Racing Rules Revisited

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Racing Rules Revisited

Postby M1sha Dallin » Wed Jul 04, 2007 11:08 am

The racing rules (or lack of) seem to have caused some comment elsewhere and I think it deserves a thread of its own.

As a starter for discussion:

(a) The ISAF rules as a whole form a consistent set that cover all eventualities that may occur on the water. Like all rules though they are subject to amendment periodically in the light of experience (and the protest case evidence).

(b) Creating a subset of rules can leave manoeuvres that would be illegal under ISAF rules as legal under the subset. Some such manoeuvres (if being pedantic) may not be just, e.g. Rule 19 and the edge of the world ( a problem not experienced by RL sailors since Columbus)

(c) Forcing all the rules will: make it too hard for new sailors; mean regattas finish in the protest room; be difficult to apply since RL evidence such as sailing above close-hauled will be difficult to prove

(d) Consider an alternate set of rules such as those by the Bark Shanty Sailing Club

http://www.portsanilacmarina.com/bssc/S ... Racing.htm

Who have a set of race commandments:

(1) Port keeps clear of starboard
(2) Windward keeps clear of leeward
(3) The boat astern keeps clear of the boat ahead
(4) A boat Tacking or Jibing keeps clear of one that is not
(5) Avoid collisions. Racing Rules are defensive to prevent collisions not offensive racing tactics
(6) If you gain right of way or change course, give the other boat time to keep clear
(7) The inside boat(s) at two boat lengths from the mark is entitled to room to round the mark
(8 ) A boat that is backing up or not racing keeps clear
(9) If you have violated a rule, take a penalty
(10) It is better to give way than to spend hours in a protest room

which are elaborated further down the page (and which include Rule 19).


PS

I've called for water at the sim edge and others have given it. I even remember Eugene doing it to me in one of our sparring sessions in the ACA sims. Bouncing off a sim edge seems totally pointless (and proves nothing about sailing ability in SL).
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sim edges

Postby Eugene Sodwind » Wed Jul 04, 2007 2:07 pm

I even remember Eugene doing it to me in one of our sparring sessions in the ACA sims.


Do you mean me??? did i let you through when you didn't have ROW? i must have been under influence or something... :wink:

On a serious note, this is a difficult business. MY PERSONAL VIEW is that sim boundaries shouldn't be treated as obstruction. If we do this, we can potentially find ourselves in contentious situations.

Let's look at some practical cases (I am putting myself in a perfect sl when all the skippers behave as good sportmen and sportwomen, and that sail to have fun - not that use the rules just to their own advantage): in the example A the red boat is ahead. If the two boats are close together, they will probably get to the sim edge at the same time, so it wouldn't make any sense for the red boat not to tack. If they are more than 1 boat distance the green boat would definitely tack and pass behind the red one. Example B, it is likely that the green boat will get to the edge and be able to tack before the red boat approaches. Again, in such a situation if the boats were far apart enough there would be minimal risk of collision. If they were very close, there wouldn't be any benefit in the red boat getting any closer to the sim crossing. Example C is in my view the trickiest to handle. If the boats are far apart then my view would be that the green one is to tack and bear down straight away to pass behind the incoming red boat. If they are too close, out of politeness the red boat should respond to a call for tack. It would be wrong to remove the need for the green boat to alter their course in all 3 examples - and potentially lead to a lot more problems than cures.

So, bottom line: we don't need more rules, just more common sense and correctness.
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Postby M1sha Dallin » Wed Jul 04, 2007 2:42 pm

did i let you through when you didn't have ROW?


No - I let you through when you didn't :-)

I agree that in general it's case C that has causes the problem. But in the fleet races there were instances of A, B and C simultaneously.

Case B ....there wouldn't be any benefit in the red boat getting any closer to the sim crossing


But if B decides to hold course then A can hit the obstruction and B can then just miss (not sportsmanlike but apparently legal).

In a match race with A or B the response can always be NO - though this might lead us back to the protest room :-( . In SL the separation distances are relatively smaller than RL and the turn rate is not as good (a Tako cannot turn in its own length), so in the SL fleet case with a boat on the hip of B it may not be possible for A to duck both (or more).
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Rule 19

Postby Epicurus Emmons » Thu Jul 05, 2007 12:51 am

Thank you for this post M1sha, its realy helpfull. I would like to add something to rule 1 (10 ISAF)

(1) Port (boom at starboard) keeps clear of starboard (boom at port).

