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Minimal Rule Set for New Racers?


TJSoCal

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In another thread, Kent_Island_Sailor posed the following statement/question: "Back in the day with the old rules it was possible to make an index card of basic rules that would do for Ma and Pa Kettle getting their Catalina cranked up to race. Is this still possible?"

 

While I think the nostalgia for the "old rules" that were "less complex" is a bit of golden age thinking, I've been thinking about this topic for a while. Particularly in light of the frequent complaints on this forum about how the rules are too complicated, long and opaque and keep people out of racing. There may be an element of truth to that but I think it's possible for a new racer to have fun, be safe and perform OK (at least enough to find out if they like racing or not) without having a detailed knowledge of all of the rules, cases, appeals, etc.

 

I'd propose that if someone (with a basic knowledge of sailing and terminology) understands the following 7 racing rules plus three "common sense" rules, they should feel confident that they can get out on the course and compete reasonably safely and reasonably fairly. Granted, if this is all the rules you know you'll lose some competitive advantage, but let's face it--newbie racers typically have about a thousand things they can do to improve their competitiveness, and understanding the fine distinctions between the new and old versions of 18.3(a) is somewhere around number 997.

 

Presented for discussion, this is what I think a new racer really needs to know regarding the rules (and could put on an index card):

 

  • RRS Rule 14: Avoid contact with other boats
  • RRS Rule 10: Port tack keep clear of starboard tack
  • RRS Rule 11: When overlapped on same tack, windward keep clear of leeward
  • RRS Rule 12: Clear astern keep clear of clear ahead
  • RRS Rule 13: Keep clear of other boats while tacking
  • RRS Rule 31: Touch a mark, do a penalty turn
  • RRS Rule 44: If someone protests you, do a two-turns penalty
  • Common Sense Rule A: Stay away from clusterf*cks--go around rather than through
  • Common Sense Rule B: If someone is yelling at you, keep clear of them
  • Common Sense Rule C: Don't be an a$$hole

 

What do y'all think?

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In another thread, Kent_Island_Sailor posed the following statement/question: "Back in the day with the old rules it was possible to make an index card of basic rules that would do for Ma and Pa Kettle getting their Catalina cranked up to race. Is this still possible?"

 

While I think the nostalgia for the "old rules" that were "less complex" is a bit of golden age thinking, I've been thinking about this topic for a while. Particularly in light of the frequent complaints on this forum about how the rules are too complicated, long and opaque and keep people out of racing. There may be an element of truth to that but I think it's possible for a new racer to have fun, be safe and perform OK (at least enough to find out if they like racing or not) without having a detailed knowledge of all of the rules, cases, appeals, etc.

 

I'd propose that if someone (with a basic knowledge of sailing and terminology) understands the following 7 racing rules plus three "common sense" rules, they should feel confident that they can get out on the course and compete reasonably safely and reasonably fairly. Granted, if this is all the rules you know you'll lose some competitive advantage, but let's face it--newbie racers typically have about a thousand things they can do to improve their competitiveness, and understanding the fine distinctions between the new and old versions of 18.3(a) is somewhere around number 997.

 

Presented for discussion, this is what I think a new racer really needs to know regarding the rules (and could put on an index card):

 

  • RRS Rule 14: Avoid contact with other boats
  • RRS Rule 10: Port tack keep clear of starboard tack
  • RRS Rule 11: When overlapped on same tack, windward keep clear of leeward
  • RRS Rule 12: Clear astern keep clear of clear ahead
  • RRS Rule 13: Keep clear of other boats while tacking
  • RRS Rule 31: Touch a mark, do a penalty turn
  • RRS Rule 44: If someone protests you, do a two-turns penalty
  • Common Sense Rule A: Stay away from clusterf*cks--go around rather than through
  • Common Sense Rule B: If someone is yelling at you, keep clear of them
  • Common Sense Rule C: Don't be an a$$hole

 

What do y'all think?

 

Yep, pretty good. Although for clarity you may want to edit RRS Rule 13 so it reads "while you are tacking"

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You need something about the zone, giving room, and don't tack in there. Maybe just don't cut off other boats around the marks.

 

I kind of feel like CSR A (and maybe also B ) covers that, until you're ready to learn RRS 18.

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In another thread, Kent_Island_Sailor posed the following statement/question: "Back in the day with the old rules it was possible to make an index card of basic rules that would do for Ma and Pa Kettle getting their Catalina cranked up to race. Is this still possible?"

 

While I think the nostalgia for the "old rules" that were "less complex" is a bit of golden age thinking, I've been thinking about this topic for a while. Particularly in light of the frequent complaints on this forum about how the rules are too complicated, long and opaque and keep people out of racing. There may be an element of truth to that but I think it's possible for a new racer to have fun, be safe and perform OK (at least enough to find out if they like racing or not) without having a detailed knowledge of all of the rules, cases, appeals, etc.

 

I'd propose that if someone (with a basic knowledge of sailing and terminology) understands the following 7 racing rules plus three "common sense" rules, they should feel confident that they can get out on the course and compete reasonably safely and reasonably fairly. Granted, if this is all the rules you know you'll lose some competitive advantage, but let's face it--newbie racers typically have about a thousand things they can do to improve their competitiveness, and understanding the fine distinctions between the new and old versions of 18.3(a) is somewhere around number 997.

 

Presented for discussion, this is what I think a new racer really needs to know regarding the rules (and could put on an index card):

 

  • RRS Rule 14: Avoid contact with other boats
  • RRS Rule 10: Port tack keep clear of starboard tack
  • RRS Rule 11: When overlapped on same tack, windward keep clear of leeward
  • RRS Rule 12: Clear astern keep clear of clear ahead
  • RRS Rule 13: Keep clear of other boats while tacking
  • RRS Rule 31: Touch a mark, do a penalty turn
  • RRS Rule 44: If someone protests you, do a two-turns penalty
  • Common Sense Rule A: Stay away from clusterf*cks--go around rather than through
  • Common Sense Rule B: If someone is yelling at you, keep clear of them
  • Common Sense Rule C: Don't be an a$$hole

 

What do y'all think?

 

Yep, pretty good. Although for clarity you may want to edit RRS Rule 13 so it reads "while you are tacking"

 

Might need to add a bit of explanation about what "keeping clear" means in a port/starboard, windward/leeward or mark-rounding situation. How exactly do you "keep clear" in these situations. And something about who has right of way if one boat is going downwind on starboard and encounters another boat going upwind on starboard. I get that question a lot from newbs.

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This has been done more than a few times... as the rules are

a) simpler and shorter than they used to be and

B) essentially much the same as they used to be other than complicated situations beginners should avoid

it shouldn't be a hard task.

 

Don't come into windward marks on port tack

Don't try go into gaps between two boats or a boat and a mark

might be useful common sense additions.

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It's very close to what people aim at that have their races run under Colregs so that newbies do not feel that they have to learn a lot of rules.

 

On the reverse of the index card there should be an explanation of how a start works, including where to look for the pin end (in crowded situations, newcomers may well not be able to figure out where the start line is -- I know I couldn't).

 

Totally cool idea to work up a "cheat sheet" if the aim is not to actually replace the rules but help people prioritize them as they learn the ropes.

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I'd like to see the non-novice sailors be reminded of Rule 14. When I find myself in a situation where I am accused of being in the wrong I always respond with "Rule 14 - DON'T HIT ME". It's basically a mea culpa, and I do my turns.

 

Too many people think that being 'right' gives them the privilege to make contact.

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Rule 1. Don't fuck up.

Rule 2. Have fun.

Enough said.

 

+1, Pretty much sums it up. If I may be so bold as to add a couple extra points that covers about 99% of the situations one may encounter:

 

3) Do the right thing w/regards to windward/leeward and port/starboard & treat other competitors with respect by giving benefit of the doubt. Win because you're faster, not because of some obscure rule that no one quite understands or remembers anyway. Unless they're clearly acting like a douchebag and purposely breaking a rule for personal gain. The universe usually has a way of dealing with these people anyway. And lets face it, if you were faster than the other boat they wouldn't have been near you at that mark rounding when they fouled you anyway ;)

 

4) Remember, you're not racing for money or on an AC boat campaign (unless you actually are on an AC boat or competing for money).

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As JimC has said there have been very extensive previous discussions on this.

