More on Rules Observance…..!!

Sadly this is far from being a new problem.

“The standard of rule observance below the top third of the fleet is poor to appalling and, surprisingly, only one protest arose out of the meeting which was for a minor infringement compared to some of the mayhem that arose at the turning marks. This is a feature of the event which BIFFA needs to take on board for the good of the class. If ‘on the water umpiring’ had been used they would have been extremely busy, while of conventional protests had been properly applied the protest committee would still have been sitting on Tuesday!”

That is the final paragraph of the report on the 1992 Inlands.

Until class members start to protest, or we start to use on the water umpires (with an interest beyond rule 42), this won’t change. The use of umpires will almost certainly drive up the cost of the events, which may reduce the turnout. Protesting also relies on the the host club being able to find a protest committee that properly understand the rules, which has also been a problem in the past, otherwise the outcome can be a lottery.


2 thoughts on “More on Rules Observance…..!!

  1. Its a very interesting discussion. We often had a low home boat turn out for our open meeting and the reason given was this very thing. Poor sportsmanship and ignoring the rules. Our last two events have been much better as I have wrote into the NOR that we will have marshals on our safety boats looking out for infringements.
    I do think this is the way to go and not over expensive really if you use the safety boats, they are around the marks anyway etc.
    I saw an event held at our club (I think it was 420’s) where they brought 2 marshals as a training excercise, at lunch and at the end of the racing they flagged up all of the transgressions and incidents that they had seen. It was very revealing and whilst there wasnt any penalties as it was for training it did raise awareness .
    I very much fancy trying this at our 2015 open.

  2. I think we do need to take some action, many of the famous (or perhaps fabled) transgressors occupy slots in the higher levels of the fleet; conceivably a deterioration from 1992?

    A short term investment in high quality umpiring could be a good thing for the class, the aims should be threefold – firstly to appropriately handle any on-water “issue”, secondly to coach the fleet (at off the water follow up sessions) how any observed “issue” could have been taken through to a successful protest in the absence of an umpire and finally improve the understanding of the entire fleet as to how rules are applied in practice. The goals of the second and third aims being to wean us away from having to use umpires for any longer than necessary.

    I have no idea how much an umpire would cost but it would be an interesting question to put to the class as to whether the premium on the open fees would be regarded as a genuine value add and whether likely to encourage or discourage attendance.

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