Forum: The Racing Rules of Sailing

Can an NOR, SI or CR add definition to undefined terms?

P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
As we all know .. the RRS do not allow changes to terms defined in Definitions .. and the Introduction states, 

"Other words and terms are used in the sense ordinarily understood in nautical or general use."

Does this mean that a word and term that is not listed in Definitions can not be further defined?

For instance, "Sportsmanship" is not defined in the RRS.  Without fully defining Sportsmanship, could a Prescription, NOR, SI, CR state that some specific action will be considered "unsportsmanlike"?

I think the above would be against the rules.  That any attempt to define a term used in the RRS or add definition to a term not listed in Definitions is in effect changing Definitions (by adding a term to it) and thus not allowed under RRS 86.1.

Also, Introduction's contents are also rules listed in RRS 86.1 and therefore Introduction's,  "Other words and terms .. " above is a rule that is prevented from change.

Thoughts?
Created: 21-Jun-14 13:56

Comments

Charles Darley
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • Regional Umpire
0
In your example, you are not trying to define unsportsmanlike but to specify a particular act as unsportsmanlike. I think there might be unintended consequences. Why not prohibit the action in the NoR or SIs?  The penalty would be different but you might live with that. 
Created: 21-Jun-14 14:27
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Charles .. I was asking more generally .. but I thought using Sportsmanship would be a poignant example to play with.

It seems that there are 3 category of 'words and terms' .. 
  1. Defined in Definitions 
    1. can not be changed
  2. Used elsewhere in the RRS 
    1. can not be further defined and shall be interpreted solely  ".. in the sense ordinarily understood in nautical or general use".
  3. Not used in the RRS
    1. this term is free for definition and use, unless by its definition it defines or changes words and terms in 1 or 2.
Created: 21-Jun-14 14:43
Charles Darley
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • Regional Umpire
0
Writing SIs is not my speciality.  I wonder if the format of rule 42 might be a helpful.  There is the basic rule and then a list of specifically prohibited actions some of which are defined.  e.g. ooching. Spelling checker, by the way, thought I meant mooching.
Created: 21-Jun-14 14:59
Michael Lipari
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
  • Club Race Officer
0
I am interested in answer as well.  We are trying to further clarify the term serious damage as it relates to 44.1 (b) because we have had protest committees using a very broad interpretation of this term.  This is not a definition in the book but falls into group 2 above.
  
Created: 21-Jun-14 18:29
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Mike ... of course .. there are no "answers" here on the forum .. just discussion of ideas. :-)

"Serious Damage" is another good one .. by my organization above a Cat 2 term in that it is a term that is not in Definitions, but like "Sportsmanship" is used in the RRS.  These words being royalty in the Cat 2, have Cases and Appeals which help focus our understanding .. but stop short of defining them.

For the sake of discussion, I'm making the argument that "Serious Damage" and "Sportsmanship", having been used in the RRS, can not be further defined by Prescription, NOR, SI or CR, as it would break rule 86.1 by changing a rule in "Introduction".
Created: 21-Jun-14 19:52
Mark Townsend
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • International Race Officer
  • International Umpire
  • International Judge
0
Serious Damage is defined by World Sailing Case 141

In some borrowed boat events penalties for Damage resulting from contact between boats Is often defined in the sailing instructions.

See Addendum E in the World Sailing Standard Match Racing Sailing Instructions.

https://www.sailing.org/raceofficials/internationalraceofficer/document_library.php

Created: 21-Jun-14 20:24
Mark Townsend
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • International Race Officer
  • International Umpire
  • International Judge
0
World Sailing Case 32, 39 and 65 provide some guidance as to how to interpret the term sportsmanship.
Created: 21-Jun-14 20:30
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Mark .. I agree on all accounts ..  but that's not really the question.

The question is whether or not it breaks a rule if an SI (for instance) were to refine what "Serious Damage" was or was not .. if it wasn't in conflict with Case 141.  Same goes with Sportsmanship or any other word or term used, but not defined, in the RRS.

