The ISAF Conference in Madrid has started since Thursday and although this year all attention is focused on Olympic equipment issues, there are also numerous other issues on the table.
Not in the least the appointment of all but a few committee members in this post Olympic conference. Every four years the committees get a reshuffle. Some of the members will stay on, others leave and new people are invited to join the different committees and working parties.
I've had a look at the agenda's of the IJ Sub Committee, the IU Sub Committee and the Race Officials Committee.
Interesting to note in the IJSC Agenda are:
(a) Grouping of IJs; To receive and discuss ROC guidance on the grouping of IJs. This must be something similar as the already in place grouping system for IU. In that system IU's are grouped in three groups, with subgroups in group 2, to make sure that appointments by ISAF of Race Officials to events is done with knowledge of the skills of the individual.
(Group one is most experienced, Group two is 'standard' or new IUs and group three are all ungrouped IUs)
(b) Education of IJs; To discuss proposal for “refresher training” of IJs. I've heard rumors about testing all IJ also every four years, to make sure they are up to par with rules and procedures.
(c) Rule 42 Education Programme.; To receive a report from Bill O’Hara on the Rule 42 workshops held in 2008 and to review the plans for 2009. Maybe a subgroup for rule 42 Judges?
Also on the agenda the IJ manual:
12. INTERNATIONAL JUDGES MANUAL
(a) Updates; To note the updates to the International Judges Manual
(b) New Sections; To discuss the need to include sections on:
- CAS (Court of Arbitration in Sports)
- dealing with minors (more and more an issue in current sports events)
- define the tasks of a protest committee scribe
This last agenda issue I find interesting. Up until now the scribe was a more or less random choice in panels. Anybody could be asked to do it. As if anybody had the necessary skill to do it correctly all the time. Being a good scribe takes practice and advice from experts. You need to learn how to do it. So including it in the manual is in my opinion a given.
The IU Sub Committee agenda has also a few interesting items:
In 10 DEVELOPMENT the IUSC will discuss the progress in: Support to Ungrouped and Group 2 IUs; To receive a report from Kirk Brown on the progress of the mentor project offered to ungrouped IUs and Group 2 IUs.
I've been part of that program for a couple of months, but haven't been able to get much out of it - part due to the fact I haven't been at an event with my mentor, part because I have not taken the time to discuss issues with him. It is not always easy to put in writing .... Also because there's no program, no syllabus, no specific goals other than the ones you formulate yourself and not much guidance from ISAF. For both me and the mentor.
In the ROC agenda this item drew my attention:
13. CONFLICTS OF INTEREST; (a) Guidelines for the assessments
To discuss the draft guidelines to assess conflicts of interest.
Perhaps you've glanced at RRS 63.4? The new rule is:
63.4 Interested Party.
A member of a protest committee who is an interested party shall not take any further part in the hearing but may appear as a witness.
Protest committee members must declare any possible self-interest as soon as they are aware of it. A party to the hearing who believes a member of the protest committee is an interested party shall object as soon as possible.
An issue which has certainly been put in the spotlight by this year's FARR 40 protest in the World Championship.
In all three committee meetings the appointment and re-appointment of Race Officials will be discussed:
- To consider the lists of nominations for appointment as International Judge, International Umpire, International Race Officer and International Measurer.
I'm due next year for my IJ-status, so no nail biting for me this year. But I wish those who are up the best of luck!
If you want to read the full Agendas here are the links: