IJ Manual


The latest update of the World Sailing Judges Manual was published in January 2021. It is available here and World Sailing have provided the following overview of the changes and new structure:

The Mandate and purpose of the manual:

  • The Manual is a reference book for judges to promote quality assurance and world-wide consistency in judging.
  • It does not set policy for judges; the International Judges Subcommittee and the Race Officials Committee do this.
  • It does not make or change rules; the World Sailing Regulations and the Racing Rules of Sailing do this.
  • It is not listed as an authoritative interpretation of the racing rules
  • It is a compilation of judging practices.
  • It is the main textbook for the IJ seminar.
  • It provides guidance for consistent practice for all judges on a range of practices and procedures.
  • It provides specialized information for judges at particular types of racing.
  • The Court of Arbitration for Sport will view the Manual as the way that judges apply procedures and the rules in hearings.


Changes to the manual in the 2021 edition:

  • Consistent with previous practice, the Manual was updated to the 2021-2024 Racing Rules of Sailing, the Case Book, and the World Sailing Regulations.


The 2021 Manual underwent significant structural changes:

  • Chapters were re-ordered more logically;
  • Generic information relevant to all judges and events comes first; information for specific types of events comes in later chapters;
  • Some chapters were amalgamated or split or deleted;
  • Headings were improved to better describe the content of chapters and sections.
  • New material fills gaps in previous versions of the Manual about judging practices, and addresses changes in the racing rules and in judging practices.


Tour of the Chapters –  A to M

This tour, chapter by chapter, discusses changes to the material, and summarizes some key points.


A Race Officials at Events – Terminology

- This compilation of terminology explains the roles of the other race officials that judges collaborate with and identifies the documents we use at events.

- It lists the resource materials needed to become an international judge.


B Qualities and Skills of an International Judge

- Fitness to serve explains that IJs must have the necessary skills and competencies related to the event at which they accept appointments to serve.

- Different types of events require different competencies in addition to the skills necessary for conducting hearings.

- Additional competencies include those required for going afloat with a variety of fleets, judging rule 42, windsurfers, kiteboards, oceanic and long-distance races, and direct judging and umpiring with various types of boats including radio controlled boats.

- A self-assessment tool is provided for judges to determine the level of their own current

competencies. Check if you are developing a new skill, or are competent with it, or no longer have the interest or ability or recent experience to judge that type of event.


C Protest Committees

- Be aware of rules governing conflict of interest for participating in hearings.

- In limited circumstances, World Sailing may authorize an international jury of three members.

- A new section describes remote hearings involving protest committee members or parties or

witnesses who are off-site. These practices have evolved even more during the COVID-19 pandemic as judges gain more experiences with remote hearings.


D Best Practices Before and At the Event

- This guide for the Chairman promotes the division of tasks among the members of the protest committee to ensure involvement of all members.

- It provides a useful list of the tasks at events that may be allocated to members of the protest committee.

- It encourages judge development to occur at all events, with members of the protest committee contributing to sessions for continuing education of judges.

- The post-regatta report of the Chairman tracks good ideas for future regattas for the benefit of the organizing authority and other events going forward.

- Communication with support persons is consistent with additions to the racing rules.

- The protest committee may need to appoint an investigator for rule 69 allegations, unless it is a World Sailing event.


E Protest Committee Administration at the Event

- This chapter serves as a guide to the duties of the Jury Secretary.

- It includes procedures relevant to arbitration.


F The Hearing

- This chapter provides detailed information on how hearings are conducted.

- Extensive re-organization and revision speak to changes in the racing rules and in current practice.

- It provides a strong guide on assessing conflict of interest.

- It separates out procedures for protests, first for incidents in the racing area and then for those not in the racing area, from requests for redress first for incidents in the racing area and then for other requests.

- There is new material on hearsay and written evidence.

- New material explains weighing the evidence and applying the standard of proof.

- Chapter F provides ways to resolve differences of opinion among protest committee members.

- It explains the scribing process, with references to use of the Preferred Standard Wording for writing conclusions.

- It gives guidance on hearings and penalties involving support persons.


G Rule 2 and Rule 69

- This chapter was updated in the 2019 version, with significant revisions to align with changes to rule 69 and the World Sailing Misconduct Guidance. This new material was carried forward to the 2021 Manual.


H Arbitration

- We refer to the arbitrator as “the judge,” to avoid confusion with terminology in different legal systems.

- The chapter highlights the importance of the post-race penalty.

- Chapter H guides the arbitrating judge throughout the process, from receiving the protest to giving an opinion, or a returning the protest to the protest committee for a hearing.


I On the Water Judging including Rule 42 and Appendix P

- Material is compiled from various sources, with links to various resources for judging propulsion on the water.

- It advises how to get the most benefit from using an audio or video recorder during the race and how best to describe penalties to competitors.


J Judges and Youth Sailors

- Since laws governing child protection are local, there are limits to what the protest committee may investigate if child abuse is suspected.

- The racing rules are not different for youth sailors, even for alleged misconduct.


K Judging Oceanic and Offshore Racing

- The chapter describes the role of the protest committee from the time of its composition and appointment.

- It alerts judges to the specific rule changes in the notice of race and sailing instructions that are typical for oceanic racing with regard to protest procedures, penalties, and decisions of the

protest committees.

- After the 2021 Manual was published, World Sailing published DR21-01 Alternative Starting Penalty for boats that are OCS.


L Radio Sailing

- The chapter explains special procedures for radio sailing including amendments to the Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions.

- It explains special procedures for accelerated protest hearings.

- The positioning framework for radio controlled umpiring is reprinted for left-to-right and right-to left courses.


M Categorization

- Categorization is the new name for classification of competitors in the World Sailing Regulations.

- No new material resulted from the change in the Regulation.


Material that was deleted:

Alternative Whistle Systems

- The section on Radio Sailing was pulled out to become its own chapter L Radio Sailing

- Material on on-the-water judging, including Addendum Q and Appendix Q was not reprinted in the Judges Manual. Material is now available in the World Sailing Umpired Fleet Racing Manual for Races Using Addendum Q.

Damage and Injury

- Material from this chapter pops up in Chapter F The Hearing, and did not merit its own chapter.


Get involved

The Judges Manual is a living document that represents our state-of-the-art knowledge and best practice. Please be a contributor by letting us know:

  • what other material needs to be addressed;
  • any errors or inconsistencies with rules, cases, regulations or jury policy documents;
  • any suggestions you may have for improvement of the content;

Contact raceofficials@sailing.org