What supporting evidence for a protest is valid?This discussion has an associated proposal. View Proposal Details here.
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If someone protests his result based on something (like a disturbance/hindrance) that happened during his race or competition, then what supporting evidence is acceptable?
By way of example, I know of a case where someone protested and showed a video made by their father as supporting evidence. Then someone else objected that private video should not be accepted as evidence (the protest was at their disadvantage, but they didn't have video themselves to support their claim).
- Is a witness statement from officials or volunteers about what has happened, valid? (In the sense that the referee may or must take that into account when deciding how to correct a result, or who may make a second attempt.)
- Is a witness statement of the protesting rider in itself valid?
- Is a witness statement from riders in that same heat valid?
- Is a witness statement from bystanders valid?
- Is a witness statement of a coach/friend/relative of the protesting rider valid?
- Is video or photo (or other technical) evidence valid? Does it matter who took the photo or video?
Personally, I think that all of these sources may be valid, and that it is up to the referee to decide what he takes into account, and how he weighs the various bits of information.
What do you think about this?
And secondly, should we write something about it in the Rulebook, to prevent a dispute about validity of evidence as in my example above?
There is a section about protests in General Rules and Definitions and 1C.10 explicitly forbids private videos for protesting:
"Private videos are generally forbidden as a means of verification in case of a protest. The host can decide to make an official video of some competitions (for example at the 5- meter-line of the 50 m one-foot race), which has to be announced before the competition to let the competitors know about their option to protest through this video."
OK, I hadn't found that. Why is this though? Are we afraid of being swamped in video footage? Are we afraid that private video could be manipulated, either during the recording by cunning selection of e.g. perspective, or even afterwards by "videoshopping".
Also, does the rule in 1C.10 imply that all the other potential sources of evidence (including but not limited to the ones I listed) are allowed, including private photo's?
I'm not sure why that rule exists. It seems a little odd to me, but I would guess there was a good/specific reason it was introduced. Maybe someone who's been on these committees in previous years can shed some light.
I can't remember why that "no private videos" rule was added, but I was not in favor of it. As a Referee, if one is trying to determine the validity of a protest, you want as much information as possible. I think one worry on that video rule was of too many people offering videos, even of the same moment, and being swamped by them. But if there is one Referee, it is up to that person to decide what is sufficient to make a decision on a protest, using whatever resources are available according to our rules. I'd rather see the video, and decide myself if it shows, or does not show, the key information. I have used video in the past, not for a protest but for a photo finish that would determine the top point winner (Track Champion) for the whole convention. It helped.
Because we are not lawyers, I hope we will choose not to goop up our section on Protests, with anything other than useful information for officials to make good decisions when protests are submitted. Often there is no objective evidence, and you have to listen to as many people as possible, followed by making a decision. It's very subjective. It can't not be. Not everyone will be happy, even if their protest is valid, if it can't be determined what actually happened. Parents often advocate a little too strongly for their children, but sometimes they are being 100% truthful in their reports. Usually enough people have seen a questioned moment to gather information from several eyewitnesses. A smart Referee will find out if all of these witnesses are members of the same team or club, especially if they tend to disagree with other witnesses who are not members of that team or club.
The human officials who are the last word in determining unclear situations, are called upon to make judgement calls, often based on insufficient information. Someone's got to do it. And no matter how many pages we write on protests, it will still boil down to the human in charge. Whatever we write should always be designed with the intent of making things more clear, or easier to handle, rather than more complicated or difficult to understand.
Thank you for that elaborate and thoughtful response.
I think we should scrap that sentence about private videos, and replace it with
All possible sources of evidence are generally allowed as a means of verification in case of a protest. The Chief Judge or Referee decides which evidence he will consider.
One more thing on protests, not a rule change but some housekeeping. I notice that both 1C.10 and 1C.11 are titled "Protests". 1C.10 is about evidence, 1C.11 is the more general info.
I would like to replace both by a single section "1C.10 Protests". The information currently under 1C.11 (for which, BTW, a separate discussion is running w.r.t. deadlines) should come first, with the info currently under 1C.10 as a second paragraph in the same section.
The sections starting from 1C.12 must then be renumbered, obviously.
Even if I agree with John in nearly everything he wrote, I think there is one good reason for the sentence "Private videos are generally forbidden as a means of verification in case of a protest." I will try to explain it and I hope you will understand, even if my english isn't the best.
