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#1 Dog Watch

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 09:34 AM

Warning - This is a long boring post on a rather dry topic (to most). Education Theory relating to Sailing Rules!

If you wish not to read it, DON'T! (H.A.?) I won't be offended.

It discusses the age old problem of 'poor basic rules knowledge' amongst sailors, and techniques used to overcome that problem.

While my post losely addresses some points in another ongoing thread, rather than hijack that thread, I thought I'd post separately.

---------------------------

Rules vs Scenario based learning

A sailor could theoretically (and I suspect often do) go by without knowing any of the actual words of the 'Part 2' rules. They are compliant in their day to day sailing only by applying specific strategies they've learned when faced with certain scenarios.

"If a boat has the wind over that rail, and you have the wind over this rail, you must let him go." They don't even need to know the terms Port and Starboard to be able to comply with the rules.

This is a raw conceptualisation of the 'playbook' or 'scenario' way of learning rules. It is the a basic concept of 'Rules Summary' or 'Rules Basics' education which attempt to give sailors just enough of the basics of the rules to go sailing, without getting tied up in the actual wordings of the book.

This is fine, but only up to a point. Sailors generally can get by without having to be put off the sport by the 152 page book we call the RRS. They just need to memorise a few summary points on a single page of paper, right?! Older sailors might simply rely on their memories of the rules when they learnt them. However, this is not 'learning the rules'.

Unfortunately, this method of acheiving compliance can create problems as the scenarios get even just a little more complex. That's because in actual fact just only a few written rules are designed to interact to cover the massive (infinite?) number of possible real situations. The scenario playbook would have to be way bigger than the rule book upon which its based in order to be complete. The summaries would have to be wordier than the actual written rules!

In one race, the average sailor is faced with many more permutations of the rules which his 'playbook' or summary sheet can cover. When faced with such a situation, the 'average' sailor fills the gaps with whatever knowledge or experiences they have had. Most of the time, this poses no problems and leads to no protests, and so sailors become confident that they 'know the rules'. The danger is with what they fill the gaps with.

Additionally, over time and bar talk, the scenarios get changed (Chinese Whisper effect), summaries get faded (Photocopy effect) or the basic rule upon which their knowledge is based gets changed.

It is always amusing to hear someone calling for 'water', or talking of 'proper course' with reference to rule 28! Those are dead giveaways in a protest hearing of where that person's rule knowledge comes from.

----------------------------------------------------------------

On the other hand there is real 'Learning the rules'. It requires the sailor to go through the levels of learning, in order to arm themselves for EVERY permutation of reality which the rules are designed for.

Those four levels of learning are briefly described as:

a) Rote
b) Understanding
c) Application
d) Correlation

The minimum level to be usable in a race is c) Application.

Explained: Any monkey can recite rule 10 from rote memory, without having a clue what port and starboard are. At the understanding level, he may know what port and starboard are. However, until he is able to apply those terms to what he sees on the water (Application), he won't be able to sail. That is, he must be able to recognise port and starboard, overlaps and zones and apply the words to the situation he's in.

To get to the true level of 'application' a sailor must go through the other levels. If someone says they really know how to apply the rules, simply check their rote level. If they don't know the definition of overlapped, clear astern, tack they certainly can't apply rule 18.

So, the 'average' sailor is faced either with the time consuming burden of learning the rules rote, then understanding them and finally being able to apply them.

Or the alternative which appears way simpler and easier, which is to rely on summary sheets, scenarios and bar talk, failing memories to get by race by race. Its obvious which option the 'average' sailor will take. Law of least effort.

There is nothing really anyone can do about that, since the 'average' sailor isn't EVER going to put effort into a part of the game they don't see as valuable or fun.

So, if 'average sailor' is not going to look at the rule book, providing the summaries and scenarios and playbooks is the only practical way to ensure at least a minimum acceptable level of rules compliance on the waters. Through this method though, we'll always be faced with a fixed level of poor rules knowledge and compliance. We just have to accept that. I accept that, but don't encourage it.

The only way to markedly improve rules knowledge is to encourage people to learn the rules properly by highlighting the value of doing so, and then by making it easier for people to go through the levels of learning based on the RRS text.

How? I heard there was a song with hand movements to help children learn rules 10-13 verbatim. This kind of thing. Nmemonics and rhymes also help get past that rote stage. Keeping the rule changes to a minimum is vitally important in aiding people's rote learning.

'Understanding' is acheived through medium such as rules websites. Videos and seminars. They can also help the sailor acheive an application level of knowledge. However, it is only useful if the sailor has a rote level of knowledge first.

If you are ever giving a lecture on 'Rules' consider the level of learning of your listeners. Ensure a prior stage is reached before moving on to a latter stage.

The most useful tool for developing application level knowledge is experience.

The last stage d) Correlation occurs on the water when the sailor utilises the rules in conjunction with a different aspect of sailing, such as tactics. We all think we do that, but not all do it on the basis of a good understanding level of the rules.

Off the water, most sailors think no more of the rules until the next time they sail. Others continue to 'correlate' rules through discussions and analysis.

-----------------------------

So while attempts to summarise the rules or create 'easy to learn' crib sheets may seem like a good way ensure basic knowledge on our waters, it is by no means a long lasting, or satisfactory way to go forward. It just isn't possible to acheive the goal in that form.

That's what the rulebook writers (Perry, Willis, Pera) struggle with. How to summarise (water down) the rules from a text which is essentially already at the most fundimental level. You can't! You can't get simpler than the RRS! Its no surprise that Perry's book has many more words about Part 2, then the RRS Part 2.

Of course it is important to ensure that what has been rote learned is properly understood, and I concede that takes up most of the text in these books.

However, any form of watering down, summarising or playbook learning (e.g. putting into own words) won't acheive the goal of increasing the current level of rules knowledge on the water.

---------------------

If you want to really learn the rules, you have to put time and effort into it, to go through the 3 stages. Rote learn the words of Part 2. Know what those words mean. Learn how to apply them. There is no quick fix.

Reliance on bar talk, tribal voice, memory,guess and crib sheets won't get you there.

Maybe for anyone involved with teaching rules (say at their club or in written form), this might provide some food for thought too.

That's my 2 cents.

DW

#2 bye bye

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 11:04 AM

Will take the time to read further latter but some thoughts come up straight away.

One is that the current thinking around the rules is it's self scenario based. Opinion on what the rules should say is often based on 'what has been felt to be right in a certain circumstance by tradition', evidence the wording of the rules for 2013 being tinkered with to put back in what had been excluded for the sake of simplification. This is often also put forward as straight forward conservatism or by taking the Marxist-Lenonist/NeoCon approach and spread fear over the rule writers being sued on mass by nut job US lawyers.

The second is to suggest an alternative way in which the rules are learned. In part I think it depends how you learn to sail and at what age. I'm going to ignore the kids who are quite happy to bash into each other for a bit and focus on adults with their own boats.

Sailors start of with little or no understanding of the rules. They are taught port/starboard and that's about it.

As they start to race the sailors understanding of what should happen is based on a mixture of selfishness, competitiveness, application of general politeness and fear of damage. In dog/cock/bull/UFC fighting the most prized attribute of the fighter is that they are game. It's the same thing. Most situations on the water are resolved by the competitor with the most game putting them self in a physically stronger position earlier that the other guy. The more selfish, competitive, impolite and fearless (or just plane rich) you are the more often you'll come out well from a certain situation ... there is an exception. There are certain people who own and drive boats who don't have the balls to sail them in remotely close proximity to another boats. Because of their shear unpredictability generally everyone tries to keeps out of their way.

This attitude to resolving situations on the water racing prevails at all levels right up to national championship level. Just look for the 'you do not talk about fight club' attitude over protests.

Port/starboard is one of the main situation where the rule of game breaks down, hence why it has to be taught early. The second is at the mark, and that's why the next rule that people learn is a simplification of 18.2 b.

It's after that that the scenario based learning starts. But it's not through being taught various interpretations of the rules. It's through experience on the water i.e. in a given situation someone gamed them into understanding the rules should be applied in a certain way. When they see the situation they assume it should play out the same way. The important thing to note is that often as not the person that schooled them often has little idea of how the actual rules play.

And that's about as far as many people, even the majority, get.

... it's only when a sailor comes up against someone who genuinely knows the rules that people start to pick up the rule book and go to class. That might not happen until they get near the front end of a national class.

The problem with attempting to learn the rules of them selves from the off is that you actually already need a reasonable degree of racing experience to understand how they will cause boats to interact. For the most part they are pretty clear if you have a good understanding of how boats interact while racing. If you have no idea they are as clear as mud.

#3 SmartPig

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 03:29 PM

One should never expect a middle of the pack sailor to have command of the rules. Usually these sailors are relatively new to the sport and already are having enough difficulty making their boat go fast. However, it is very disturbing to encounter a top sailor in a clear rules violation while at the same moment this person is berating you. Here is an example:

Mike, a long time J-24 and Scot sailor, who consistantly wins at local and District level events, was ahead of me in a race last summer. He had rounded the weather mark in the lead and gybed over to port for a downwind run. I was still approaching the mark well inside the port layline. At about 5 or 6 boat length separation, I could see the impending conflict coming, and immediately explained to my crew what was about to happen. We were on a collision course which would occur at about 50 yards downwind from the mark. When he failed to respond to my approach, I began hollering "leeward boat". This immediately drew strong words from him denying he was in the wrong. I held fast and at the last moment, he beared off and passed my stern, still claiming he was fouled by me. However, no "protest" was initiated by him. I was extremely disappointed in his performance in this incident -- not the least of which was his apparent lack of knowledge of the rules (which caught me totally off guard). Especially with the fact that this incident was not in the least bit complicated. It was a straight forward "same tack" R11 incident. Had it involved a less experienced sailor, I would have used this as a learning experience for the sailor, but with Mike, it bothered the heck out of me for some minutes afterward. I made it a point to seek him out once ashore and resolve it. I caught up with him having some beers with the members and before I could say anything, he apologized saying in effect that he didn't realize he was on port at that time. I was relieved that the conflict was not going to continue.

I have attended countless rules clinics over my life, and actually taught the rules or helped others conduct clinics for about 20 years from 1980 through 2000. With rare exception, I have never encountered any active sailor, other than those that also teach rules or are judges who continue to race, that don't get tripped up on at least some rules situations. I believe it was 1997 when the new so-called "simplified rules" came into existence. At first, I think everyone expected much better compliance. After years now of building a track record, I don't believe that has been the case. I am not sure what the answer is other than somehow making rules education more fun. That is one thing I like about the online rules link I've provided in other posts. I can see people doing this vs. picking up a rule book and trying to visualize what the words are saying. For many decades, the best thing we had was Elvstrom's rules explanation book, the back half which always also included the RRS. That was much better than simply trying to understand the RRS book by itself. I preferred that format over the Dave Perry books.





#4 Dog Watch

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 01:45 AM

Here is an example:

Mike, a long time J-24 and Scot sailor, <SNIP> When he failed to respond to my approach, I began hollering "leeward boat". This immediately drew strong words from him denying he was in the wrong. I held fast and at the last moment, he beared off and passed my stern, still claiming he was fouled by me. <SNIP> Especially with the fact that this incident was not in the least bit complicated. It was a straight forward "same tack" R11 incident.



rcim, thanks for your comments.

I would like to use SmartPig's example of 'Mike', to further illustrate my model of 'levels' of learning'.

The situation, described as 'a straight forward windward / leeward' meeting was beyond Mike's level of knowledge.

School report of Mike - Where did he go wrong?


