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Misconduct/RRS 69 Guidance

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Post Options Post Options   Quote sargesail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Nov 21 at 8:03am
Hmmmm. I take your point about professional Brass…..and I recognise the potential for the type of complaint you mention.

But the problem here is that Race Officers are generally volunteers within clubs. The complaint therefore tends to echo….especially given the way that ruse officials of the sort Paramedic mentions are also the kind that are deeply meshed into Club committees.

Nothing more amusing though than a team if mark layers giving an RO who is getting it wrong a stiff ignoring do that competitors get a good race. I’ve seen that a few times when they have been faced with that sort of combination of incompetence and behaviour.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote sargesail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Nov 21 at 8:12am
So back to ridiculous….to explore a couple of things….

My though experiment was a situation where half the fleet hadn’t made the start time through no fault of their own.

Is there a difference between:

Pre-warning - ‘it would be ridiculous to start this now because….’

Post-warning - ‘This is ridiculous because…..’

At any tiime - ‘You are ridiculous because….’

It seems to me that the latter is an ad hominem attack and probably always misconduct.

Pre-warning is not dissent because no decision has been made to dissent against.

Post warning it qualifies as dissent…..
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Nov 21 at 9:10am
I think the word 'ridiculous' is inherently aggressive and creates a problem no matter when its used.

"Please may we delay the start so that everyone can get here" is a much more civilised alternative.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Nov 21 at 11:43am

Originally posted by sargesail

But the problem here is that Race Officers are generally volunteers within clubs. The complaint therefore tends to echo….especially given the way that ruse officials of the sort Paramedic mentions are also the kind that are deeply meshed into Club committees..

So we're talking about both incompetent and rude.
As I sort of said before, there is a typical personality here, and it's not going to pay attention to any advice offered, so better save your breath.
Let's, optimistically, assume that we're not dealing with a completely arrogant, lazy dope, but rather someone who is trying to do a proper job, but not doing it very well.
What's the effect of some shouted comment from a competitor as they sail past?

Let's talk about an umpire first.
Suppose they have made a bad call.
What they <i style="font-weight: bold;">can't do is cancel a penalty signal, or even worse, give a 'square-up' penalty.
So what does a yelling at on the water achieve?  precisely nothing except to distract them from getting the next incident right.
OK, now lets talk about Race Officers.
Say we're in the five minutes before the Warning Signal.
What's the RO supposed to be doing:
  • monitoring wind strength and direction,
  • testing and calculating allowance for current
  • verifying/adjusting windward mark position
  • course selection
  • verifying/adjusting pin position
  • check assignment and performance of race management team tasks:   boat count, flags, timing process,
  • observing arrival of boats in the starting area,
  • observing shipping or boats in the course area.
  • implementing directions given by the organizing authority.
In other words, the RO has quite a bit of stuff he or she is supposed to be concentrating on.
And some dude sails past offering some 'helpful' advice.
For every not-very-competent race officer, there would be about 50 competitors who aren't very competent at conducting races either, and, btw, probably at least one or two competitors who are rude and arrogant as well.
So, in a fairly stressful period, just how much value, at best, should the RO place on some shouted comment?  Answer, probably not all that much, if it's going to distract them from the tasks they know they have to do.
Shouted 'discussions' between boats about rules and race management are rarely effective.
If you really do think you can offer something helpful to the RO, by all means have a go, but have a thought about timing, and effective spoken communication and rapport.
All right, now for the club political dimension.
If a club has a mad bad RO on the books, and they're dug into the organisation, the problem is with the organisation, not the individual, so yelling at the individual is completely counterproductive.
The problem is that the club lacks commitment to good race management.
If it's your club, then you probably have to enter into the politics of the club.
If it's an 'away' club, then the letter of complaint is the starting point.  If the individual is a RYA accredited race official, a formal incompetence complaint to the RYA may be useful.  If all else fails vote with your feet and don't come back next year, but if you do that, for goodnesss sake write to them and tell them why.