 

WS Introductory Rules

 

http://forums.sailinganarchy.com/index.php?showtopic=81308&view=findpost&p=1969094&hl=%2Bintroductory+%2Brules

 

A couple of my previous posts are shown below

 

Big SA Thread http://forums.sailinganarchy.com/index.php?showtopic=171983&hl=%2Bisaf+%2Brules

 

 

We had a very long discussion about simplified racing rules in a Y&Y forum here

 

There was more or less a consensus that the existing RRS were suitable for 'serious' racing but that it was possible to develop a simplified subset of those rules that would be consistent with the 'full-strength' rules, but allow beginners to get around the race course without getting into trouble. Beginners having mastered the limited subset, could then progress at their own pace to using the rules more aggressively, as they mastered more complex and interactive scenarios.

 

Numerous approaches and rules aids were discussed, without arriving at a perfected final product.

 

 

I still reckon that rather than rewrite the rules, it would be better to come up with some maxims to live by.

I.e. here: don't approach the start line from the red zone.

attachicon.gifstart.png

Or at a windward mark - tack onto starboard well before 3bl from the line. Do this:

attachicon.gifww- yes.png

Don't be the blue boat here:
attachicon.gifww - no.png

Yes, you are reducing tactical options, but if you're less confident and focussing mainly on getting round the course I wonder how much difference it would actually make.



Brilliant work Ed.

I'm pretty sure that the best beginners learning aids for the rules are graphics/visuals.

Maybe this would also be helpful

attachicon.gifDot_Point_Rules_2.png

 

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Good set of basic rules.

Here's a link to a simple primer on the rules:

http://www.wpyc.com.au/assets/basic_separation_rules_2009-1-.pdf

A bit more complex than your proposal, but gives some "why" to each rule.

Great PowerPoint! As someone who has crewed, but not skippered a race, this was easy to understand. What made it better was not only the format, but the approach. "Dumbing down" the rules made them easier to understand. The rules, as well as the book(s?) I have read to interpret the rules, were written by hardcore racers for that same audience.

 

For those who intend to write a rules interpretation, may I suggest the "virgin test". Whenever I wrote a manual or procedure I had someone who had marginal knowledge of the subject matter review it. If the manual or procedure made sense to "the virgin" I knew the manual was clear.

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Good set of basic rules.

Here's a link to a simple primer on the rules:

http://www.wpyc.com.au/assets/basic_separation_rules_2009-1-.pdf

A bit more complex than your proposal, but gives some "why" to each rule.

Great PowerPoint! As someone who has crewed, but not skippered a race, this was easy to understand. What made it better was not only the format, but the approach. "Dumbing down" the rules made them easier to understand. The rules, as well as the book(s?) I have read to interpret the rules, were written by hardcore racers for that same audience.

 

For those who intend to write a rules interpretation, may I suggest the "virgin test". Whenever I wrote a manual or procedure I had someone who had marginal knowledge of the subject matter review it. If the manual or procedure made sense to "the virgin" I knew the manual was clear.

 

 

Yeah, except there are several things in that presentation that have changed. But I agree, its a good format. Just out of date.....

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As JimC has said there have been very extensive previous discussions on this.

 

WS Introductory Rules

 

http://forums.sailinganarchy.com/index.php?showtopic=81308&view=findpost&p=1969094&hl=%2Bintroductory+%2Brules

 

A couple of my previous posts are shown below

 

Big SA Thread http://forums.sailinganarchy.com/index.php?showtopic=171983&hl=%2Bisaf+%2Brules

 

 

We had a very long discussion about simplified racing rules in a Y&Y forum here

 

There was more or less a consensus that the existing RRS were suitable for 'serious' racing but that it was possible to develop a simplified subset of those rules that would be consistent with the 'full-strength' rules, but allow beginners to get around the race course without getting into trouble. Beginners having mastered the limited subset, could then progress at their own pace to using the rules more aggressively, as they mastered more complex and interactive scenarios.

 

Numerous approaches and rules aids were discussed, without arriving at a perfected final product.

 

 

I still reckon that rather than rewrite the rules, it would be better to come up with some maxims to live by.

 

I.e. here: don't approach the start line from the red zone.

 

attachicon.gifstart.png

 

Or at a windward mark - tack onto starboard well before 3bl from the line. Do this:

 

attachicon.gifww- yes.png

 

Don't be the blue boat here:

attachicon.gifww - no.png

 

Yes, you are reducing tactical options, but if you're less confident and focussing mainly on getting round the course I wonder how much difference it would actually make.

 

Brilliant work Ed.

 

I'm pretty sure that the best beginners learning aids for the rules are graphics/visuals.

 

Maybe this would also be helpful

 

attachicon.gifDot_Point_Rules_2.png

 

 

 

With respect, the other threads Brass referenced seemed to be mainly about rewriting the rules, either for beginners or for other purposes. That's not what I'm suggesting here. I believe I agree with Brass that the current rules are more or less fine and the process for improving them over time is also more or less fine.

 

What I'm suggesting that the current RRS should still apply in full force to all competitors. Realistically, almost everyone (except maybe Brass ;-) ) races with an incomplete and inaccurate knowledge of RRS (some more complete and accurate than others'), which is fine. So there's no reason that a new racer should expect to have a full (or even average) level of knowledge of RRS as a prerequisite for getting out on the course.

 

I feel like the 7 RRSs I listed above are the minimum needed to be safe and functional on the race course. The "common sense" rules are intended to ensure that you don't get crosswise with all the other RRS rules you don't yet know or understand.

 

I agree that the rules primers cited are valuable resources. But they don't fit on an index card.

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Many sailors that I know in Seattle first raced in Duck Dodge (including me). They have very minimal rules:

http://duckdodge.org/text.php?page=rules

 

Rule 1: Starboard Tack has Right of Way

Rule 2: Rules of the road apply
Rule 3: No hitting one-another(With or without boats)
Rule 4: Take all marks to PORT unless noted on Race Course
Rule 5: No hitting one-another
Rule 6: Bribing the committee is against the rules (while anybody is looking)
Rule 7: No hitting one-another
Rule 8: There is no rule number 8
Rule 9: No hitting one-another
Rule 10: Follow all the rules
Rule 11: No hitting one-another
Rule 12: Never make a duck change its course (Dodge the Duck)

 

It more or less works. Sometimes people who actually race forget that zone rules don't apply.

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Humans are visual learners, so I've often thought that the 'simple rule' package to get people out trying our sport should not so much be a shorter list of words, but a representation of situations... so for example here I've shown 'upwind port tack'... you're the black boat, Red boats you avoid, green boats are OK. So this would be 1/4 of the little laminated plaque in the cockpit... you look at where you are and see if the approaching boats are a problem for you or not...

 

post-1196-0-72024300-1482367620_thumb.jpg

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Rule 1. Don't fuck up.

Rule 2. Have fun.

Enough said.

Not quite. Still needs this:

Rule 0: Don't be an asshole.

 

(so numbered because I think it should be the first rule)

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Humans are visual learners, so I've often thought that the 'simple rule' package to get people out trying our sport should not so much be a shorter list of words, but a representation of situations... so for example here I've shown 'upwind port tack'... you're the black boat, Red boats you avoid, green boats are OK. So this would be 1/4 of the little laminated plaque in the cockpit... you look at where you are and see if the approaching boats are a problem for you or not...

 

port.JPG

Good start, but it needs words. Perhaps label the boats a-? And explain that you yield to A because it is upwind, yield to B cause he is on starboard tack and you are on port, yield to C....

 

People need and explanation and then the picture can get laminated with the bouys uses, start sequence, etc.

 

Once again running it by someone who is semi-clueless would help.

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With respect, the other threads Brass referenced seemed to be mainly about rewriting the rules, either for beginners or for other purposes. That's not what I'm suggesting here. I believe I agree with Brass that the current rules are more or less fine and the process for improving them over time is also more or less fine.

 

What I'm suggesting that the current RRS should still apply in full force to all competitors. Realistically, almost everyone (except maybe Brass ;-) )races with an incomplete and inaccurate knowledge of RRS (some more complete and accurate than others'), which is fine. So there's no reason that a new racer should expect to have a full (or even average) level of knowledge of RRS as a prerequisite for getting out on the course.

 

That's exactly what I have frequently said in posts.

 

I feel like the 7 RRSs I listed above are the minimum needed to be safe and functional on the race course. The "common sense" rules are intended to ensure that you don't get crosswise with all the other RRS rules you don't yet know or understand.

