you have.
for a single protest a simple form may work.
stick with asking more, it concentrates the mind of the protestor, and helps you if they change their story having later seen the rule book.
Created: 18-Sep-14 20:33
Paul Zupan
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • International Judge
2
The reason I raise this issue as we're building the mobile app for RacingRulesOfSailing and rethinking how competitors submit protests. Tell me what you think of this prototype:
Created: 18-Sep-14 21:02
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
  • Fleet Measurer
0
So Paul, I think I'd go back to my Section #1-Section#3 comment. Maybe putting Description of Incident 1st .. and make your "send" button active as soon as something is entered in there.
Or maybe actually section-off the interface in expandable drop-down sections (if part of what we're trying to do is train them about what info is required by when at the same time)

Section #1: Info required within protest time-limit (minimum info to file)
Section #2: Info required before hearing
Section #3: Info required before or during hearing (optional prior to hearing).



Other than that .. it's looking good.
Created: 18-Sep-14 22:17
Michael Butterfield
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • International Umpire
  • International Race Officer
0
Most here, but just having boat protested may miss the party complained of for redress so this is on present form may need mentioning.
Created: 18-Sep-17 10:58
Dusan Vanicky
Nationality: Slovakia
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • National Umpire
  • National Race Officer
0
I use protest form also at arbitration and for windsurfing events. Initial questions in arbitration (I make a note about them in a supplemment to protest form ) are : 1. Damage 2. Injury. 3. Capsize (APP B5.62 ) 4. COntact 5. Any penalties taken.( on the water, or post race, ) or RET.
At the end of the arbitration I use the form for 1. Withdrawal request and approval, 2. Post race penalty (-ies) acknowledgement. 3. message to the scorer.
Created: 18-Sep-18 08:36
Lloyd Causey
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Well this appears to be a different topic. Since the RRS define what must be supplied when, I think it cannot be changed materially just by changing the media.

I liked the current form because it gives a lot of information at a glance. In about 15-20 seconds a judge can look at the boats involved location, read the description and look at the drawing and have a good idea what the hearing will likely entail.

I also like the diagram even though most are inaccurate, it forces the protester to better define the description and diagram in their mind and we get a better picture presented.

Time marches on and I guess it is a good time to integrate the protest form electronically to get to a point where things are speedy and online for viewing. I don't have as many suggestions on what should be mandatory and when as I do about the format. I think that the data of the protest should be available in small format (smart Phone) and large format (laptop or tablet). I have no issue with the protest being filed on a cell phone and the protesting party to follow future updates on his smart phone.

However I do not think it would be good to present it to the judges where it is necessary to constantly scroll back and forth to get an overall picture of the protest. I think the format that is stored should look somewhat like the current Protest Form but minimized to pertinent data. Item 2 should only show what is selected once that selection is made. Things like that.

However I like Diagrams and we should have them. Since it is likely the data will come from smart phone, I would like the ability to display the incident using protest boats and then snap a shot on smart phone and incorporate that into the final Protest Form. This should be available to filer and judge conducting hearing.

When updating the protest with information from parties to the hearing the Judges could do this on their tablet/laptop and the parties could follow on a tablet/laptop or smart phone. Details of the login would regulate what each party was able to see and when it became visible on their device.

When entering facts found and conclusions it could have an integrated spell checker format check as well.

When the protest was resolved it could be posted to the scored and if wished to a posting board monitor.

In order to make the as quick as possible a method for the PC Secretary to screen the filings and ask if the do not wish to provide missing information at the time of filing. The submission would go there first and would not be accepted until the filer answered PC Secretary's inquiries. When it was accepted it would be stamped with filing # and date/time.

Please consider my ideas. Make it easier not otherwise.

Created: 18-Sep-18 14:10
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
  • Fleet Measurer
0
LLoyd and Michael B ..

Part of what I was getting at was to some extent an academic exercise to explore possible alternative layouts/formats for the Protest Form with a competitor-centric POV .. but also with an eye toward communicating and prioritizing what is required and when (reinforcing the RRS's described requirements).

Both of you have made great points about how the current form really helps the PC process & organize the protests and how that helps everything run smoothly. In a sense, when you make those points, you are also making mine to a some extent .. in that the current form is designed, and the information is organized, with the PC-centric POV.

In a way, the Protest form is a "user-interface" into the Protest-system. A common goal in designing user interfaces is to clearly prioritize what is most important and if possible make the interface "self-training" in that it teaches one to use the system as they interface with it.

