SailX protest system was designed to mimic the real thing: a boat protests another boat to inform her about a rule breach.
In our environment we do have a Rules Engine (RE) that will assign a penalization to one boat when a collision is detected. RE pens are like protests raised by an umpire and (in SailX) require immediate action by the penalized boat: either protest another boat or spin.
A protest in the water (rising the red flag with the P key) has two effects: informs the boat we are protesting and, for standard users, allows to avoid the required spin. Sailors are requested to use the P flag 'seriously', protesing just to avoid the spin is considered unacceptable behaviour.
Every time a protest is detected in the water the system will record the incident and a reference will be stored in the Prefiled Protests page. The protester can, after the race, go there and File the Protest using a simple form. The protest is then formalized and enter the Protest Room.
A protest in the Protest Room will be kept in 'pre-hearing' status during a couple days, during this period both protester and protestee can discuss and one of the parties can decide to RAF (Retire After Finish) with a light points penalization. If no agreement is reached during the pre-hearing period the protest is then open for public discussion, during this period any user can make comments. Users can also 'propose' a final ruling and, eventually, a moderator will close the protest with a final decision.
Some points are not well understood currently by SailX users, please, read carefully and try to understand:
- A boat penalized by the Rules Engine has to spin as soon as possible. If the sailor doesn't agree with the RE penalization she can protest and if the boat is not restricted with Guest Rights she can keep sailing avoiding the spin.
- Raising the protest flag is a pre-requisite to be able to file a valid protest. You cannot file a protest if you haven't raised the red flag (unless the protest is because unsportive behaviour against Rule 2 or Rule 69).
We have implemented a couple of monitoring processes, automatically run by the servers, to prevent misuse of the system by non-paying members:
- A user will get Guest Rights restrictions if he uses too much the red flag (protest!) in the water with no later filing.
- A user will get Guest Rights if he loses too many protests
Both rules take into account the last 15 days. They are applied only to non-paying members because subscribers are already accountable using the score.