51 IUs have signed up for the forthcoming International Umpires Conference, being held at the ISAF Secretariat and the Holiday Inn Hotel in Southampton, Great Britain.
The IUs attending will represent a total of 22 different MNAs including Australia, New Zealand, India, Japan, USA and Canada as well as attendance by the majority of European IUs.
The Conference will open on Friday 26 March with registration followed by a welcome reception for delegates at the ISAF Secretariat. Sessions on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 March will take place at the nearby Holiday Inn Hotel, which will also be the venue for an evening meal for all delegates and presenters on Saturday 27 March.
Delegates will be joined for the evening by special guest Bryan WILLIS (GBR), who will give a short talk to the group about the preparations for the 2007 America's Cup.
The format for the Conference will be an intensive two-day programme, with the following sessions planned as a mixture of lectures, workgroups, short reports and exercises:
Saturday 27 March
1. Identify problems with the existing rules and systems and suggest improvements
- The Racing Rules (except RRS 42)
- The Call Book: problems with existing calls and new calls needed, problems with describing complex situations in the form that is used in the calls
- The Rapid Response call system
- Event rules: standard Notice of Race and Standard Sailing Instructions
2. RRS 42: experiences with the rule under the interpretations: problems and solutions
Sunday 28 March
1. Ideas for new procedures and techniques
- Using flags or shapes
- Signalling 17.1 overlaps
2. Evaluation of umpire procedures and techniques
- Problems with existing procedures and techniques
- Strengths and weaknesses of new proposals
- Ideas for new procedures and techniques
Disciplines and Development
1. Development of existing disciplines: what is the need for development and how can IUs contribute to that?
- Match race development
- Team race development
2. Switching between disciplines (as an umpire): what are the key differences?
- From team racing to match racing
- From match racing to team racing
3. New disciplines for umpiring
- Radio control umpiring
- Blind sailing umpiring
- Fleet race umpiring
Training and Umpire Development
1. Evaluation of training and development activities and material
- Seminars and clinics: are they working?
- Teaching material: IU Manual and IU seminar presentations: problems and ideas for improvement
- Personal care and preparation: experiences at events and ideas for personal development
2. Chief Umpiring
- Tasks and challenges
- Chief Umpire Seminar (information and ideas for topics)
3. Questionnaire on different MNA policies and programmes regarding umpiring (Match and Team Racing and other forms of umpiring)
Administration and Appointments
1. Umpire Evaluations
- Umpire Grouping: status
- Feedback system (umpire reports): evaluation and improvement
- Plan and training program for performance assessors
- Feedback from events and competitors: feedback ISAF is receiving from events and how can we increase competitor participation in debriefings
- Grading of events
- Appointment of umpires to events