And i dont agree with Gene that we dont need rule 19. We desperately need it because I am utterly confused about what is the right way (politeness does not count for much in the protestroom, especialy if you think its polite that the opponent tacks and instead he protest you and is right under the rules) to deal with the situation without it. And rule 19 does not exist without logic. Its realy helpfull in those situations.

11) If an simborder is near one has the right to hail for ROOM. The other boat is obliged to tack or reply you tack.
Last edited by Epicurus Emmons on Thu Jul 19, 2007 2:15 am, edited 2 times in total.
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rules

Postby Eugene Sodwind » Thu Jul 05, 2007 1:32 am

I suspect that this post is pretty meaningless without the views of people who's been sailing in SL for a long time.

No disrespect to Misha and (God forbid!) to Epicurus, but there are some practical issues that i am not going to raise (or you'll shut me down within seconds) about having a lot of rules in these races (including how to enforce them) that make the application of a full set extremely difficult. Let alone the fact that we (as people who's been running races in a number of places in sl) have been trying to create a welcoming environment where even sailors with no rl experience are encouraged to compete.

So while a litigious and horrible person like me may enjoy spending hours arguing on whether there was an overlap or not, I suspect that the vast majority of sailors in sl would find this somewhat off-putting.

Before deciding to introduce these 4 rules for the ACA-SL (and mind you - JUST for the ACA-SL) we thought long and hard.

MY PERSONAL VIEW is that we need very few and simple rules - maybe a subset rewritten to be made relevant to SL (I don't think that the ISAF rulebook is good enough :wink: ) but this needs to be agreed with the community, kept simple and understandable: otherwise we'll alienate A LOT of sl sailors out there.

So, I broadly agree with misha's point - and there are probably just two rules out of those 10 that I would gree with: the first and the last one :wink:

(I hope this didn't read as too juvenile - if it did i'm sure someone will let me know :wink: )
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Postby Suzanne Zeluco » Thu Jul 05, 2007 3:26 am

This issue of rules or no rules was debated already a long time ago... and the solution to the problem is really easy (and this was figured out a long time ago already too).

Why bother arguing about what is better for everyone?

There are people who enjoy fun and lighthearted sailing with as little rules as possible - some might even think that there are enough rules in our everyday lives so why bring more rules into something thats supposed to be fun..

Then there are people who enjoy to have their sailing races under well defined and formal conditions, where rules can clear out some situations when there are differences in opinion how some situation should have been handled. And people who see enforcing the rules and protesting, and handling protests as important part of the sailing races as the sailing itself.

So .. what is the solution then?

Organise two different types of races for two different types of people, and stop trying to make everyone happy under the conditions you personally prefer. Let people who want fun sailing have their fun sailing races, and people who want serious sailing under strict rules, have their races with strict rules. Is not so difficult. :) .... Arguing what is best for *everyone* is just wasting everyones time.
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Rule 19

Postby Epicurus Emmons » Thu Jul 05, 2007 4:00 am

This issue of rules or no rules was debated already a long time ago...


Yes it was and rules 10,11,13 and 18 where accepted by the sailingcommunity, so lets not do that discussion all over again. :( I only suggest we add rule 19 because of simborders. Its that simple realy :D

Gene says NO and I say YES
And because I am much older (300BC) I put in more weight :wink:
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Postby M1sha Dallin » Thu Jul 05, 2007 4:55 am

My opinion FWIW - I haven't been sailing in SL for a long time:


(1)
there are probably just two rules out of those 10 that I would agree with: the first and the last one


For general racing I would also throw in the second (windward keeps clear of leeward). There is at least one course (TYC1) where boats on Starboard cross each other and I know from experience (sorry Surfwidow I was trying to be helpful at the time) that the leeward boat cannot turn in the space available to avoid the track of the windward boat.

(2) The overlap rules at 2 boat lengths are generally too difficult to judge. It's not easy even with the 2 boat length markers

(3) There is a place for competition with a more extended set of rules (such as the ACA-SL) but generally (and I prefer) keep it simple

(4) When I started competing in SL I was concerned about how the rules would be applied (the boards at Starboards listed a lot) and I (mostly) know them. I was relieved at my first regatta that only the Starboard ROW rule was being applied - though I think RL racers probably also intuitively apply others (habits die hard)

(5) Rule 19 - Still not sure. I've called for water but tend to leave it very late anyway, I suspect that others were already tacking for themselves and if there are more than one outside boat it probably won't make much difference anyway. Easiest to spot the developing melee and go somewhere else.
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Re: Rule 19

Postby Suzanne Zeluco » Thu Jul 05, 2007 6:13 am

Epicurus Emmons wrote:Yes it was and rules 10,11,13 and 18 where accepted by the sailingcommunity, so lets not do that discussion all over again. :(


I see myself as part of the sailing community although i don't actively race anymore - and i haven't personally accepted any rules, so are you really sure this is the unanimous voice of the whole sailing community?

