Frequently Asked Questions

List of Questions


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What are the limitations on your evaluation versions?
The evaluation version of SailOK Scoring is limited to recording 3 new series. There is no limit to the number of competitors or races in those series or the number of entries in any race. The evaluation version of SailOk Handicapping is limited to 10 PHRF certificates. Also, there is a little nagging reminder on the Main Menu of each that you are using an unregistered copy.

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Ok, after I register, what limitiations do you still have?
When you register the software and pay the appropriate registration fee, all restrictions are removed. There are no limitations on series or certificates and the nagging reminder on the main menus also goes away.

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Does your scoring program comply with Appendix A of the Racing Rules of Sailing?
SailOk Scoring fully complies with Appendix A, including tie breaking, redress and long series. It implements the Low Point scoring system as well as the Bonus Point scoring system.

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Has it been evaluated by US Sailing?
US Sailing has reviewed SailOK Scoring and found it to be fully compatible with Appendix A. You can see the results of the review here.

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What flexibility do you allow in scoring boats other than regular finishers?
SailOK Scoring is provided with a set of scoring abbreviations that match Appendix A, including paragraph A9 that applies to longer series. In addition, you can create entirely new sets of abbreviations that specify custom ways of scoring those boats. Like the standard set, you can specify which codes apply to regattas and which to series. It often is useful to define one set for standard regattas and one for series. Then as special regattas come up, new sets can be made to handle any special requirements. There is no limit to the number of sets allowed.

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What if I have to score different regattas differently?
No problem. Simply create a new set of codes and set the parameters as needed for each regatta. Then specify which set to use when entering the regatta.

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There are a lot of scoring abbreviations. Do I have to enter them all every time I create a new set?
No. To create a new set, select an existing one and click the Copy button. This will create a new set, exactly like the copied one, under the new name. Then just change those parameters that need to be changed. This set can be kept forever, if desired.

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What handicapping methods can your scoring handle?
It can use the Portsmouth system, with wind range factors. Your rating committee can change any of the ratings it needs to, as well as the wind ranges. It can also use PHRF with ratings stated as seconds/mile. Time-On-Time scoring is also available with PHRF using the generally accepted formula C = A * E / (R + B) where C=corrected time, E=elapsed time, R=PHRF rating and your rating committee supplies the values for A & B.

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Do I have to enter times for a one-design race when all I have is finishing positions?
No. If you specify the race time type as "No Time," then it will be considered an all one-design race and times will not be required at all when entering finishes. As you enter each boat's finish, SailOK Scoring will supply the next available finish position within that boat's fleet. If this is not an entirely one-design race and some fleets will require finishing times, then the positions cannot be supplied for you but you can still enter a finishing position for those fleets that did not have times recorded by the race committee. If the number entered is less than a minimum value you specify in your System Data, then it will be considered a position instead of a time.

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What about percentage penalties?
SailOK Scoring handles percentage penalties according to Appendix A. You have to set the percent values in your scoring abbreviations. The standard set provides for 20% on a SCP or ZFP penalty but you can change these values to suit your requirements.

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My club still uses PMS instead of OCS. Can I still do this?
Yes, although it is not advised. With the exception of DNC, RDG, SCP, ZFP, DNE, DGM, A82, BPS and FIP any of the standard scoring codes can be changed to suit your sailing instructions and procedures. Those cited cannot be changed because they each cause some special processing that the scoring programs recognize by the given name. Doing so will void that special handling.

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What about redress? Do I have to handle it manually?
Generally no. SailOk scoring can handle the common forms of redress semi-automatically. It is only necessary for you to specify the type and amount of redress granted and the system will handle it properly from then on.

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But what can I do if the protest committee comes up with some totally "creative" form of redress that you don't handle?
That's why I said "generally no" above. Protest committees are strongly encouraged to stay within the guidelines but they are not bound by them. In the worst case, you will have to manually calculate the score of a boat granted non-standard redress. To enter it you would use the "Absolute Position" mode of redress and enter your manually calculated value.

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I understand you use Microsoft Access to store the data. Why?
Access is one of the most stable and robust products Microsoft has produced, making for a reliable system. It is also very convenient for programmers, allowing me to give you a full-featured product, without spending mega-bucks to make it work. Having the data maintained in a relational database provides many advantages to the end users, not the least of which is having the data in a form highly suitable for customized analysis.