 

I agree that the rules primers cited are valuable resources. But they don't fit on an index card.

 

That's exactly what I was trying to do

 

post-16869-0-63762800-1482387886_thumb.png

 

Note the last item: don't run other boats off the road is a close as I can get to a brief, memorable point about giving room at marks and obstructions.

 

Humans are visual learners, so I've often thought that the 'simple rule' package to get people out trying our sport should not so much be a shorter list of words, but a representation of situations... so for example here I've shown 'upwind port tack'... you're the black boat, Red boats you avoid, green boats are OK. So this would be 1/4 of the little laminated plaque in the cockpit... you look at where you are and see if the approaching boats are a problem for you or not...

 

attachicon.gifport.JPG

 

I think this, while elegant, is a bit cryptic.

 

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With respect, the other threads Brass referenced seemed to be mainly about rewriting the rules, either for beginners or for other purposes. That's not what I'm suggesting here. I believe I agree with Brass that the current rules are more or less fine and the process for improving them over time is also more or less fine.

 

What I'm suggesting that the current RRS should still apply in full force to all competitors. Realistically, almost everyone (except maybe Brass ;-) )races with an incomplete and inaccurate knowledge of RRS (some more complete and accurate than others'), which is fine. So there's no reason that a new racer should expect to have a full (or even average) level of knowledge of RRS as a prerequisite for getting out on the course.

 

That's exactly what I have frequently said in posts.

 

I feel like the 7 RRSs I listed above are the minimum needed to be safe and functional on the race course. The "common sense" rules are intended to ensure that you don't get crosswise with all the other RRS rules you don't yet know or understand.

 

I agree that the rules primers cited are valuable resources. But they don't fit on an index card.

 

That's exactly what I was trying to do

 

attachicon.gifDot_Point_Rules.png

 

Note the last item: don't run other boats off the road is a close as I can get to a brief, memorable point about giving room at marks and obstructions.

 

Humans are visual learners, so I've often thought that the 'simple rule' package to get people out trying our sport should not so much be a shorter list of words, but a representation of situations... so for example here I've shown 'upwind port tack'... you're the black boat, Red boats you avoid, green boats are OK. So this would be 1/4 of the little laminated plaque in the cockpit... you look at where you are and see if the approaching boats are a problem for you or not...

 

attachicon.gifport.JPG

 

I think this, while elegant, is a bit cryptic.

 

 

A quick visual reference would be a useful resource. To make it more useful it would need to provide:

  • Color coding of any other boats that needs to keep clear / give room
  • Color coding of any other boats that are to be kept clear from / given room to
  • Color coding of the "own" boat
  • Arrows showing actions to keep clear/ give room
  • Separate images for each scenario, including "own" boat tacking below, crossing and ducking a SB tacker (these are the same rule, but the positioning of the boats is different; crossing example should be shown with Port safely ahead; tacking and ducking might be alternates in the same diagram).
  • include all windward leeward scenarios
  • Good illustration of overlap
  • etc.

There's a alternate focus that might be interesting. Rather than sorting this by rule, why not sort this by scenario, that is "here is my boat, here's the other boat", what's the standard/safe/legal/recommended course of action?

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There is one main rule, to be utilised both while yacht racing and in every aspect of general life. Don't be a cock. That's it.

 

If you are going to race your yacht, at least try to learn the rules, they are all there for a reason.

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The old concept of onus imo was a clarifying deterrent that should be resurrected and emphasized in the wording of the rule. I think it would give pause to the habitual rule pushers who always seem to end up in conflict on the course.

 

Something like the onus is always on the port tack boat to present clear evidence that starboard was not infringed in the event of protest, and lack of such evidence will mean port getting chucked.

 

Same with boats that tack in the zone, windward/leeward, etc.

 

Also, gopro cameras and the like have gotten so cheap compared to the overall cost of a big boat. A couple of em well mounted would solve a lot of lying in the protest room.

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Flame suit on...



With due respect to everyone who has taken the time to comment, I am starting to wonder if this thread is going round in the same well trodden circle which many before have been round. (See P.Ed's next post as an example!)


As Brass says, there have been countless discussions along these lines.


I think there are crucial parts to this debate which constantly get missed out. Hence the repeat over the years of the same old points.


The problem is not finding the answer. It's the lack of identified problems.


What is the problem? What are you trying to solve with your simplified rules? Who are you trying to appease?


Who says the rules are complex? Children? Understandably. People with learning difficulties? I can see that...


However, I'm always a little bemused when I hear general folk, sometimes experts who face complex situations on a day-to-day basis in their professions at work, complaining that the rules are too complex! Lawyers, doctors, builders - - grown men and women complaining that the rules are too complex.


I'm starting to think it's not the rules, but rather the people. Some people just don't want to learn them. Is it a crutch to hide their incompentence on the water? Does knowing and sailing to the rules make it difficult to fudge one's way around the race course? Much easier to whinge and call a guy an asshole, when he calls you out for breaking a rule, rather than learning the rules and sticking to them and admit you messed up.


Who are we appeasing in this thread? People with genuine learning difficulties and say, young children who naturally might find the rules confusing? Or lazy incompetent sailors who want any excuse for their poor performance?


I'm all for quick reference guides, to enable quick access to the important items. In almost every cockpit of every flying machine, you'll find a QRH. It makes sense.


I'm not for dumbing down the rules into baby-speak to appease those who simply can't be bothered to learn them or abide by them.


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

The Racing Rules of Sailing are fine.


They are about as concise as they can be. Each rule in there I suspect, was written because it was needed. Every time I see someone try to make a 'brief minimal version' it ends up growing, until all we have is a set of rules which say exactly the same as before, but translated into baby-speak!


Rules are created to maintain safety, organisation or fairness. What makes us think that we can dumb the rules down, when we are not changing the game? That will inevitably end up dangerous, messy or unfair.


Here's my suggestion...


Someone does an indepth study of 'what the actual problem is'? Is it that people just don't want to learn them. Is it that there are rules there which are unnecessary?


Then simpler 'Modified Games' are created, with simpler rule sets which deal with the identified problems.


This is happening in almost every other sport already. Sailing is one of the few sports which does not have a simplified version of the game. One of the only sports which has its beginners operating to the same requirements as the hardened pro. 6 year old kids having to learn the same rule book as gnarly salty old dogs! Come on!


Take 'Kwik-Cricket', 'Mini Rugby', Touch Rugby, Tag Rugby, Short Tennis, Flag (American) Football, Mini Hockey, Mini Basketball, even Chess Mini Games!- - these are all simplified versions of the game, well suited to beginners or those who don't want to play the full game. The important aspect is that they all are modifications to the standard game. That's how they can have simplified rules. The actual game is simpler.


So, in order to acheive the sport of sailing with simplified rules, you need to modify the game to eliminate the problem areas (identifed in someone's indepth study).


While you're there, why not come up with some other less intensive formats, and have simplified rule sets for them. That way you might encourage some 'non-racers' to come racing. (See other thread.)


-If the mark room rules are the problem, invent a sailing game with no marks.

-If the start is the issue, then have more events with staggerd starts.

-If collision risk due to risky crossing is the issue, then put a 'moving prohibited zone' around each boat.


What is the actual problem?


DW

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Something like the onus is always on the port tack boat to present clear evidence that starboard was not infringed in the event of protest, and lack of such evidence will mean port getting chucked.

Already required under case 50

A starboard-tack boat in such circumstances need not hold her course so as to prove, by hitting the port-tack boat, that a collision was inevitable. Moreover, if she does so she will break rule 14. At a protest hearing, S must establish either that contact would have occurred if she had held her course, or that there was enough doubt that P could safely cross ahead to create a reasonable apprehension of contact on Ss part and that it was unlikely that S would have no need to take avoiding action (see the definition Keep Clear).

 

In her own defence, P must present adequate evidence to establish either that S did not change course or that P would have safely crossed ahead of S and that S had no need to take avoiding action. (PE - my emphasis) When, after considering all the evidence, a protest committee finds that S did not change course or that there was not a genuine and reasonable apprehension of collision on her part, it should dismiss her protest. When, however, it is satisfied that S did change course, that there was reasonable doubt that P could have crossed ahead, and that S was justified in taking avoiding action by bearing away, then P should be disqualified.

