This is a serious problem and from comments made to me this year there does seem to have been a deterioration in rule knowledge, observance over the last couple of years. For the 2015 Waples Wines northern travellers series we are proposing a coaching element on the Saturday morning of each of the 5 opens and this will include easily managed sections on the rules and their application. This type of education is a good way to “up” the focus on the rules and could be considered by clubs or for other series.
I would also like to suggest that for our 5 key events ( Northerns, Southerns, Inlands, Scottish, Nationals), we look at on the water umpiring/judging. This is used successfully at team racing events and there is a pool of skilled umpires that at reasonable cost could attend these events. I would suggest that BIFFA (or whatever we are called these days) funds the first year as an experiment.