Forum: Rules 2 and 69

Submission to change the penalty in RRS 2.

Paul Zupan
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • International Judge
  • Regional Umpire
Scuttlebutt identified a submission from the Chair of the Race Officials Committee that seeks to change the penalty in RRS 2. The submission seeks to roll back the change made in 2017. Here is the proposed change:

FAIR SAILING
A boat and her owner shall compete in compliance with recognized principles of sportsmanship and fair play. A boat may be penalized under this rule only if it is clearly established that these principles have been violated. The penalty shall be either disqualification or a disqualification that is not excludable.

The reasons given for this change are:

1. The 2017-2020 rulebook introduced a simple disqualification as an additional option for a penalty for a breach of rule 2. This change implied that there are now two options for penalties: DSQ or DNE. This change has introduced confusion among judges as to the cases in which the two penalties should be applied. Such confusion has introduced inconsistency between protest committees, as the same breach is penalised differently across different events.

2. When the change was discussed before being approved, it was promised that a Case or Q&A would be made to clarify when the two penalties should be used. Unfortunately, that has not happened, and this leads to the inconsistency in the application of the rule stated above.

3. The International Judges Sub-committee has worked on guidelines for when the two penalties should be applied. During that, it turned out that a vast majority of judges would always give a DNE once it was decided that rule 2 was broken. Thus there is no practical need for the DSQ option. Fair sailing is a fundamental principle in our sport, and if a boat breaks the Fair Sailing rule, the penalty should always be a DNE, to clearly differentiate this breach from breaches of most other rules.

4. This submission removes the ambiguity by deleting the DSQ option.

What are your thoughts and experience with applying the penalty in RRS 2?
Created: 18-Oct-17 02:26

Comments

Ric Morris
Nationality: Ireland
0
In practice, this will lead to fewer Rule 2 findings.
Created: 18-Oct-17 05:07
Michael Butterfield
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • International Umpire
  • International Race Officer
0
i agree this change will lead to the rule sinking into lack of use. i thought the current options were a good thing. why only dne when fo misconduct you can have warning dsq or other.
if you want something to consider it is the submissions on removing redress.
Created: 18-Oct-17 08:08
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
  • Fleet Measurer
0
OK .. so how I read and paraphrase the submission, with the items put in a different order ...

#2: We added DSQ but we knew we'd have confusion between judges on when to apply DSQ/DNE, so we knew we would need a Q&A and we were promised we would get one.

We never got the Q&A to remove the confusion.

#1: We implemented the change and there was confusion between judges on when to apply DSQ/DNE.
#3: When we asked IJ's, they always applied the old rule (maybe because of confusion between judges on when to apply DSQ/DNE?)
#4: We should remove the rule so that we can remove the confusion between judges on when to apply DSQ/DNE.

So .. yea ... either get the Q&A that they knew we would need and they were promised or get rid of the DSQ.

PS: To Paul's question, I've only had a couple instances where RRS2 came up.

One was in the case of very obvious and serious damage from one boat to another, and the boat which was at fault and caused the damage did not retire (plus other details). That was RRS2, DNE.

The 2nd was where there was suspicion of false testimony. There, the bar was pretty high during the internal discussion and I think I can say that the fact that it would be DSQ or DNE didn't matter. IMO, it was more the case of if our suspicions warranted moving forward in any way and the stigma that RRS2 carries with it.

In other words, my sense is that it falls into #3 in the submission, that if it rises to the point that RRS 2 will be brought forward, we're in for a penny, we're in for a pound.
Created: 18-Oct-17 12:36
Ric Morris
Nationality: Ireland
0
The inconsistent application of DSQ vs DNE
The inconsistent finding of no R2 vs R2 with DNE

Same thing. The amendment doesn't fix the stated problem
Created: 18-Oct-17 12:43
Thorsten Doebbeler
Nationality: Germany
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • International Umpire
1
To me the question here is about the appropriate penalty of a rule 2 breach - which quickly leads to talking about rules philosophy.

If we have a look at our rules as a whole, the basic assumption still is that we, as sailors, compete in compliance with the rules.
This means we keep clear if we have to, give room when we need to - and if we break a rule, we do it by mistake and take an appropriate penalty, be it a turns penalty or a retirement.
Only if we do not agree about who made the mistake on the water or if we are not sure, we wil file a protest.
The penalty in the hearing will then be a DSQ, which is a pretty hard penalty already.
This penalty (and the whole protesting process) should only be needed if the situation was not resolved directly on the water by one sailor acknowleding his mistake and taking a penalty.

Following this picture, our rules seem to be built upon respect for one each other as well as for our sport, our rules and our environment.
Those would be key values when competing - we even defined them as our basic principles.
This is the core of what we call our 'self policing sport'.