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Great thread :D

I think many noobs are scared of the start. I would suggest not even thinking about winning the start your first few times out. Just be right behind everyone else and watch what they do without being in the middle of the scrum. Also, as noted, if you see a 10 boat mass cluster at a mark, just go wide around it.

I actually used to win 420 races this way. There was a 20 boat mass ball of confusion at the favored end of the line and a clear lane for us at the other end. Then we would go wide around the same 20 boats doing mass confusion mark rounding for the win B)

This wouldn't work in a really competitive fleet of course, but at the level where everyone else is trying their newly learned tactics on each other, boat speed wins ;)

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Saw this. http://www.bcya.com/Misc/BasicRacingRules.pdf

 

Our club has an index card size thing that we give give to new skippers. Granted we are sailing r/c boats and most folks coming to the pond have zero idea of even basic rules of the road... so we are really starting from scratch with most folks...

Very nice summary of the rules. I particurally like that it shows a boat that does not have rights what it should do. Of course, there are other things it could do, but still good.

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Something like the onus is always on the port tack boat to present clear evidence that starboard was not infringed in the event of protest, and lack of such evidence will mean port getting chucked.

Already required under case 50

A starboard-tack boat in such circumstances need not hold her course so as to prove, by hitting the port-tack boat, that a collision was inevitable. Moreover, if she does so she will break rule 14. At a protest hearing, S must establish either that contact would have occurred if she had held her course, or that there was enough doubt that P could safely cross ahead to create a reasonable apprehension of contact on Ss part and that it was unlikely that S would have no need to take avoiding action (see the definition Keep Clear).

In her own defence, P must present adequate evidence to establish either that S did not change course or that P would have safely crossed ahead of S and that S had no need to take avoiding action. (PE - my emphasis) When, after considering all the evidence, a protest committee finds that S did not change course or that there was not a genuine and reasonable apprehension of collision on her part, it should dismiss her protest. When, however, it is satisfied that S did change course, that there was reasonable doubt that P could have crossed ahead, and that S was justified in taking avoiding action by bearing away, then P should be disqualified.

kind of..

but I think strong wording describing overwhelming proof in the main body of the rules of an onus vessel to exonerate itself of wrongdoing would stick out in the minds of sailors, and make the decision of protest committee much simpler.

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Flame suit on...
With due respect to everyone who has taken the time to comment, I am starting to wonder if this thread is going round in the same well trodden circle which many before have been round. (See P.Ed's next post as an example!)
As Brass says, there have been countless discussions along these lines.
I think there are crucial parts to this debate which constantly get missed out. Hence the repeat over the years of the same old points.
The problem is not finding the answer. It's the lack of identified problems.
What is the problem? What are you trying to solve with your simplified rules? Who are you trying to appease?
Who says the rules are complex? Children? Understandably. People with learning difficulties? I can see that...
However, I'm always a little bemused when I hear general folk, sometimes experts who face complex situations on a day-to-day basis in their professions at work, complaining that the rules are too complex! Lawyers, doctors, builders - - grown men and women complaining that the rules are too complex.
I'm starting to think it's not the rules, but rather the people. Some people just don't want to learn them. Is it a crutch to hide their incompentence on the water? Does knowing and sailing to the rules make it difficult to fudge one's way around the race course? Much easier to whinge and call a guy an asshole, when he calls you out for breaking a rule, rather than learning the rules and sticking to them and admit you messed up.
Who are we appeasing in this thread? People with genuine learning difficulties and say, young children who naturally might find the rules confusing? Or lazy incompetent sailors who want any excuse for their poor performance?
I'm all for quick reference guides, to enable quick access to the important items. In almost every cockpit of every flying machine, you'll find a QRH. It makes sense.
I'm not for dumbing down the rules into baby-speak to appease those who simply can't be bothered to learn them or abide by them.
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Racing Rules of Sailing are fine.
They are about as concise as they can be. Each rule in there I suspect, was written because it was needed. Every time I see someone try to make a 'brief minimal version' it ends up growing, until all we have is a set of rules which say exactly the same as before, but translated into baby-speak!
Rules are created to maintain safety, organisation or fairness. What makes us think that we can dumb the rules down, when we are not changing the game? That will inevitably end up dangerous, messy or unfair.
Here's my suggestion...
Someone does an indepth study of 'what the actual problem is'? Is it that people just don't want to learn them. Is it that there are rules there which are unnecessary?
Then simpler 'Modified Games' are created, with simpler rule sets which deal with the identified problems.
This is happening in almost every other sport already. Sailing is one of the few sports which does not have a simplified version of the game. One of the only sports which has its beginners operating to the same requirements as the hardened pro. 6 year old kids having to learn the same rule book as gnarly salty old dogs! Come on!
Take 'Kwik-Cricket', 'Mini Rugby', Touch Rugby, Tag Rugby, Short Tennis, Flag (American) Football, Mini Hockey, Mini Basketball, even Chess Mini Games!- - these are all simplified versions of the game, well suited to beginners or those who don't want to play the full game. The important aspect is that they all are modifications to the standard game. That's how they can have simplified rules. The actual game is simpler.
So, in order to acheive the sport of sailing with simplified rules, you need to modify the game to eliminate the problem areas (identifed in someone's indepth study).
While you're there, why not come up with some other less intensive formats, and have simplified rule sets for them. That way you might encourage some 'non-racers' to come racing. (See other thread.)
-If the mark room rules are the problem, invent a sailing game with no marks.
-If the start is the issue, then have more events with staggerd starts.
-If collision risk due to risky crossing is the issue, then put a 'moving prohibited zone' around each boat.
What is the actual problem?
DW

 

If I'm reading the thread correctly, the problem being addressed is how to introduce new to racing skippers to the rules and give them a good basis for learning the complete set. I agree that they are not particularly complex, but to learn them from scratch in abstract and apply them to a dynamic situation on the water, while driving and directing crew is complex. we have poor systems to teach novice adults how to do this. Its not even an apprenticeship set up. you buy a boat, read a book and go. lots of folks without a very strong interest in racing are intimidated by it, and simply dont. a simplified quick reference guide and a novice racing fleet (for weeknights say) would be a great set up, but at least around here, getting more than one or two new racing skippers out at the same time is difficult at best.

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Flame suit on...
With due respect to everyone who has taken the time to comment, I am starting to wonder if this thread is going round in the same well trodden circle which many before have been round. (See P.Ed's next post as an example!)
As Brass says, there have been countless discussions along these lines.
I think there are crucial parts to this debate which constantly get missed out. Hence the repeat over the years of the same old points.
The problem is not finding the answer. It's the lack of identified problems.
What is the problem? What are you trying to solve with your simplified rules? Who are you trying to appease?
Who says the rules are complex? Children? Understandably. People with learning difficulties? I can see that...
However, I'm always a little bemused when I hear general folk, sometimes experts who face complex situations on a day-to-day basis in their professions at work, complaining that the rules are too complex! Lawyers, doctors, builders - - grown men and women complaining that the rules are too complex.
I'm starting to think it's not the rules, but rather the people. Some people just don't want to learn them. Is it a crutch to hide their incompentence on the water? Does knowing and sailing to the rules make it difficult to fudge one's way around the race course? Much easier to whinge and call a guy an asshole, when he calls you out for breaking a rule, rather than learning the rules and sticking to them and admit you messed up.
Who are we appeasing in this thread? People with genuine learning difficulties and say, young children who naturally might find the rules confusing? Or lazy incompetent sailors who want any excuse for their poor performance?
I'm all for quick reference guides, to enable quick access to the important items. In almost every cockpit of every flying machine, you'll find a QRH. It makes sense.
I'm not for dumbing down the rules into baby-speak to appease those who simply can't be bothered to learn them or abide by them.
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Racing Rules of Sailing are fine.
They are about as concise as they can be. Each rule in there I suspect, was written because it was needed. Every time I see someone try to make a 'brief minimal version' it ends up growing, until all we have is a set of rules which say exactly the same as before, but translated into baby-speak!
Rules are created to maintain safety, organisation or fairness. What makes us think that we can dumb the rules down, when we are not changing the game? That will inevitably end up dangerous, messy or unfair.
Here's my suggestion...
Someone does an indepth study of 'what the actual problem is'? Is it that people just don't want to learn them. Is it that there are rules there which are unnecessary?
Then simpler 'Modified Games' are created, with simpler rule sets which deal with the identified problems.
This is happening in almost every other sport already. Sailing is one of the few sports which does not have a simplified version of the game. One of the only sports which has its beginners operating to the same requirements as the hardened pro. 6 year old kids having to learn the same rule book as gnarly salty old dogs! Come on!
Take 'Kwik-Cricket', 'Mini Rugby', Touch Rugby, Tag Rugby, Short Tennis, Flag (American) Football, Mini Hockey, Mini Basketball, even Chess Mini Games!- - these are all simplified versions of the game, well suited to beginners or those who don't want to play the full game. The important aspect is that they all are modifications to the standard game. That's how they can have simplified rules. The actual game is simpler.
So, in order to acheive the sport of sailing with simplified rules, you need to modify the game to eliminate the problem areas (identifed in someone's indepth study).
While you're there, why not come up with some other less intensive formats, and have simplified rule sets for them. That way you might encourage some 'non-racers' to come racing. (See other thread.)
-If the mark room rules are the problem, invent a sailing game with no marks.
-If the start is the issue, then have more events with staggerd starts.
-If collision risk due to risky crossing is the issue, then put a 'moving prohibited zone' around each boat.
What is the actual problem?
DW