Mike simply didn't know his rules.

1. ROTE?

Rote does not mean 'verbatim' by the way. It simply means being able to accurately recall ALL the related concepts without need for prompting or help or aids. i.e. from the top of your head!

If he is like most sailors, quite probably Mike did not even have the rote level of knowledge.

In this scenario, rote means even knowing something along the lines of 'windward keeps clear of leeward'. Without knowing that, he didn't have a hope in hell of getting it right.

However, rote level goes even further, since within the rule, there are other items which must be rote learned. Definitions of windward / leeward and keep clear.

It's amazing how many sailors get stuck at this point, since they don't even know the definitions section exists. How can you understand and apply rule 11 without knowing the terms within.

2. UNDERSTANDING

Once the words of rule 11 (and associated definitions) are rote learned, Mike needed to understand them.

The definition of 'Leeward and Windward' is filled with sailing terms which a layman could not know. To understand the definition, Mike needed to know what 'downwind', 'mainsail' and 'tack' are. Similar sailing terms are found in the definition of keep clear.

Once the definitions are understood, he can embed that knowledge into rule 11, and begin to understand rule 11.

Rule 11 is only 19 words long. Yet, to UNDERSTAND it requires rote knowledge of the many more terms within.

3. APPLICATION

Mike most definitely did not demonstrate an 'application' level of knowledge.

Even if he was able to give a satisfactory recital of rule 11 (and associated definitions) if asked, and could even draw diagrams and show he understood rule 11...

...he was not able to apply it to an 'on-the-water' situation. He did not have the experience to recognise that situation as being the one he'd rote learned and understood.

--------------------------------------------

So where was Mike?

Mike barely attained level 1 out of 3. 33%! FAIL! COULD TRY HARDER!


-------------------------------------------------------

I'd say he had a level of knowledge somewhere between rote and understanding. Not much, eh?

He may have known the words of rule 11. However, like most people he probably could not define the terms windward / leeward, nor keep clear. Without that, he is unable to 'understand' rule 11, and definitely has no chance of applying it in a race.

Most likely, when boats are side-by-side he's able to fill in his lacking knowledge with common sense or English language knowledge and comply with rule 11. If asked, he may say that he was closer to the wind, or 'upwind'. However, we know that is not how to apply rule 11, since you can have a windward / windward situation!

Unfortunately, most people's knowledge stops somewhere between rote and understanding, just like Mike's. That's normally as far as the crib-sheets go, right?

So with this school report, I hoped to reiterate the importance of the different levels, especially the rote level.

If he was in my seminar, BEFORE ANY SCENARIOS, I would start with the rule book, and point out the wording, and definitions. Then using scenario diagrams, help him understand those terms. Then with real life 'point of view' photographs, show what different rule 11 situations look like. That is the only way to progress Mike's learning.

Hopefully now, when Mike thinks of rule 11, his mind naturally envisages not only 'on same tack overlapped windward shall keep clear of leeward', but also 'mainsails', 'downwind / upwind', and 'course'. Only then is rule 11 sufficiently rote learned. Since he now knows each of those terms, he can understand rule 11 and therefore can apply it on the water in ANY situation.

I suspect probably not though! Sigh!

DW

P.S. Smartpig and rcim, to me 'scenarios' only come into rules learning AFTER the rote stage, to aid with the understanding and application. All rules training MUST start with the rule book verbatim. That's my philosophy. (As rcim acknowledges though, some prior experience of sailing is necessary.)

#5 Dog Watch

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 02:28 AM

In fact, I'd even go so far as to say all rules training seminars and books should start with the definitions.

Look in any law book, and you'll find Chapter 1 is almost invariably 'Definitions'.

As an educator, I wonder why the ISAF put the definitions right at the back of the RRS!

Since all our rules are based on those definitions, bring them to the front and make them RULE 0!

(I can't tell you how many people can't properly define 'overlap'.)

DW

#6 SmartPig

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 03:48 AM

In fact, I'd even go so far as to say all rules training seminars and books should start with the definitions.

Look in any law book, and you'll find Chapter 1 is almost invariably 'Definitions'.

As an educator, I wonder why the ISAF put the definitions right at the back of the RRS!

Since all our rules are based on those definitions, bring them to the front and make them RULE 0!

(I can't tell you how many people can't properly define 'overlap'.)

DW



In other words -- go back to what worked. Prior to '97, Definitions were up front in Part 1.

#7 Steam Flyer

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 12:39 PM

... ...
So while attempts to summarise the rules or create 'easy to learn' crib sheets may seem like a good way ensure basic knowledge on our waters, it is by no means a long lasting, or satisfactory way to go forward. It just isn't possible to acheive the goal in that form.

That's what the rulebook writers (Perry, Willis, Pera) struggle with. How to summarise (water down) the rules from a text which is essentially already at the most fundimental level.
....


Sailors would have more solid rules knowledge if they would quit changing them every three years.

Right now, almost everybody including some of the top pros feel that studying the rules in detail is a waste of time because that knowledge will be obsolete in 3 years.

FB- Doug

#8 SmartPig

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 02:01 PM

Sailors would have more solid rules knowledge if they would quit changing them every three years.

Right now, almost everybody including some of the top pros feel that studying the rules in detail is a waste of time because that knowledge will be obsolete in 3 years.

FB- Doug



Actually, changes have been very minor since the major overhaul back in '97. And even then, the basics pretty much remained the same. As I remember, the biggest change in '97 was elimination of the Luffing Rule -- especially "mast abeam", even though luffing is still allowed, inherent within R11 with specific limitations covered in Section B. "Luffing" was even removed from the Definitions.

But typically what you see (other than minor tweaks) these days when the rules are "changed" every 4 years, are the boiler-plate stuff found in all other sections of the book. I'm not saying that they are not important -- but those are rules usually left at the pier when you head out. Sailors grapple with the Part 2 rules.

#9 Mark K

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 07:09 PM


In fact, I'd even go so far as to say all rules training seminars and books should start with the definitions.

Look in any law book, and you'll find Chapter 1 is almost invariably 'Definitions'.

As an educator, I wonder why the ISAF put the definitions right at the back of the RRS!

Since all our rules are based on those definitions, bring them to the front and make them RULE 0!

(I can't tell you how many people can't properly define 'overlap'.)

DW



In other words -- go back to what worked. Prior to '97, Definitions were up front in Part 1.



Sounds like a good idea. I would propose that for newbies, the standard RRS book should not be recommended. Something along the lines of the "Elvstrom" book should be strongly encouraged for use as their primary reference for information.

#10 Big Show

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 08:02 PM

In fact, I'd even go so far as to say all rules training seminars and books should start with the definitions.

Look in any law book, and you'll find Chapter 1 is almost invariably 'Definitions'.

As an educator, I wonder why the ISAF put the definitions right at the back of the RRS!

Since all our rules are based on those definitions, bring them to the front and make them RULE 0!

(I can't tell you how many people can't properly define 'overlap'.)

DW


I don't have mine next to me but I believe the Canadian Yachting Association's soft cover edition of the RRS leads with the definitions.

And if I'm mistaken - it should.

You're spot on Dog Watch.

#11 SmartPig

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 11:46 PM

I don't have mine next to me but I believe the Canadian Yachting Association's soft cover edition of the RRS leads with the definitions.



You could very well be right as the Definitions -- unlike in the old days -- are not in any PART (Part 1, Part 2, etc.) of the rulebook, and they are not an Appendix. In the US Sailing book, they are stuck at the back AFTER the Index. They could very easily be moved up front on either side of the "Contents".

#12 HobieAnarchy

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 01:44 AM


I don't have mine next to me but I believe the Canadian Yachting Association's soft cover edition of the RRS leads with the definitions.



You could very well be right as the Definitions -- unlike in the old days -- are not in any PART (Part 1, Part 2, etc.) of the rulebook, and they are not an Appendix. In the US Sailing book, they are stuck at the back AFTER the Index. They could very easily be moved up front on either side of the "Contents".

It's not US Sailing - it's ISAF that has the definitions at the back of the book. US Sailing just repackages the ISAF book.

The definitions have been at the back of the book since 1997. Prior to that, they were in Part 1, after the fundamental rules.

#13 SmartPig

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 04:17 AM



I don't have mine next to me but I believe the Canadian Yachting Association's soft cover edition of the RRS leads with the definitions.



You could very well be right as the Definitions -- unlike in the old days -- are not in any PART (Part 1, Part 2, etc.) of the rulebook, and they are not an Appendix. In the US Sailing book, they are stuck at the back AFTER the Index. They could very easily be moved up front on either side of the "Contents".

It's not US Sailing - it's ISAF that has the definitions at the back of the book. US Sailing just repackages the ISAF book.

The definitions have been at the back of the book since 1997. Prior to that, they were in Part 1, after the fundamental rules.


whatever

#14 Tcatman

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 06:14 AM


Here is an example:

Mike, a long time J-24 and Scot sailor, <SNIP> When he failed to respond to my approach, I began hollering "leeward boat". This immediately drew strong words from him denying he was in the wrong. I held fast and at the last moment, he beared off and passed my stern, still claiming he was fouled by me. <SNIP> Especially with the fact that this incident was not in the least bit complicated. It was a straight forward "same tack" R11 incident.



rcim, thanks for your comments.

I would like to use SmartPig's example of 'Mike', to further illustrate my model of 'levels' of learning'.

The situation, described as 'a straight forward windward / leeward' meeting was beyond Mike's level of knowledge.

School report of Mike - Where did he go wrong?


Mike simply didn't know his rules.

1. ROTE?

Rote does not mean 'verbatim' by the way. It simply means being able to accurately recall ALL the related concepts without need for prompting or help or aids. i.e. from the top of your head!

If he is like most sailors, quite probably Mike did not even have the rote level of knowledge.

In this scenario, rote means even knowing something along the lines of 'windward keeps clear of leeward'. Without knowing that, he didn't have a hope in hell of getting it right.

However, rote level goes even further, since within the rule, there are other items which must be rote learned. Definitions of windward / leeward and keep clear.

It's amazing how many sailors get stuck at this point, since they don't even know the definitions section exists. How can you understand and apply rule 11 without knowing the terms within.

2. UNDERSTANDING

Once the words of rule 11 (and associated definitions) are rote learned, Mike needed to understand them.

The definition of 'Leeward and Windward' is filled with sailing terms which a layman could not know. To understand the definition, Mike needed to know what 'downwind', 'mainsail' and 'tack' are. Similar sailing terms are found in the definition of keep clear.

Once the definitions are understood, he can embed that knowledge into rule 11, and begin to understand rule 11.

Rule 11 is only 19 words long. Yet, to UNDERSTAND it requires rote knowledge of the many more terms within.

3. APPLICATION

Mike most definitely did not demonstrate an 'application' level of knowledge.

Even if he was able to give a satisfactory recital of rule 11 (and associated definitions) if asked, and could even draw diagrams and show he understood rule 11...

...he was not able to apply it to an 'on-the-water' situation. He did not have the experience to recognise that situation as being the one he'd rote learned and understood.

--------------------------------------------

So where was Mike?

Mike barely attained level 1 out of 3. 33%! FAIL! COULD TRY HARDER!


-------------------------------------------------------

I'd say he had a level of knowledge somewhere between rote and understanding. Not much, eh?

He may have known the words of rule 11. However, like most people he probably could not define the terms windward / leeward, nor keep clear. Without that, he is unable to 'understand' rule 11, and definitely has no chance of applying it in a race.