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We have several month-long series. When boats miss the early races, do I have to manually enter DNC for the ones they missed.
No. You never have to enter a DNC, or Did Not Compete. SailOK Scoring will add them to earlier races when a boat first appears in a later race of a series and it will add them to later races when a boat that races earlier, or was preregistered, fails to show up.

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Sometimes we have a substitute scorer who may not know all the fleet names. Can you do anything about that?
In most places where there is a set of valid values, SailOk Scoring will make that list available to the scorer. Included in that is fleet and class names. In places where this feature is available, type a question mark (?) into the relevant field, or just double-click with the mouse, and the valid list will pop up. You can then select any item from the list and click the Copy button to copy it back to the field from which it was called.

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Most of my boats sail in the same fleet or two all the time. Do I have to enter it every time?
Usually no. SailOK Scoring tries to keep track of every boat you score. It maintains a list of boats and their respective preferred fleets, in order of preference. If a boat's preferred fleet is registered in a series then a guess can be made as to the fleet the boat will compete in. This is not perfect but it gets better with experience.

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It's a real pain having to mess with the shift key and the colon entering times. Are there any shortcuts to help me?
Yes but only when entering finishes. There are not enough other occurrences of times for it to be a problem. Finish times, however, are significant. When entering finishes, it is not necessary to enter the colons at all. If you omit the colons then minutes and seconds must be entered as two digit numbers, including the leading zero if necessary.

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Well, what about the mouse? I hate using a mouse. Are there any keyboard shortcuts?
Yes, there are keyboard shortcuts to get to all the form buttons. Thus, it is almost never necessary to have to deal with the mouse if you are so inclined.

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I know you print reports but can they be posted on our web page?
Yes, all the reports that reasonably should appear on a web page can be printed in html format and saved to a file for direct uplolading. Each of the web reports is available by clicking the Web button on the corresponding form.

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We have some boats with the same sail numbers. Do I have to make up something to deal with that?
SailOK Scoring allows boats to have the same sail number as long as they are different classes. In fact, two boats of the same class can have the same sail number as long as they compete in different fleets. That is how we allow a boat to compete in two different fleets during a series. From a practical view, however, we discourage letting boats compete in multiple fleets during a series.

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Do sail numbers always have to be numeric?
No, sail numbers can be any string of characters up to 20 characters long. Skipper names can even be used in place of sail numbers. This may be especially useful in a junior regatta or when competitors use club-owned boats.

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Our J-22 fleet uses selected races from several series as their fleet championship. How can I score that for them?
The Super Series performs exactly that function. Mark a series as a super series and then just specify which races from other series comprise the super series. From that point on, all you have to do is calculate the super series when new races have been sailed and it will be scored just as if all the races had been actually in the super series.

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Ok but they also include their district regatta which uses bow numbers. Do I have to manually change those to sail numbers?
No. When you register the boats for the district regatta that uses bow numbers, there will be a column on the Participants Form for you to also enter their respective sail numbers. Enter sail numbers at least for those that will be competing in the fleet championship and SailOK Scoring will cross-reference them for you when calculating the super series.

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Sometimes we have a medium distance race as part of a series. Can it count double?
Yes, you can specify a weighting factor for every race if needed. The default value is 1 so you only need to enter a factor if it is other than 1. The factor can also be fractional.

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Since that longer race counts double, we do not want it to be used as a throwout. How can this be prevented?
On the Races form, there is a column with check boxes labeled "Non Discard." All you have to do is check the box for the race you want reserved. Then it will not be considered for throwout by any boat, regardless of points or the number of throwouts allowed in the series.

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We have an annual long distance race where we stagger the starts so everyone finishes closer together. It is a pain to do all those calculations. Can you help?
Not only does SailOK Scoring handle races of this type, it will precalculate the ideal starting times for all the boats then optionally apply handicaps to the actual elapsed times if desired. These features make this race no more complicated or involved to score than regular races.

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In a long series, can we have more than one throwout?
You can have as many throwouts as you want. All you have to do is indicate the number to allow on the series form before clicking the Calculate button. That number will then be applied to the results. You can change the allowed number of throwouts as the series progresses, if so desired, in order to print more representative interim results.

