Racing Rules of Sailing in Second Life - RRSSL

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Re: Gaming the rules vs. Excellence in sailing

Postby Aleister Biondetti » Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:50 am

Pensive Mission wrote:
Aleister Biondetti wrote:Thats actually considered "Gaming the rules". But calling for ROW when someone is going to ram you is not. :)
Armchair Binder wrote:7. At the discretion of the race director, attempts to "game" the rules can lead to disqualification. Gaming the rules is loosely defined as using the ruleset to violate the fundamental purpose of the ruleset, which is to create an environment where The purpose of rules are to keep boats sailing competitively and "safely", not provide opportunities to win by other means than excellence in sailing skills.
...
It does amaze me to this day the fear of the rules. I can't imagine competing in something that I didn't understand the rules. Would people play basketball or football? or any other RL activity without a basic understanding of the rules? And here in SL we have a set of only 6 rules. I would be hard pressed to find another sport or competition that has so few.

With all due respect to Aleister, who is a gentleman beyond reproach regardless of rules, I don't think it is quite so black and white.

One of my strongest memories in SL racing was being rubbed off at the start mark by one of the premier racers in SL. This ticked me off no end; it seemed at least rude and unnecessary, and didn't fit the rules as I (then and now) dimly understood them. I can see all the virtual eyeballs rolling at my startling naivete, but it seems to me that given the wide range of experience in the SL races we will always have the situation where one person's gaming the rules is another's excellence in sailing.

As to the point about understanding the rules, I remember some new guy coming out to the street basketball court, joining a team and when he got the ball, running off down the court without dribbling. He was amazed when it was pointed out to him that it was illegal, and he even argued that we were picking nits. I was on one side of the issue then, and the other side when I was forced out of a race at the start. My point is, a little understanding goes a long way.

-- Pensive

Pen, if a person that knows the rules and uses them in a race and the other racer doesn’t, I don’t see how that could be considered that to be “gaming the rules”. In my mind “gaming the rules” is a VERY serious accusation. To me it goes right next to unsportsmanlike conduct; it could be construed to be a form of cheating and getting over on the other racer. I wouldn’t think that calling for starboard or ROW is this.

I do understand your frustration about when you were new and being forced off at the startline. Doing that to a new sailor is just not right. And it’s something I hope the more experienced sailors will refrain from doing to any new sailors.

From what I read of Axles post is that he’s encountering racers that are seemingly gaming the rules to win against him. I don’t know of what form this is taking but it’s just wrong and it will get them disqualified. Now Axle is working on or studying the rules, which is a great thing. And also this way people won’t be able to make false calls on him if that’s the case.

Pen, I do think you are misunderstanding what I was saying in my post.

I am saying the task of learning the rules is much less of a mountain than its made out to be. We now have a great amount of resources here in our community. Classes, tutorials, the Sailing Academy, the wiki. This forum and links from it are a great source of information. And there is asking each other on the water. Some and probably my best learning experiences are from other racers. And as I have also said in the past that among the racers that say they don’t know the rules, they really do understand more than they are willing to admit. Say for Slantys Tako races, which are “no rules”. Well if it were truly no rules it would be pandemonium and no racing would happen. But on the contrary I have found the races to be cleaner and have far less infractions than a lot of other races I have been to.

I am not advocating for all the races to be full rules or even have rules. Not by any stretch of the imagination. (I would miss out on Slantys tako races at Starboards) I am also not advocating for being a hard ass about the rules and stuffing the other racers just because you can. We have to treat each other with courtesy and respect. And we can’t just impose something without bearing in mind the situation otherwise we are just autocrats. And without respecting and helping each other we are truly in trouble. It comes down to what I told Allie after an inrace incident a few months ago and its something I truly believe. That sometimes it’s more important to be nice than to be right.

(Apologies to all for the long post. If it should be moved to another thread I will be happy to do so.)
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Postby Hans Zinnemann » Mon Jan 25, 2010 4:32 am

Aleister Biondetti wrote:It does amaze me to this day the fear of the rules. I can't imagine competing in something that I didn't understand the rules. Would people play basketball or football? or any other RL activity without a basic understanding of the rules? And here in SL we have a set of only 6 rules. I would be hard pressed to find another sport or competition that has so few.


Well said!

Once we have been rubbed off the line for the first time and ask why it happened we come to appreciate the added element that tactical sailing brings.
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Re: Gaming the rules vs. Excellence in sailing

Postby MarkTwain White » Mon Jan 25, 2010 12:26 pm

Aleister Biondetti wrote:If a person that knows the rules and uses them in a race and the other racer doesn’t, I don’t see how that could be considered that to be “gaming the rules”. In my mind “gaming the rules” is a VERY serious accusation. To me it goes right next to unsportsmanlike conduct; it could be construed to be a form of cheating and getting over on the other racer. I wouldn’t think that calling for starboard or ROW is this.