There are people in the community who don't race at all, what rules have they accepted?

If i would organise a race without any rules and tell people to just come and sail and have fun.. would it then not be an "official sailing community" race?

Oh ... and this debate that i referred to happened way over year ago and during last summer too .. and since that lots of "fun races" with very loose rules have been organised, and people have enjoyed those very much.
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Postby Eugene Sodwind » Thu Jul 05, 2007 6:13 am

:o

i am amazed that the word 'LAG' still hasn't featured in this thread...


:lol:
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Postby Slanty Uriza » Thu Jul 05, 2007 9:14 am

Eugene Sodwind wrote:Before deciding to introduce these 4 rules for the ACA-SL (and mind you - JUST for the ACA-SL) we thought long and hard.


You mean you really thought??? And hard????
*Handing Gene a tube of aspirins*
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Postby Eugene Sodwind » Thu Jul 05, 2007 9:17 am

it was one of the longest nights in a pub i've ever had :mrgreen:
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Re: Racing Rules Revisited

Postby MarkTwain White » Thu Jul 05, 2007 4:02 pm

M1sha Dallin wrote:
As a starter for discussion:

(a) The ISAF rules as a whole form a consistent set that cover all eventualities that may occur on the water. Like all rules though they are subject to amendment periodically in the light of experience (and the protest case evidence).

(b) Creating a subset of rules can leave manoeuvres that would be illegal under ISAF rules as legal under the subset. Some such manoeuvres (if being pedantic) may not be just, e.g. Rule 19 and the edge of the world ( a problem not experienced by RL sailors since Columbus)

(c) Forcing all the rules will: make it too hard for new sailors; mean regattas finish in the protest room; be difficult to apply since RL evidence such as sailing above close-hauled will be difficult to prove


Very well stated. Although I said more or less the above in past discussions on the rules issues, I never stated it as succiently and clearly as you have. This distresses me. :oops: :wink:

M1sha Dallin wrote:(d) Consider an alternate set of rules such as those by the Bark Shanty Sailing Club {snip} wWho have a set of race commandments:

(1) Port keeps clear of starboard
(2) Windward keeps clear of leeward
(3) The boat astern keeps clear of the boat ahead
(4) A boat Tacking or Jibing keeps clear of one that is not
(5) Avoid collisions. Racing Rules are defensive to prevent collisions not offensive racing tactics
(6) If you gain right of way or change course, give the other boat time to keep clear
(7) The inside boat(s) at two boat lengths from the mark is entitled to room to round the mark
(8 ) A boat that is backing up or not racing keeps clear
(9) If you have violated a rule, take a penalty
(10) It is better to give way than to spend hours in a protest room


That's pretty close to the rules as we currently use in SYC and in the ACA-SL Cup. With minor differences. For example we do not include the overtaking rule because it has in the past proven to be problematic at sim crosses when the true location of the boats is often off by several seconds and displays differently on different clients.

I will address in a seperate post my take on the historical aspect of how we have handled the rules (full, partial, none) in SL sailboat racing.

M1sha Dallin wrote:I've called for water at the sim edge and others have given it. I even remember Eugene doing it to me in one of our sparring sessions in the ACA sims. Bouncing off a sim edge seems totally pointless (and proves nothing about sailing ability in SL).


The End of the World problem is, to me, the most vexing issue rulewise in SL sailboat racing. Comments on this to follow.
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Re: sim edges

Postby MarkTwain White » Thu Jul 05, 2007 4:29 pm

Eugene Sodwind wrote:MY PERSONAL VIEW is that sim boundaries shouldn't be treated as obstruction. If we do this, we can potentially find ourselves in contentious situations. {Snipped the cases cited} S, bottom line: we don't need more rules, just more common sense and correctness.


