How To Score
Guys: Perm your hair. Wear polyester shirts, unbuttoned to the waist. Wear gold
jewelry, lots. Hang out in discos. Say things like "What's your
sign?" and "I hear where you're coming from." Order drinks with
little bitty umbrellas in them.
Gals: Smile, but only once or twice. Any more than that and you'll find every polyester
shirt in the place stuck to you like velcro.
How To Score Sailboat Races
Commonly referred to as "I finished ahead of that boat. Is the #%!&@
race committee blind?!?"
Series scores (both one-design and handicap)
Series scores are simply the sum of the individual race scores for each boat,
minus the scores for throw-out races, if any. Note that a fleet might have local
fleet rules for determining race and/or series scores.
Add up all race scores for each boat. That is the boat's total points, or
"pre-throw out" points. For one-design fleets, race scores are usually the
boats' finish places. For PHRF handicap scoring, see sections following the
See a series example.
Series scores, with throw-outs
Determine how many races are to be thrown out for the series. Add up the highest race
scores for each boat for the number of throw out races. That gives each boat's
Subtract those throw-out points from the boat's total points to determine the
boat's net points ("after-throw out"). Net points determine the ranking for the series.
See a sample series with throw outs.
Ties are usually not allowed in a series. The tie-breaking rules are a little
more complex than I care to get into here. See the Racing Rules of Sailing,
PHRF time-on-time scoring (handicap fleets)
PHRF scoring uses boats' handicaps to convert their actual race
times into the "corrected times" that are ranked to determine the
finish order for the race. The finish place determines how many points are
assigned to each boat for each race in the series to determine the series score.
See US Sailing's
time-on-time scoring in PHRF for a more-thorough explanation, or You
vs. "Them" for quick and dirty estimating on the fly.
The PHRF process, in English
Look up a boat's handicap in the table. The table is on the PHRF tab in the
keelboat race results for any series.
(Don't like a boat's handicap? Talk to the fleet captain, NOT the scorekeeper!)
Plug that handicap into the "Correction Factor" formula, below.
Multiply the total elapsed time, in seconds, times that correction factor.
Elapsed Time = (hours * 3600) + (minutes * 60) + seconds
Corrected Time = Elapsed Time * Correction Factor
Round the corrected time to the nearest whole second.
(Required by the Racing Rules of Sailing, section A3.)
See a corrected-time
Correction Factor = A / (B + PHRF Handicap)
where A = 650, B = 550, so:
Correction Factor = 650 / (550 + PHRF Handicap)
Race results are simple, once the corrected times are calculated. Rank the boats
by corrected times from lowest to highest, exactly as you would if those
corrected times were actual elapsed times in a fleet without handicapping.
Lowest time wins. Boats that did not finish (DNF), did not start (DNS), did not
come to start (DNC), were
disqualified (DSQ) or received any other scoring from the Race Committee are assigned a rank according
to the racing rules as modified by any club or fleet rules. Ties are acceptable
for individual races in a series.
Here's an example ranking corrected times.