If we allow private videos in general as a means of verification in case of a protest, we open the door for "private judges/referees". For example the 5-meter-line judgment of the 50 m one-foot race - if there is no official video judgment and only the judgment by the eyes of the judges/referees private persons (trainers or adults) could begin to make their own videos from every race to use it only if it brings an advantage for their own competitors (kids, rides from their club). This would be result in an unequal treatment between the riders who have a video judgment for their advantage and the ones who haven't. I think it's the same for false start monitoring or leaving the lane judgment.
What I want to say: I'm not in general against the idea of allowing private videos as a means of verification in case of a protest. But I think we have to be really careful with it and we have to think about a wording that prevents that private persons begin to do the job of the judges/referees and some riders get's an advantage while some riders doesn't.
The way I see it, the judge/referee is the one who decides what evidence to use, to begin with. Video evidence may be offered but he does not have to take it into account. Secondly and perhaps more importantly, the judge/referee decides on a protest, not the individual who supplies the evidence. So if someone provides a video, that puts them in no way in a position to judge. (Well they can judge for themselves, but not officially.)
Perhaps we must state or emphasise this in the rule? Would that alleviate your concern? I can try to come up with a specific wording, but I have no time now.
if someone has a video that clearly shows what actually happened how can I, as an official, NOT use that information to influence my decision. Anything else would be nearly criminal. I am in favor of eliminating this prohibition.
Years ago, before instant reply in any sport, when an official made a decision it was final. Even if the TV cameras showed they got the call wrong, and everyone knew it. You simply didn't argue with an official ruling no matter how blatant the injustice. Even if the wrong team won because of it. It was part of our culture. You might file a protest but it rarely mattered.
That was then, this is now. Methinks the vast majority will accept and support justice and fairness in light of evidence that corroborates a decision.
Klaas I think you're right - of curse the judge/referee decides on a protest, not the individual who supplies the evidence. But if we allow private videos as a means of verification in case of a protest this puts private persons indeed in a position to judge… Let me give you an example: an adult filmed the 5-meter-line at the 50 m one-foot race of the biggest concurrent of her son/daughter. In the video you can see that this rider lifted the foot a little bit to late - but no official judge had seen this (maybe because it weren't possible to see without technical assistance). Now the adult files on a protest that the rider have to be disqualified and gives his private video as evidence… This video is maybe the only evidence and now the referee has to decide, but did he really have a decision? Can he take the video not into account?
If the referee decides to disqualify the rider the referee doesn't treat all riders as equal, because the riders who get video "judged" by private persons are disadvantaged compared with the riders who get judged only by the human eyes of the official judges. Does everybody understand what I mean?
It would also be unfair to use a technical false start monitoring system on lane one, two and three and the riders on lane four, five and six get only judged by human eyes.
Yeah I can also imagine that there a situations in which a private video can help the referee to treat all as equal. For example if there is an official video judgment and in one heat the official camera doesn't work. In this case I would say the referee should have the power to use a private videos as a means of verification in case of a protest. But this is a very special situation and for me it is no reason to allow private videos in general as an evidence.
On reflection, I think it's not so much private video that should be forbidden, but rather we should state that all riders should be subject to the same type(s) of judgement and verification, or at least as much as possible. Would that be a compromise that we can live with? The wording has to be worked out then.
I think we may be confusing the English verb "to judge" with an observer who has an opinion, and maybe evidence to back up that opinion. In either case it is still their opinion (judgment) that may or may not agree with that of the Race Official (an official title, a noun, he who's opinion is the final word). A person in the crowd with a video camera can have an opinion (in their judgment this is what happened...), but it is the Race Officials duty to make the final call. Having that video may influence the Race Officials determination of the facts. After all reasonable information is gathered the Race Official makes the call. Any outside "judgement" is not relevant to that of the Race Official.
If I as Race Official see a video that clear demonstrates something did or did not happen I must take that into consideration. I can't simply ignore it. I may choose to rule against what the video shows but that is the Race Official's call. I don't see how having better information about what actually happened is to the advantage or disadvantage of anyone. On the contrary, NOT having that video evidence could be more damaging to the facts.
Kenny, I disagree with your second paragraph and I think Jan has done an excellent job explaining the situation. I agree with him entirely.