EE wrote:[And i dont agree with Gene that we dont need rule 19. We desperately need it because I am utterly confused about what is the right way (politeness does not count for much in the protestroom, especialy if you think its polite that the opponent tacks and instead he protest you and is right under the rules) to deal with the situation without it. And rule 19 does not exist without logic. Its realy helpfull in those situations.


I actually agree with both Eugene and Eupicus here. Which goes to show you why I consider the End of the World problem as probably the greatest issue to be solved in SL sailboat racing. I agree that the End of the World should not be an obstruction which a skipper can work to his advantage. Let me give you an example.
In an early ACA-SL race pre-start I saw a skipper turn onto starboard in front of a LARGE oncoming starboard fleet. This manuever placed the skipper in an excellent postion to "game" the sim border on the start. By hitting the leeward end of the line on starboard with the rest of the fleet said skipper would encounter the End of the World in a matter of some 10 to 15 seconds into the race. If the End of the World was considered an obstruction he could envoke rule 19 and hail for room at the "obstruction". Thus forcing the starboard boat to his windward to tack. That would force the next boat in line to tack and so forth. Even if the situational awareness in SL was such that an entire fleet could even respond to such a chain reaction (and it is not) such a manevuer would be clearly not the intent of rule 19. So the original boat could use the End of the World as a tool to force an entire starboard fleet to tack away from his tack to port.

So the End of the World shoud not be an obstruction.

On the other hand. lets say you are in a hard fought battle with an opponent boat in a match race. You both are on starboard and you are leeward and will thus come to the End of he World first. If you opponent will not tack because the End of the World isn't considered an obstruction. What are you to do?

So the End of the World should be considered an obstruction.

Let me ruminate further. If in my example of the fleet start above were to happen in RL what would be the outcome for the starting boat on the leeward end of the start line? In RL he would simply be the boat being forced farthest from the center of the course. Is that a good place for him to be? All things being equal I would say no. So in RL the tactic of being the boat at the leeward end of a large fleet would be a bad tactic, not one that could be gamed to an advantage because of and End of the World rule.

So the End of the World should not be an obstruction...

On the other hand..

Well you get the idea. This is an issue very much worth solving and I have two possible solutions that I will admend to this post when I get home tonight (I am at work now. Stay tuned for the continuation of this post later).
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Towards a Solution to the End of the World Issue

Postby MarkTwain White » Thu Jul 05, 2007 5:54 pm

MarkTwain White wrote:Stay tuned for the continuation of this post later).


Ok, it's later.

As a community we are in the midst of a struggle as to how to best deal with the End of World phenomenon (EOW) in SL sailboat racing. I have come up with one solution for a part of the SL sailing world, and I have a suggested direction to solving the issue in the rest of SL.

Solution #1 End the End of the World
==========================
Happily the EOW problem is non-existent in a project I have been working on and in a pre-lauch post share with the community tonight.

In the next few days I will formally announce the creation of the United Sailing Sims of Second Life Olympic sailing course.

The Olympic Course is a design recognized all over the RL sailing world. I created the first SL version of the Olympic Course in August of 2005 when we set up a miniture demo of an olympic course right next to Kanker Greenacre's Tako dock in Grey and created the full sized course in xxxxx sim (to be edited when i find the reference).

The about-to-be-launched USS-SL Clympic Course was inspired by the sucessful course and USS-SL Cup we created for 9th.Com and Alcatel-Lucent in the ACA sims. I will tell you all the exciting features of this course, and the new Cup that will inaugurate the course in a soon-to-be published post.

For now, notice that this course is a long way from the EOW in the United Sailing Sims.

Image

Solution #2 Wanna Rumble? Then Rumble
=============================
If in the end we adopt the postion that EOW borders are not obstacles then we of course avoid much debate and a whole lot of protests.

But what of those "idiots" (I mean skippers) who run you into the EOW or those "dummies" (I mean skippers) that get themself stuck headed for the EOW and want to penalize you for your good sailing that gave you a superior position?

It is my current suggestion (subject to change if convinced) that you simply get down in the mud and slug it out. You won't be able to call a penalty. But there surely will be a penalty. It will be the time lost by the boats that hit each other. A futher penalty will be imposed by SL from time to time as your boats fuse.

Bottom line, avoid the EOW. That's the "rule" you can fall back on. That woud be the K.I.S.S. solution (keep it simple skipper).

Thats my view from the perspective of a beer with whisky back. I had two of those while contemplating this to to make sure my thinking was clear. :wink:
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