Judges Program History

Before the US Sailing Judges Program was created in 1977, a set of criteria was established for certification as a US Sailing Judge, which included experience in racing and race management, service on protest committees and a high standard of personal integrity. Application was by resume and supported by personal references. RAJs handled applications in their geographic area.

In 1995, the US Sailing Board of Directors asked the Judge Committee to improve the quality of the Judges Program, to review the procedures used in appointing and reappointing judges and to consider training and testing. In 1998 the Judge Committee introduced a new set of standards for the US Sailing Judges Program. These standards require experience in racing, race management, and protest committee work as well as attending a workshop and passing a written open-book test.   The seminar and test must be taken every four years.

Standards of personal behavior are more explicit than they have been in the past. Those seeking initial certification or renewal as a US Sailing Judge must meet the high standards of integrity, fairness and judicial temperament found in The Judges Manual. Certified or not, all judges serving on protest committees should meet these standards.

When a protest committee is on duty afloat or ashore and the chair is a US Sailing Judge, they may display the US Sailing Judges Flag.

The standards also recognized that individuals might engage in different judging paths based on their experience and abilities. The Judges Program established qualifications and standards for Club Judges, Judges, National Judges, and the US Sailing procedure for nominating ISAF International Judges. The qualifications required for certification for each of these different paths are described in Chapter 12 of The Judges Manual.

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