Most likely, when boats are side-by-side he's able to fill in his lacking knowledge with common sense or English language knowledge and comply with rule 11. If asked, he may say that he was closer to the wind, or 'upwind'. However, we know that is not how to apply rule 11, since you can have a windward / windward situation!

Unfortunately, most people's knowledge stops somewhere between rote and understanding, just like Mike's. That's normally as far as the crib-sheets go, right?

So with this school report, I hoped to reiterate the importance of the different levels, especially the rote level.

If he was in my seminar, BEFORE ANY SCENARIOS, I would start with the rule book, and point out the wording, and definitions. Then using scenario diagrams, help him understand those terms. Then with real life 'point of view' photographs, show what different rule 11 situations look like. That is the only way to progress Mike's learning.

Hopefully now, when Mike thinks of rule 11, his mind naturally envisages not only 'on same tack overlapped windward shall keep clear of leeward', but also 'mainsails', 'downwind / upwind', and 'course'. Only then is rule 11 sufficiently rote learned. Since he now knows each of those terms, he can understand rule 11 and therefore can apply it on the water in ANY situation.

I suspect probably not though! Sigh!

DW

P.S. Smartpig and rcim, to me 'scenarios' only come into rules learning AFTER the rote stage, to aid with the understanding and application. All rules training MUST start with the rule book verbatim. That's my philosophy. (As rcim acknowledges though, some prior experience of sailing is necessary.)



Think back to when most of us learned the driving rules of the road.I had to suffer Driver's Ed! If we wanted to drive... we had to learn the rules of the road by rote. Moreover, we had to take an exam. My point... we were A) highly motivated and B) tested on the rules of the road rote meaning.
16 years of watching mom or dad drive just was not good enough for the state to give me a license.. (imagine that!)

Sailing undermines both aspects of the process... We learn that Sea lawyers are NOT to be respected and so we are NOT motivated to learn the rules...Moreover, we can go racing with a few basics. B) there is no test involved. (testing consolidates training within the brain).
You cannot short circuit this. You need a level of mastery at generating this rule in your own words before you an move on.

Second point, Very few people can sit down with the rule book and fully get the rules basics in the wrote learning part. Reading must be coupled with some other modality. reading and talking about the rule, Reading and writing the rule down, Reading and drawing a diagram. etc.

I believe when you look at junior, through college programs.... racers will have done something like this in their training.

IMO, the best way to solve the problem with adult sailors is to have a graphics tool that allows you to play with elements and implement the rule book on your mobile or pc. the process of generating the rule distinctions will give each individual rote skill and mastery. The side benefit is that they would have their personal rule book with them.

#15 Brass

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 08:52 AM

Since I introduced the ‘play book’ idea, perhaps I can say a couple of things.

I did not suggest that a Play Book would help sailors to ‘learn the rules’. I said a Play Book might help sailors to ‘learn how to apply the rules’. Perhaps I could have said what I meant better by saying ‘help sailors to compete without breaking the rules’. Giving the example of football, I tried to point out that competitors can learn to play in accordance with the rules, without, necessarily, learning the rules themselves.

Implicitly I was also saying that the RRS, being abstract, are somewhat more difficult to learn and understand than more concrete rules.

Make no mistake, competitors have to learn some rules. The question is, ‘is there some set of rules that are easier to learn than the RRS which will ena

The Play Book I had in mind, based on football and other sports, is NOT just a graphical or animated explanation of the existing rules or a tool to assist learning the rules.

The sort of Play Book I had in mind was a collection of operational rules, based on, but different from, the RRS, and probably presented in a different form, graphical, animated, whatever.

For example, instead of the current rule 10, ‘… a port tack boat shall keep clear of a starboard tack boat’ which is adjudicative, and covers every point of sailing, two operational rules you might find in a Play Book might be:

‘When close hauled on starboard tack and you see a boat on port tack, do nothing to avoid the port tack boat’

‘When close hauled on port tack and collision is likely with a boat on starboard tack, either tack to avoid contact or bear away to pass behind’.

Please don’t set about pulling this example apart, it’s just an illustrative example.

Quite clearly, this would lead to a multiplicity of ‘plays’, but, I suspect that with a bit of analysis, it would be possible to identify the more common situations, and prescribe ‘plays’ for them, and cover less common situations with something else, so that the number of plays would not become ‘infinite’.

This seemed like a good idea to me. I haven’t done it in practice, and I don’t want to get into an argument about it, but I am interested in what others think about this approach.

I'll post some responses to the interesting posts made by others later.




#16 Steam Flyer

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 01:16 PM


Sailors would have more solid rules knowledge if they would quit changing them every three years.

Right now, almost everybody including some of the top pros feel that studying the rules in detail is a waste of time because that knowledge will be obsolete in 3 years.

FB- Doug



Actually, changes have been very minor since the major overhaul back in '97. And even then, the basics pretty much remained the same. As I remember, the biggest change in '97 was elimination of the Luffing Rule -- especially "mast abeam", even though luffing is still allowed, inherent within R11 with specific limitations covered in Section B. "Luffing" was even removed from the Definitions.

But typically what you see (other than minor tweaks) these days when the rules are "changed" every 4 years, are the boiler-plate stuff found in all other sections of the book. I'm not saying that they are not important -- but those are rules usually left at the pier when you head out. Sailors grapple with the Part 2 rules.



Oh yah, you're right, everyone else is wrong.

That must explain why sailing is such a booming sport

FB- Doug

#17 SmartPig

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 01:30 PM

Since I introduced the 'play book' idea, perhaps I can say a couple of things.

I did not suggest that a Play Book would help sailors to 'learn the rules'. I said a Play Book might help sailors to 'learn how to apply the rules'. Perhaps I could have said what I meant better by saying 'help sailors to compete without breaking the rules'. Giving the example of football, I tried to point out that competitors can learn to play in accordance with the rules, without, necessarily, learning the rules themselves.

Implicitly I was also saying that the RRS, being abstract, are somewhat more difficult to learn and understand than more concrete rules.

Make no mistake, competitors have to learn some rules. The question is, 'is there some set of rules that are easier to learn than the RRS which will ena

The Play Book I had in mind, based on football and other sports, is NOT just a graphical or animated explanation of the existing rules or a tool to assist learning the rules.

The sort of Play Book I had in mind was a collection of operational rules, based on, but different from, the RRS, and probably presented in a different form, graphical, animated, whatever.

For example, instead of the current rule 10, '… a port tack boat shall keep clear of a starboard tack boat' which is adjudicative, and covers every point of sailing, two operational rules you might find in a Play Book might be:

'When close hauled on starboard tack and you see a boat on port tack, do nothing to avoid the port tack boat'

'When close hauled on port tack and collision is likely with a boat on starboard tack, either tack to avoid contact or bear away to pass behind'.

Please don't set about pulling this example apart, it's just an illustrative example.

Quite clearly, this would lead to a multiplicity of 'plays', but, I suspect that with a bit of analysis, it would be possible to identify the more common situations, and prescribe 'plays' for them, and cover less common situations with something else, so that the number of plays would not become 'infinite'.

This seemed like a good idea to me. I haven't done it in practice, and I don't want to get into an argument about it, but I am interested in what others think about this approach.

I'll post some responses to the interesting posts made by others later.



In some respects, Elvstrom does this very thing -- through the use of transitional drawings and narrative. One of the things I always liked about Elvstrom was that in the front part of the book, the actual RRS, he had off in the margins bold red page numbers to take you to the specific descriptions done in a straight forward language. Haven't bought one in years -- perhaps I will, as I see it is still offered and it is nice tool to have.

In addition, going back even to when the national org was USYRU, they always provided a plasticized Simplified Rules card. As Fleet Captain, I always maintained a good supply of these things to hand out to new members or anyone who was interested. Today, I keep a stock of the newer US Sailing plasticized cards to hand out.
Just following those basic rules would get you safely through the overwhelming majority of typical situations you might encounter on the race course.

#18 SmartPig

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 01:36 PM



Sailors would have more solid rules knowledge if they would quit changing them every three years.

Right now, almost everybody including some of the top pros feel that studying the rules in detail is a waste of time because that knowledge will be obsolete in 3 years.

FB- Doug



Actually, changes have been very minor since the major overhaul back in '97. And even then, the basics pretty much remained the same. As I remember, the biggest change in '97 was elimination of the Luffing Rule -- especially "mast abeam", even though luffing is still allowed, inherent within R11 with specific limitations covered in Section B. "Luffing" was even removed from the Definitions.

But typically what you see (other than minor tweaks) these days when the rules are "changed" every 4 years, are the boiler-plate stuff found in all other sections of the book. I'm not saying that they are not important -- but those are rules usually left at the pier when you head out. Sailors grapple with the Part 2 rules.



Oh yah, you're right, everyone else is wrong.

That must explain why sailing is such a booming sport

FB- Doug


Why don't you provide some examples then, so we can get our arms around changes you think are significant?

#19 Steam Flyer

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 01:36 PM

Since I introduced the ‘play book’ idea, perhaps I can say a couple of things.

I did not suggest that a Play Book would help sailors to ‘learn the rules’. I said a Play Book might help sailors to ‘learn how to apply the rules’. Perhaps I could have said what I meant better by saying ‘help sailors to compete without breaking the rules’. Giving the example of football, I tried to point out that competitors can learn to play in accordance with the rules, without, necessarily, learning the rules themselves.

Implicitly I was also saying that the RRS, being abstract, are somewhat more difficult to learn and understand than more concrete rules.

Make no mistake, competitors have to learn some rules. The question is, ‘is there some set of rules that are easier to learn than the RRS which will ena

The Play Book I had in mind, based on football and other sports, is NOT just a graphical or animated explanation of the existing rules or a tool to assist learning the rules.

The sort of Play Book I had in mind was a collection of operational rules, based on, but different from, the RRS, and probably presented in a different form, graphical, animated, whatever.

For example, instead of the current rule 10, ‘… a port tack boat shall keep clear of a starboard tack boat’ which is adjudicative, and covers every point of sailing, two operational rules you might find in a Play Book might be:

‘When close hauled on starboard tack and you see a boat on port tack, do nothing to avoid the port tack boat’

‘When close hauled on port tack and collision is likely with a boat on starboard tack, either tack to avoid contact or bear away to pass behind’.

Please don’t set about pulling this example apart, it’s just an illustrative example.

Quite clearly, this would lead to a multiplicity of ‘plays’, but, I suspect that with a bit of analysis, it would be possible to identify the more common situations, and prescribe ‘plays’ for them, and cover less common situations with something else, so that the number of plays would not become ‘infinite’.

This seemed like a good idea to me. I haven’t done it in practice, and I don’t want to get into an argument about it, but I am interested in what others think about this approach.

I'll post some responses to the interesting posts made by others later.



One step better than a play book is to act out rules scenarios. I do this with sailing students... not to impart racing ability but just to give them a handle on the workings of R-O-W on the water, plus it keeps them from crashing into each other.

Everybody pairs off, and holds their hands out in front of them forming a pointy bow (Opti silors get a kick of this anyway). If we're outside, we use the real wind direction. With a student, I demnstrate how they're sailing along and about to collide... who has right-of-way? Which way is the best way to avoid? How close should the R-O-W boat get before taking avoiding action herself?

We act out all the basics (Port-Starboard, Windward-Leeward, Ahead-Astern) from several different angles including one boat running and another close-hauled; then if they're not totally sick of this we'll start doing 3 boat scenarios.

This gives pretty good results fast, kids go from milling around crashing into each other to a much more orderly mob with very few collisions, almost in the course of a single lesson.

