RYA Introduction to Umpiring Course (Fleet Racing): Online (Zoom) & On Water (Practical)


This course is open for members of any yacht club.



Experience as a racing sailor,  and  specifically experience of fleet racing is desirable.  No prior knowledge of umpiring is assumed.

When on the water the umpires helm the rib, so you must be an authorised rib helm to participate in the practical dates of this training.

Course Outline

This course aims to provide an introduction to umpired fleet racing suitable for experienced sailors who have no prior experience as umpires. The course will begin with an introduction outlining the need for umpires in fleet racing, and the qualities that an umpire should display. A brief reminder of the rules governing fleet racing will be given as well as an introduction to the procedures involved in umpiring. This will lead into the most important sessions, how umpires communicate between themselves in order to decide incidents promptly and correctly. We will also then discuss correct umpire positioning on the water in order to facilitate decision making.

The course will be delivered through two online zoom sessions, followed by attending one of the ‘putting it into practice’ days at either Marconi SC or Royal Corinthian YC (Burnham on Crouch)

It is acceptable to take part in the online sessions only, but for full benefit we recommend that you follow up the theory sessions by putting it into practice.


  • Theory – Wednesday Evenings 9th and 23rd March 7pm – 9pm
  • Practice 1 – Sunday 15th May at Royal Corinthian YC
  • Practice 2 – Saturday 9th July at Marconi SC

Learning Outcomes

•A knowledge of the racing rules of sailing as they apply to team racing, and an awareness of the facts required to make basic calls.

•A knowledge of umpiring procedure to include communication between umpires,  protest  procedure and decision making.

•Increase confidence in umpiring ability,  be  able to follow basic positioning plan,  making  and signalling decisions when required.



Further Development

By completion of this course participants should have the skill and confidence to undertake their first appointments at lower-level fleet racing  events.  It is hoped that this course will facilitate the development of the next generation of fleet racing umpires.

If you have any questions please contact Jacqui.roberts@rya.org.uk.


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