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We would like full class names on reports but that makes too much typing on data input.
SailOk Scoring provides for a full class name as well as an alias. The alias can be short or whatever you want as long as it is unique. On any of the forms, you can enter the full name or the alias and it will be recognized, regardless of case, and it will be converted to the full name for all forms and reports. You can optionally type a question mark for the class name, or double-click it, to see a list of valid names and aliases.

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Some of our race officers use a stopwatch while others use regular time. Do I have to manually convert those times?
SailOk Scoring will accept times as either stopwatch or time-of-day. The only restriction is that you must be consistent within each race.

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Your system has too much to remember. Do I have to keep a copy of the manual at the keyboard all the time?
All fields on every form will provide a hint as to the required data. Just hold the mouse pointer over a field for a couple of seconds and this hint will appear. In addition, there is as extensive online help system. Set the pointer focus to any field or button and press the F1 key for help on that function. Finally, "What's This" help is available. Click the What's This button then click any item on the form for help on that specific item. True, there is a lot available in SailOK Scoring but it is really pretty intuitive, once you begin to get a feel for it.

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Some items, such as fleet and class names can be hard to remember. What have you done to make this easier?
On any of those items that might have a list of valid values, you can type a question mark, or just double-click on the field, to get a list of those valid values. From that list, you can select an item and click the Copy button to copy it back to the calling field.

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We have a couple of die-hards who insist on changing from one fleet to another during a long series. How can I score them?
If you want to allow this sort of thing, we don't, all you have to do is verify when asked that you really do want to score the boat in the second fleet. It is allowed although discouraged. The boat will, of course, be scored as DNC in the fleet it did not compete in for each race. This does not lead to good results.

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I know it isn't official but our sailing instructions allow for a boat to be scored as Finished In Place. Can you handle that?
A special scoring abbreviation, FIP, is included to handle that case. It is not as unusual as you might think. Regardless of handicaps, a boat that is recorded as FIP cannot correct over or finish ahead of any boat that actually finished. As you enter boats thus recorded, you will be given the opportunity to specify their respective finishing (and therefore scoring) order.

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My PHRF committee won't let me mess with their data. Can I still use it for scoring?
Absolutely. Well, that is, assuming they allow you to at least read it. Actually, SailOK Scoring does not directly use your handicapping data. It makes a local copy for scoring purposes. This is an entirely secure mechanism. There is no way the scoring system can corrupt any of the data belonging to any handicapping system.

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I don't want SailOK Handicapping but can I still have handicap races?
Well, yes. But, of course, we don't recommend it. Actually, SailOK Handicapping is priced so low as to make it an easy decision, if it meets your needs at all. If it does not, email us and explain why. We may be able to change it so that it does work for you. If your handicapping system is really simple or small, you may want to just handle it manually. In any case, you can always supply the data to the scoring system on text files. See the manual for format and details.

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My webmaster is complaining about having to modify the page and create new links every time I score a race. Is there anything I can do to help?
Fortunately, there is. Tell your webmaster to create a link on his page to the ResultsIndex.html file. Then use the option to Update Webpage Index that appears whenever you have generated some web reports and then Exit the Series Form. When you upload all the related files, including the index, to your web server, the webmaster will not have to change anything other than loading all the files into the proper directory or folder. Chances are, you already upload them to the proper location.

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Ok, I created the ResultsIndex and set the location for the burgee image you described but it still doesn't display. What could be wrong?
It sounds like a miscommunication between you and your webmaster. The pathname specified for the image must be relative to the directory holding the results reports on your web server. If that is not possible then it must be absolute, beginning with http:// just as any url. Of course, it could be that the file doesn't exist or is misnamed.

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How does your support work?
Pretty darn well, thank you. The documentation and online help are quite thorough. In the event something comes up that you cannot resolve through those features, we are always available by email (see the web page for details). If there is an emergency or we cannot solve the problem by email, we will work by telephone. If it still cannot be resolved, zip your data file and email it to us. We will determine the problem and fix it for you. We really want satisfied users. Support is available for a full year on the registered product and continuing support is available for a small annual fee.

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We use PHRF Time-On-Time and change the A & B factors to meet the conditions of each specific race. Can I do that with your scoring program?
Yes. When you first create a new race, SailOK Scoring looks into your System Data table and extracts the then current factors to record with and use for that race. Any time you later refer to the race, those same factors will be used, without again referring to the ststem data. Thus, you can change the factors for the next race without effecting previous ones.

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Our club is hosting a national championship for a large class this year. We expect too many boats for one start line and will split the fleet using a preliminary sort-of-round-robin series. How can I handle that?
The most straight forward method might be to treat it as two separate series. For the preliminary, you will probably divide the fleet by some manual method then race the competitors half at a time. In order for each competitor to race against every other one, each boat will only sail in half the preliminary races. There probably are many ways this can be done. One popular way is to divide into four fleets. Then, with six separate races, each fleet can race against every other with every boat racing in three of the races. This could also be implemented as three races with two starts in each. The final scores can then determine the divisions for the championship, the top half in the "Gold," or championship, division and the remainder in the "Silver," or consolation, division. SailOK Scoring will handle the fleet split at the end of the preliminary sers for you, semi-automatically.

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But if every boat does not sail every race in these seeding rounds. Will that cause a lot of extra work for the scorer? Also, will the printed results be at all readable?
SailOk Scoring takes the approach of scoring it as six races rather than three, regardless of how it was actually implemented on the water. This makes scoring simple for the scorer. Results printed with all the DNC entries and associated high points would look confusing, however. To prevent this, a simple "trick" is employed. In the Scoring Abbreviations, you set the points for DNC to 999 and the Relative To value to None. Scoring will then recognize this as a special case and the DNC values will be completely ignored for scoring purposes and will not print in any of the reports, paper or electronic.

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What if the fleet wants the scores from the seeding rounds to be carried over into the final?
You can do that too with one caveat. This will be scored as a single series, and you have already scored 999 points for the DNC entries in the preliminary races to cause them to be ignored. Since the same value will now be carried forward into the final, you must not allow any boats to be scored as DNC in the final. Any that would normally score such must be scored with some other code, such as DNS, or those boats will be ignored in the final series as well as the preliminary. See the previous question.

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All right then throwouts will not be allowed in the preliminaries. In the final, however, when all races count except for the allowed throwout, the preliminary races should be eligible for discard too even though they were not in the preliminary.
This is fairly simple. During the preliminary when discards were not allowed, you would have set the number of discards to zero. When you get to the final, simply reset it to the appropriate value. Since you still have 999 points for a DNC, those races each boat was not scheduled to sail in the preliminary will still be ignored. The other preliminary races will be eligible, just as the finals are, for discard.

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What if they decide to allow throwouts in the final but all the preliminaries still have to count in the final as well as the preliminary?
In that case, use the Non-Discard check box on the preliminary races to cause them to be ineligible for discard, regardless of a boats score in them. That way, only the championship races will be eligible. This is the same feature used for a weighted race.

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Our web page has an on-line registration form. Can these registrations be put into the scoring system electronically?
Yes. It will be necessary for your on-line registration program to put the registrations into a text file in a required format. See the Scorer's Manual for details. You can then download the file and import it into your scoring system by clicking the Import button on the Regatta Participants form.

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Electronic registration is fine but what about entering finishes? It seems like a lot of duplication for the race committee to fill out a piece of paper and hand deliver it to the scorer who then has to read it and manually input everything into the computer.
SailOK Scoring provides an electronic Race Committee Score Sheet that serves as a stand-in for the paper forms they probably use now. Race data, including finishes, can be entered directly into that form on the water and transmitted to the scorer. This data can then be imported directly into the scoring system by clicking the Import button on the Races form. This works as well for a preliminary series where the race was recorded as 1 with 2 starts but must be scored as 2 races with 1 start each.

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We have multiple races scheduled each day of a regatta and the race area is a long way from the club. We would like to post results as soon as possible but it takes too long to bring the score sheet in and transmitting by voice over the phone is error prone. Can anything be done?
Yes, see the previous question. With the proper equipment, the data on this electronic finishing form can be transmitted by cell phone or other method to the internet or even directly to the scorer's computer. This would alleviate your logistical problem.

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