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ISA Race Officials

The ISA has four disciplines of race official:

• Judge 
• Race Officer 
• Umpire 
• Measurer 


The work of a Judge in the sport of sailing includes a wide range of services to competitors and race organisers, including the hearing of protests and requests for redress, deciding questions of eligibility and boat measurement compliance, and being present on the water watching for rule infringements. ISA has three categories of Judge; National Judge (NJ), Regional Judge (RJ) and Club Judge (CJ). The highest recognition is the ISAF qualification of "International Judge".


Race Officers are sailors who serve on-the-water as the Race Officer (previously known as the Officer of the Day or OOD) and control a race. The term Race Officer refers to the person in charge of running races. He or She is normally on the committee boat or in the start area ashore. ISA recognises three categories of Race Officer; National Race Officer (NRO), Regional Race Officer (RRO) and Local Race Officer (LRO). The highest recognition is the ISAF qualification of "International Race Officer".


Both Match and Team Racing use a system of umpiring, in which penalties are imposed during the race, avoiding, for the most part, the need for conventional protests. ISA recognises two categories of Umpire; National Umpire (NU) and Regional Umpire (RU). The highest recognition is the ISAF qualification of "International Umpire".


Measurers are appointed by a class association to ensure that boats are built and continue to comply with the class measurement rules. The highest recognition is the ISAF qualification of "International Measurer".


The ISA Race Management Programme is designed to improve and standardise race management in Ireland. The ISA would like to encourage individuals interested in race management to join this programme.

With an increasing number of top international events being hosted in Ireland it is vital that a very high standard of event management be achieved.
To meet these requirements, the ISA, through the ISA Race Management Advisory Group, has established a Race Management Development Programme. This will apply not only to race officers but to other race committee personnel with the ultimate objective of establishing a nationally recognised core of experienced and highly competent race management teams throughout the country. Race Officer grading is determined by the ISA Race Management Advisory Group and will remain valid for 4 years from date of appointment unless subsequently amended. Clubs and Classes are requested to select race officers of the appropriate grade for each of their events and should specify the race officers for each event when submitting their programme of events to the ISA.

ISAF Race Officials Manuals

ISAF International Judges Manual
ISAF International Measurers Manual
ISAF International Race Management Manual
ISAF International Umpire Manuals (Match and Team Racing) 

The manuals generally relate to major regattas and championships. The ISA recommends that the advice and procedures in the manuals be followed by all ISA Race Officials as best practice. The above manuals are available from ISAF to download here.  

ISA Race Officials Regulations 

The ISA has announced updated rules for the regulation of ISA Race Officials.

The regulations for officials, Race Officers, Judges and Umpires, has been updated following a lengthy consultation process involving ISA board members and the groups that advise the ISA on appointments along with other national sailing federations. 

The advisory groups on Race Management and Judges and Umpires will continue their valuable work within the new structure. In common with most other national and international systems the new regulations require all officials to renew their appointments every four years. The four year system also allows prospective officials to build up their training and experience over a reasonable time period. 

A new feature is that national grade officials are required to work at events outside their home bases. National officials are being encouraged to work on the national rather than the local stage. This has the twin outcome of bring their skills to a wider audience of sailors and giving them the experience of different clubs, classes and conditions.

Existing officials are being brought into the new system and their appointments will be renewed as they fall due in line with their initial appointments. This means that full implementation of the new regulations will take place in an orderly fashion over the next few years. 

ISA Policies on Race Officers for Both National and International Events

If you would be interested in doing a course to be a Race Official please click here

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