By: Dave Perry, Author of the North U Rules and Tactics Seminar Workbook, North U Intro to Match Racing Workbook, Understanding the Racing Rules of Sailing through 2016, Dave Perry’s 100 Best Racing Rules Quizzes, and Winning in One-Designs.
On the Water
• Practice starts with “live coaching” (vary the favored end)
• Starting line too short for all boats to fit at same time
• Extremely short beat (upwind start) or run (downwind start) – or start upwind, then reverse fleet and have
them race to a nearby leeward mark
• Videotape races or sessions and do debrief on shore
• Pull boats aside right after incident and debrief while still fresh (have small dry-erase board in coach boat)
• Race around tiny track, keeping boats compressed
• Have sailors raise hands as they enter the zone; give feedback
• Create drills for ducking / slam dunking / lee-bowing
• Simulate rules situations right off the dock (with good sailors in boats and class on dock watching with an
instructor doing “play by play”)
On Land – outside
• “walk” boats through scenarios – use actual boats when possible
• set up marks, zones (with line), starting lines, etc.
• have sailors move boats, give explanations, etc.
• put smaller kids in the boats for more fun and interaction
On Land – indoors
• use magnetic dry-erase marker board and model boats (available from US Sailing)
• have kids give an explanation of a rule (give them a day to prepare)
• put scenarios on board (live or hypothetical) and work through them
• look at video of situations and work through them
• create a “Rule of the Day” poster. Put pictures, rules quotes, appeals quotes, etc.
• create “mock hearing”
• do a quiz format (use quizzes from my book “100 Best Racing Rules Quizzes” published by US Sailing)
Make it age and level-appropriate
- Ages 8-11 or beginner: show the patterns and “what” to do (not necessarily the “why”) – make it situational. Don’t discuss numbers or memorizing text.
- Ages 12-14 or intermediate: discuss the structure of the rules and what they actually say – focus on the “biggies:” rules of Part 2, Section A and B; basic rules in Section C; rules on touching marks (31), taking penalties (44) and propulsion (42); rules on how to protest (Part 5).
- Ages 15 and up or more advanced: expand into more tactical uses of the rules, and the nuances in the appeals for a deeper understanding and application.
Resources (all available from US Sailing):
• The Racing Rules of Sailing (the rules book)
• The Appeals Book and ISAF Cases
• Understanding the Racing Rules of Sailing, by Dave Perry (includes the rule book and appeals quotes)
• Dave Perry’s 100 Best Racing Rules Quizzes
• Dave Dellenbaugh’s Learn the Racing Rules (a DVD also available from www.northu.com)
• Model boats
• Boat drawing programs (google TSS or Boat Scenario)