I am suggesting that such an SI would break 86.1, in that it would change Introduction's "Other words and terms are used  .. " rule.
Created: 21-Jun-14 20:39
Mark Townsend
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • International Race Officer
  • International Umpire
  • International Judge
0
The World Sailing Standard Match Racing Sailing Instructions Addendum E refines the definition of damage. I included it as an example.    .
https://www.sailing.org/raceofficials/internationalraceofficer/document_library.php

Created: 21-Jun-14 22:36
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Mark, the MR SI doc is a very good counter-point example, thanks. 

So, maybe we could say that SI’s (prescriptions, NOR’s, CR’s) are free to refine and define non-Definition words and terms that are used in the RRS, as long as those refined definitions are consistent with …

  1. Introduction’s “ …the sense ordinarily understood in nautical or general use.”, and 
  2. Any WS cases which address those word and terms?

Interesting you got me thinking when you mentioned Case 141.  Case 141 actually goes out of its way not to define serious damage and just walks the reader through Introduction’s “…sense ordinarily understood ..”. 

But even if 141 had sort’a defined it, sort’a definitions described in a Case are not excluded from change in 86.1. 

So, I think we come back to Intro’s “sense ordinarily understood” measure … and as long as the refinement is consistent with that, it’s probably OK.  
Created: 21-Jun-14 23:22
Mark Townsend
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • International Race Officer
  • International Umpire
  • International Judge
0
Probably okay, provided refinement doesn’t conflict with any authoritative interpretations of the racing rules; Cases, Calls, Interpretations of Rule 42, and
Interpretations of the Regulations that are rules.

Also probably would need to check US Appeals and RYA Cases. Appeals and RYA Cases are not authoritative, but the people who wrote them hear the Appeal against your SI change!



Created: 21-Jun-15 11:26
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
… interesting, the MR SI wording doc you referenced also also gives Sportsmanship some refinement too. 

18.3​ The following actions by skippers and/or crew while racing may be considered a breach of sportsmanship under RRS C8.3(c) and may result in an umpire initiated penalty under RRS C5.2 or C5.3:
- Excessive attempts to verbally coerce, coach or influence umpire decisions;
- Repetitive or on-going objection to an umpire decision (verbal or otherwise);
-  Abuse of umpires before or after a decision 
Created: 21-Jun-16 01:34
Peter Clapp
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Race Officer In Training
  • Judge In Training
0
I saw this recently in a NOR. This is for Classic Yachts that are vintage and somewhat irreplaceable. It goes over well with the yacht owners.

For the purposes of rules 14 and 44.1, any contact between boats shall be considered serious
damage. This changes rule 44.1.



Created: 21-Jun-22 01:50
Charles Darley
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • Regional Umpire
0
Its arguable whether or not that NoR changes rule 44.2 but it does change a rule of the Introduction, which is not permitted. Someone DSQ for touching a sheet would get redress in the end. 
Created: 21-Jun-22 08:01
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Peter thank you for that as it’s a great example to put into our discussion. 

I agree with Charles, that how that rule is written is problematic because it goes against Introduction’s “…sense ordinarily understood ..”. (In contrast to the MR SI guidelines). 

I think it also has the problem that it seems to change 43.1(c), which is not allowed. If any contact is “serious damage”, then any contact is “damage”. It changes 43.1(c) by effectively striking 43.1(c) because contact now equals damage… therefore there isn't any contact that can satisfy the "does not cause damage" condition in 43.1(c).  No contact, no matter how slight, can be exonerated. 

43.1(c) A right-of-way boat, or one sailing within the room or mark-room to which she is entitled, is [not] exonerated for breaking rule 14 [because all contact causes damage] if the contact does not cause damage or injury.

That said, RRS 44.1 is not limited from change so the authors could get to where they are going more directly and leave defining “serious damage” out of it and completely rewrite 44.1.  But again, they would not be able to change 43.1(c). 
Created: 21-Jun-22 11:48
[You must be signed in to add a comment]
Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn more