Port/Starboard - Rule Change

Port/Starboard - Rule Change

Post by bla.. » Tue, 03 Dec 1996 04:00:00


After witnessing several near misses and one actual crash at Evesham Head,
I'd like to start a campaign to initiate a rule change.

There is a fundamental lack of communication between officials, who speak of
"PORT" and STARBOARD",  and coxes/scullers/crews who speak of "STROKE" and
"BOW" sides.

Hence the acident and near-accident mentioned above, in which the competitors
were not able to take advantage of the umpires steering advice because of a
lack of understanding.

Why are the 'official' terms used during ARA events, when little or no use is
made of them in general practice throughout the UK rowing community?

Is anybody else confused by the terminology or is it just me?

Blaine
Bedford RC

 
 
 

Port/Starboard - Rule Change

Post by Anu Dudhi » Tue, 03 Dec 1996 04:00:00

Quote:

> Why are the 'official' terms used during ARA events, when little or no use is
> made of them in general practice throughout the UK rowing community?

> Blaine
> Bedford RC

I believe that a couple of years ago there was a ruling from on high (ie
6 Lower Mall) that we all switch to using Port and starboard.

It's a struggle for me to have to type this, but the "American"
convention makes a lot more sense than the "British" convention,
especially when you have bow-rigged boats. Whatever that means.

It's also a little less obscure to other river users, although there is
a certain entertainment value to be had from keeping Joe Public guessing
when he's got an VIII bearing down on him at full pressure. Unless he's
got a bigger boat, of course, and then you want him to know exactly
where you're going.

 
 
 

Port/Starboard - Rule Change

Post by jm.. » Wed, 04 Dec 1996 04:00:00

Quote:

> Why are the 'official' terms used during ARA events, when little or no
use is
> made of them in general practice throughout the UK rowing community?

> Blaine
> Bedford RC

I suppose it's worth a try, Blaine, but the Voice of Experience hailing
you from across the pond says: "We use port and starboard every day over
here, and still ram each other on an almost daily basis."

Best advice, says the Voice of Experience, is "Get out of the way, and
just in case, know how to swim."

Jeff (passed advanced beginners swimming at age 8 and never looked back .
. . .)

 
 
 

Port/Starboard - Rule Change

Post by Ken Hast » Wed, 04 Dec 1996 04:00:00

Quote:

>I'd like to start a campaign to initiate a rule change.
>There is a fundamental lack of communication between officials, who speak of
>"PORT" and STARBOARD",  and coxes/scullers/crews who speak of "STROKE" and
>"BOW" sides.
>Why are the 'official' terms used during ARA events, when little or no use is
>made of them in general practice throughout the UK rowing community?

The guidance as to how to warn competitors about their steering was
introduced quite some years ago because there had always been reports
of confusion with almost all other methods of conveying an
instruction.

Arguably, Stroke/bow side can be confused depending on which way the
boat is rigged,  and a sculler may not be sio aware as to which is
traditionally Bow side or Stroke side.  Other instructions have also
found to cause confusion, such as move towards the bank (Which bank?)
and move left (In the direction of boat travel, or the way the
competitor may be facing?) and so it goes on.....

The reason that Port and Starboard were adopted is because there is no
doubt as to which direction the competitor should move, providing of
course that the competitor understands the meaning of Port/Starboard.

Coxes, Steersmen and Scullers really dio need to comprehend the
meaning if they are to race in open events.  As for an alternative
method of giving instruction, this is always something that can be
considered providing one can come up with a more reliable and
meaningful term which will also not confuse.

Ken Hastie
Chairman, North Regional Umpires Commission, UK

 
 
 

Port/Starboard - Rule Change

Post by NI Cropp » Wed, 04 Dec 1996 04:00:00

Quote:

> After witnessing several near misses and one actual crash at Evesham Head,
> I'd like to start a campaign to initiate a rule change.
> There is a fundamental lack of communication between officials, who speak of
> "PORT" and STARBOARD",  and coxes/scullers/crews who speak of "STROKE" and
> "BOW" sides.

Wow.  Are you saying there are coxes who don't know "port" & "starboard"?
In our 4+ "stroke" & "bow" are used to identify pairs of rowers, but the
cox is well-versed in "port" & "starboard" and how to steer down a river.
I can imagine that if you don't have a cox as a go-between then expecting
rowers to remember what side of the boat they're on could be a bit tricky.
[ ;-) ]

On my first outing I was #3, and it took me till I was back on land to
work out that "stroke pair" included me, but "stroke side" did not.
But then, that was my own fault for missing the 'terminology session' :o)


    York University Boat Club

 
 
 

Port/Starboard - Rule Change

Post by Michael Boe » Wed, 04 Dec 1996 04:00:00

Quote:

>After witnessing several near misses and one actual crash at Evesham Head,
>I'd like to start a campaign to initiate a rule change.