 

 

1000% agree with this. There are 21 main rules to learn that you can get around the race course and a couple of others that allow you to deal with administrative situations. Jesus, its not rocket science!

 

I agree with DW that most of the problem is laziness by the folks who can't be bothered to sit down and read them.

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My wish would be for a list of advice for new sailors that will get them around the course safely without breaking any rules.

 

Don't hit another boat and particurally don't run them down going 9 knots when they are going 6 (I can't let go).

Starboard boats have the right of way. These are often boats to your right. Watch for them.

Don't change course in front of another boat.

Don't tack from port to starboard within 3 boat lengths of a mark if there are any other boats that might then be near you.

If another boat can point higher than you, get out of the way.

Always start on starboard tack and stay away from any boat to your left.

Round marks as the outside boat unless you can't, in which case an overlapped boat will give you room.

Don't get tricky with the rules until you have mastered them

 

I am not saying this is a proposed set, and they may have issues, but more proposing not a simplified set of rules but rather some guidance for new racers.

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To those who claim laziness is the reason folks don't want to learn the rules. I respectfully disagree. To compete one is expected to understand he rules. The rules of racing book is about 170 frig'n pages!

 

So while there may be 21 rules --- why does it take 170 pages to state them?

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To those who claim laziness is the reason folks don't want to learn the rules. I respectfully disagree. To compete one is expected to understand he rules. The rules of racing book is about 170 frig'n pages!

 

So while there may be 21 rules --- why does it take 170 pages to state them?

A lot of the rules are not important to racers and even fewer to new racers. My web site has a summary (actually a direct quote) of all the definitions and rules for when boats meet and it is something like 6 pages. See L-36.com/Racing tab. These rules will be valid for another week and after that you need to get the 170 page version because there is some copyright restruction so I can't do this for the new set. By the way, that isn't going to help the cause of new racers. Restrictions on who can publish the rules. What were they thinking?

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Because there are lots of things there that are needed occasionally. Scoring, windsurfing, match racing, team racing rules etc.

 

Once you understand that it's really only Part 2 that most people need to have a reasonable understanding of, life gets to be much easier.

 

I condense Part 2 and applicable definitions down to 12 sides of A6 - postcard sized. And do the same for match and team racing rules.

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As mentioned by someone in a similar thread, the official rules of soccer/football are over 200 pages long, but no one who is interested in soccer is told 'read this'. If they were told that they'd never even start... they are told 'you can't touch the ball with your hands, kick it through the goal' and away they go. Later they'll learn the rules after they get called offside...

 

So what we are discussing here is, how do we get a resource which gets people onto the race course and keeps them out of trouble until they are at a point where they want to get their head in the rule book.

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The old concept of onus imo was a clarifying deterrent that should be resurrected

 

 

The whole trouble with the onus thing was that it conferred a big advantage to lying b*******s.

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So while there may be 21 rules --- why does it take 170 pages to state them?

 

Its rather hard to believe that anyone who can say that has spent more than about a minute with both the book and their eyes open.

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The old concept of onus imo was a clarifying deterrent that should be resurrected

 

The whole trouble with the onus thing was that it conferred a big advantage to lying b*******s.

Plus the "love tap" to prove that someone was where he shouldn't be. Can't imagine insurance companies being too impressed with bringing that back.

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Well, I'm just a toy boat guy, but I have studied rule books going back to the 1890s and taught rules at our club for a fair amount of time. This year I'm going to try to write a series of guidelines for protest committees (which in our club generally means the race director) which gives the "default ruling" when a finding of fact cannot be established either by the RD witnessing the event or the participants agreeing on the situation. This would be done for each definition and rule, e.g., "if it cannot be established whether overlap existed, it shall be assumed that it did not," or "if it cannot be established that the tacking boat achieved a close-hauled course, it should be assumed it did not." and so forth. The idea is to bring some consistency to the rulings and place competitors on notice that proof by emphatic assertion won't work. We'll see how it plays out.

 

Cheers,

Earl

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If I'm reading the thread correctly, the problem being addressed is how to introduce new to racing skippers to the rules and give them a good basis for learning the complete set.

 

Perhaps, more importantly, to remove the barrier to participation caused by the [mis]perception that the rules are vert complex and difficult to comply with, that is to change the attitude of potential racers.

 

I agree that they are not particularly complex, but to learn them from scratch in abstract and apply them to a dynamic situation on the water, while driving and directing crew is complex.

 

Yup

 

we have poor systems to teach novice adults how to do this.

 

Who is 'we'?

 

Any sailing school Competent Crew course will teach basic rule of the road, which is really very similar to the basic RRS Part 2 rules, in about 3 hours class time.

 

Any Introduction to Racing course will teach starting and shape of a race course in, likewise about 3 hours or less.

 

A standard 'rules night' presentation (required attendance for my club's winter series) will cover relevant RRS in 2 to 3 hours.

 

while it's not a 'system', there are plenty of learning resources available

 

Its not even an apprenticeship set up. you buy a boat, read a book and go.

 

Reading a book is good: In addition to the various 'handouts' and charts discussed so far there are numerous good books about the rules: my favourite for beginners is Bryan Willis' The Rules in Practice'

 

lots of folks without a very strong interest in racing are intimidated by it, and simply dont.

 

So what's needed, if it is desired to get these people to participate, is a recruitment program that:

  • specifically and personally approaches people and invites them to participate;
  • assists them to learn as much of rules as necessary;
  • assists them to learn how to apply the rules sufficiently to keep out of trouble (and how to take a penalty when they may have broken a rule);
  • reassures them that they can participate in races safely and in compliance with the rules with little difficulty; and
  • ensures, as far as possible that there's a minimum of yelling and screaming and abuse around the race course.

 

a simplified quick reference guide and a novice racing fleet (for weeknights say) would be a great set up,

 

An adult 'green fleet' is going to be impractical for most clubs, but a Jib and Main division, with a strong fleet captain to stamp on the yellers, should do the trick: the beginners will tend to fall back behind the more competitive boats and stay out of trouble that way.

 

but at least around here, getting more than one or two new racing skippers out at the same time is difficult at best.

 

 

So what we are discussing here is, how do we get a resource which gets people onto the race course and keeps them out of trouble until they are at a point where they want to get their head in the rule book.

 

Just one resource won't do it.

 

Flame suit on...

 

 

With due respect to everyone who has taken the time to comment, I am starting to wonder if this thread is going round in the same well trodden circle which many before have been round. (See P.Ed's next post as an example!)

 

As Brass says, there have been countless discussions along these lines.

 

I think there are crucial parts to this debate which constantly get missed out. Hence the repeat over the years of the same old points.

 

The problem is not finding the answer. It's the lack of identified problems.

 

What is the problem?

 

See above: the problem MidPac is trying to address here is to remove the barrier to participation caused by the [mis]perception that the rules are vert complex and difficult to comply with, by providing useful learning resources

 

What are you trying to solve with your simplified rules?

 

With the exception of an obstinate few, we are looking at a simplified subset of the rules to teach to beginners, rather than simplification of the rules in general.

 

Who are you trying to appease?

 

I'm not trying to appease anyone. I'm sympathetic to those who want to increase participation with a simplified approach.