FB- Doug

#20 ojfd

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 02:58 PM

Why don't you provide some examples then, so we can get our arms around changes you think are significant?


I'm not a FB- Doug, but, just off the top of my head - Rule 41 (Outside help), or, to be precise, the deletion of "help as provided for in Rule 1" in 2009-2012 edition of RRS. Since then, I've seen SIs that changed Rule 41 to read more like 2005-2008 edition, especially at youth events, and, apparently it will be back in 2013, albeit in different form.
Submission 157-11 reads:
bla bla bla, except
[e] help to recover a crew member from the water and to return the crew member to the boat before the boat continues in the race.

Here's Rule 41 from RRS 2005-2008 as a reminder:

A boat shall not receive help from any outside source,except
[a] help as provided for in rule 1;
[b] help for an ill or injured crew member;
[c] after a collision,help from the crew of the other boat to get clear;
[d] help in the form of information freely available to all boats;
[e] unsolicited information from a disinterested source,which may be another boat in the same race.

----------
Regards,
ojfd

#21 fprintf

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 04:02 PM

This is a perfect discussion for me, because I am exactly the target for it. An adult sailor who never learned the rules more than port/starboard, windward/leeward and mark roundings. However I have found that my basic understanding has left me completely unprepared for real life scenarios. I have learned this after playing SailX, getting almost 100% wrong answers on the YouTackPro iPhone app, and the same with other online quizzes. That basic understanding just doesn't help when a real understanding is complicated by the interaction of multiple rules. It probably doesn't help that this lack of understanding has been the source of lost races as others with more aggression and a postured knowledge of the rules have simply caused me to abandon my position for fear of collision, embarrassment, or being ostracized.

I've now started to teach myself all over again before this coming season... I am currently boat less, but if that changes I want to be ready, and not thenchickennthat everyone knows they can bully. Hell, once I even tacked when someone on port yelled "starboard"' even though I was on starboard!!!! I guess I didn't even know that rule as well as I thought!

#22 SmartPig

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 04:03 PM


Why don't you provide some examples then, so we can get our arms around changes you think are significant?


I'm not a FB- Doug, but, just off the top of my head - Rule 41 (Outside help), or, to be precise, the deletion of "help as provided for in Rule 1" in 2009-2012 edition of RRS. Since then, I've seen SIs that changed Rule 41 to read more like 2005-2008 edition, especially at youth events, and, apparently it will be back in 2013, albeit in different form.
Submission 157-11 reads:
bla bla bla, except
[e] help to recover a crew member from the water and to return the crew member to the boat before the boat continues in the race.

Here's Rule 41 from RRS 2005-2008 as a reminder:

A boat shall not receive help from any outside source,except
[a] help as provided for in rule 1;
help for an ill or injured crew member;
[c] after a collision,help from the crew of the other boat to get clear;
[d] help in the form of information freely available to all boats;
[e] unsolicited information from a disinterested source,which may be another boat in the same race.

----------
Regards,
ojfd


ojfd -- that's a great example of what I had said earlier "But typically what you see (other than minor tweaks) these days when the rules are "changed" every 4 years, are the boiler-plate stuff found in all other sections of the book. I'm not saying that they are not important -- but those are rules usually left at the pier when you head out. Sailors grapple with the Part 2 rules."


#23 Big Show

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 05:13 PM

...Hell, once I even tacked when someone on port yelled "starboard"' even though I was on starboard!!!! I guess I didn't even know that rule as well as I thought!


There may be other boats on course who may honestly mistake which tack they are on but done intentionally that hail breaks RRS 2.

If you are in doubt as to who is ROW, most of all observe RRS 14. Take a second to look up RRS 14 if you aren't 100% sure what I mean. It's the first and most important limitation in the RRS.

When I was a kid taking CYA learn to sail levels we had to know the definitions to pass the written tests. I'm not sure if that's still the case. I hope RRS knowledge is still a prerequisite to advancing through the learn to sail levels.

#24 ojfd

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 05:29 PM

<snip>But typically what you see (other than minor tweaks) these days when the rules are "changed" every 4 years, are the boiler-plate stuff found in all other sections of the book. I'm not saying that they are not important -- but those are rules usually left at the pier when you head out.<snip>

SmartPig,
I suggest you take a look at this post:
http://forums.sailin...dpost&p=3517296
Hardly a stuff that's "left at the pier"...
I'm staying away from all RRS submissions until they're official, but I did went thru all of them once....two days later my head was still spinning..
Regards,
ojfd

#25 SmartPig

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 06:05 PM


<snip>But typically what you see (other than minor tweaks) these days when the rules are "changed" every 4 years, are the boiler-plate stuff found in all other sections of the book. I'm not saying that they are not important -- but those are rules usually left at the pier when you head out.<snip>

SmartPig,
I suggest you take a look at this post:
http://forums.sailin...dpost&p=3517296
Hardly a stuff that's "left at the pier"...
I'm staying away from all RRS submissions until they're official, but I did went thru all of them once....two days later my head was still spinning..
Regards,
ojfd


Good stuff -- I hadn't seen the proposed changes, so thanks for the link. However, my first read (admittedly a quick one) of all that is that it is just a re-arrangement of words (i.e., my reference to "minor tweaks") to hopefully make the particular rule more decipherable. (Albeit, in some respects, it might end up making it more confusing.) Nothing jumped out at me suggesting a significant shift in the rules, ala 1997. But, I could be wrong and I'll look forward to Dick Rose's explanations as to how they are "changed". He usually is quite adept at focusing on that stuff.

But I understand where you are coming from in challenging my quick "left at the pier" comment. Rule 42.2(b&c) "rocking and ooching" are EXTREMELY important to a Europe or Optimist dingy sailor, but doesn't mean much to Offshore craft. So I shouldn't generalize TOO much. To some folks, I am being overly simplistic. But to me, I still have to cut throught the chafe and simply get the "image" of the rule ingrained in my mind, not memorizing every line item ....... to when I leave the pier. ;)

And in that regard, I believe the basics of the ROW rules will hold steady.

#26 SmartPig

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 06:15 PM

This is a perfect discussion for me, because I am exactly the target for it. An adult sailor who never learned the rules more than port/starboard, windward/leeward and mark roundings. However I have found that my basic understanding has left me completely unprepared for real life scenarios. I have learned this after playing SailX, getting almost 100% wrong answers on the YouTackPro iPhone app, and the same with other online quizzes. That basic understanding just doesn't help when a real understanding is complicated by the interaction of multiple rules. It probably doesn't help that this lack of understanding has been the source of lost races as others with more aggression and a postured knowledge of the rules have simply caused me to abandon my position for fear of collision, embarrassment, or being ostracized.

I've now started to teach myself all over again before this coming season... I am currently boat less, but if that changes I want to be ready, and not thenchickennthat everyone knows they can bully. Hell, once I even tacked when someone on port yelled "starboard"' even though I was on starboard!!!! I guess I didn't even know that rule as well as I thought!


Glad this has caught your attention fprintf. Hopefully others will engage too.

#27 Dog Watch

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 07:46 AM


Rather than attempt to address all the individual comments, I will continue for the moment, by further illustrating what I am trying to say, through presentation of a possible strategy for learning the rules.

re. the discussion of 'playbooks' and other strategies, I need to continue to formulate my thoughts on those. I do see a place for such aids, but I am not sure of their usefulness as a means to effectively reduce the number of rule breaches on the water. In fact, I am contemplating that other such strategies to improve rules compliance might actually be the cause of the problems they try to solve. In so far as they might not be holistic enough, or that fundamental elements of education theory (mainly progression) may be lacking, I am not sure.

My strategy is not new or ground-breaking. Many people use a similar approach already. However, most tools for learning rules (online and books) either focus on the 'application' end of the ladder, or try to mix the 'rote' with the application. The focus on the 'rote' stage is often lost, as the learning tool attempts to address the wide range of scenarios and permutations.

Maybe the most useful learning tool would ONLY focus on the 'rote' stage, ensuring the learners familiarity and ability to recall the definitions, conditions and prescriptions of each rule, and that's all!

Again, this is designed to encourage in-thread discussion, while at the same time give real and useful food for thought for rule teachers and learners.


------------------------------------------

A Rule Learning Strategy

Based on the '4 Levels of Learning' concept, I'm going to try and outline what I see as the important parts of rule teaching and learning. It should give both teachers and learners some ideas.

1. Rote Level

1.1 Start with the terms for which there are definitions. (Indicated by use of italics or bold print.)

Learn each one, become familiar with what's in that section and be able to recite the concept contained within each. The closer to 'verbatim' the better.

e.g.

Definition of Overlap = How to test it? Multiple boats? When the term doesn't apply?

Definition of Tack = How to test it? See 'Leeward / Windward'.

Definition of Leeward / Windward = How to test the side for one boat? How to test it compared to another boat?

Definition of Keep clear = What does it mean to 'sail her course'? Boats overlapped side by side.

1.2 Return to the rule and identify a) the conditional part, b) the instruction / restriction

Almost every rule in Part 2 is made up of 2 parts. A condition, and a prescription (which may be an instruction or restriction). Being able to identify and separate these helps to break the rule down into manageable and pertinent chunks.

Examples:

Rule 10 - Condition = When boats are on opposite tacks.
Rule 10 - Prescription = The boat on port shall keep clear of the boat on starboard.

Rule 11 - Condition = When boats are on same tacks and overlapped.
Rule 11 - Prescription = The windward boat shall keep clear of the leeward one.

Rule 18.1 - Condition = Well the whole of rule 18.1 sets conditions for when not to apply rule 18.

Rule 18.2b - Condition = Boats overlapped when the first reaches the zone.
Rule 18.2b - Prescription = The outside shall give mark-room.

Do this for every rule in Part 2. Learning the numbers doesn't really matter. It’s the concepts that are important.

Ensure that WHENEVER italics are used, you recall the appropriate defintion. Do not substitute your own words. Nowhere will you find the term 'Water' used for room. It is 'Room' or 'Mark-room' as defined. Be strict to use the correct terms. This will further help your rote learning.

Practice by asking questions about the rules. Recall repetition is the key.

Q. When on same tack and overlapped, what is the prescription?
Q. What conditions must exist for port to keep clear of starboard.
Q. When does a boat keep clear?
Q. When does rule 18 not apply?

2. Understanding

Ensure that you have a correct understanding of each rule and definition. Some pictures, diagrams, experience will help with this.

3. Application

3.1 General concept of the RRS.

Commit the following general concepts to your mind, and draw on them all the time.

1. At the start of a race, a boat can do anything, unless she is prohibited by a rule.
2. At the start of the race all rules apply unless their conditions are not met.
3. When a rule's conditions are met, it automatically applies unless (or until) another rule has specifically prescribed otherwise. After which, that rule stays in that state until specifically changed by a rule.


3.2 Study scenarios and identify the rules and obligations of the boats. Take practice quizzes to check your application. Expose yourself to as much chance to apply your knowledge, so that you can easily recognise which rules are in effect.

For each scenario, work by checking the conditions of EVERY rule (discarding those which don't apply), and then apply the prescriptions of those which do apply.

It is very important to check every rule at first, since this practices your ability to recognise conditions. Over time your mind will eventually begin to work the other way and select the applicable rules.

3.3 Dynamic scenarios

Practice the same, but with dynamic scenarios either through animations or video. For every point in the scenario it should be possible to apply the application process. A pause function is useful.

3.4 Experience

Ultimately, the best way to learn how to apply knowledge is experience. That means, being out on the water and practicing application. After a race, think through situations and ask, "Did I recognise and apply the rules correctly?"

