14B.3 Protests (Closed for comments)

Comments about this discussion:


Rule: "Protests must be filed on an official form within two hours of the posting of event results.
Every effort will be made for all protests to be handled within 30 minutes from the time
they are received."

Nobody in hockey knows what this means, how to to do and who is in charge in what situation.

We had a good discussion 2 years ago (please see first:http://iuf-rulebook-2016.committees.unicycling-software.com/discussions/42) The committee finished this discussion but without closing due to it is an open issue. Maybe now 2 years and one more UNICON later someone has good ideas how we can solve this problem.



The challenging thing about protests is that there needs to be some sort of remedy for the team protesting (otherwise it's mostly pointless), yet at the same time we need to support the refs. On the other hand a lot of the games are being life streamed and recorded these days, so if someone were to lodge a protest they would be able to pinpoint exactly at what time the foul play happened and protest it.

I think in general the director should handle most protests, except in the case where it's a protest against a decision the director has made and the protest should be escalated to the main committee. In that case the competition will have probably fallen apart anyways, so there's not much use in considering that case.

Looking apart from a protest against specific ref actions (like being biased or deferential or getting intimidated or similar), more protests would probably arise against "the competition", something the director has directly been involved with. That could involve the ref schedule, the game schedule, how information (especially changes in plans) has been sent out and similar organizational issues teams could take issue with or be disadvantaged by.


That said, being able to lodge a protest is fundamental aspect of how to ensure fairness in a sporting competition and so I do think it's important to think about this. If protests are lodged against the ref I think the following should matter:

– protests should be lodged within 60 minutes of the game ending
– protests can't stop an ongoing game (even if that was actually the case at the last unicon where we had the ref changed midgame)
– the team protesting should still complete the game and be good sportsmen about it (basic, but otherwise it'll descend into chaos)
– videos can be used in evaluating the protest but shouldn't be given too much weight since it doesn't capture what the ref sees and could undermine refs

When a protest is lodged the director should evaluate it on merits, then find a proper response. The response should take the following into account the likely change of outcome had the situation been ref'd differently (how a goal is counted in a 1-1 game carries more weight than in a 5-2 game).

Outcomes could include:

– Sanction for offending team (loss of points, disqualification)
– Sanction for ref (only in rare cases)
– Changing the outcome of the game (only in rare cases with extremely compelling argements)
– Letting the game or part of it get replayed

The director should obviously talk to each team and the ref separately to evaluate this.

I don't know if I've covered everything and to be honest it's a pretty tough situation. We don't want a sport where games are decided at a desk after the fact, yet being able to protest is basic to getting a competition to function. Adding this kind of language in the rulebook would be a great motivation for really getting ref'ing together in the next unicon though.


I am going to go back to a suggestion I made 2 years ago adding Christians suggestions.

Committee made to decide disputes of refereeing, timing, scoring matters.

·        Committee made up of a representative (player) of each team, which is not directly affected by the protest, but is playing in that league/pool AND is present in the hockey hall

·        To make a decision, >50% of teams or >4 teams (whichever is smaller) and the hockey director must be available.

·        In case of a tied vote the hockey directors decision decides it.

·        In cases where the dispute is about decisions 



Committee made up to decide disputes to Hockey Director decisions such as tournament draw, game duration, pool choices.

·        Committee made up of a representative (player) of each team playing in that league/pool AND is present in the hockey hall

·        To make a decision, an odd number of representatives are needed with >50% of teams in the pool represented. To avoid a tied vote, in case of an even number of representatives, the last representative found will not be included in the vote.


Benefits: Quick, easy, the committee already understand hockey

Downsides: Teams may have alliances with other teams possibly swaying their vote, large tournaments may not work. Will work for decisions on ONE game or ONE decision but if you a protest about something that affects the entire tournament (that the draw was not done fairly or teams are using oversize wheels in multiple games) and it is a tournament of 40 teams then getting the people in that pool to vote on it is not appropriate as the entire tournament should decide if they think the draw is unfair not just one pool of teams etc.



This is a good point. First of all, what does a protest form look like? As I've never actually seen one... Is there a link to a template on the IUF website?


On no UNICON (since 2010) I have never heard from or even seen an official form to be used for protest in hockey. All kind of complaints brought forward verbal to the hockey director. I have never seen a to-do-list for the hockey director.

Nobody in hockey knows who is in charge in what situation. (You find here in discussions complaints over the last hockey director without no violation of a rule.)

Above Steven recapitulated his former suggestions with pros and cons, a good workout to start with. This committee has listed 12 voting members, what has become of them?


I have contacted committee members individually to try and get them to take part but it seems to have no influenced them currently.


Rule: "Protests must be filed on an official form 

"official form" in this sentence may not be saying an official form designed by the hockey director but instead be referring more to a form "officially submitted" by the team who is protesting.


I think it makes sense we at least try to specify what a protest should include. For instance, should the team making the protest specify which sanction they think is proper (if any)? Can the chief judge/director implement a different, harsher sanction? Can teams protest stuff that didn't directly influence the game (e.g. protest poor ref'ing even when it's not clear who ended up with the benefit)?


Would it be sensible if we create a protest form template for hockey directors to use? That way, the IUF can properly handle complaints in a more orderly fashion. This should also help the speed of the protest being processed within the timeframe. 


Yes, that would be great. Makes it easy to track complaints and produces a reference for things like cut off times.


Two things.


If we do this is it going in the rulebook? I am guessing no, we shouldnt have forms in our rulebook.

