Saturday, 23 February 2008

Fair play and RRS 2

Last night at a rules-evening I was asked if umpires could penalize for a "schwalbe"?

The word is derived from soccer - voetbal - and is a used to describe a situation where a player falls in an exaggerated manner to emphasize or claim they have been fouled.
The only answer I could come up with at that moment, was to apply rule 2. But then it has to be clearly established that the principles of sportsmanship and fair play have been violated. There's no definition of "fair play" in the rule book.

In the dictionary: Unabridged (v 1.1); fair play: just and honorable treatment, action, or conduct,
and Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary; fair play: honest treatment; an absence of cheating, biased actions etc

Is a Starboard boat "cheating" or "dishonest" when she alters course for a Port boat, who's passing in front, when there's no need for it?
In the discussion I agreed that any Umpire should be aware that this can happen and not penalize the Port boat. But to flag the Starboard boat? Perhaps if it was repeated.....

What is your opinion?


  1. This situation happens probably more than rarely. But unless it was a very obvious fake, it is very hard to prove that the other sailor didn't just perceive it as more of an impending collision than the observer or the port boat. I think it would just have to be ignored, or risk the appearance that you are calling the exaggerator a liar. The only recourse for the port boat would be to hope the stbd boat wouldn't bother going through with a formal protest or having a witness affirm that there was no risk of contact.

  2. Some PC's could benefit from studying case 50, I agree.
    What if the witness was a umpire in a match race and he thought the Starboard boat did indeed exaggerate? Would you give S a penalty for breaking rule 2?

  3. There were some interesting comments about fairplay and sportsmanship in the most recent issue of the RYA's Judge & Umpire News.

  4. In the last comment by uk james
    the link was unreadable.
    I've cut the URK in three pieces:

  5. It is most unlikely you would penalize the ROW boat here.

    If the movement is early then (is it ISAF50) you may not be sure the rule is broken so a penalty that may have been given is not.

    The only time I have considered penalizing here is in Team Racing where the same boat harasses the other competitors with calls that a lacking substance. Under D2.2(d (3) you are on stronger ground.

    Mike B


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