"I don't see how having better information about what actually happened is to the advantage or disadvantage of anyone"
Jan gives a perfect example of how this can disadvantage someone. Could you explain how the person in his example is not disadvantaged? (Or how the competitor with the parents with a camera is not advantaged?)
Scott: I appreciate your disagreement. I will try to better explain my position.
I think we all agree a Race Official should have the best information available to make a decision, so let's start there. Here is a scenario and I'll let the group make the call.
- Tommy is in the 50m one-foot race and narrowly wins. The crowd roars, the competitors shake hands and all is well.
- Tommy's parents take video of the race and, upon viewing it, see he lifted his foot late. If they keep quiet he wins the race (according to the judgment of the Race Official who did not see the fault, but not the rules).
- Upon severe moral reflection the parents decide to protest the results because their video shows the results are incorrect according to the rules.
You make the call.
In my opinion if riders, parents, official, etc have respect for the rules of the game then they want to do whatever is reasonable to ensure the rules are followed. Therefore they would encourage private video as evidence for Race Officials to make better calls. The only disadvantage I see is with for those races where there is no video so that Race Officials must rely only on their eyes and ears. It makes official rulings more of a subjective judgment call as to whether the rules are followed. I'm not saying the Race Official must rule in favor of video evidence, but any reasonable information available makes for better rulings. Better rulings are to the advantage of everyone.
It's about following the rules, not advantage versus disadvantage for a rider.
Having said all that, if reviewing video gets in the way of the flow of the racing then the Race Official must step in and set the criteria for review. I know American football and baseball have had to deal with that. Too much instant replay takes away from the games.
I agree with the points Jan makes. Unless every single heat has video of it, some heats would be judged by stricter guidelines (because there is video evidence) than other heats where there is no video evidence. There is also probably some bias in whoever is taking the video. If someone's taking a video of a heat with people from their club in it, they may be less likely to turn the video in and report it if it was by their own club member, than if it was by someone who beat their club member.
At one competition I was taking video of random heats and in one of them someone very obviously false starts, but it was never caught by the officials. I'm sure this happens more frequently than we realize. Should that person have been disqualified after the fact because I happened to take a video? The same thing may have happened in a different heat too, but no one took video, so it seems unfair that someone else could get away with it because no one had video.
I think what makes it hard to say video evidence is not allowed is if you have some hotly contested protest and it turns out someone not involved has video. In this situation it seems silly not to use this video, but I think coming up with guidelines between those two scenarios would be very difficult and it's better just to say no videos at all.
First of all, I appreciate this discussion. I'm glad we have fervent opinions on both sides, in the end it makes for better rules.
If we say we will not accept outside information, video or otherwise, because it makes ruling on an event too difficult and time consuming then that is a valid position so long as we are consistent in enforcing it. In my opinion it does not make the event more fair but it does facilitate the flow of the event, which is also important. That is a trade-off we may need to make.
But, if I am a Race Official, I hope I don't ever see video that I made the wrong call when that information was available but I refused to watch it.
Lots of good discussion on this. Let me start with Jan V, who brings up a very valid point:
"if there is no official video judgment and only the judgment by the eyes of the judges/referees private persons (trainers or adults) could begin to make their own videos from every race to use it only if it brings an advantage for their own competitors (kids, rides from their club)."
Add to that, we are in an age of the explosion of personal photography and video. One must assume that the convenience and availability of decent quality cameras in mobile devices will only increase. In other words, there is danger of being flooded with videos of any given moment!
But video is really just another set of eyes. Eyes you can look through later and repeatedly, but only useful if offered. Same for eyewitness testimony. If a parent or coach is happy with the result of a race, even though they saw something that was not right, they may choose to not share it. Same for video. So, in a situation where a large club repeatedly petitions the Referee with video that only favors its own members, and it is noticed they are maybe the only ones making such video, a smart referee might stop and ask them if they will share their video for situations where a rider of a different team was disadvantaged. If they say no, the Referee has the option of declining to watch any more of their video evidence.
The Referee always has (or should have) the option of declining video, for various reasons. To solve a dispute, if it can be done quickly, I don't see a reason to ignore video if it's present. But if time is a factor, or if twenty people are all pushing cellphones at the Referee after every heat, it risks breaking the race schedule. The Referee should seek some form of moderation. She should remember that the job can still be done with no video at all, and sometimes that might be necessary.