If you step back and look at the current Protest form and ask yourself .. "What is this form telling us is the most important?" .. . "What do we see indicating priority?"

Well, the first thing we see are items numbered #1-#7. Without any other indicators, one could logically assume that the form is organized in the order it should be filled, with the most important information at #1 .. going down the line to #7. There are no indicators what-so-ever showing that some information is optional at the time of filing (which nearly all of it is).

Based upon the RRS, the "Description of Incident" is the most critical, but it is relegated to the bottom of the form and given equal numeric and visual weight to the "drawing area", which is not required at all by the RRS. None of the information in #5 is required prior to the hearing, but there is nothing indicating that it is optional info at time of filing. The information in #6 is not required at all by the RRS's.

So, in the end, what I'm suggesting is that it might be interesting to see what a Protest form might look like if it only took into consideration the racer's needs and not the PC's. I am not suggesting that the resulting form would be usable in practice, but that there might be design elements and ideas that might influence and inform future form redesigns.

Ang
Created: 18-Sep-18 18:31
John Mooney
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Umpire
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Paul, I would respectfully submit that though it provides room for much more than is required for a protest to meet the requirements to be accepted, the form as it is printed (both US Sailing and WS versions) serves both sailors and PC/Jury, in that it encourages the provision of information that makes the PC's decision easier and faster, and provides a "checklist" of detail that will be useful in adequately describing the incident. I believe the sailors are served by being prompted to tell a more complete story, and the PC is served by having that more complete story to consider. Not everyone uses it, and fewer use it properly, but I think it does "train" those who are paying attention to what detail a PC is likely to find it necessary to elicit before considering its decision (it's noteworthy that what serves the PC in this instance also serves the sailors, in that a more completely told story allows the PC to move faster in its consideration of the case).

It's true that PCs are bound to consider protests that include only the most basic details included in 61.2, but I believe there is no disservice to the competitors in making a more detailed submission possible or encouraging completeness. I don't have the skills to evaluate where the tradeoff is between providing such encouragement and writing a lean piece of code for the app, but if it's feasible, I'd encourage including as many opportunities to provide detail as possible, in "storytelling order", regardless of requirement. Indeed, I wonder if some agreement might be made with the guy who wrote "Boat Scenario" to include a diagram-building section for the app. I also think prompts for information that is virtually always useful might be helpful (for example, wind strength and sea state boxes to fill, boat sizes and speeds, contact / no contact (how close?), and so forth).

If it's workable to make it do so, it might be very interesting to have the form automatically populate the "facts found" section of the "back" of the form with the details provided, to provide the scribe with a starting point in including those facts the PC deems germane (he/she could go through the "facts" so provided and eliminate those not deemed useful or relevant from the list, change those the PC found to be wrong, and add such others as the PC decides are relevant facts). If the deal could be struck with the "Boat Scenario" guy, the PC could also either accept the diagram provided or create another, better version, at need. Such a facility in the app might not only speed the process of writing up a decided protest, but also reduce the incidence of PCs failing to provide sufficient facts to support conclusions and a decision.
Created: 18-Sep-25 13:39
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0

I apologise for coming late to this discussion.

I'm wondering if we aren't over complicating the filing of protests by using in the pre-printed protest forms.

While I applaud the minimisation of formal requirements for validity of a written protest, and I think that the Protest Form merits the attention of somebody who knows how to design a form, I think that at least Page 1 of the form is very useful. I certainly agree that on Page 2, the Facts Found, Conclusions and Rules that apply are totally inadequate in space and well-designed computer applications for completing the protest committee’s part are much better.

The protest process is (or should be) a process of collaboration between the parties and the protest committee to determine the facts relevant to a protest and correctly apply the rules to those facts so as to decide which boats broke which rules and what penalties if any are appropriate.

The Protest Form serves to assist the protesting boat:

  • in collecting and ordering information relevant to the protest;
  • specifying and describing ‘the incident’ which is subject of the protest
  • at least attempting to identify the rules considered relevant

Note that modern courts of law (at least in the British Commonwealth) often require parties to litigation to submit outlines or skeleton arguments to assist the parties in structuring, and the tribunal in following the structure of the cases presented. The Protest Form serves this purpose (among others).

It is understood that a protest hearing does not impose rules of strict pleading, and parties are allowed to present facts and arguments that may be different from those stated on the Protest Form, and, indeed, that protest committees will generally prefer evidence and argument presented in the hearing to what is written in the Protest Form, nevertheless, the Protest Form is a good starting point.

The Protest form, when given to the protestee, also serves to provide the ‘protest or redress information’ that is necessary to allow them to prepare for the hearing in accordance with rule 63.2.

RRS 61.2 requires only that the protestor identify in writing the (a) protestor and protestee, (b) the incident, (c) where and when, (d) any rule the protestor thinks was broken, and (e) who will represent the protestor.

But we have forms that request much more information. For example, some forms now have a litany of check boxes for the type of hearing. Does it matter?

Yes.

Requests for Redress:

  • have different validity requirements to Protests,
  • cannot transform into protests, or be used to base Protest Committee Protests

Indication of a boat’s desire for redress is helpful where some factor, such as injury or serious damage may be overlooked in the protest hearing protest.

  • A protest committee must hear a request for redress.
  • A protest committee may, but is under no obligation to consider redress for a party to a protest.

Whether the protesting boat completes all the Type of Hearing boxes correctly or not, SOMEBODY (Jury Secretary, Protest Chair, ?) needs to do it before the hearing(s) begin.

And should the form include anything about how the protestee was notified?

Yes.

It serves:

  • to draw the protesting boat’s attention to the requirements for validity (and with any luck will encourage them not to submit invalid protests)
  • If it recites the appropriate ritual incantation: By Hailing: YES, When: IMMEDIATELY, Words Used: PROTEST, By displaying a red flag: YES, it enables the protest committee to deal expeditiously with validity by saying “The protest form indicates that the protestee was appropriately informed of the intention to protests. Are there any problems with validity?” Otherwise, absence of affirmatino of the requirements indicates to the protest committee that they should take evidence as to validity.

Does that information have any real meaning prior to a hearing?

Yes, if not prior to the hearing, at least in the preliminary stages of the hearing.

And what about the diagram? Does anyone find it useful at all?

Yes. Absolutely. A picture is worth a thousand words.

Competitors are even worse than judges in writing clear, concise textual descriptions of incidents. Diagrams accompanied by text are complementary.

And perhaps asking the competitor to "describe the incident" is incorrect. Perhaps it should more accurately be "identify the incident."

Strongly disagree.

We want the protesting boat to make her best effort (within the brevity of the space provided) to describe the incident.

If we just asked the protesting boat to ‘identify the incident’ smartypants competitors would be submitting extremely brief and uninformative ‘identifications’, which would absolutely invite disputes and Appeals about the sufficiency of ‘identification’.

The Rules alleged to have been broken, the Diagram, and the Description of Incident, taken together allow the protest committee to prepare for the hearing, identifying the essential elements of the rules that need to be investigated, and the facts that need to be determined.

This information is also critical to determining the suitability of the protest for arbitration and to enabling the coordination of scheduling of protests and requests for redress relating to the same incident.

In the absence of the discipline on the protesting boat in compiling this information, and the information being available to the protest committee in the preparatory stages

Wouldn't a very simple form (much like a scoring inquiry) be more accommodating to competitors

I would suggest that the criterion ‘more accommodating to competitors’ is not a good one.

The question should be, ‘What is best to facilitate the whole protest process’.

I submit that the present Protest Form is not onerous on competitors. 10 year old Opti kids can fill it out and win protests.

especially since RRS 61.2 now allows for amending all information except the "the incident" before or during a hearing?

I emphasise: the Protest Form serves other very useful purposes, other than merely meeting the requirements of rule 61.2. The Protest Form is not mandatory, but, if completed, is very useful for the purposes described above.

And the follow-on question, what should be on the form that is currently not? Shouldn't we ask if there is damage or injury?

There are a number of questions that I often put to both parties together at the opening of the hearing, expecting their ready agreement (these are particularly relevant in considering room, mark-room or reasonable possibility under rule 14, or rule 44):

  • Wind speed and direction?
  • Was current/tied a factor, if so what was the tide/current effect?
  • Was there contact?
  • Was there injury or damage? If so, was damage serious
  • Did either boat take a penalty?

I wouldn’t mind seeing these questions in the protest form: I think they might as well go on Page 1, for the protesting boat to respond to, but otherwise, on Page 2.

As to Page 2, there are various Step-by Step guides, Checklists etc floating around.

My preference would be to take Facts Found and Conclusions out of Page 2 and require them to be recorded on a separate sheet, then make Page 2 a complete, well-designed Checklist, with the Scorers Notification at the foot.

Created: 18-Oct-09 22:05
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