I do understand your frustration about when you were new and being forced off at the startline. Doing that to a new sailor is just not right. And it’s something I hope the more experienced sailors will refrain from doing to any new sailors.


As the author of rule #7 in the first post of this thread (originally it was rule #8 in the SYC regattas and later the SL-ACA Cup and the TAKO Cup) I have read with interest this discussion. Basically several of you, including Aleister are right on the mark with your interpretation of the intent of Rule 7, The "Gaming the System" rule. But let me expand a bit in hopes that I can put this "gaming of the rules" into a proper context for SL Sailing.

There was a specific historical situation that gave rise to the creation of the "Gaming the System" Rule.

In the beginning there was only one yacht club in SL, Starboards Yacht Club. In those days to be involved in organized SL sailboat racing you would, naturally, join SYC. Over time the club became large enough that there was a pretty broad spectrum of skippers and skill sets involved in racing.

From early days SYC used the Limited Rules set that has come to be codified with little change as the RRSSL rules that Armchair Binder published at the top of this thread. Then as now, the rules were composed of the six ISAF rules plus 9 rules specific to SL sailboat racing.

These rules served us pretty well in those early days, well enough that they are STILL the heart and soul of our current rules.

One of the most active skippers at that time was Pixeleen Mistral. Pixeleen was a good skipper and certainly knowledgeable of the ISAF rules of racing. Pixeleen began to advocate that we move away from the abbreviated set of rules to using the full rules in SL sailing.

While I love the full rules set and in a perfect SL world would have agreed with Pixeleen's desire to race with the full set, I opposed her position because the majority of then current and i assumed future SL sailors would not accept the full rules as the entry point to racing.

The "Gaming the Rules" Rule came into being when Pixeleen began to make her point by analysisng the bloody stumps that exist an any abrreviated rule set and use the weakness of the rule set to gain specific advantages. Advantages that came from exploting the holes in the rules rather than winninng by excellence in sailing skills and using the existing rules as tools to "play the game" as intended.

In one of the most famous incidents in the early days of SL Sailboat Racing Pixeleen pissed of more than one skipper by puprosely ramming others in ways that did not violate the limited rules but DID violate the spirit of the rules. More than one novice skipper left SL sailing over that never to return.

Hence the inclusion of the "Gaming the Rule" rule.

Pixeleen went off to form the second SL sailing club called Vagabonds Yacht Club where full rules were the base line. Vagabonds Yacht Club is long gone from the SLSailing scene as is Pixeleen (albeit it not because of the full rules issue).

So as some of you have correctly observed, using the rules of the rules set to advantage (starboards RIGHTS, leeward RIGHTS) is merely playing by the rules. But to find those bloody stumps that exist in the rule set (such as recently pointed out by Tim Warrhol in regards to the lack of Rule 17) and use them to circumvent excellence in sailing to get a techical win is not in the corinthian spirit in sailboat racing. :)

BTW, Armchair, you might want to update rule number 7 at the top of this thread, there is a typo there which makes the sentence break down.

Here is the original wording of the rule (taken from the SL-ACA Cup, and the TAKO CUP rules):

"At the discretion of the race director, attempts to "game" the rules can lead to disqualification. Gaming the rules is loosely defined as using the ruleset to violate the fundamental purpose of the ruleset, which is to create an environment where the faster boat will win the race. The pupose of rules for the ACA-SL Cup is to keep boats sailing competitively and "safely", not provide opportunities to win "by other means than excellence in sailing skills.
Last edited by MarkTwain White on Tue Jan 26, 2010 5:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gaming the rules vs. Excellence in sailing

Postby Slanty Uriza » Tue Jan 26, 2010 9:42 am

Aleister Biondetti wrote:Say for Slantys Tako races, which are “no rules”. Well if it were truly no rules it would be pandemonium and no racing would happen. But on the contrary I have found the races to be cleaner and have far less infractions than a lot of other races I have been to.


We do have one rule at our races and that's 'use your common sense'. We all have that, I'm positive. The fact that our races on thursdays are cleaner and have less infractions than a lot of other races proves my point that we don't need a full set of rules, if any at all. Except the 'common sense' one of course.
Same with this forum, it seems to me that there is much less infringement since whe lost our moderator and are in fact ruleless :)
Even Slanty behaves.

(Don't mind my signature this time, you caught me in a 'nice' mood.)
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Re: Racing Rules of Sailing in Second Life - RRSSL

Postby Naeve Rossini » Mon May 24, 2010 10:13 am

Thanks for the sticky, Nomad.