>There is a fundamental lack of communication between officials, who speak of
>"PORT" and STARBOARD",  and coxes/scullers/crews who speak of "STROKE" and
>"BOW" sides.

I'm a Canadian official.  If we have to direct a crew we use left
or right...another rule makes the official responsible for safety.
I would interpret that broadly, and if any crew did not respond I would
use whatever words were required to avoid an accident.
 
 
 

Port/Starboard - Rule Change

Post by ehrl.. » Thu, 05 Dec 1996 04:00:00



Quote:

>It's a struggle for me to have to type this, but the "American"
>convention makes a lot more sense than the "British" convention,
>especially when you have bow-rigged boats. Whatever that means.

Ahh, Anu.  You don't have to be ashamed.  It's alright to show 'Merkin
sympathies every so often.

You probably remember the first crew I coached in Oxford, which trained
through the winter with a starboard stroke and three buckets.  Bow and
stroke rowed on the same side in that rig.  In fact, bow, 4, 5, and stroke
rowed "bow" and 2, 3, 6, and 7 rowed "stroke."  Confused my cox to no end,
not to mention a lot of onlookers.  I'd never tried that rig before and I
haven't since (one bucket is usually enough for me, if any are needed),
but I have been known to use starboard strokes often enough (including
that particular crew's ultimate standard-rig line-up).

I must admit that I was once told by a Brit who'd been around for a while
that "you can't put the stroke on bow side and the bowman on strokeside,
because that's not how it's done.  It would make the vocabulary of 'bow'
and 'stroke' conflict with itself.  Can't be done."

Charles
(who may, under the right circumstances, admit British sympathies :^)
writing from the warm and sunny South

Men's Coach
William and Mary RC

 
 
 

Port/Starboard - Rule Change

Post by Anu Dudhi » Thu, 05 Dec 1996 04:00:00

Quote:

>  Ahh, Anu.  You don't have to be ashamed.  It's alright to show 'Merkin
> sympathies every so often.

I'll concede the Port/Starboard convention, I'll even concede the US
spelling is more logical than the UK spelling, but that's as far as I'm
prepared to go, OK?

On the subject of "buckets" (or "tandems" as I think we call them) in
Eights, there is the problem of having bow and stroke on the same side
in that the stroke generally ends up putting their blade into bow's
puddle - which can't be a good thing.

PS Charles, how do you stop the brakes screeching on that bike you sold
me?

 
 
 

Port/Starboard - Rule Change

Post by Ronald K. Ch » Thu, 05 Dec 1996 04:00:00

This is also why, in multi-lane sprint races, we use the white flag
rather than verbal directions.

Here in the USA, it is rare that an official would give a verbal
direction in a head race (I assume that is what this was), but if we
did, I think "port/starboard" is much less confusing than
"stroke/bow-side/"  

Ron Chen, USRA, FISA
USRowing Judge-Referee Committee
Vice-Chair

--

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs    Rutgers Law School, 15 Washington St.
(201) 648-5378                                             Newark, NJ 07102

 
 
 

Port/Starboard - Rule Change

Post by Andrew Shakespear » Fri, 06 Dec 1996 04:00:00

Quote:

>After witnessing several near misses and one actual crash at Evesham Head,
>I'd like to start a campaign to initiate a rule change.

>There is a fundamental lack of communication between officials, who speak of
>"PORT" and STARBOARD",  and coxes/scullers/crews who speak of "STROKE" and
>"BOW" sides.
>I've got a copy of the draft ARA rules for 1997 (all English clubs should have

been sent one). I would expect that this part of rule 2-5-4b covers the
contents of this thread:

        The commands 'move to starboard' or 'port' should be used first. If
        this fails the umpire may try 'bowside' or 'strokeside'; or any other
        words to achieve the desired effect.

It has to be said that, in the majority of cases in two-lane racing, the umpire
will only instruct you to move one way - away from your opponent. If you are
heading towards the bank, he/she will stop you on the grounds of safety.

Andrew Shakespeare

 
 
 

Port/Starboard - Rule Change

Post by Ken Hast » Fri, 06 Dec 1996 04:00:00

snip

Quote:
>    The commands 'move to starboard' or 'port' should be used first. If
>    this fails the umpire may try 'bowside' or 'strokeside'; or any other
>    words to achieve the desired effect.