4. Correlation

4.1 Discover ways to gain a tactical advantage from a rule.

4.2 Analyse the rules for flaws or conflicts.

The learning progression - benchmarks of improvement

At first, whilst 'learning' you will need to always refer to the rule book, rather than memory. The aim is to get all of your reference from your memory, with the book occasionally serving to confirm accuracy of your recall. You will go through stages here:

a) Referring to book for everything.
b) Knowing the existence of a pertinent book reference (rule, definition or condition), but not being able to recall or recite it.
c) Having a go at recalling from memory and checking with the book for accuracy.
d) Confidence your memory is accurate.

------------------------------------------------------

The above is a very academic strategy for teaching and learning the rules to a point where the learner can race with confidence.

The strategy can be applied by an individual learning on their own, or by providers of rule education, either in written form or in presentations.

The stress is on the rote stage, and the importance of instant recall as a foundation for all the other stages.

The progression through the stages should be accompanied by an appropriate approach.

For example, Diagrams should be carefully chosen to meet the level of learning. While one diagram may help at both the rote stage and the application stage, it is rare. A diagram to explain the difference between port and starboard needs only one boat depicted. Diagrams of multiboat scenarios will only confuse a learner who is attempting to learn what an overlap is.

The correct terminology should always be used throughout the learning process, since links can better be formed this way. When the lecturer / teaching material uses the term 'water' for room, or 'proper course' instead of correct course, it is confusing.

DW


#28 Wet Spreaders

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 12:51 PM

I'm unconvinced that the major problem on the course is lack of rules knowledge from the point of view of the general principles - perhaps in weird/unusual situations or in beer cans with drunk cruiser-types - but not in more serious racing. In my opinion, the issue is when racing you want (really want) to go where you want to go on the course - you're fixated on it and pushing hard - so it's mentally very difficult to switch from wanting and striving to knowing that you simply can't have it because of someone elses actions and an abstract rule. The result is that folks tend to rationalize behavior that's a rules infraction. Some people then take that rationalization into the room with them and make up all kinds of crap - which they really believe by that point too. They're not bad people, just humans with varying amounts of self-discipline.

I suggest that the following would be helpful in improving rule adherence:
1 - Training on the scenarios and patterns rather than the text of the rules. What are you allowed to do in common (and less common) situations. Rule quiz, for example.
2 - Repeated reminders of the expectation of the sport from the point of view of rule adherence. Something that helps people to overcome rationalization of what they want truth to be vs. what really is happening or has happened in a situation where emotions are high. Different age groups respond to different controls - young people respond to the threat of sanction. Middle aged folks like application of rules. Older people generally respond better to appeals to "what is right" and preservation of a culture of appropriate behavior. Psychology 101
3 - GoPros on every boat so those with a penchant for rationalization/re-imagination of scenarios get educated quickly

The major deficiency in rules teaching is not, in my opinion, in the description of the facts of the rules, it's in the recognition that humans under stress are not good rule-processing machines. In short - anything that accelerates and embeds the on-the-water scenarios and provides multi-dimensional support for self-disciplined behaviors would be beneficial. IMHO

#29 Dog Watch

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 02:08 PM

Wet Spreaders,

A thoughtful post certainly. I think you touch upon a very real problem concerned with 'rules' compliance, which as you say contributes to some of the failures we see, particularly at the higher levels.

I'm not sure if this thread is aimed improving rules compliance among the high level sailors or the beer can sailors. I think I am thinking mostly at the bottom level and working upwards.

However, in response to your comments I'm not sure the situation is as different as one might suppose.

..but not in more serious racing. In my opinion, the issue is when racing you want (really want) to go where you want to go on the course - you're fixated on it and pushing hard - so it's mentally very difficult to switch from wanting and striving to knowing that you simply can't have it because of someone elses actions and an abstract rule.


Even at what you'd say was the 'higher' levels of sailing , I've seen a wide range of rules knowledge among all involved in the game. Of course, there is more knowledge as you get higher up in the echelons; the experience is greater. Often the problems are minute interpretations or highly technical disputes, resulting from maybe too much rules knowledge!

But rules violations at these levels are often due to lack of knowledge as they are determined persistence.

I'd suggest that many of the problems found in the higher levels of sailing are simply more advanced versions of their beer can counterparts. First, I'd say that the determined skipper's problem is often in part due to a lack of ability to recognise (apply) the rules in play. Equally though, is the inability of their competitors to recognise and apply the rules on the water. An inability to stand up for your rights, because you are not able to apply the rules swiftly enough to know what they are.

Then we get into the room, and the situation speaks for itself. The rubbish you hear from these 'high level' guys is amazing.

2 - Repeated reminders of the expectation of the sport from the point of view of rule adherence. Something that helps people to overcome rationalization of what they want truth to be vs. what really is happening or has happened in a situation where emotions are high.


I absolutely agree with this. The status of the rules needs to be continually enforced and elevated, along with the kudos of rules compliers.

In short - anything that accelerates and embeds the on-the-water scenarios and provides multi-dimensional support for self-disciplined behaviors would be beneficial. IMHO


If you have read the previous posts, you'll see what you describe in the excerpt above relates to the level of application. Scenarios and playbooks are excellent tools for improving 'application' skills. Particularly at the higher levels of sailing where the more elementary levels of learning (rote and understanding) are normally more solid. In fact, I think the 'playbook' concept is most suitable at that level, where things happen so quickly that the action and reaction to situations must be done almost by reflex, rather than through a cognitive process of rules application.

On the whole though, I tend to agree with your perception of the rules adherence at the higher levels. There is a greater need for studying the psychology of racers at that level; psychology and ego as you describe being responsible for a large proportion of the conflicts on the water, rather than lack of basic knowledge.

Cheers,

DW

#30 SmartPig

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 02:25 PM

2 - Repeated reminders of the expectation of the sport from the point of view of rule adherence. ...... Older people generally respond better to appeals to "what is right" and preservation of a culture of appropriate behavior. Psychology 101



The Corinthian spirit. A lesson learned (for me) some 60 years ago, back when there was no such thing as an "alternative penalty". My brother and I were racing with my dad in Long Island Sound. It was a light air day and somehow we had skunked the fleet getting to the weather mark a quarter mile ahead of everyone else. When rounding, the current caused us to brush the mark. Without even a second thought, Dad retired from the race even though there was no way in hell anyone else had seen this.

I often wonder what percentage of sailors today, given the same setup, would respond in a similar manner?

#31 trenace

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 03:05 PM

I think your basic idea is a very good one and I would definitely take the time to work with whatever you come up with.

I've known a lot of guys who were, I thought, very intelligent who knew the basic situations but beyond that felt full understanding to be just ungraspable and so instead just relied on erring on the side of caution. Other than the very intelligent part, I'm one of them, though from academic measures one might think I ought to be able to fully "get" how to apply the rules in all situations. But instead, as some others have posted here, but in different words, give me a challenging question and what's going on in my head is "Huh, what? There's this, but then there's that. Dunno." Brilliant.

Or just look at pretty much any SA thread on rules, for how unclear people are even when having plenty of time to think let alone when having to decide and act immediately.

From the teaching aspect, I think you're exactly right.

#32 Foxxy

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 10:18 PM

I think most sailors grasp the basic concepts of port/starboard; windward/leeward in simple terms. Beyond that and things seem to get muddy quickly. When you get involve in umpiring, they teach a role playing technique that might go a long way as a teaching tool. Basically the two umpires each assume the identity of the boats on the course and talk through situations using the format of Rights, Reason, Obligations and Opportunities. For example: I have the right of way, I am on Starboard, I may alter course, but must give you room to keep clear while I change directions. The other boat's diologue would go: I am the keep clear boat because I am port tack. You may change course and I must do everything I can to keep clear of you. You may not chage course such that I cannot keep clear of you.

Situations on the race course are dynamic and rights pass back and forth as boats change position in relation to each other. But if If you follow this process, and keep updating your RROO process, it is fairly easy to understand what you need to do in any situation. I think a scenario approach to teaching the rules using this process would be a good way to teach the rules and much better than simply trying to memorize the book.

#33 Bulbhunter

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 10:26 PM

My whole career is based on teaching Adults stuff.

#1 Wash - Rinse - Repeat at least 32 times!

Which means that 99.9% of your non professional sailors do not experience all said sailing rules enough to commit them to accurate memory

There you have it folks the truth about sailing rules and the adult brain.


Oh and what makes it even worse Adults learn on the job ie when its in their face obvious why something is done a certain way - which case 99.9% of the non professional sailors not only do not get exposed to the rules enough but most never experience why said rule is such and such and works the way it does more than a couple of times a season let alone a life time of sailing on the water.

No need for a massive post when the basics of the adult human brain is quite simple regarding learning crap.

However with adult males its known that relating favorite female body parts to complicated things does help in aiding with memory retention which case SA had this already figured out. HA HA

#34 JohnMB

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 11:08 PM

I think most sailors grasp the basic concepts of port/starboard; windward/leeward in simple terms. Beyond that and things seem to get muddy quickly. When you get involve in umpiring, they teach a role playing technique that might go a long way as a teaching tool. Basically the two umpires each assume the identity of the boats on the course and talk through situations using the format of Rights, Reason, Obligations and Opportunities. For example: I have the right of way, I am on Starboard, I may alter course, but must give you room to keep clear while I change directions. The other boat's diologue would go: I am the keep clear boat because I am port tack. You may change course and I must do everything I can to keep clear of you. You may not chage course such that I cannot keep clear of you.

Situations on the race course are dynamic and rights pass back and forth as boats change position in relation to each other. But if If you follow this process, and keep updating your RROO process, it is fairly easy to understand what you need to do in any situation. I think a scenario approach to teaching the rules using this process would be a good way to teach the rules and much better than simply trying to memorize the book.


I think the umpire 'role play' method is a great way to learn

when reviewing any scenario running through this kind of monologue helps lock the concepts in your brain. And it helps in a fundamental way because it requires that you understand the underlying reasons why each boat has the rights and obligations it has.

#35 Beau.Vrolyk

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 11:39 PM



2 - Repeated reminders of the expectation of the sport from the point of view of rule adherence. ...... Older people generally respond better to appeals to "what is right" and preservation of a culture of appropriate behavior. Psychology 101



The Corinthian spirit. A lesson learned (for me) some 60 years ago, back when there was no such thing as an "alternative penalty". My brother and I were racing with my dad in Long Island Sound. It was a light air day and somehow we had skunked the fleet getting to the weather mark a quarter mile ahead of everyone else. When rounding, the current caused us to brush the mark. Without even a second thought, Dad retired from the race even though there was no way in hell anyone else had seen this.

I often wonder what percentage of sailors today, given the same setup, would respond in a similar manner?


SmatPig,

There has clearly been a shift in the level of integrity of the competitors during my sailboat racing life of 50 years. Your father wasn't uncommon when I was young, he would be more rare now. That said, there were certainly rule-breaking-scum back "in the day". One of the reasons the rules were written down in the 1800s was that various members of royalty were running over the yachts owned by commoners.

Peer pressure as rule-enforcement works pretty darn well, but the "peers" have to insure they actually apply the "pressure".

The "average" hobby racer simply doesn't spend enough time racing to even get close to understanding the rules. The college kids around where I sail are on the water 5 days a week in addition to their weekend sailing; the hobby racers sail about two days a month in the late spring, summer and early fall, nothing in the winter. In two days a month they do about 4 to 6 starts and perhaps 24 to 30 mark roundings max. Few people will ever figure out RRS 18 only going around 24 marks a month or about 150 marks in a year. What's more problematic is that there is almost never anyone aboard the hobby racer's boat that actually does know the rules. As a result, even in those 24 mark roundings a month across a 6 months sailing season, there might only be four of five opportunities when the hobby racer could actually learn something or would really REALLY even need to know how RRS 18 works.