What's important in all of this is that the Referee remains impartial and unbiased. People bringing protests are sometimes also impartial and unbiased, but often they are very biased, possibly upset, possibly not communicating very politely. It wouldn't hurt to check the text that describes the job of Referee (that's the name for Track, but might be called other things for other events), and make sure it speaks to being balanced and impartial. Showing any kind of favor can damage everyone's trust in that official!
Back to professional sports and instant replay:
Jacquie and I have season tickets to the Sacramento Kings (NBA Basketball). I've seen a lot of games both on TV and in person. In the NBA, officials sometimes go to video to check things, but usually don't. The video thing is relatively new, and is handled by a central control room somewhere in Jew Jersey, that plays back all available camera angles of an incident in question. This usually takes a long time (several minutes, which is forever in TV time). The game's momentum gets disrupted, televised games go to commercial while we in the arena start hearing songs about waiting. In Sacramento they usually play one called "I can't Decide". They usually do not go to video for those reasons. Often there is playback, that is shown on the big overhead screens during gaps in play, that show the Referees got it wrong. But they have the final say.
Kenny brings up the idea of not being able to un-see something in a video. In general, if you see it and you believe it is true, you should rule on it. But if the same Mom keeps bringing you video of the same rider, and nobody else has opposing video, it may start to get old. You don't have to watch them all. And, as the NBA Referees do all the time, you don't have to change your call, even if you do see something in a video.
Edits to above post:
"New Jersey", not Jew Jersey! (there are way more Jews in New York)
In the second paragraph I was comparing video to eyeballs. Just because somebody saw something, it is still up to them to offer their testimony. We can't make them. But we can ask, just as we can ask if somebody has video of a moment in question. Often when something was only seen by a few people, such as an incident on the back of the track, I will ask around for more people who saw what happened. If the majority of witnesses I can find are all all from one team, and their version differs from the one other witness, I will be skeptical.
We continue to be divided on allowing private video or not. We have fervent positions on either side, without much movement as it seems.
If no breakthrough is achieved, I hesitate to make a proposal (for which tomorrow is the deadline). Without a (passed) proposal, it will stay the same. That is: private video is generally forbidden as verification means. Every other source of info is (implicitly) allowed in 1C.10. I have no problem with that situation even though my original idea was to not forbid any source of information, and letting the referee decide what he uses or not.
Other groups are having a similar discussion and seem to leaning toward no private video. Whichever way we go I think it should be consistent.
If we regulate this in section 1C, it will be valid for all disciplines at once (unless specific exceptions are made, which I would agree is not desirable in this case).
If I think of a case in which some issue is debated and someone offers his video that could shed light, he might be quite surprised to hear that our rules don't allow to accept it. Maybe he then offers a STILL from his video. After all, this is not forbidden.
sounds like we will need lawyers present at each race. ☹️
My brief look at the other discussion suggests no private video on the basis that taking official video has become practical and affordable. I don't remember it hey they are then requiring official video. If not then we are back where we started.
Perhaps forbidding private video or still photography?
Official video may be commonplace these days in Unicons, but I'm not so sure about smaller events. And then again, official video is maybe at the finish only while a contested hindrance can happen anywhere.
If we forbid private video, indeed it might be better to forbid all technical private evidence including video, still photography, audio recordings... whatever.
If we are forbidding private information then it looks like we need to forbid it all. Regardless of whether there is official video.
Why? Maybe to avoid complexity? Because otherwise it would also depend on what the official video shows, or fails to sho?
Forbidding regardless of whether there is official video is already in the current rules. Stills and audio are not, though.
As 'starter' of this discussion, I am in the prime position to make a proposal but I'm undecided as to whether I will, and also if I do, what should be in it. The committee has not come to an agreement. Maybe I should go back to my earlier comment that has drawn no responses:
"On reflection, I think it's not so much private video that should be forbidden, but rather we should state that all riders should be subject to the same type(s) of judgement and verification, or at least as much as possible. Would that be a compromise that we can live with? The wording has to be worked out then."
I agree with your intent but I'm not sure how to word it. Would this imply if there is official video for one race there would have to be official video for all track events? I don't want to force the organizers into a situation for which they are unprepared.
As I've stated I'm not in favor of prohibiting private media when making a ruling, but if we prohibit video then we need to specify what else is prohibited, like still photography.
No that doesn't need to be the implication, I think. It can be different from one track race to the other.
I have to leave home now, no time till tomorrow (Sunday). Will see what I can do then.