Edited by Brass - 26 Nov 21 at 12:00pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Nov 21 at 11:58am
Originally posted by sargesail

So back to ridiculous….to explore a couple of things….

My though experiment was a situation where half the fleet hadn’t made the start time through no fault of their own.

Is there a difference between:

Pre-warning - ‘it would be ridiculous to start this now because….’

Post-warning - ‘This is ridiculous because…..’

At any tiime - ‘You are ridiculous because….’

It seems to me that the latter is an ad hominem attack and probably always misconduct.

Pre-warning is not dissent because no decision has been made to dissent against.

Post warning it qualifies as dissent…..


I'm not happy harping on 'ridiculous'.

As I've previously posted, it's at the lower end of the scale, and any problem would depend very much on all sorts of contextual factors.

Nevertheless, if some thin-skinned race official complains and a report goes to a protest committee, it's very likely to be misconduct. If I was around, it probably wouldn't go above a warning, but again it would depend on context.

I wouldn't be trying any smart arguments based on Appendix E about whether there was dissent or not.

I don't think the Guidance paper does a very good job with dissent, compared with say Cricket, but it matters less in sailing, because dissent doesn't affect the play of the game. If a competitor dissents from an umpire decision, then they just get further penalised: it doesn't affect the flow of the game.

In fact the guidance paper doesn't tell you what to do about dissent, except not to over-react to it. Anything that is dissent in accordance with para 49, is just an incident which can be fitted into all the other types of incident described.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote sargesail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Nov 21 at 3:32pm
Originally posted by Brass

Originally posted by sargesail

So back to ridiculous….to explore a couple of things….

My though experiment was a situation where half the fleet hadn’t made the start time through no fault of their own.

Is there a difference between:

Pre-warning - ‘it would be ridiculous to start this now because….’

Post-warning - ‘This is ridiculous because…..’

At any tiime - ‘You are ridiculous because….’

It seems to me that the latter is an ad hominem attack and probably always misconduct.

Pre-warning is not dissent because no decision has been made to dissent against.

Post warning it qualifies as dissent…..


I'm not happy harping on 'ridiculous'.

As I've previously posted, it's at the lower end of the scale, and any problem would depend very much on all sorts of contextual factors.

Nevertheless, if some thin-skinned race official complains and a report goes to a protest committee, it's very likely to be misconduct. If I was around, it probably wouldn't go above a warning, but again it would depend on context.

I wouldn't be trying any smart arguments based on Appendix E about whether there was dissent or not.

I don't think the Guidance paper does a very good job with dissent, compared with say Cricket, but it matters less in sailing, because dissent doesn't affect the play of the game. If a competitor dissents from an umpire decision, then they just get further penalised: it doesn't affect the flow of the game.

In fact the guidance paper doesn't tell you what to do about dissent, except not to over-react to it. Anything that is dissent in accordance with para 49, is just an incident which can be fitted into all the other types of incident described.


So I wanted to come back to it precisely because I didn’t feel that this thread had adequately taken account of ‘not over-react’. Entirely accept your point that an official who wanted to react to ‘ridiculous’ could do so and that it would be reasonable to expect a PC to find misconduct based on the report.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote sargesail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Nov 21 at 3:34pm
Originally posted by Brass


Originally posted by sargesail

But the problem here is that Race Officers are generally volunteers within clubs. The complaint therefore tends to echo….especially given the way that ruse officials of the sort Paramedic mentions are also the kind that are deeply meshed into Club committees..

So we're talking about both incompetent and rude.
As I sort of said before, there is a typical personality here, and it's not going to pay attention to any advice offered, so better save your breath.
Let's, optimistically, assume that we're not dealing with a completely arrogant, lazy dope, but rather someone who is trying to do a proper job, but not doing it very well.
What's the effect of some shouted comment from a competitor as they sail past?

