Monday 24 December 2012

Why Holland isn't the Netherlands

For everybody who was sick of me talking about Holland, The Netherlands and Dutch:

The next time I'll open my lap top and show you the video, okay?

Have a good Christmas!

Sunday 23 December 2012

UK Sailmakers: Rules Quiz program

Received the newsletter from UK Sailmakers and wanted to pass on their latest:
The NEW UK Sailmakers Rules Quiz program
An excerpt from the mail:


UK Sailmaker’s online Rules Quiz Program has been called “the easiest way to learn the Racing Rules of Sailing.” Every four years, when the International Sailing Federation updates the Racing Rules of Sailing, UK’s Rules experts go back to the drawing board and create a fresh collection of animated quizzes to test sailors’ knowledge of key Rules, providing interpretations of the Rules, and giving detailed answers to the question of “who was right and why.” This year, along with updating the content of the quizzes themselves, UK has revamped the technology driving the Rules Quiz, creating more informative and interesting interactive quizzes.

The new Rules Quiz Program has been retooled from stem to stern, reflecting the latest techniques in online learning tools. To help better understand the situations as they unfold and the ultimate answers, UK has added graphic teaching aids including overlap lines, a circle showing the zone, a rotatable grid in one-boatlength increments, the ability to see the past positions of the boats as they advance through the situation, and the ability to see the track lines of the boats. A user-friendly slide bar allows users to easily advance or reverse the animation to a precise position. The new animations are bigger, more colorful, and the boats moving across the screen are more realistic and lifelike. More info...

Click here for sample quiz.

Last minute Holiday Shopping! Pre-Sales Discount!
The program currently has 45 quizzes with more to come throughout the 2013-2016 quadrennial. UK is in the final stages of preparing the program and plans to have it finished by the middle of January 2013. The new Rules Quiz will be available for $55.00 U.S. through the UK Sailmakers online store, but you can purchase a pre-release copy thru December 31,, 2012 at a discounted price of only $40.00 U.S. Since the program lives in the Cloud and won’t come in a box, you can order the program now and still be able give an e-mail gift certificate to someone for Christmas. This is a great present and even better last-minute gift idea.


I've not run every quiz yet, but the ones I did are great! Clear animations with lots of cool additions. Overlap lines, tracks and other information to judge the situations.....

I only wish it was as clear as this in a hearing!

Saturday 15 December 2012

Changes in Rule 69; part Two

The second change in rule 69 is about the 'standard of proof' that should be used on the evidence:
Rule 69.2(b):
……. If it is established to the comfortable satisfaction of the protest committee, bearing in mind the seriousness of the alleged misconduct, that the competitor has broken rule 69.1(a), it shall either…...
I have had a very hard time finding out what 'comfortable satisfaction' means. The Casebook working party is preparing a Case to explain to protest committees what the “comfortable satisfaction” standard means and how they should apply it. But that will take - according to my sources - several more weeks, before that is finalized.

Search results

A search on the Internet spewed out several doping cases where this 'standard of proof ' is discussed;

A couple of quotes from an article by Daniel Dawer, with the title: Leveling the Playing Field: Why the USADA Must Adopt a Criminal Burden of Proof in Anti-Doping Proceedings
Article 3.1 of the World Anti-Doping Code, states that such a standard "is greater than a mere balance of probability but less than proof beyond a reasonable doubt.“

Accordingly, the WADA established a burden of proof “greater than a mere balance of probability but less than proof beyond a reasonable doubt”: namely, prosecutors must establish an athlete’s guilt “to the comfortable satisfaction of the hearing body.” The standard’s ambiguity emerges from a failure to define “comfortable satisfaction.” Is it closer to preponderance of evidence—the evidentiary standard in civil proceedings—or closer to beyond reasonable doubt?
And from an article by Angel R. Puerta: Uncomfortable Satisfaction
Athletes need no longer be proven guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt" in doping cases - a near impossibility in many instances - but rather they must be proven guilty "to the comfortable satisfaction" of the panels hearing their cases.

The new standard brings common sense into the pursuit of a level playing field. Obvious cheaters can no longer hide beyond a "we have never tested positive" gimmick that is built upon clever drugs and astute event and training schedules.
From an article on Velo News: Dick Pound talks Floyd Landis, Lance Armstrong and the system
“Absolutely,” Pound said. “You can do a lot more with a confession like that and allegations and information that they can provide than you can ever do with results that come from the odd guy who pees in a bottle. In principle, I am very comfortable with it.”

In criminal trials, he said, “you can hang people even without bloodstained clothes. It’s a matter of having the kind of panels and the people on those panels who are in a position to weigh the evidence and arrive at the level of proof — to the comfortable satisfaction of the panel — that CAS has adopted as the standard of proof.”

Pound added that the more rigorous “comfortable satisfaction” standard is applied to anti-doping authorities when presenting their evidence “but the athlete must only meet a ‘balance of probabilities’ standard (when submitting evidence in their defense). It really is all well calibrated.”
Citing a hypothetical example of someone charged with distribution of 300 syringes of Aranesp, Pound said: “You don’t need the actual syringes to make the case. Eyewitness testimony of a delivery, credit card receipts … all of that is admissible and it’s up to the panel to weigh that evidence.”
The legal standards of proof can be found on:
I've compiled a table and placed 'comfortable satisfaction' where I think it should be, which is level 8

Tuesday 11 December 2012

Changes in RRS 69; part One

In the new RRS 2013-2016, Rule 69 has been extensively rewritten.

The main differences are:

  1. It is now written in the rule that competitor may not commit gross misconduct - and for the purpose of this rule - what a competitor is.
  2. The standard of proof in rule 69 hearings has been changed - in line with the doping rules and the practices of the CAS.
  3. National Authorities have no longer a choice, they must start an investigation if they receive a report involving a rule 69 case.

Let's start with the first difference:
The change in wording makes it clear that committing gross misconduct breaks a rule in the RRS - something that was previously implied - but not actually written in so many words. And since 'breaking a rule in the RRS equals a penalty' is well established in other rules, the rule is now more consistent with the rest of the book.
It is now also made clear what is meant by 'competitor' in the rule 69:
Throughout rule 69, ‘competitor’ means a member of the crew, or the owner, of a boat.
There seems to be a typo in this sentence? Should it read 'or a boat'? Or perhaps the comma is misplaced and the sentence should read: 'or the owner of a boat'. I'll leave that one up to the rule makers…..

Several people, to whom I've had contact about this rule, expressed their disappointment that this last change is not nearly far (or good) enough.
Originally in the submission this sentence was:
For the purposes of rule 69, a competitor includes a person in charge, a boat owner and any other person who has agreed to be governed by the rules.
Let me put it this way, in asking this question:

If a parent of a sailor misbehaves, or a coach does something that is absolutely considered misconduct, can the PC or Jury start a rule 69 hearing? 

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