Here on SA there are a lot of people who spend a lot of energy on this topic, we're a self-selected group of folks who are interested in the rules and racing. Most hobby sailors aren't interested. Making the rules simple, providing play books and that sort of stuff won't work for someone who doesn't see the need to know it.

If we want hobby sailors to know the rules, we need to give them races in which they need to really use them and correct those who get it wrong. Short courses in boats that won't be destroyed by impact and 8 to 10 starts a day at least 8 to 10 days a month. Instead, we give them long windward legs to spread them out, offset marks and starboard roundings when appropriate to make the windward mark rounding more orderly, and a leeward gate to further distance the competitors from each other. If we keep spreading the boats out, why should the hobby racer ever bother to learn this stuff for the once a year event when he really needs to know it?

I would propose that the fastest way for a hobby sailor to learn the rules is to be tossed aboard to crew for a college kid doing team racing. The rest of this discussion proposes a lot of overhead and formality of theory which adds to the burden of learning. Far better to be yelled at by a really good college senior as you try to put on a mark trap than read a play book. Team racing is learning in-situ - book learning is well.... book learning.

BV

#36 Steam Flyer

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 01:52 AM

...

The "average" hobby racer simply doesn't spend enough time racing to even get close to understanding the rules. The college kids around where I sail are on the water 5 days a week in addition to their weekend sailing...

If we want hobby sailors to know the rules, we need to give them races in which they need to really use them and correct those who get it wrong...

I would propose that the fastest way for a hobby sailor to learn the rules is to be tossed aboard to crew for a college kid doing team racing. ...

BV


I have just the event for you

NJROTC Regatta NOR for 2012 on Sailing Anarchy Calendar

Last Years NJROTC Regatta

Not a team race but most of the boats are overlapped for most of the course... unless you're too pudgy to keep up
:huh:

FB- Doug

#37 Dog Watch

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 06:19 AM

BV,

I thought your post was very pertinet, when you talk about the difference between the hobby sailor others who are keener. All apart from your last paragraph.

Motivation is a massive factor in learning, and from this thread we can see some distinct groups being identified.

Level of Competition - Low stakes hobby sailing where fun and enjoyment are paramout <> high stakes pro racing, with money and resources and high expectations

Age Range - Youth / New sailors starting out, highly competitive but easily put off <> old salty sea dogs who have seen it and done it

Experience - New sailors (any age) experimenting with a new sport <> Sailors who have been in the game for some time and seen many rule changes

Role in the sport - Competitors <> officials


In other sports there are often 'mini' versions of the game. Mini-rugby, Kwik Cricket, 'Slow Pitch Baseball', etc..etc.. Thereby, beginners and youth can play the sport with a ruleset more appropriate to their age, interest and ability. I don't believe there is such an equivelent in sailing. Beginners and youth sail by the same rules which the America's cup pros do. Anyone from any group theoretically meet anyone from any other group in a race. You get no credits for being a beginner.

It is easy for us partaking in this thread to say there is a problem with rules knowledge. We are interested and hold high values to the rules and high standards for our own knowledge and adherance. We can easily spot shortcomings in other's rule knowledge.

However, I've been wondering if there is actually a problem. If Beercan racer A doesn't know his rules, and gets around the course by steering clear of Beercan race B, then is there a problem? Can the sport be run with a 'basic ruleset' with an acceptance of the risk of a nasty crash once in a while or a habitual barger getting away with it because his competitors can't be bothered or don't know to protest?

I don't believe so.

The nature of the sport and the style of rule requires that from beercan racer to pro, all the situations must be covered. If beercan racers are allowed to race under a simplified 'mini' set of rules, they run a real risk of damage and injury. Gamesmanship will creep in where their simple rules aren't encompassing enough. The greyness between sportsmanship and gamesmanship gets greyer and the habitual barger or non-penalty taker goes on unchecked by the rules or his peers.

The problem is that all these distinct groups require a different approach when it comes to rules encouragement, yet ALL these groups sail under the same rules. Yet, if we put the beginners and youth off the rules, what chance do we have of preserving their respect and interest in them throughout their sailing lives?

---------------------------------------------------

BV's last paragraph suggests that we get new sailors onto a youth sailing boat and experience some of the most aggressive instances of rules application we have...collegiate sailing.

However, this is not a practical solution, since as the rest of his post alludes, the hobbiest sailor will not be prepared to spend that time. He wants to be sailing himself, and when he's not sailing he's drinking or working.

-----------------------------------
This thread was started with the focus on strategies to learn rules, rather than who, or why. It was looking at where to start with a beginner sailors, say the average club sailors. What has emerged as discussion has meandered across the issues is that different strategies better suit different demographic groups.

This is a basic principal of education. Nothing new.

Additionally, there are three function for rules.

To separate boats for safety.
To organise the competition.
To ensure fairness.


I'm not 100% sure where the concern for poor rules knowledge lies. I suspect a combination. Different approaches are needed to elevate motivation to learn for each different function.

Maybe we should be identifying the audience and function first and then choosing the strategy.

------------------------------

Umpire Boat simulation mentioned by Foxxy (supported by JohnMB) is a great way to really apply the rules. For those who want to see a really good example watch this link:

http://www.sailingwo...the-umpire-boat

However, that is only good if first, the person has the motivation to go out for the day on the umpire boat (motivation), and secondly if the person has some clue about the rules to begin with (previous experience).

Therefore such a strategy, while a brilliant tool, is only going to be useful for a certain demographic, at a certain stage of their learning. Certainly not novices, and probably not the average hobby sailor. Novices, while they may enjoy it, find it interesting and even pick up a few tips, don't have the basic understanding. Hobby sailors don't have the motivation to go.

----------------------------------
Scenarios and animations are more accessible to a learner, since they can be paused, replayed and discussed. There is no doubt that scenario's such as found in the online rule quizzes and iPhone Apps are a valid tool.

However, to the same extent their usefulness as a learning aid relies on the learners previous experience of the rules and definitions.

Are they the best way to START learning rules?

Please, its important differentiate between using a scenario / diagrams to learn the basics (rote and understanding) and using the same scenario / diagram to learn how to apply the rules.

What is clear is that most people in this thread believe that the 'average' sailor already knows enough of the basics for scenarios to be efficient. This is probably why most tools and materials are pitched at the level of application.

----------------------------------

Then there is the question of whether sailors can be programmed by use of playbooks, entirely removed from the RRS, to comply with the rules. Rather like programming robots to respond to situations without any application. Is this useful or even possible? Could it breed a culture fearful of the RRS, rather than one which embraces the RRS? Is it a long lasting and flexible enough strategy for the sport of sailing?

While it may reduce the number of rule violations at the basic level, I don't see how taking this approach is ideal for a long term understanding of all levels, as that sailor progresses.

----------------------------------

The ultimate question this thread asks, is given a sailor who knows nothing of the rule book, but does know the parts of the boat and most terms, how should he / his teachers ensure a solid skill of rules application on the water, and an appreciation to maintain that skill throughout their sailing career.

Do we start with scenarios, and hope the basics are assimilated. Or is the best approach to start with ensuring / requiring understanding of the very core elements (definitions) and working upwards?

----------------------------------

Lastly, one thought which sprung to mind was the analogy with many other risk hobbies and sports ...the requirement to demonstrate competence before competing.

Q. Should sailing REQUIRE passing of rules knowledge tests before being allowed to skipper a boat in an ISAF race? What would that test focus on, and how would it be administered?

DW

#38 Brass

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 08:31 PM

The causes of boats breaking rules are multi-factorial. Causes include:

· Defective rules knowledge

- Don't know, or have forgotten the relevant rule or part of the rule

- Misunderstand the rules

- Overlooked one or more rules, where several are applicable


· Misjudgement of time and space

· Poor execution (steering or boat handling).

In my experience on protest committees only a small minority of incidents are caused by lack of rules knowledge. Most incidents involve relatively simple applications of the rules in situations where:

· A boat has got herself into by misjudgement or poor execution

· A boat tries to do something within the rules and fails to do it successfully because of misjudgement or poor execution

It's a mistake to think that when racing, competitors apply the rules, word by word in a literal way (as a protest committee might in a protest hearing).

Therefore it is also a mistake to advocate that competitors necessarily should learn the text of the rules by rote.

Competitors apply their own individual mental conception of each rule: it might be a mental image like a TV screen of a static diagram or picture, a moving or animated diagram or picture, a memorable acronym or phrase ('tiller towards trouble'), or whatever.

These internalisations of the rules will very likely be incomplete or incorrect, or, in a complex, multi rule situation, never summoned into play at all.

Key issue is probably applying the rules that you do know in fast-moving, stressful, real-time situations.

Arguably, the better you 'know' the rules the faster you can apply them, and possibly the more of them you will apply, given that you probably only recall and apply selected parts of rules in any given situation.

It might be said that competitors break rules because they haven't internalised the rules in an effective or useful operational form (or not even in any form).

It's certainly my observation in protest committees that people have different factual perceptions of what happened. Whether this is, strictly speaking, post-hoc rationalisation, or whether it is a perception or recollection coloured by what and how they thought the rules should apply in the instants leading up to the incident is debatable.





#39 proOC

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 08:34 PM

Holy Geez DogWatch...

#40 Brass

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 08:36 PM

2 - Repeated reminders of the expectation of the sport from the point of view of rule adherence. ...... Older people generally respond better to appeals to "what is right" and preservation of a culture of appropriate behavior. Psychology 101

The Corinthian spirit. A lesson learned (for me) some 60 years ago, back when there was no such thing as an "alternative penalty". My brother and I were racing with my dad in Long Island Sound. It was a light air day and somehow we had skunked the fleet getting to the weather mark a quarter mile ahead of everyone else. When rounding, the current caused us to brush the mark. Without even a second thought, Dad retired from the race even though there was no way in hell anyone else had seen this.

I often wonder what percentage of sailors today, given the same setup, would respond in a similar manner?

SmartPig,

There has clearly been a shift in the level of integrity of the competitors during my sailboat racing life of 50 years. Your father wasn't uncommon when I was young, he would be more rare now. That said, there were certainly rule-breaking-scum back "in the day". One of the reasons the rules were written down in the 1800s was that various members of royalty were running over the yachts owned by commoners.

Peer pressure as rule-enforcement works pretty darn well, but the "peers" have to insure they actually apply the "pressure".

The "average" hobby racer simply doesn't spend enough time racing to even get close to understanding the rules. The college kids around where I sail are on the water 5 days a week in addition to their weekend sailing; the hobby racers sail about two days a month in the late spring, summer and early fall, nothing in the winter. In two days a month they do about 4 to 6 starts and perhaps 24 to 30 mark roundings max. Few people will ever figure out RRS 18 only going around 24 marks a month or about 150 marks in a year. What's more problematic is that there is almost never anyone aboard the hobby racer's boat that actually does know the rules. As a result, even in those 24 mark roundings a month across a 6 months sailing season, there might only be four of five opportunities when the hobby racer could actually learn something or would really REALLY even need to know how RRS 18 works.

Here on SA there are a lot of people who spend a lot of energy on this topic, we're a self-selected group of folks who are interested in the rules and racing. Most hobby sailors aren't interested. Making the rules simple, providing play books and that sort of stuff won't work for someone who doesn't see the need to know it.