 

Who says the rules are complex? Children? Understandably. People with learning difficulties? I can see that...

 

However, I'm always a little bemused when I hear general folk, sometimes experts who face complex situations on a day-to-day basis in their professions at work, complaining that the rules are too complex! Lawyers, doctors, builders - - grown men and women complaining that the rules are too complex.

 

As I've said before the rules are not complex or difficult.

 

The game generated by the rules, for a combination of reasons including what the rules permit, and the nature of engagements in the game (multi-competitor, multi-axial, multi-goal), and the technical complexity of the equipment and sailing conditions, CAN be complex and difficult, and thus attractive to some and unattractive to others.

...

I'm all for quick reference guides, to enable quick access to the important items. In almost every cockpit of every flying machine, you'll find a QRH. It makes sense.

 

I'm not for dumbing down the rules into baby-speak to appease those who simply can't be bothered to learn them or abide by them.

 

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

The Racing Rules of Sailing are fine.

 

They are about as concise as they can be. Each rule in there I suspect, was written because it was needed. Every time I see someone try to make a 'brief minimal version' it ends up growing, until all we have is a set of rules which say exactly the same as before, but translated into baby-speak!

 

Rules are created to maintain safety, organisation or fairness. What makes us think that we can dumb the rules down, when we are not changing the game? That will inevitably end up dangerous, messy or unfair.

 

Here's my suggestion...

 

Someone does an indepth study of 'what the actual problem is'?

 

I think the problem, for the purposes of this thread, is pretty clear as described above.

 

Is it that people just don't want to learn them. Is it that there are rules there which are unnecessary?

 

I think this is the 'non-problem' complained of by the 'rules too difficult' brigade.

 

Yes there is a problem that the rules are perceived as excessively complex and difficult, which is continually stoked along by the complainers.

 

But, as I've said before there are millions of interactions on the water where competitors demonstrate complete compliance with, and therefore at least sufficient understanding of, the rules. Of the small number of boat on boat interactions that result protests, most are resolved without any difficulty with the meaning of the rules.

 

Then simpler 'Modified Games' are created, with simpler rule sets which deal with the identified problems.

 

See my comment above: the game, in terms of course shape and size can easily be modified/simplified, without messing with the rules. That's up to Organising Authorities.

 

This is happening in almost every other sport already. Sailing is one of the few sports which does not have a simplified version of the game.

 

Opti Green Fleet and numerous other junior fleets are simplified, and allow on-water coaching.

 

One of the only sports which has its beginners operating to the same requirements as the hardened pro. 6 year old kids having to learn the same rule book as gnarly salty old dogs! Come on!

 

Take 'Kwik-Cricket', 'Mini Rugby', Touch Rugby, Tag Rugby, Short Tennis, Flag (American) Football, Mini Hockey, Mini Basketball, even Chess Mini Games!- - these are all simplified versions of the game, well suited to beginners or those who don't want to play the full game. The important aspect is that they all are modifications to the standard game. That's how they can have simplified rules. The actual game is simpler.

So, in order to achieve the sport of sailing with simplified rules, you need to modify the game to eliminate the problem areas (identifed in someone's indepth study).

 

While you're there, why not come up with some other less intensive formats, and have simplified rule sets for them. That way you might encourage some 'non-racers' to come racing. (See other thread.)

 

-If the mark room rules are the problem, invent a sailing game with no marks.

-If the start is the issue, then have more events with staggerd starts.

-If collision risk due to risky crossing is the issue, then put a 'moving prohibited zone' around each boat.

 

Absolutely agree that we can, if we wish, 're-engineer' the game.

 

Consider, for example the AmCup format and courses, and I've been particularly impressed by Snowboarding events, which race a fixed small number of competitors on a more or less slalom course, on a knock-out, quarter, semi, and finals basis. Note that racing on a fixed slalom course is an excellent way of developing boat handling skills for beginners, at a somewhat lower level than say TR/MR.

 

This is up to Organising Authorities

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For what its worth, I took a few liberties with the OPs list, adding some other suggestions people made.

 

I just sent it to a friend who bought a J-30 and plans to start beer can racing this spring. She thought is was great. The rules do intimidate her and she just wants to stay out of trouble while she learns.

 

BASIC SAILING RULES:

Rule 1: Always stand by a boat in trouble

Rule 14: Avoid contact with other boats

Rule 10: On port tack/jibe keep clear of boats on starboard tack/jibe

Rule 11: When overlapped on same tack/jibe, windward boats keep clear of leeward boats

Rule 12: Don’t run down another boat from behind

Rule 13: Keep clear of other boats while you are tacking/jibing

Rule 18: Don’t approach a mark on port tack/jibe.

Rule 31: Touch a mark, do a penalty circle – out of the way

Rule 44: If someone protests you, do two penalty circles – out of the way

Common Sense Rule A: Stay away from clusterfucks. Go around them

Common Sense Rule B: Always start on starboard and away from the crowd

Common Sense Rule C: If someone is yelling at you, keep clear of them

Common Sense Rule D: Don't yell at someone else, unless they are about to hit you

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To those who claim laziness is the reason folks don't want to learn the rules. I respectfully disagree. To compete one is expected to understand he rules. The rules of racing book is about 170 frig'n pages!

So while there may be 21 rules --- why does it take 170 pages to state them?

Don't get your sheets tangled up.....

There are actually about 92 rules plus a bunch of apendicies.

 

Part 2 Rules 10-24 deal with when boats meet....by and large the most important part of the rule book...

 

6 pages at most.....and they are not even full 81/2x 11 pieces of paper...

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As mentioned by someone in a similar thread, the official rules of soccer/football are over 200 pages long, but no one who is interested in soccer is told 'read this'. If they were told that they'd never even start... they are told 'you can't touch the ball with your hands, kick it through the goal' and away they go. Later they'll learn the rules after they get called offside...

 

So what we are discussing here is, how do we get a resource which gets people onto the race course and keeps them out of trouble until they are at a point where they want to get their head in the rule book.

 

This is the issue, in a nutshell. Well said.

 

A big part of the problem is the behavior of many racing sailors; probably not a majority in most classes, but a large enough minority that the odds of encountering yelling, blustering, bluffing, etc etc, is almost 100%. A set of simplified rules is not going

 

From Asymptote's list (above)

 

BASIC SAILING RULES:

Rule 1: Always stand by a boat in trouble

Rule 14: Avoid contact with other boats

Rule 10: On port tack/jibe keep clear of boats on starboard tack/jibe

Rule 11: When overlapped on same tack/jibe, windward boats keep clear of leeward boats

Rule 12: Don’t run down another boat from behind

Rule 13: Keep clear of other boats while you are tacking/jibing

Rule 18: Don’t approach a mark on port tack/jibe.

Rule ?? (IIRC it's 28 but I do not have a rule book in hand) : Start properly and sail the course as given

Rule 31: Touch a mark, do a penalty circle – out of the way

Rule 44: If someone protests you, do two penalty circles – out of the way

Common Sense Rule A: Keep a good lookout at all times, in all directions

Common Sense Rule B: Stay away from clusterfucks. Go around them

Common Sense Rule C: Always start on starboard and away from the crowd

Common Sense Rule D: If someone is yelling at you, keep clear of them

Common Sense Rule E: Don't yell at someone else, unless they are about to hit you

This is getting a bit unwieldy but it's pretty good. I would replace CSR B: with something along the lines of "Do not use your boat to try & force another boat into an obstacle or a mark of the course" and get rid of CSR C: because that really falls under tactics rather than rules.

FWIW I have given sailing students simplified rules many times in the past, any lesson on rules is followed up with demonstrating each rule either on a table top with models or out on a lawn with people acting out each part.

FB- Doug

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I'd quibble a bit with Asymptote's and Steam Flyers' revisions, mainly because I think my original objective was to keep the focus on rules and not mix rules with "good advice". The idea of adding the CSRs is not to provide advice or best practices, but simply as a proxy for all of the other rules--if you observe the CSRs you're unlikely to break a RRS rule you don't know, or get DSQd for breaking a rule you don't know.

 

In that spirit I don't think I agree with your Rule 18 interpretation, as that's not what Rule 18 says so it seems more confusing than simplifying. As long as it doesn't mean tangling with another boat in the vicinity of the mark (no clusterfuck), feel free to approach a mark on port and tack/jibe as you please. If there are other boats around the mark, see CSR B--if you're coming in on port then duck the mess and go around the outside.