Let me tell my experience about video evidence. Indeed it´s not a experience of track racing, but of standard skill. Im my case the skill was performed correctly, so one judge didn´t deduct anything meanwhile the other judge deducted 100%. One club took a video of all riders, but the judges refused to watch the video, because video evidence is not considered as legal evidence for any protest. Bad luck?
My point exactly. Which is more fair?
@Klaas: "On reflection, I think it's not so much private video that should be forbidden, but rather we should state that all riders should be subject to the same type(s) of judgement and verification, or at least as much as possible. Would that be a compromise that we can live with? The wording has to be worked out then."
I'm afraid I don't understand that. When should all riders not be subject to the same type(s) of judgement and verification?
@Kenny: "Would this imply if there is official video for one race there would have to be official video for all track events?"
Not really relevant, because even if there were an official video from every race/event, it still might not show the key detail that's the subject of a protest. Any amount of video that's collected will be limited by its vantage point, focal length and resolution.
@Ana: "One club took a video of all riders, but the judges refused to watch the video, because video evidence is not considered as legal evidence for any protest. Bad luck?"
Not luck. Bad judge, and bad rule. To deduct 100% suggests that the judge misidentified the skill, or perhaps thought it was incomplete in one way or another. Apparently the video showed this to not be the case. The video doesn't lie. Its use should be allowed (but not required).
John wrote: When should all riders not be subject to the same type(s) of judgement and verification?
Ideally, they should always be. But suppose there is official finish footage but the camera malfunctioned for one heat finish. It is not possible then to subject all riders to the same type(s) of judgement and verification. If someone has private video of that finish, and would be willing to share it if it is needed e.g. to determine if all riders finished in control, then it is better to use that video so that AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE all riders are subject to the same judgement and verification.
@Ana: Exactly. It is this type of injustice that can be solved with private video, and the reason why it should be allowed IMHO.
You wrote in your example that video was taken of all riders, which makes it impartial as evidence. But if using it for one rider would mean that they'd have to use it for all riders (or at least for all riders who disputed their judgement), it might mean a lot of footage to go through. That's why I think it should be up to the referee/judges to decide whether they want to use it or not, but at least it must be legal to do so. The way the rule is now, they may want to use it, but cannot.
Here is my concept for 1C.10. Perhaps both "sides" can live with it?
This text relies on the good judgement of the Referee, which (good judgement) I am willing to assume. It prevents that they get in a situation where they want to use private video, but regrettably they can't. Situations where it would not be fair to use private video (because it is biased, or because it exists for one rider but not the other), are implicitly covered in this text.
The host can decide to make an official video of some competitions (for example at the 5-meter-line of the 50 m one-foot race), which has to be announced before the competition to let the competitors know about their option to protest through this video.
In addition to official video, all possible sources of evidence are generally allowed as a means of verification in case of a protest, including (but not limited to) private photos/videos and eye-witness reports. The Chief Judge or Referee decides which evidence he will consider. The objective is that all riders will be judged as fairly as possible.
That pretty much says why we are trying to say.
Klaas, I'm a bit confused. This is an edit to chapter 1 but the proposal has been made in the Track subcommittee. What is the meaning here?
Things happen :-)
This discussion started from something I wondered within the context of Track (although, come to think of it, it's also relevant to other disciplines). Then Danielle pointed out a relevant section in 1C.10 where part of what I wondered, was covered. From the discussion I concluded that a proposal to change 1C.10 was desirable, and I created such a proposal from this discussion. Not realising that we "are" still in the Track environment.
Does the rulebook software allow moving the whole shebang to the Main Committee?
Or should I kill the proposal, re-create it in the Main Committee and refer to the discussion that 'unfortunately' took place here?
The software is not that sophisticated. Please recreated the proposal in the main committee. Nothing unfortunate about the situation. Just how things happened.
Not sure if I should be posting here, or in the now-empty thread in the Main Committee. Maybe all the previous text (above) can just be pasted in there with a link to this discussion?
Anyway, just wanted to say that I like the proposed text Klaas presented above. I think it explains the options we believe a Referee or Chief Judge should have available, including the choices to not use some elements of offered testimony or images.
This discussion is now closed. Please discuss in http://iuf-rulebook-2016.committees.unicycling-software.com/discussions/126
Oh, somehow I can't close it. But please post not here, but in http://iuf-rulebook-2016.committees.unicycling-software.com/discussions/126