If we want hobby sailors to know the rules, we need to give them races in which they need to really use them and correct those who get it wrong. Short courses in boats that won't be destroyed by impact and 8 to 10 starts a day at least 8 to 10 days a month. Instead, we give them long windward legs to spread them out, offset marks and starboard roundings when appropriate to make the windward mark rounding more orderly, and a leeward gate to further distance the competitors from each other. If we keep spreading the boats out, why should the hobby racer ever bother to learn this stuff for the once a year event when he really needs to know it?

I would propose that the fastest way for a hobby sailor to learn the rules is to be tossed aboard to crew for a college kid doing team racing. The rest of this discussion proposes a lot of overhead and formality of theory which adds to the burden of learning. Far better to be yelled at by a really good college senior as you try to put on a mark trap than read a play book. Team racing is learning in-situ - book learning is well.... book learning.


Look, I'm sorry, I just automatically tend to disregard all 'golden age' assertions (including my own :))

No, the 'peers' don't have to do any bloody thing.

The point about 'peer presssure' is that the peers exert exactly as much pressure as they want to, to achieve the outcome that they, corporately, are happy with.

Among 'hobby racers', (or any other racers) peer pressure finds it's own level
  • they protest each other as much as they want to
  • they comply with the rules as much as they want to
  • tehy engage the rules as sword or shield as much as they want to.
Problems only arise when:
  • there is a 'no protest' culture, or an exceptionally low level of rules knowledge and observance, so that the 'invisible hand' of peer pressure doesn't operate; or
  • there are distinct different groups of peers with different standards and expectations that clash (such as your 'hobby racers' and 'college racers').


#41 SemiSalt

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 09:02 PM

Mike simply didn't know his rules.



No, he does know the rule. He was not paying attention. He had mentally put everyone more than 100yds behind him in the "do not worry, do not pay attention, do not waste your time" category. He was worrying about boat speed, not tactics.

A dork of a different color.

#42 Dog Watch

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 01:29 AM

It's a mistake to think that when racing, competitors apply the rules, word by word in a literal way (as a protest committee might in a protest hearing).

Therefore it is also a mistake to advocate that competitors necessarily should learn the text of the rules by rote.


Agree with the first line. Not so sure about the second. Let's be clear on that word 'rote'. I mean the ability to recall the concepts without aide. Not necessarily verbatim.

And remember that 'rote' is only the FIRST stage of the complete process learning. It is the precursor to the on-the-water stage of application. I totally agree that on-the-water, a sailor does not draw on the words and text of the rule 'verbatim'.

Competitors apply their own individual mental conception of each rule: it might be a mental image like a TV screen of a static diagram or picture, a moving or animated diagram or picture, a memorable acronym or phrase ('tiller towards trouble'), or whatever.

These internalisations of the rules will very likely be incomplete or incorrect, or, in a complex, multi rule situation, never summoned into play at all.

Key issue is probably applying the rules that you do know in fast-moving, stressful, real-time situations.


Ensuring your internalisations are complete and correct is 'understanding'. Being able to use them in fast-moving, stressful, real-time situations is application. Application needs practice.

Arguably, the better you 'know' the rules the faster you can apply them, and possibly the more of them you will apply, given that you probably only recall and apply selected parts of rules in any given situation.

It might be said that competitors break rules because they haven't internalised the rules in an effective or useful operational form (or not even in any form).


Bingo! - Better rote = better understanding = better application. Not arguably.

Bingo! again. Lacking skill of application.

It's certainly my observation in protest committees that people have different factual perceptions of what happened. Whether this is, strictly speaking, post-hoc rationalisation, or whether it is a perception or recollection coloured by what and how they thought the rules should apply in the instants leading up to the incident is debatable.


Rules knowledge is the result of the complete learning process.


Rote > Understand > Apply > Correlate = KNOWLEDGE!


Let's get clear here. When I talk of rules knowledge, I am describing a sailors ability to 'apply and correlate' the rules. That is the endpoint in the learning. To get to this endpoint the sailor must go through the previous levels of rote and understanding. When a sailor 'knows' the rules, but is unable to apply them quick enough or accurately enough on the water, he has 'poor rules knowledge'. He has not completed the learning process.

Don't get me wrong. 'Rote' is not the means by which sailors comply with the rules. I'm NOT saying learn the words, and you can sail. I am suggesting it is the first crucial stage to the entire process. With a good handle at the 'rote' level, the progress to understanding and then application. Each stage must be developed. Simply learning the words doesn't equal rules knowledge.

My learning strategy (this discussion) was a look one possible strategy to complete learning process. Start to finish. Similar to a 'Scheme of work' or 'Curriculum'. The 'rote' is just one part. It's just a progression step, to get to the point of application.

It is not the only strategy. Someone else might come up with another method to get to the same point.

--------------------------------------------
It's interesting that you attribute many of your protest hearings to failed execution / misjudgment. In which case, why didn't they do turns? Why are you at the hearing then? Probably because of post-hoc rationalisation of poor rules knowledge rather than their failed attempt.

Or you say that many hearings revolve around differences of opinion of facts. Fair enough. Many are. Equally numerous are hearings where parties base their defence or offence on flawed interpretations of the rules, demonstrating what would have been going on in their minds at the time (if anything).

What I'm saying is that rules knowledge (the ability to apply the rules on-the-water) is more prevalent then is immediately apparent.

DW

#43 Dog Watch

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 01:40 AM

Mike simply didn't know his rules.



No, he does know the rule. He was not paying attention. He had mentally put everyone more than 100yds behind him in the "do not worry, do not pay attention, do not waste your time" category. He was worrying about boat speed, not tactics.

A dork of a different color.


Mate, you said he ranted and raved at you on the water. If he'd simply not been paying attention, he would have realised his misjudgment, applied the rules and accepted his fault and done his turns! (See previous post.)

Think about it. Most ranting and raving (when in the wrong) is a result of not having good rules knowledge / application. It's a sure sign to me! Always makes me smile. Same in the bar. Same in the protest room.

Saying he was not paying attention is the 'post-hoc rationalisation' we are talking about.

DW

#44 simbert

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 02:39 AM

Mike entered the race to win the race, not to win a protest. That's why Mike ducked. Why would he want to be trapped inside a boat trying to round a mark while he just rounded? Learn from the decision he made, not the rules that apply.

Damn sure he know the rules, he would like you to tack away. For no reason. Or even do turns to fuck up others at the mark behind him!

Did he duck, yes.
Did he cost any position to ROW boat, I would say no.
Is this cheating, hell yes.
Did he get away, hell yes.
What did the rule say about denying? Nothing.

Knowing in and out about the rules and apply them on water like that made a better sailor? I don't think so.

#45 Tcatman

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 02:29 PM

Snatched this from a completely unrelated debate

Traffic fines versus warnings.

punitive action per se, but simply the process of being pulled over and receiving the warning. This imparts the idea that the driver has violated some community norm, and reminds him (and other drivers who pass by) that there are police looking after those norms. The effects can be dramatic and long-lasting. Take the example of a study in Miami Beach: after a two-week period in which drivers received police warnings for violating pedestrian right-of-way in crosswalks, the violation rate dropped drastically — and a year later, without enforcement, it was still down.

Find and discuss one incident... or example of a potential incident a week at the bar debrief and the community will be happier and skills will improve.

#46 Beau.Vrolyk

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 03:48 PM

Dog Watch,

My comment about tossing a bunch of racers in with College kids was more than a little satirical. In future I'll put a emoticon in my post to indicate that. ;) I do realize that "hobby racers" aren't going to spend the time being knocked around by a frustrated college kid who doesn't understand why they don't know the rules. It would, however, be a wonderful way for folks to learn and accounts for the astoundingly rapid internalization of the rules by college freshmen. In my opinion.


Brass,

I do realize that "peers don't need to do a bloody thing." I'll re-state in less ambiguous language, bold added by me to disambiguate:

Peer pressure as rule-enforcement works pretty darn well, but if these "peers" want better adherence to the rules, then the "peers" have to insure they actually apply the "pressure".


I was trying, in a sloppy way, to say that competitors will get exactly as much rules-adherence as they deserve based upon their willingness as a group to learn and enforce the rules. On this, I think we are in violent agreement.

As to citations from a "golden age", I would refer you to a book called "Atlantic: The Last Great Race of Princes" in which Scott Cookman describes some of the "fun" that various competitors had in dealing with a Kaiser who didn't want to yield right of way just become the other boat was on Starboard. He was, after all, the Kaiser. (At least I think it was in that book. :) )


The primary point I was trying to make, in an over-long way, is that competitors in the "hobby racer" group simply don't sail enough to exercise and retain any knowledge of the rules that they do have or have developed. This is made more difficult by changes in the rules, as evidenced by folks who still don't know how large the Zone is and occasionally shout things like "mast abeam". (Again, for Dog Watch's sake the Satire indicator ;) )

BV

#47 Beau.Vrolyk

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 03:58 PM

One final suggestion on teaching the rules.

Open protest hearings and deliberations by the Protest Committee, in which anyone who cares to can observe the testimony process good results in a number of ways:

1) It tends to curtail reality-distortion by the parties, as there are often numerous witnesses in the audience who will cough, shuffle and otherwise indicate that a witness isn't testifying to what they observed happened. While, in my experience, few parties to a protest intentionally lie doing so in front of a large group of one's peers tends to be a bit harder.

2) The members of the Protest Committee may be paying more attention to getting it "right" in front of their peers, and any violation of procedure during the hearing has plenty of witnesses.

3) By listening to what happens, assuming the hearing is well run by a competent Protest Committee, the audience gets a lesson in what hearings are really like and looses some of their fear of going into one; and if the PC is willing to stay on afterwards for explanations of the ruling it is a great "teaching moment".

I'm a big supporter of open semi-public protest hearings and have no idea why many Protest Committees hide themselves away during a hearing. Frequently, I will hear that they don't want to embarrass people. The implication is that someone in the "room" is doing something "embarrassing" and one has to then ask exactly what sort of action that is and why they would be doing it. In my opinion it would improve PC hearings all around if they were open, with some notable exceptions like Rule 69 deliberations.

BV

#48 Brass

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 08:10 PM

Here on SA there are a lot of people who spend a lot of energy on this topic, we're a self-selected group of folks who are interested in the rules and racing. Most hobby sailors aren't interested. Making the rules simple, providing play books and that sort of stuff won't work for someone who doesn't see the need to know it.



I do realize that "peers don't need to do a bloody thing." I'll re-state in less ambiguous language, bold added by me to disambiguate:

Peer pressure as rule-enforcement works pretty darn well, but if these "peers" want better adherence to the rules, then the "peers" have to insure they actually apply the "pressure".

I was trying, in a sloppy way, to say that competitors will get exactly as much rules-adherence as they deserve based upon their willingness as a group to learn and enforce the rules. On this, I think we are in violent agreement.


And it's not up to a self-selected group of rules wonks to be telling grown up boat owners how much compliance they should want.

#49 SmartPig

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 08:29 PM

One final suggestion on teaching the rules.

Open protest hearings and deliberations by the Protest Committee, in which anyone who cares to can observe the testimony process good results in a number of ways:

1) It tends to curtail reality-distortion by the parties, as there are often numerous witnesses in the audience who will cough, shuffle and otherwise indicate that a witness isn't testifying to what they observed happened. While, in my experience, few parties to a protest intentionally lie doing so in front of a large group of one's peers tends to be a bit harder.