 

In my mind CSR B also covers crowds at the start, so I kind of disagree with your CSR C and especially the prescriptive "always". Obviously, trying to cross the fleet on port is not something a new racer would want to try. But nothing in RRS prohibits a port start, if it doesn't get you crosswise with any other boats or rules why not start on port, particularly if you're on the boat end and you think you want to go right?

 

Similarly, your CSR A is an IRPCAS requirement and it's a good idea to remind a new racer about it since racing typically includes more close-quarters maneuvering than leisure sailing, but it's not a racing rule.

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I'd quibble a bit with Asymptote's and Steam Flyers' revisions, mainly because I think my original objective was to keep the focus on rules and not mix rules with "good advice". The idea of adding the CSRs is not to provide advice or best practices, but simply as a proxy for all of the other rules--if you observe the CSRs you're unlikely to break a RRS rule you don't know, or get DSQd for breaking a rule you don't know.

 

In that spirit I don't think I agree with your Rule 18 interpretation, as that's not what Rule 18 says so it seems more confusing than simplifying. As long as it doesn't mean tangling with another boat in the vicinity of the mark (no clusterfuck), feel free to approach a mark on port and tack/jibe as you please. If there are other boats around the mark, see CSR B--if you're coming in on port then duck the mess and go around the outside.

 

In my mind CSR B also covers crowds at the start, so I kind of disagree with your CSR C and especially the prescriptive "always". Obviously, trying to cross the fleet on port is not something a new racer would want to try. But nothing in RRS prohibits a port start, if it doesn't get you crosswise with any other boats or rules why not start on port, particularly if you're on the boat end and you think you want to go right?

 

Similarly, your CSR A is an IRPCAS requirement and it's a good idea to remind a new racer about it since racing typically includes more close-quarters maneuvering than leisure sailing, but it's not a racing rule.

That last one, A, is the only one I added other than the comments below. Keeping a good lookout is important to keep in mind.

 

It would be extremely difficult to boil Rules 18 and 19 down to one sentence, but I really don't think "Steer around clusterfucks" is a good wording. For one reason, a beginner is likely to not see that boats are converging on the mark and would find himself suddenly in the middle of a clusterfuck. So it gives him no help whatever and convinces him that he did something wrong, too.

 

The rule about 'don't be an asshole' is one that more experienced sailors need to follow.

 

FB- Doug

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Yeah, I agree with that. 18 & 19 are, I think, the kind of rules that make peoples' eyes glaze over if you try to explain them. So some kind of CSR that says "avoid situations where you need to understand RRS 18 & 19" is needed but I can see your point that "go around" may not entirely serve. But then if a new racer gets into a CF once, maybe they'll figure out they should have seen that coming and know better next time.

 

And I agree that although "don't be an asshole" isn't exactly in RRS either, it would be nice if universally observed. And not just in sailboat racing...

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I'm cornfused. If only a back of the fleet PHRF loser, who cares about the rules? If you spend many thousands for new sails, bottom job, keel fairing, new standing rigging, top quality crew and coaching, you better have the rules down pat or you'll be abused. When at the top of the fleet in contention most of your competitors have a good grasp of the rules and there should be no surprises. The rules are amazingly simple these days.

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ya, well I think the intent of this thread is to do things to enhance participation... the fact that you refer to exactly the sort of person we're trying to get involved in the sport as a 'back of the fleet PHRF loser' indicates that you may be out of touch with this conversation?

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OK - If we limit the scope of the problem to 'getting people onto the race course and keeping them out of trouble' or put another way 'remove the barrier to participation caused by the [mis]perception that the rules are vert complex and difficult to comply with, by providing useful learning resources'.
In which case, we should be looking at better presentation of the current rules. (See Bryan Willis' book.)
WS Role
I fought hard for some time to get the definitions pushed to the front of the book. Maybe the next fight is get the RRS better formatted in Part 2. Some diagrams maybe? Some better presentation of the materials? Imagine RRS Part 2 as a colour pullout section, complete with diagrams. Imagine, WS presenting videos and learning tools on their website. Instead of leaving that to 3rd parties, WS could take a bigger role in the presentation of the rules.

Even the Casebook is a drab and boring looking publication...no wonder no one reads it!
The WS (exISAF) website is SHOCKING! It is so hard to find anything..particularly the thing that MOST people want to know...the rules. When I come to WS Webpage, a big large colourful link to the rules should be right in front of my eyes. Not many obscure clicks deep into the myriad of files and links....
Here's a challenge: Go to http://www.sailing.org/ and from there, find the minimum number of clicks to open the rule book at Part 2!
As a comparrison, the Laws of Rugby Website (by World Rugby) and the 'Laws of Rugby' rulebook is a much more colourful presentation of the rules of rugby - - for those who don't know, rugby is probably even more complex than sailing...but people seem to get by fine!
-----------------------------------
"...we are looking at a simplified subset of the rules to teach to beginners, rather than simplification of the rules in general.."
Fine, but important to recognise the difference.
It is massively important to ensure that any 'simplified' rules don't teach wrong rules. They must be a progressive step towards, not alternate. In this thread already, I have seen suggestions which are quite simply 'wrong', misleading and which cause problems later on. I'll list a few...
1. "...but I think strong wording describing overwhelming proof in the main body of the rules of an onus vessel to exonerate itself of wrongdoing would stick out in the minds of sailors, and make the decision of protest committee much simpler." - Absolutely not! There is a reason why there is no 'burden of proof' in sailing.
2. Rule 18: Don’t approach a mark on port tack/jibe. a.k.a. "You can't tack in the zone!" - I'm sorry, but teaching this to beginners is careless. One of the hardest issues to overcome is people believing that a port tacker has no rights. Or believing that you can't tack in the zone. This comes directly from irresponsible 'beginner programs'and stays with sailors forever.
3. "Rule 44: If someone protests you, do two penalty circles – out of the way" / "Common Sense Rule D: If someone is yelling at you, keep clear of them" - These would discourage me as a beginner....it suggests that beginners have no rights!
One well proven principal in learning (skill acquisition) is the Law of Primaracy. What someone learns first will be what they always remember.
It is essential that the first rules that people learn are correct.
-------------------------------
BASIC SAILING RULES: - The list started by TJSocal, and edited by others.
A couple of comments:
Rule 1 - Consider the word 'help' rather than 'stand on'. Its more commonly understood, and implies action if necessary.
Rule 11 - Rewrite as 'first person', to be consistent with the rest of the list.
Rule 44 - Mentioned above...I don't like...
CSR? Instead of Common Sense 'Rule', consider another word which does not elevate or confuse this advice with rules.
If this works as an intro set of rules, then so be it. I personally still wonder whether it acheives that much. After 2 days/weeks a beginner could learn these off by heart. Then what? The big book? Back to square-1. They will still get into pickles of 'what is an overlap' or 'what does proper course mean'. They'll still find themselve against 'arseholes'!
I still maintain that the problem lies in the presentation of the main set, the appreciation of the attributes of the sport, and the simple fact that people are rather lazy. The problem is not in the beginning stages...most beginners just enjoy being out on the water and couldn't care less about the fine points of the rules anyway. Its after the beginning stage, and drawing 'non-racers' onto the race track. Thus, the problem and the solution is quite different. Just sayin'
DW

Laws of Rugby Page 103.pdf

post-19481-0-06858600-1482457823_thumb.png

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I definitely agree, the intent would be to present the simple version of a rule but not a wrong version.

 

My thinking behind the Rule 44 characterization and CSR D is that as a noob with a limited knowledge of the rules, if someone protests you they're probably right so you should do your turns. If someone is hailing you (hopefully reasonably politely, something like "no room, don't go there" or "I need room" or "don't sail above your proper course") you're probably unknowingly breaking or about to break a rule so you should try to get out of the way. And then discuss what happened and why over a beer at the club so you know more next time.

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I also see your point on presentation of the rules, but kind of think World Sailing has better things to do with their funding than break Dave Perry's and Dick Rose's rice bowls. I think they're fine just producing the official version, and leaving the rest to third parties who will probably do a better job based on market demand

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To the guys who parsed it out to a few rules to really know - Thanks

 

I have read the the rules and then looked at Elvestrom's book that explains the rules (+/-200 pages). That is a total of about 380 pages--- probably longer than the 4 Gospels combined. So whittling it down is appreciated.

