A guest post by Brass
For those of you that have noticed the Farrah Hall v Nancy Rios dispute in the USA (*), here's a twist. Even if Farrah Hall had had a request for redress against the grant of redress to Nancy Rios heard, it is likely she would have not been given redress because her score, rather than her placing, was not made worse.
In 2001-2004 rules the stem of rule 62.1 read:
A request for redress or a protest committee’s decision to consider redress shall be based on a claim or possibility that a boat’s finishing place in a race or series has, through no fault of her own, been made significantly worse (emphasis added).
In the 2002-2005 rules this was changed by replacing 'finishing place' with 'score, so that the rule read, as it does in the 2009 rules
A request for redress or a protest committee’s decision to consider redress shall be based on a claim or possibility that a boat’s score in a race or series has, through no fault of her own, been made significantly worse (emphasis added).
The effect of this change is highlighted in the 2008 ISAF Judges Manual Chap s9.30, page 90, which states:
For redress to apply it is a boats score in a race or series that must have been made significantly worse. The worsening of the position of a boat in a race or series is not grounds for redress.
EXAMPLE: A boats position in a series may be made worse if a race is abandoned in accordance with the rules, however, it would not be entitled to redress because its score has not been made worse by the abandonment as its score remains the same as it was before the race was abandoned.
Using the ISAF document search utility, I am unable to locate any submission, minute or other document that explains why this rule change was made, but perhaps it was made to 'head off' the problem described in the Judges Manual example.
I believe, however, that the change in the rule has had a serious and unfair consequence. There can be cases where a boat's place in a series can be made worse without her score being made worse:
- Grant of redress to another boat that gives her a higher score
- Penalisation of a boat so that a third boat gains a higher score in a particular race that enables the third boat to beat the disadvantaged boat on points in the series.
__________________________________________________________________(*) The Farrah Hall and Nancy Rios Olympic windsurfing selection trials case in the United States provides an example of how this could happen. Farrah Hall initially had the better score. Nancy Rios was given redress that made her score better. Although Farrah Hall failed to meet the requirements for a valid request for redress, had she done so, under the above interpretation, she would not have been entitled to redress, because her score, rather than her placing, was not made worse.
In light of Brass’ post I was wondering if the readers of LTW already have had dealings with this particular issue? If you have, please leave a comment.