Some more recent approaches and mechanisms, like post race penalties, allow us to avoid taking a penalty directly on the water without having to write off the race.
Hereby the philosophy laid out above is somewhat softened, but, we, as sailors, are still expected to act according to that philosophy.

Rule 2 is about breaking the recognized principles of sportsmanship and fair play - which are the fundaments of our sport and rules as described above.
Also, rule 2 says you shall only be penalized under this rule if the breach of said principles is clearly established.
In my mind, this is a pretty severe breach.

Now, if we assume that rules are broken by mistake and penalties are taken on the water, then the DSQ open to a protest hearing is already an increased penalty - but still a penalty for a rule broken by mistake.
If a rules breach is severe enough to violate our principles, the question is whether the penalty can be the same as for a mistake or whether we need to increase it again.

On the other hand, the question seems to be what is the threshold to clearly establish that recognized principles of sportsmanship and fair play have been violated.

To put it in shorter words, the key questions to me seem to be:

1. When is rule 2, the rule touching our very fundaments, broken?
2. Can the penalty for breaking rule 2 be the same penalty as for a rules breach by mistake?

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

Cheers
TTT
Created: 18-Oct-17 13:55
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Thorsten, I know we're just supposed to thumbs-up/down on posts, but I think your post is really,really good and right on-point.

If we have a look at our rules as a whole, the basic assumption still is that we, as sailors, compete in compliance with the rules.
This means we keep clear if we have to, give room when we need to - and if we break a rule, we do it by mistake and take an appropriate penalty, be it a turns penalty or a retirement.
Only if we do not agree about who made the mistake on the water or if we are not sure, we will file a protest.

Now, put that in context of some of the scenarios posted on this forum where there is contact between boats, and some respond .... 'let it go .. buy them a beer ... etc'.

So, like you said, we have a hard time protesting on the water, the stigma involved in that .. handle it at the bar. Likewise we have a hard-time finding RRS2 violations, the stigma involved in that .. so the DSQ might make it easier? In practice, I don't think so.

I don't think the limiting hurdle is the penalty DSQ or DNE. The hurdle is the stigma to the protestor of the accusation of unsportsmanlike conduct.

If racers shy away from protesting on-the-water fouls because they don't want to be "that guy" ... making a claim under RRS2 risks even more in social stigma and ramifications to the accuser. IMO DSQ or DNE is beside the point.

Ang
Created: 18-Oct-17 15:50
Lloyd Causey
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
This is almost as confusing as trying to penalize support boats, coaches and parents. At least rule 69 is a bit more straight forward.

It is both amusing and frustrating that almost 2 years into a rule cycle, we are still trying to sort out the 2017-2020 rules and how to apply them.

As far as rule 2 it was not so confusing. It is confusing when you try to give examples when DSQ or DNE should be the penalty when one never has all the variables with these made up examples. I think that I will not have any hard decision when one knows all the facts surrounding the incident. It is impossible to answer hypothetical because one never has all the facts.

There are decisions to be made in most hearings and all judges will never have the same minds and many time it is a matter of judgement.

If it reverts to only DNE as punishment there will be fewer sailors found guilty under rule 2.
Created: 18-Oct-17 16:10
Philip Hubbell
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • Judge In Training
0
Judges who have the ability to decide whether an action merits definition as unfair or unsportsmanlike surely have the ability to rank that action, in its context, as earning DSQ or DNE.
Created: 18-Oct-17 16:10
Paul Zupan
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • International Judge
  • Regional Umpire
0
I think the question of sportsmanship is much broader and more subjective than a Part 2 question and it is very unlikely the competitor will voluntarily take a penalty for it. When a penalty is applied, it will almost always be by the jury. And the violation can be a broad range of issues, from inappropriate language to physical assault, from throwing trash in the water to intentionally interfering with another boat. Because of that, I think we do need a broader range of penalties. And more importantly, we need guidelines, much like discretionary penalties, in order to apply the rule and penalties more uniformly. I agree with previous comments that limiting the penalty will not necessarily fix the problem.

Personally, in the last year I've seen RRS 2 applied for language (DSQ), hitting a mark and intentionally not taking a penalty (DNE), intentionally interfering with another boat (DNE), intentionally causing contact (ARSP) and intentionally throwing trash in the water (DSQ). But in the last year I also saw a RRS 69 hearing for intentionally interfering in a race (DSQ one race). And while Case 138 goes a long way toward interpreting the rule, we could use a more structured approach for determining the penalty.
Created: 18-Oct-17 16:16
Lloyd Causey
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Paul,
Nothing wrong with trying to give some broad guidelines, but I believe those will also be seen as different by different juries. There are just too many possible cases to cover it all. I hope that I am wrong and you guys make it all easy to decide.
Created: 18-Oct-17 19:02
Philip Hubbell
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • Judge In Training
0
What is ARSP?
Created: 18-Oct-18 01:25
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