Let's talk about an umpire first.
Suppose they have made a bad call.
What they <i style="font-weight: bold;">can't do is cancel a penalty signal, or even worse, give a 'square-up' penalty.
So what does a yelling at on the water achieve?  precisely nothing except to distract them from getting the next incident right.
OK, now lets talk about Race Officers.
Say we're in the five minutes before the Warning Signal.
What's the RO supposed to be doing:
  • monitoring wind strength and direction,
  • testing and calculating allowance for current
  • verifying/adjusting windward mark position
  • course selection
  • verifying/adjusting pin position
  • check assignment and performance of race management team tasks:   boat count, flags, timing process,
  • observing arrival of boats in the starting area,
  • observing shipping or boats in the course area.
  • implementing directions given by the organizing authority.
In other words, the RO has quite a bit of stuff he or she is supposed to be concentrating on.
And some dude sails past offering some 'helpful' advice.
For every not-very-competent race officer, there would be about 50 competitors who aren't very competent at conducting races either, and, btw, probably at least one or two competitors who are rude and arrogant as well.
So, in a fairly stressful period, just how much value, at best, should the RO place on some shouted comment?  Answer, probably not all that much, if it's going to distract them from the tasks they know they have to do.
Shouted 'discussions' between boats about rules and race management are rarely effective.
If you really do think you can offer something helpful to the RO, by all means have a go, but have a thought about timing, and effective spoken communication and rapport.
All right, now for the club political dimension.
If a club has a mad bad RO on the books, and they're dug into the organisation, the problem is with the organisation, not the individual, so yelling at the individual is completely counterproductive.
The problem is that the club lacks commitment to good race management.
If it's your club, then you probably have to enter into the politics of the club.
If it's an 'away' club, then the letter of complaint is the starting point.  If the individual is a RYA accredited race official, a formal incompetence complaint to the RYA may be useful.  If all else fails vote with your feet and don't come back next year, but if you do that, for goodnesss sake write to them and tell them why.


And a good race officer asks competitors how it was for them….
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Grumpycat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Nov 21 at 3:40pm
Originally posted by JimC

I think the word 'ridiculous' is inherently aggressive and creates a problem no matter when its used.

"Please may we delay the start so that everyone can get here" is a much more civilised alternative.

Spot on, as so often on here and the other place your are the voice of reason  Smile


Edited by Grumpycat - 26 Nov 21 at 7:44pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Paramedic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Nov 21 at 8:47am
Originally posted by Brass

Is that good enough though? I could be censured under rule 69 for saying to a race officer "come on, this is ridiculous" after the 8th general recall where we cant cross the line on starboard and no sign of moving the pin back a few lengths, but the race officer can say/do what they like with no effective recourse available.


There is no power to 'censure' a competitor under rule 69.   A competitor can either be given a warning or a penalty applicable to her places in races or further participation in an event.

You seem to misundersatnd the effect of a complaint of official misconoduct. The outcome of such a complaint for a race official can include censure or reprimand, and suspension or disqualification from officiating.

Misconduct may not be the same as incompetence, but at least at World Sailing level, a complaint of incompetence is investigated an treated similarly to misconduct and can have similarly serious consequences.

When I pay to enter the event I expect good service.


Be careful what you wish for.

If you choose to treat a sailing event as a consumer service purchase transaction, instead of as as collaborative endeavour of a voluntary association to engage in a pleasurable activity, it won't come cheap. Qualified race officials put a lot of time an effort into gaining qualifications and experience to run racing. Has you club got a lazy 70k lying around to employ a full time professional?

There are - unfortunately- still ROs out there who think that we turn up so that they can run an event, and they are exactly the sort who play the cards suggested. They are in the minority but out there.


And preventing that from happening next time is exactly what a written complaint to the organiser will contribute to.

How much do you think an earful of abuse to that sort of person will acccomplish?

That's a fantastic bit of selective quoting, making it look as if i'm saying almost the opposite of what I actually was. 

Ridiculous........

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Nov 21 at 8:48am
Originally posted by sargesail

And a good race officer asks competitors how it was for them….


I asked that today and the answer was, Cold, Wet, and I spewed so much I set off my Personal MOB AIS Alarm.
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