2) The members of the Protest Committee may be paying more attention to getting it "right" in front of their peers, and any violation of procedure during the hearing has plenty of witnesses.

3) By listening to what happens, assuming the hearing is well run by a competent Protest Committee, the audience gets a lesson in what hearings are really like and looses some of their fear of going into one; and if the PC is willing to stay on afterwards for explanations of the ruling it is a great "teaching moment".

I'm a big supporter of open semi-public protest hearings and have no idea why many Protest Committees hide themselves away during a hearing. Frequently, I will hear that they don't want to embarrass people. The implication is that someone in the "room" is doing something "embarrassing" and one has to then ask exactly what sort of action that is and why they would be doing it. In my opinion it would improve PC hearings all around if they were open, with some notable exceptions like Rule 69 deliberations.

BV


Now that I've mulled this over for a few minutes -- this is an excellent concept. However, as I can't seem to sell diddly, I'd play hell trying to get a change like this approved by my club. I'm sure their excuse would be that parties to a protest have a right to privacy.

#50 Mark K

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 09:28 PM

Google up the information on the unreliability of eye-witness testimony, BV. False memories are well documented. I think this is why a prevailing sense of sportsmanship is essential in this sport. No refs.


Not sure what is the intended meaning of "Rote" learning here. The term is a bit fuzzy. Typically it's used as simple memorization but in some circles the word has deeper implications.

#51 Beau.Vrolyk

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 10:34 PM

...snip...

And it's not up to a self-selected group of rules wonks to be telling grown up boat owners how much compliance they should want.


I couldn't agree more.

BV

#52 Beau.Vrolyk

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 10:45 PM


One final suggestion on teaching the rules.

Open protest hearings and deliberations by the Protest Committee, in which anyone who cares to can observe the testimony process good results in a number of ways:

1) It tends to curtail reality-distortion by the parties, as there are often numerous witnesses in the audience who will cough, shuffle and otherwise indicate that a witness isn't testifying to what they observed happened. While, in my experience, few parties to a protest intentionally lie doing so in front of a large group of one's peers tends to be a bit harder.

2) The members of the Protest Committee may be paying more attention to getting it "right" in front of their peers, and any violation of procedure during the hearing has plenty of witnesses.

3) By listening to what happens, assuming the hearing is well run by a competent Protest Committee, the audience gets a lesson in what hearings are really like and looses some of their fear of going into one; and if the PC is willing to stay on afterwards for explanations of the ruling it is a great "teaching moment".

I'm a big supporter of open semi-public protest hearings and have no idea why many Protest Committees hide themselves away during a hearing. Frequently, I will hear that they don't want to embarrass people. The implication is that someone in the "room" is doing something "embarrassing" and one has to then ask exactly what sort of action that is and why they would be doing it. In my opinion it would improve PC hearings all around if they were open, with some notable exceptions like Rule 69 deliberations.

BV


Now that I've mulled this over for a few minutes -- this is an excellent concept. However, as I can't seem to sell diddly, I'd play hell trying to get a change like this approved by my club. I'm sure their excuse would be that parties to a protest have a right to privacy.


There is a fairly large amount of precedence for this, mostly with club-level and college-level sailing. It is a great teaching tool and having been both a Party to a protest and an Observer I can personally attest to how effective it is in the areas of accuracy of testimony and correctness of process.

As to the issue of "privacy" and any competitors right to it, there isn't anything in the RRS that gives anyone any such a right (the word "privacy" doesn't even occur once in the RRS). RRS 63.3(a) does state who should be "excluded" from parts of a hearing (witnesses are excluded). Most would consider it "fair play" to state that this sort of open hearing was going to be utilized in the Notice of Race as it might deter certain people from participating and therefore it's only fair to put them on notice. You may find that those who elect not to attend are precisely those you didn't want attending.

BV

#53 Brass

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 10:57 PM

One final suggestion on teaching the rules.

Open protest hearings and deliberations by the Protest Committee, in which anyone who cares to can observe the testimony process good results in a number of ways:

1) It tends to curtail reality-distortion by the parties, as there are often numerous witnesses in the audience who will cough, shuffle and otherwise indicate that a witness isn't testifying to what they observed happened. While, in my experience, few parties to a protest intentionally lie doing so in front of a large group of one's peers tends to be a bit harder.

2) The members of the Protest Committee may be paying more attention to getting it "right" in front of their peers, and any violation of procedure during the hearing has plenty of witnesses.

3) By listening to what happens, assuming the hearing is well run by a competent Protest Committee, the audience gets a lesson in what hearings are really like and looses some of their fear of going into one; and if the PC is willing to stay on afterwards for explanations of the ruling it is a great "teaching moment".

I'm a big supporter of open semi-public protest hearings and have no idea why many Protest Committees hide themselves away during a hearing. Frequently, I will hear that they don't want to embarrass people. The implication is that someone in the "room" is doing something "embarrassing" and one has to then ask exactly what sort of action that is and why they would be doing it. In my opinion it would improve PC hearings all around if they were open, with some notable exceptions like Rule 69 deliberations.

Now that I've mulled this over for a few minutes -- this is an excellent concept. However, as I can't seem to sell diddly, I'd play hell trying to get a change like this approved by my club. I'm sure their excuse would be that parties to a protest have a right to privacy.


Open hearings are a very good idea, but it's not a good idea to allow spectators for the protest committee deliberation and discussion.

It's specifically forbidden by the Judges Manual

9.7 Observers
At the initial jury meeting, the matter of whether hearings should be open
to observers should be discussed. The ISAF's policy is to encourage open
hearings, but often a large enough room is not available.
Opening a hearing to observers not connected with the case, club
members, other sailors, parents, coaches, and press, can greatly enhance
the respect for the hearing system and can have a deterrent effect to
parties and witnesses who are inclined not to be truthful when giving
evidence. However, a hearing should not be made open to observers if
any jury is uncomfortable with spectators. It is more important to give a
good service to the parties than to educate, impress or entertain those not
involved.
No person should be present who witnessed the incident and who is to be
called to give evidence, or might be called to give evidence.
Observers at an open hearing should be made aware of their obligation to
be quiet, except to draw the chairman's attention to the fact should any
observer realise they were involved; such an observer should then be
asked to leave, but might be called (by a party or by the jury itself) to give
evidence.
The observers must leave the room when the evidence has been taken
and the jury wishes to discuss the case and make a decision. See
Appendix 8 for a proposed wording for Observer Rules.
A party might ask for a hearing to be closed to observers, and such a
request can be considered by the jury on its merits.


Judges need to be frank and open with one another, not tailoring what they say to suit an outside audience.

It's amazing how a competitor can seize on an unguarded word from a protest committee member to found an appeal.

Real court judges do their discussions in private. Juries do their discussions in private. Protest committee should do their discussions in private.

#54 SmartPig

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 11:06 PM



One final suggestion on teaching the rules.

Open protest hearings and deliberations by the Protest Committee, in which anyone who cares to can observe the testimony process good results in a number of ways:

1) It tends to curtail reality-distortion by the parties, as there are often numerous witnesses in the audience who will cough, shuffle and otherwise indicate that a witness isn't testifying to what they observed happened. While, in my experience, few parties to a protest intentionally lie doing so in front of a large group of one's peers tends to be a bit harder.

2) The members of the Protest Committee may be paying more attention to getting it "right" in front of their peers, and any violation of procedure during the hearing has plenty of witnesses.

3) By listening to what happens, assuming the hearing is well run by a competent Protest Committee, the audience gets a lesson in what hearings are really like and looses some of their fear of going into one; and if the PC is willing to stay on afterwards for explanations of the ruling it is a great "teaching moment".

I'm a big supporter of open semi-public protest hearings and have no idea why many Protest Committees hide themselves away during a hearing. Frequently, I will hear that they don't want to embarrass people. The implication is that someone in the "room" is doing something "embarrassing" and one has to then ask exactly what sort of action that is and why they would be doing it. In my opinion it would improve PC hearings all around if they were open, with some notable exceptions like Rule 69 deliberations.

BV


Now that I've mulled this over for a few minutes -- this is an excellent concept. However, as I can't seem to sell diddly, I'd play hell trying to get a change like this approved by my club. I'm sure their excuse would be that parties to a protest have a right to privacy.


There is a fairly large amount of precedence for this, mostly with club-level and college-level sailing. It is a great teaching tool and having been both a Party to a protest and an Observer I can personally attest to how effective it is in the areas of accuracy of testimony and correctness of process.

As to the issue of "privacy" and any competitors right to it, there isn't anything in the RRS that gives anyone any such a right (the word "privacy" doesn't even occur once in the RRS). RRS 63.3(a) does state who should be "excluded" from parts of a hearing (witnesses are excluded). Most would consider it "fair play" to state that this sort of open hearing was going to be utilized in the Notice of Race as it might deter certain people from participating and therefore it's only fair to put them on notice. You may find that those who elect not to attend are precisely those you didn't want attending.

BV


No, I concur exactly about 'privacy' being nowhere in the RRS ... I just know the flags at my club. I worked hard during our winter planning sessions drafting up three changes in our race management -- they were damn good changes -- and all three got shot down. Let me give you an example: I wanted to make it a club standard to teach all of our RC members to always identify the leeward end of the PIN starting mark (often it is a fairly large tet) as the far end of the starting line. This would go a long way toward eliminating any question and/or confusion as to boats being OCS -- from both the RC view and the competitors. Most people are often resistant to change.

#55 Beau.Vrolyk

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 12:28 AM

Brass,

I'm acquainted with the Judge's Manual, and can certainly see the issue. However, just for clarities sake, I can't find a place where the Judge's Manual is binding; meaning is it a Rule. Is it? Or, is it just a recommendation like many of the pieces of "guidance" in the RRS appendixes?

BV

#56 Brass

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 12:56 AM

Brass,

I'm acquainted with the Judge's Manual, and can certainly see the issue. However, just for clarities sake, I can't find a place where the Judge's Manual is binding; meaning is it a Rule. Is it? Or, is it just a recommendation like many of the pieces of "guidance" in the RRS appendixes?


Appendicers are Rules: See Definitions.

Rule (a) The rules in this book, including the Definitions, Race Signals, Introduction, preambles and the rules of relevant appendices,


No, the Judges Manual is not a rule nor an 'authoritative interpretation' of rules (that's the Case Book).

It's only what Judges are taught and examined on.

The Preface says:

This manual is designed to be a learning tool for judges who are gathering knowledge and experience with the aim of becoming International Judges. It also should be a reference guide for existing International Judges, with the aim of contributing to consistency in judging all over the world.



#57 Beau.Vrolyk

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 12:18 PM

Brass,

I'm acquainted with the Judge's Manual, and can certainly see the issue. However, just for clarities sake, I can't find a place where the Judge's Manual is binding; meaning is it a Rule. Is it? Or, is it just a recommendation like many of the pieces of "guidance" in the RRS appendixes?


Appendicers are Rules: See Definitions.

Rule (a) The rules in this book, including the Definitions, Race Signals, Introduction, preambles and the rules of relevant appendices,



Got it on the Judge's Manual. To be a little pedantic, I think you'll find that Appendix K, L, and M are actually "guides" and a "recommendation" rather than rules, which is what I meant by my original comment.

Thanks,

BV

#58 DoRag

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 06:57 PM

Brass,

I'm acquainted with the Judge's Manual, and can certainly see the issue. However, just for clarities sake, I can't find a place where the Judge's Manual is binding; meaning is it a Rule. Is it? Or, is it just a recommendation like many of the pieces of "guidance" in the RRS appendixes?

BV


..."clarities".....

WTF?




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