Forum: Protest Hearing Procedures

Videoconference skippers' meetings & protest hearings given coronavirus

Al Sargent
Nationality: United States of America
Given recent concerns about coronavirus, it'd be good to have some guidance on how to properly conduct skippers' meetings and protest hearings using videoconference technology. Here's why I ask:

Keeping sailors out of an enclosed space for skippers' meetings and protest hearings, and away from each other and race officials, means that everyone is much less likely to get sick and regattas can continue on as planned.

The technology piece of the puzzle is pretty much solved. Videoconferencing is today widely available: Facetime, Zoom, Webex, Skype, etc. All these can be run on mobile devices (phones, tablets, laptops) that sailors can bring to regatta venues. Most yacht clubs have good WiFi and/or cellular network coverage. Portable batteries mean that devices should still have power at the end of the day when protest meetings are held. 

My question are around what guidance does World Sailing, or other national authorities like US Sailing or RYA have for ensuring that the notice of race and sailing instructions are properly written to accommodate videoconferencing. 

Some specific questions:

Is it okay for a sailor to submit a photo of their protest form to the protest committee? Can the protest committee then distribute this photo to the competitor(s) being protested?

When explaining a protest situation, is it okay for sailors to video plastic boats moving on a table, similar to what they do in an in-person protest hearing?

Any guidance welcome. Thanks.
Created: 20-Feb-29 23:41

Comments

P
Michael Butterfield
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • International Umpire
  • International Race Officer
0
Both the USA and UK have a protocol. I am at a Dinghy show will find links when home if no one else has posted them mike

Created: 20-Mar-01 08:05
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
1
Is it okay for a sailor to submit a photo of their protest form to the protest committee?

Unless changed in the SI’s, the only requirement for the protest submittal is that it is “in writing” and includes the info in 61.2, and is filed within the PTL.  Often the SI’s will provide an email address.  I think if you are reading the words, it’s “in writing” even though it’s a picture of the words. 
 
Can the protest committee then distribute this photo to the competitor(s) being protested?

Yes.  They can also make it available digitally at a central location and send a link or simply post it on the ONB without specifically distributing.  The key is that the protest needs to be made available to the protestee. The PC has a lot of latitude in how they accomplish that.   

When explaining a protest situation, is it okay for sailors to video plastic boats moving on a table, similar to what they do in an in-person protest hearing?

I don’t see why not. There is no specific restriction on the form or structure of the evidence/testimony that a party might present. That said, it is up to the presenting party to provide or ensure the means for display/playback/dissemination to the PC and the parties at the hearing.  

Therefore, if the video is recorded in a format or with a product which is not readily available on multiple platforms or is done in a proprietary app, the PC is not required to accommodate the playback for the presenting party... and if the PC can not ensure that all parties can see the testimony when presented during the hearing,  IMO they should disallow it. 

If the VC was done with a screen sharing app, many of these apps allow the screen that is being viewed to switch between participants’ desktops. So everyone could be seeing the Protestor’s screen at the same time and then switch the Protestee’s. 
Created: 20-Mar-01 13:01
Mark Townsend
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • International Umpire
  • International Judge
  • International Race Officer
0
There is a post from 2017regarding protest hearings via skype. https://www.racingrulesofsailing.org/posts/25-protest-hearing-via-skype

Created: 20-Mar-01 16:56
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
I was just involved in a dry run for an upcoming hearing via Video Conferencing software (in this case "Zoom").   

  • In our mock hearing each person was separate and on their own computer .. judges, parties and witnesses alike.

Here are a few things that we came up with to add to the guidelines that USS published.  I offer these as optional items for your individual consideration to add to your upcoming VC hearing.  Comments welcome.

  1. Organization of the panel 
    1. Panel 1 - Boat Drawing software person
      1. this person is experienced with the software and will "share" their desktop during the hearing
      2. Panel 1 will drive the software by the direction of the parties/witnesses, but must be careful not to lead or guide how it is drawn
        1. many VC programs allow remote control of the mouse, therefore control of the drawing can be handed-over to parties/witnesses
    2. Panel 2 - Management of VC software interface
      1. this member is the event organizer, created the video-conference, sent invites, etc
      2. this could be the Chair
    3. Panel 3 - Scribe
  2. Everyone including the witness are online before the start of the hearing
    1. verify everyone can see each other, hear each other
  3. Verification of Parties
    1. represent which boats and if a protest that they were onboard during the incident
  4. Consent by the parties to conduct the hearing via VC
  5. Consent of the parties to use a boat-scenario drawing software
  6. Agreement of the parties to not communicate with anyone outside of the hearing.  
    1. Specific agreement that they will not communicate with a witness via any method during the hearing except for the moments that the witness is giving testimony before the panel
  7. Put witnesses on "hold"
    1. the VC admin may still have the ability to "chat" with the witnesses while on hold.  This might be a good idea to give them a progress update while they wait in silence
  8. Introduction of Panel and consent of the panel by the parties ... everything else as usual.

If you have anything to offer based upon your experiences, please let me know.
Created: 20-Mar-16 22:19
Ben Fels
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • International Umpire
  • National Race Officer
0
I think there could be some issues with someone using the software to map the scenario - I think it would be better to get them to get some spoons paper cut outs / playing cards etc... and get them to point the camera at the scenario as they describe it and play it out.
Created: 20-Apr-21 07:37
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