Sunday, January 27, 2019

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

That was brought on by a request for the UKTRA Coaching Manual from New Zealand.

I had never seen it, the author thought it was well out of date and "the rules have changed a lot since I wrote it in 2003", and besides he didn't have a copy. However, luckily I was able to obtain a copy and we have a happy team racing coach in NZ.

I had a quick look at it, and I thought it was pretty good. What amazed me was that there was only one diagram that needed to be adjusted because of a rule change. Rule 17.2 was deleted in 2009. If you remember it - it should have resulted in Ben Ainsley not winning his medal at Sydney - but no one noticed the breech until a seminar 6 months later!

Perhaps the reason there was so little change was that the manual dealt with the basics rather than rule details. Do the basics mentioned in the manual well,  and success will follow.

The more things change the more they remain the same.

Monday, January 14, 2019

I don't want to play

The RYA Continuing Professional Development Meetings at World Sailing HQ over the weekend were really good. Some really interesting background on Americas Cup Umpiring and Judging at World Sailing events. 

As I say interesting, we may be there in 20yrs time, but not particularly relevant to the average Umpire or Judge, and I don't want to play at that level.

At The Sailing World Cup  in Aarhus the Jury Panel had 35 members and they were rota'd to their tasks by a programming secretary, had quality control assessments of their decisions and the ever present threat of having to appear before the Court of Arbitration for Sport. At least there didn't appear to be any death threats made at this event. This is not a game I want to play.

I enjoy being on the water serving the sailors, if it gets difficult I can probably help tow a few boats in. Lower level events tend not to have the rigidly assigned roles of the big events, and I will know what conditions were like when we have a hearing. Mind you, it would be nice if we could avoid having to move marks at Match Racing events. Once ashore you work with a small group of friendly colleagues, some of whom will be on the Race Committee, and you can talk to the sailors and maybe at the end of a hearing give some advice, which you hope will be useful. 

I am careful with advice. Sometimes it is not wanted and I do try to have a colleague with me when I talk to coaches, or young sailors, but that  is the state of the world today. However, there is never the same threat of action which goes with the really major events.

So I will continue to try and improve, storing all decisions and paperwork in the cloud for future reference seemed a really good idea, but I don't want to go any further up the greasy pole.

Link to conference presentations will go here when they are published.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Code of Conduct

The problem with a Code of Conduct is that it has to be interpreted.

At an NSSA Regatta graffitti was being put on team vans.

How could I think that was not a cause for a discplinary hearing or otherwise punishing the miscreants. Well for one thing it was all done with sticky tape - there was no damage. Another thing was that it was quite funny - one bus was done out as a rocket ship.

Sometimes you just have to let young people be young people. Others disagree.