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Judges are responsible for conducting protest and redress hearings when competitors believe there has been a breach of the rules. Judges also conduct arbitration hearings, enforce Rule 42 (Propulsion) on the water at fleet racing events and consult with organizers and race officers ahead of events to review race documents and procedures.

The US Sailing Judges Program was developed in 1977 to improve the quality, consistency and fairness of judging and the administration of the rules and to provide qualified judges for sailors and race organizers nationally. Judges must attend seminars and pass a test for their certification level every four years. The US Sailing Judges Program regularly adjusts its training and upgrades the level of knowledge and skills of its officials in order to stay current with The Racing Rules of Sailing, which are published every four years.

A complete description of the responsibilities and functions of the Judges Committee (JC) and Regional Administrative Judges (RAJ), as well as qualifications for US Sailing Club Judges, Judges, National Judges and ISAF Judges is available in both the Continuing Education and Judges Program documentation (chapter 12 of the Judges Manual) links provided below.