Question to the community: If an amendment is proposed to the RRSSL, what does it take to actually get it incorporated into the RRSSL?
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Re: Racing Rules of Sailing in Second Life - RRSSL

Postby Liv Leigh » Mon May 24, 2010 2:22 pm

I don't think there is actually any 'governing body' as far as the RRSSL are concerned, let alone that there is someone who is involved in the process of dealing with suggestions. The current list, I believe, is Armchair's.. and people seem to have accepted that. Though there are more and more races with different cross-sections of the ISAF-rulebook being held.
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Re: Racing Rules of Sailing in Second Life - RRSSL

Postby MarkTwain White » Mon May 24, 2010 10:10 pm

Liv Leigh wrote:I don't think there is actually any 'governing body' as far as the RRSSL are concerned, let alone that there is someone who is involved in the process of dealing with suggestions. The current list, I believe, is Armchair's.. and people seem to have accepted that. Though there are more and more races with different cross-sections of the ISAF-rulebook being held.


Liv is correct, there is no actual governing body that can say "make it so". The compilation of the RRSSL that Armchair presented in June 2008 (at the top of this topic) is a good presentation of the rule set that was used at SYC in the beginning and by the three Cups that had been held to that point. What gave it "authority" is that it was widely used by the community.

Think of the development of the RRSSL as being like the development of the English language. A word becomes a word in the dictionary because of its use by the people. There was not a federation that officially declared this word or that word an official WORD. It's true that committees DID decide which word would be included in their dictionary, but that decision did not create the word, it just codified that word in their particular dictionary.

How would any proposed rule get added or removed from the RRSSL? In reality I think it would happen when enough clubs or Cups say "we are added the following rule to the RRSSL " or "we are removing such and such a rule". If that change catchs on with the majority of sailors, some one will come along and publish a revised set of the rules which will become the new standard or basis of what individual clubs will "follow". Of course clubs and following Cups will then add whatever changes from the new base set that suits their needs going forward.
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Re: Racing Rules of Sailing in Second Life - RRSSL

Postby Armchair Binder » Tue May 25, 2010 7:14 pm

That sounds about right.

8)
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Re: Racing Rules of Sailing in Second Life - RRSSL

Postby Jane Fossett » Tue May 25, 2010 8:15 pm

OK, I admit this is somewhat off-topic and may not make sense to new sailors,
so close your eyes...

Hi AC!!!
We all leave the light on, and keep the launch service running late for you.
Call us* on Channel 16 when you make landfall!!
Schnoogge will drive out and pick you up!
xxx

* "Us" in this context is probaby 2,000 new digital sailors scatterred across a zillion clubs...
just grab a mooring and give a shout, Schnoogge will find you. :-)
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Re: Racing Rules of Sailing in Second Life - RRSSL

Postby Bea Woodget » Wed May 26, 2010 3:35 am

MarkTwain White wrote:
Liv Leigh wrote:I don't think there is actually any 'governing body' as far as the RRSSL are concerned, let alone that there is someone who is involved in the process of dealing with suggestions. The current list, I believe, is Armchair's.. and people seem to have accepted that. Though there are more and more races with different cross-sections of the ISAF-rulebook being held.

Liv is correct, there is no actual governing body that can say "make it so". The compilation of the RRSSL that Armchair presented in June 2008 (at the top of this topic) is a good presentation of the rule set that was used at SYC in the beginning and by the three Cups that had been held to that point. What gave it "authority" is that it was widely used by the community.

Yes. It is certainly a good "historical" reason for RRSSL. It has been set 2 years ago, at a time sl sailing was a bit different than today: the community grew up, several major events (cups...) have played an important role in education/learning, the Sailing Academy was born, several YCs or independant sailors participate in education effort in learning rules, so we have plenty of material and volunteers to continue in that direction. Already a lot of weekly events use an extended set of rules compared to RRSSL, and the rules awareness today is not comparable with yesterday. The evolution is very clear, at least for some events.

MarkTwain White wrote:How would any proposed rule get added or removed from the RRSSL? In reality I think it would happen when enough clubs or Cups say "we are added the following rule to the RRSSL " or "we are removing such and such a rule". If that change catchs on with the majority of sailors, some one will come along and publish a revised set of the rules which will become the new standard or basis of what individual clubs will "follow". Of course clubs and following Cups will then add whatever changes from the new base set that suits their needs going forward.

Plenty of ways to do it:
- one may consider RRSSL as a standard and adding/removing such and such a rule
- one may also consider RRS as THE standard set of rules and according to their needs, Cups/RDs may remove few rules or fall back on RRSSL.
I think it is an endless discussion, some of us consider SL as a game, some others will consider SL may offer a great learning opportunity. There are certainly room enough for all, and after all, it will remain a RD decision. Some will use "RRSSL", some will remove the last 2 letters, some will remove all 5 letters...