This is quite true.  An Umpire will shout whatever is necessary to get
a crew to alter course if the words Port and Starboard fail to convey
the Umpire's intention.

snip

Quote:
>It has to be said that, in the majority of cases in two-lane racing, the umpire
>will only instruct you to move one way - away from your opponent. If you are
>heading towards the bank, he/she will stop you on the grounds of safety.

In the majority of cases, yes.  But not always; the Umpire can attempt
to steer a crew around an object 'not normally present on the course'.
e.g. A crew waiting to proceed to the start which is drifting out from
the bank, a mooring that has broken loose, a drunk who decides to take
a mid-regatta swim etc...

Under ARA Rules a Head Race is not 'Umpired' by Umpires.  It is
normally Marshalls or Officials that may take on these duties,
appointed by the Race Organisers.  For 1997 and onwards, I believe it
is proposed that 'Observers' be positioned to cover the course.
Again, not ARA Umpires.

Ken Hastie
Chairman, North Regional Umpires Commission, UK

 
 
 

Port/Starboard - Rule Change

Post by John Marti » Sat, 07 Dec 1996 04:00:00

Quote:
> The reason that Port and Starboard were adopted is because there is no
> doubt as to which direction the competitor should move, providing of
> course that the competitor understands the meaning of Port/Starboard.

> Coxes, Steersmen and Scullers really dio need to comprehend the
> meaning if they are to race in open events.  As for an alternative
> method of giving instruction, this is always something that can be
> considered providing one can come up with a more reliable and
> meaningful term which will also not confuse.

> Ken Hastie
> Chairman, North Regional Umpires Commission, UK

This is an amazing discussion. I can't imagine anyone going out in small
boats not knowing port & starboard. This is worse than not knowing how
to swim. The problem, of course, is that there are two rights and lefts
on a boat (or two bowsides etc) but only one port and one starboard. All
rules of navigation in all confined waterways, inland or not depend upon
understanding port & starboard. Any coach who allows a crew to go out
without this knowledge should be summarily dismissed. This topic should
not be open for discussion. It should be a given before anyone is
allowed to touch an oar.

John Martin

 
 
 

Port/Starboard - Rule Change

Post by Steve Ke » Sat, 07 Dec 1996 04:00:00

Generally the steering regulations and by-laws that govern rowers use of UK
inland waterways are defined in terms of port and startboard, reflecting the
international regulations from which they are in turn derived. These terms
have the benfit of being international, unambiguous, not dependent on which
way you are facing or how your boat might be rigged.

Anyone who steers a boat ought to be familiar with the regulations as they
stand, including knowing what port and starboard are. As usual with the law,
ignorance is no excuse. Surely anyone who cannot understand these umpires
instructions ought not to be in charge of a boat?

Regards,
Steve


Quote:

>After witnessing several near misses and one actual crash at Evesham Head,
>I'd like to start a campaign to initiate a rule change.

>There is a fundamental lack of communication between officials, who speak
of
>"PORT" and STARBOARD",  and coxes/scullers/crews who speak of "STROKE" and
>"BOW" sides.

>Hence the acident and near-accident mentioned above, in which the
competitors
>were not able to take advantage of the umpires steering advice because of a
>lack of understanding.

>Why are the 'official' terms used during ARA events, when little or no use
is
>made of them in general practice throughout the UK rowing community?

>Is anybody else confused by the terminology or is it just me?

>Blaine
>Bedford RC

 
 
 

Port/Starboard - Rule Change

Post by mel.. » Sat, 07 Dec 1996 04:00:00


Quote:

>I can't imagine anyone going out in small
>boats not knowing port & starboard.

Even after 30+ years at sea, when I'm moving   _backwards_   (or rigging)
I still have to stop and think about L/R & P/S.  The big red "P" my
captain painted on my left hand when I was a young midshipman just don't
work when sculling.  And please don't forget that we're talking quick
decisions under stress ...  sort of like the feeling I had for two years
as an American-trained/programmed driver living/driving in the UK.  Which
way will I turn when faced with a life-or-death
immediate-response-required decision?  (Several close calls, but survived
without even a dent.)  
 
 
 

Port/Starboard - Rule Change

Post by Richard D. Lew » Fri, 13 Dec 1996 04:00:00

Down here in Mississippi we do not use this
Port and Starboard stuff but Haw and Gee.  
Not everone has operated a boat, but eveyone knows
how to drive a team of mules.

Vicksburg Rowing Assocation

Proudly Sponsoring the "Up the Yazoo" Head Race