If no then we need to give it to Robin Dunlop to include in the directors duties for events.


THEN the challenge is to get the event director to be on top of things enough to ensure all teams know that the form exists and where they can get a copy of it to use it.


If we decide on a template, I do not think it should be placed in the rulebook.


Does someone want to come up with a template which we can send to Robin Dunlop?


I think we don´t need a template in our rulebook, a piece of paper probably with a IUF stamp or print and printed information with names or organisation where to pass to (hierarchy) within what time frame would be enough. 10-20 sheets left with the secretary (14C.2.3 ) for pick up would be OK. On a team captains brief the director should pass this information to the teams.

>".... then we need to give it to Robin Dunlop to include in the directors duties for events."

I would like to give the hockey director (14C.1) a second head as "chief judge hockey" (from 1A.7.1).

We should copy this from the front end (1C.10 Protests) of the rulebook into the hockey section  "All Chief Judge or Referee decisions are final, and cannot be protested." (Be aware "All officials are expected to work objectively and impartially." 1A.7)

What kind of protest would be left over and should go to what hierarchy in what time?




There is a slight corner of protests that would go uncovered by the above which would be where the game schedule is somehow biased in favor of some teams, for instance because of improper seeding. Since the director would be the one who would have made the schedule it would make it harder for him/her to rule objectively. I don't think it's super important to consider that case in the final wording though, since any issues that might come up in that regards is something that could be resolved at a team meeting before the first game (I had an issue with the seeding of the two Danish teams this year which was resolved before game started for instance).


"For other disciplines, combining these roles may be the easy way to organize those events." (Top Competition Officials 1A.7.1) This would be covered by combine hockey director and chief judge hockey.

For all normal matters around hockey rules the director should be chief director (and the Top Competition Official!), he would be the direct supervisor of the The Board Of Referees. In the function of the Chief judge his decision would be final. (He may ask for help and advise.) Here I suggest the protest should be brought forward within 15 min and a decision should be made by 1/2 hour. >>> "The Hockey Director is in charge of keeping events running on schedule."(14C.1) "Every effort will be made for all protests to be handled within 30 minutes from the time they are received." (1C.10)

For All matters complaints and protests around the event of the hockey tournament the hockey director usually is or should be in charge has to brought to a higher hierarchy of the UNICON, depending on the subject to Convention Host, IUF Convention Liaison or IUF Board Of Directors (1A.7.1 General Officials)


If there is no clearly recognizable that we understand or what we want to say with this rule "14B.3 Protests" we should delete this paragraph in the hockey section but keep this discussion open for our successors in two years.



Or keep it and specify. There are details that could be up to the hockey directors discretion, since some of this stuff depends if it's a multi day tournament or if all teams are in the gym at the same time and things like that.


What do you mean by specify?

I like to repeat my ideas to have a broadly defined structure.

Levels in the Hierarchy

1. Hierarchy for an running game

The Board Of Referees, Head of the Board Of Referees should be the first referee (for the moment "The First Referee overrules the Second Referee, if they disagree."

> The first referee should overrule as well the timer and the secretary

> Protest (not the backchat from 14B.6.5 with 2 min) referring onto a running or just finished game should be made oral on spot by the team captain to the first referee. Quick (within sec or min) decision.


2. Hierarchy

Possibly or obviously wrong Decision of The Board Of Referees with big influence of the ongoing tournament.

> This Protest should go to the Chief judge of hockey. I would like to see the hockey director in this additional function.

> Here I suggest the protest should be brought forward within 15 min on sheet of paper and a decision should be made by 1/2 hour. (for examples please Magnus comment a month ago)

> This decision should be final.


3. Hierarchy

Possibly or obviously wrong decisions, executions or supplying something for use related to the job as hockey director or the host (section 14 D)

> These kinds of protest should be written on a official sheet of paper, handed via the hockey director to bring it forward  to the appropriate next level  (e.g. main committee or host). This higher level of hierarchy should be able to made up a committee out of hockey understanding members , e.g. from team captains from different levels, to decide disputes to Hockey Director decisions such as tournament draw, game duration, pool choices.

> Its hard to say within how many minutes, hours, days or months the protest should be brought forward, but it should be sighed by a team captain or trainer. A decision can also take minutes, hours, days or months. No idea how to fix this. Who has some idea to untie this hierarchy?

If the broadly defined structure will find some friends  I will have a look what could be added in which pargraph.


I think this looks great – thanks for summarising Herbert :)

I think the last type of protests need to be filed at the latest by the end of the playing day, so that it can be corrected at night. So if there's play 10-17 on Tuesday something like 19 on Tuesday would be the latest time to protest so the protest can be handled either the same night or the next morning before play begins. Since this is something that can be quite disruptive to the flow of the competition and spill over into other competitions it's still important to make and communicate decisions quickly. Worst case a day of play would have to be replayed, something that would completely change the schedule all around.

It might also make sense to specify that sometimes a result can stand even if corrective action is taken. For instance I could complain about a ref resulting in the ref not continuing in the competition, even if the results of the game don't get updated as it's unlikely a different winner would be selected.


Seeing as the in-game protests are handled by the captain, do we need to do something to promote the captain similar to how it's done in other games? The captain can be on or off the field and a player or a nonplayer, so the ref should look out for that (might require a different proposal).


I generally follow a long with this and think it makes sense


I hope I will find some time next week to make detailed suggestions in combination with rulebook paragraphs.


Great! Thanks Herbert.

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