 

To those who felt I must be f'n stupid not to understand the rules. "Bless you hearts"...

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To those who claim laziness is the reason folks don't want to learn the rules. I respectfully disagree. To compete one is expected to understand he rules. The rules of racing book is about 170 frig'n pages!

 

So while there may be 21 rules --- why does it take 170 pages to state them?

 

Sigh. You obviously have not read the rule book then....... and you made my point perfectly.

 

Unless you are a fleet racer, match racer, team racer, RC racer, kite surfer and windsurfer all at the same time - only a fraction of those 170 pages apply to you.

 

Not including the TOC and title pages - I count about 15 pages of actual definitions, rules and a couple of other pages on starting and taking a penalty that would get you safely and effectively around the race course. Are you telling me that even the newest of noobs cannot read and comprehend 15 pages????

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No, I think he's saying that being sent to a large book is a daunting introduction to the rules of a sport and is exacerbated by the fact that noobs don't know that only a small portion of the book is immediately relevant...

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WS Role
I fought hard for some time to get the definitions pushed to the front of the book. Maybe the next fight is get the RRS better formatted in Part 2. Some diagrams maybe? Some better presentation of the materials? Imagine RRS Part 2 as a colour pullout section, complete with diagrams. Imagine, WS presenting videos and learning tools on their website. Instead of leaving that to 3rd parties, WS could take a bigger role in the presentation of the rules.

Even the Casebook is a drab and boring looking publication...no wonder no one reads it!

 

DW - I agree with ALL of your long post. But I've been saying for a long time the RRS should have a simple color diagram that illustrates each rule. It doesn't have to be a case book that covers every possible permutation - just a simple diagram that shows the common application of each rule. And maybe even on some of the more complicated or misunderstood rules such as 17, 18 and 19 - show a diagram with the correct picture (good) and one that will get you into trouble (bad).

 

A picture is worth a thousand words. A newb should not have to go to the Case book and buy lots of aftermarket books by Dick Rose to explain the common rules in a simplified manner. I'm sure Dick wants to sell more books, but the RRS should be able to exist as a stand-alone document for 90% of the needs of most racers.

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No, I think he's saying that being sent to a large book is a daunting introduction to the rules of a sport and is exacerbated by the fact that noobs don't know that only a small portion of the book is immediately relevant...

 

Ok, I agree with that. I've long said that I think it is a mistake to combine all those disparate disciplines, even though they might share a lot of common principles, into a single document. Yeah, I get that it costs more to print - but given that most people get their stuff digitally these days - I would suggest that a standalone Fleet racing book, windsurfing book, RC book, etc would better serve the racing public for the exact reason that its not so intimidating.

 

I would be like having a football (American) rule book that covered basic football but then had appendices for the NFL, NCAA, High school, Pop Warner, pee wee, etc.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Great discussion. It is important to remember that sailing may be the only sport where rank beginners play against the greatest competitors in the game. In tennis, new players don't play against Pete Sampras, in golf, new comers don't routinely play against Tiger Woods, and new football players don't play in the same game with Peyton Manning. But in sailing new players can sail against Steve Benjamin, Buddy Melges and Dennis Conner. And race committees are unlikely to have different races for their worst customers. In most places, there aren't enough beginning sailors to warrant the effort.

 

So the point of simplification is to allow new sailors to race on the same course with DC & Buddy Melges without getting in trouble or messing up the game for everyone else. I think most of the suggestions here are on the right track, by focusing on what the new sailors are obligated to do while they are racing. A large part of the rules and most of the appeals are about when the standard rules don't apply. That shouldn't be an issue for new sailors, and when it becomes an issue, it is time for them to take a more nuanced approach to the rules.

 

One group of rules that hasn't been universally included is 18-20, so I propose adding,

 

" Give any boat between you and a mark or obstruction enough room to get past it."

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Flame suit on...
With due respect to everyone who has taken the time to comment, I am starting to wonder if this thread is going round in the same well trodden circle which many before have been round. (See P.Ed's next post as an example!)
As Brass says, there have been countless discussions along these lines.
I think there are crucial parts to this debate which constantly get missed out. Hence the repeat over the years of the same old points.
The problem is not finding the answer. It's the lack of identified problems.
What is the problem? What are you trying to solve with your simplified rules? Who are you trying to appease?
Who says the rules are complex? Children? Understandably. People with learning difficulties? I can see that...
However, I'm always a little bemused when I hear general folk, sometimes experts who face complex situations on a day-to-day basis in their professions at work, complaining that the rules are too complex! Lawyers, doctors, builders - - grown men and women complaining that the rules are too complex.
I'm starting to think it's not the rules, but rather the people. Some people just don't want to learn them. Is it a crutch to hide their incompentence on the water? Does knowing and sailing to the rules make it difficult to fudge one's way around the race course? Much easier to whinge and call a guy an asshole, when he calls you out for breaking a rule, rather than learning the rules and sticking to them and admit you messed up.
Who are we appeasing in this thread? People with genuine learning difficulties and say, young children who naturally might find the rules confusing? Or lazy incompetent sailors who want any excuse for their poor performance?
I'm all for quick reference guides, to enable quick access to the important items. In almost every cockpit of every flying machine, you'll find a QRH. It makes sense.
I'm not for dumbing down the rules into baby-speak to appease those who simply can't be bothered to learn them or abide by them.
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Racing Rules of Sailing are fine.
They are about as concise as they can be. Each rule in there I suspect, was written because it was needed. Every time I see someone try to make a 'brief minimal version' it ends up growing, until all we have is a set of rules which say exactly the same as before, but translated into baby-speak!
Rules are created to maintain safety, organisation or fairness. What makes us think that we can dumb the rules down, when we are not changing the game? That will inevitably end up dangerous, messy or unfair.
Here's my suggestion...
Someone does an indepth study of 'what the actual problem is'? Is it that people just don't want to learn them. Is it that there are rules there which are unnecessary?
Then simpler 'Modified Games' are created, with simpler rule sets which deal with the identified problems.
This is happening in almost every other sport already. Sailing is one of the few sports which does not have a simplified version of the game. One of the only sports which has its beginners operating to the same requirements as the hardened pro. 6 year old kids having to learn the same rule book as gnarly salty old dogs! Come on!
Take 'Kwik-Cricket', 'Mini Rugby', Touch Rugby, Tag Rugby, Short Tennis, Flag (American) Football, Mini Hockey, Mini Basketball, even Chess Mini Games!- - these are all simplified versions of the game, well suited to beginners or those who don't want to play the full game. The important aspect is that they all are modifications to the standard game. That's how they can have simplified rules. The actual game is simpler.
So, in order to acheive the sport of sailing with simplified rules, you need to modify the game to eliminate the problem areas (identifed in someone's indepth study).
While you're there, why not come up with some other less intensive formats, and have simplified rule sets for them. That way you might encourage some 'non-racers' to come racing. (See other thread.)
-If the mark room rules are the problem, invent a sailing game with no marks.
-If the start is the issue, then have more events with staggerd starts.
-If collision risk due to risky crossing is the issue, then put a 'moving prohibited zone' around each boat.
What is the actual problem?
DW

 

 

The actual problem is that new racers find various aspects of racing, including the rules, intimidating.

 

I have raced off and on for 40 years and have a pretty good working understanding of the rules and I agree with you that they're all there for good reasons. I still learn plenty in case studies posted here.

 

When you have good sailors racing, we need all those rules for it to be fun.

 

I don't have many feathers in my sailing cap but I have one I'm pretty proud of: I got several of complete newbs to race in the Sun Cat National Championships. To do it, I basically reduced the rules to the ones Varan posted. We were there to have fun and who won didn't matter.

 

If I'm sailing against someone who isn't a total newb to racing, all of a sudden winning fair and square is the ONLY thing that's fun.

 

So rule 1 for newbs: Winning Doesn't Matter.

 

It's obviously not going to be a popular rule when real sailors race but it was the main one that got newbs out to play.

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There is a "Play the Rules" game online with animated graphics you can start/stop/replay, pretty cool.

Really helps to see the rules dynamically vs static images and text.

 

http://game.finckh.net/indexe.htm

 

Has Easy Medium and Difficult sections.

 

Have seen it used effectively with projector at monthly ABYC rules lessons.

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