For those interested in learning, and in a more realistic "sailing", what are the reasons not to use RRS? Could you list your points?
And what if I tell you that some of my posts, doesn't reflect a critical side, but a perfectionist side, that I can not stand mediocrity when one could do great things even easier. Do I deserve a spanking? Do not say "yes!" or assume...
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Re: Racing Rules of Sailing in Second Life - RRSSL

Postby Don Berithos » Fri May 28, 2010 11:08 am

GREAT GREAT JOB>>>>>>>>> Armchair You<D LOve the vantage Point im Having these Days ..
This was way over due youve done us all a world of justice. and I thank you.
heres a picture the dueling match today. don


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Re: Racing Rules of Sailing in Second Life - RRSSL

Postby Kentrock Messmer » Fri May 28, 2010 9:48 pm

So much to say but I bite my tongue. Why not just declare the winners before the race and get this over with. Then lets move on to the real summer Cup Race. :lol:
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Re: Racing Rules of Sailing in Second Life - RRSSL

Postby dotCOM Staff » Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:46 pm

In May 26th:
Bea Woodget wrote:... what are the reasons not to use RRS? Could you list your points?

So far none answer :?:
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Re: Racing Rules of Sailing in Second Life - RRSSL

Postby Naeve Rossini » Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:07 am

The main reason for not using the RRS is the complexity of the ruleset.

In RL, sailing moves slower. The time it takes to finish a race in SL may not be enough time to even reach the first mark in RL. Also, SL skippers typically sail alone and do not benefit from having a crew.

Consequently, having a simpler ruleset makes racing more accessible and it's usually more than adequate for casual or even graded racing events.

In my opinion, the difficulty arises when you have more experienced sailors trying to invoke rules that are not included in RRSSL. For example, I saw someone invoke Rule 30 and 64 in a discussion once and, to my knowledge, neither of these is included in the RRSSL.

Is there a benefit to using RRS? Yes. However, I would leave it to the realm of advanced racing. As far as tournaments are concerned, I see no reason to require the use of RRS if you want to have a broader audience.

Let's face it, most racers in SL are intermediate at best when it comes to the rules. A rare handful actually step up into the advanced ranks.
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Re: Racing Rules of Sailing in Second Life - RRSSL

Postby quirky torok » Sat Oct 02, 2010 3:35 am

I’m afraid I have to agree with Naeve.. The RRSL rule are great, but they do have severe limitations.

Firstly yep, racing is fast in SL. It is extraordinarily hard as a judge or RD to keep up with the state of play on a match race let alone large fleet race. I freely admit my knowledge of the rules of racing comes directly from Second Life, Although i have had some experience of the racing in real life I didn’t fully comprehend the full ISAF rule set, it wasn’t needed.

Secondly whenever i have called a race that has required me to send out rules i have sent out this web link. http://conwyriverfestival.org/rules.htm it has advantages, its in pictorial form (for those that do not speak English as a first language) and more importantly it isn’t complicated! I don’t care if it doesn’t have every single sub paragraph, I don’t care if a sailor has broken rule 34.23.92!! if you come to me using a sub-paragraph rule to prove your point I will just assume your i) overly qualified to sail races in second life and should be directing races ii) very very sad or iii) even worse your an engineer!! (they like reading and quoting that kind of detail)

So many times racing has been stopped so judges can sit round scratching heads trying to work out what went on in the last race when a protest was called. It stops the flow of the racing and it really pi**es off the racers and the audience that are wasting valuable computer resources waiting for the judges to come up with a decision. Why do we do that?!

I have a confession to make.. Sometimes I don’t know what blooming rule my fellow more experienced judges are going on about!! i just sit there and agree with who is more vocal about the rule.

So.. Why do judges take SO long to come up with decisions? Well firstly either they are debating the toss over a rule.. Or more likely than not we do not like to upset a racer.. It’s true!! We don’t like to tell (normally a good friend) that they have crossed the line of a rule (they normally have no idea about) and therefore they are disqualified. Not the best way to run races in SL! It alienates sailors.. it alienates potential racers.. It’s killing our sport!

The reason I stopped running Graded races was the effect of rules.. It’s true. I wasn’t overly familiar with the rule set; i was constantly bombarded with racers arguing the toss with me about the minute rules. It stopped being fun, both for me and the other racers. Therefore I just run fun races.

I know the argument will come back stating that i could use any rule set i want, but somehow i do feel pressured (however indirectly) to run races with the full RRSSL! No wonder we don’t have Race Directors that are prepared to give time up if they have to follow these overly complicated rule set.. No wonder we don’t get large happy fleets racing time and time again..

There has to be a radical rethink of rules in SL. At the moment its not., and we are reaping the rewards of this push toward realism of rules.
Let’s keep it simple
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