Scoring systems for Sailing at the Summer Olympics

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Over time several[1] scoring systems for Sailing were used during the Summer Olympics. Many of these systems were also used by other regatta's in their times. In order to understand how the medals in the Olympics were handed out one must have a look at the scoring system of that specific olympic sailing regatta.

From the start of sailing till the turn of the millennium one practiced the principle that the difference in points between No. 1 and 2 must be larger than between No. 2 and 3 and so on. Several systems in different variations were invented. For the last couple of Olympics this principle was no longer followed.

1900 Olympic scoring system[edit]

In 1900 for the different races different systems were used:

Olympic races at Meulan[edit]

In the following classes only one race was sailed for each gold medal.

In these races each boat was given, in advance, a handicap of several minutes and seconds. For each boat, the sailing time over the course was measured. This sailed time plus the handicap gave the corrected time. The boat with the lowest corrected time became winner.

Olympic races at Le Havre[edit]

Since in the 10 – 20 Ton a series of three races was sailed, a scoring system beside the handicap system was used. Per race one could earn points as follows:

  • 1st place: 10 points
  • 2nd place: 9 points
  • 3rd place: 8 points
  • 6th (last) place: 5 points

A disqualification of penalty gives the points of the last place minus 1. Therefore, In the Olympics with six boats competing this gives 4 points.
All races counted and the scoring system was used after the corrected time was calculated.

Open class at Meulan[edit]

For the Open class NO handicap or scoring system was used. The order in which the boats crossed the finishing line was the result of the regatta. This with the exception of the boats that were disqualified.

In case of a tie[edit]

There are no known provisions for breaking a tie in the 1900 sailing regattas at the Olympic Games.

1908 Olympic scoring system[edit]

Three races would be scheduled in each class. The winner is the yacht with the most 1st places[2]

In case of a tie[edit]

In the event of three different yachts winning these Races, points will be allotted to them according to the following scale:

  • 1st place: 3 points
  • 2nd place: 2 points
  • 3rd place: 1 point
  • 4 … no points.

The tie is broken in favor of the yacht with the most points. Should two or more winners in any class tie under these conditions, they shall sail an extra match, on a day to be appointed, and the winner of this match shall be adjudged the absolute winner of the series.
Any tie for second place will be decided in the same manner.

1912 Olympic scoring system[edit]

In each class there will be 2 ordinary races, with the following method of scoring:

  • 1st place: 7 points
  • 2nd place: 3 points
  • 3rd place: 1 point
  • 4 … no points.

In case of a tie[edit]

Should two or more yachts in any class tie under these conditions for one of the first 3 places overall, the yachts involved shall sail an extra race. The winner breaks the tie in its favor.

1920 Olympic scoring system[edit]

For the Games in Belgium a so-called Point for Place system was used:

  • 1st place: 1 point
  • 2nd place: 2 points
  • DNF: points equal to the No. of started boats
  • DNS: points equal to the No. of entered boats

In case of a tie[edit]

Should two or more yachts in any class tie under these conditions a sail-off would determine the final result.

1924 Olympic scoring system[edit]

For the 1924 Games in France system of elimination series and semi finals was used.

French National Monotype 1924[edit]

In this class a total of 17 competitors participated. The France Olympic Committee had made available a total of 8 mostly identical boats. So here the fleet was divided in two flights of eight. In each elimination series one country was exempt and was automatically qualified for the semi final. Per flight the best two boats earned a place in the semi final. Finally a sail off was held for the places 2–4.

6 & 8 Metre[edit]

In this class three elimination series were scheduled. The two best of each flight got a place in the semi final. Eventually ties were broken by the result of the final race. The result of the other boats, up to place 6, was determined by the total result of the elimination series by the point for place system.

In case of a tie[edit]

  • Ties in the elimination series were not broken.
  • Ties in the semi-finals were broken by the result of the elimination series.

1928 Olympic scoring system[edit]

12 Foot Dinghy[edit]

  • Each contestant participates in four events and receives a number of points corresponding to his order of arrival in his group.
  • Should a contestant retire or be disqualified he shall be allowed a number of points identical with the number of starters in his group.
  • Should a contestant not start he shall be allowed a number of points identical with the number of entrants in his group.
  • The ten contestants obtaining the lowest number of points in the preliminary contests participate in the finals.
  • The ten contestants in the finals, sail in four events in accordance with the principles laid down for the Int. 8 and 6 metres classes.

6 and 8 Metre[edit]

  • Seven events are held;
  • After 4 events all contestants drop out which have not been placed first, second or third at least once.
  • The crew of the vessel finishing first in most events is the winner.
  • Should the crew of a vessel retire or be disqualified their place in the order of merit shall be the same as the number starters.
  • In the event of a crew not starting their place in the order of merit shall be the same as the number of valid entries in the respective class.

In case of a tie[edit]

  • Should there be a tie as regards the first places, the number of second places obtained by those concerned shall decide which vessel is winner.
  • In the event of this being a tie, the number of third places shall be the deciding factor.
  • An identical system shall be applied with regard to the vessels qualifying for the second and third places, etc.

1932 Olympic scoring system[edit]

The winner in each class of the Yachting competition was decided on the following point system:

  • A yacht was given one point for finishing.
  • A yacht was given one point for each boat it defeated.
  • The number of defeated yachts was figured on the number starting in any one race.
  • A yacht that started and did not finish did not receive a point for starting, but was counted as a defeated yacht in awarding points to the other yachts.
  • Where only one yacht was entered, it was necessary for her to sail over and properly complete the course in order to be awarded a place.

In case of a tie[edit]

In case of a tie after all races were sailed, provision was made for an extra race between the competitors tied.

1936 Olympic scoring system[edit]

Equal as 1932.

In case of a tie[edit]

In case of a tie after all races were sailed, provision was made for an extra race between the competitors tied. This rule only applies as it concerns the places 1, 2 or 3.

1940 Olympic scoring system[edit]

For the 1940 Olympics the following scoring system was intended:[3]

  • 1st: points equal to the number of started boats + 10
  • 2nd: points equal to the number of started boats – 1 (+5 if four or more boats did start)
  • 3rd: points equal to the number of started boats – 2 (+3 if six or more boats did start)
  • 4th: points equal to the number of started boats – 3
  • 5th: points equal to the number of started boats – 4
  • DNF: 3 points
  • DNS: 0 points
  • DSQ: 0 points

In case of a tie[edit]

In case of a tie the helmsman with the most first places wins the serie. If this does not break the tie the helmsman with the most second places wins the serie and so on. If the tie is still not broken the series goes to the helmsmen with the best result in the last race.

1948 Olympic scoring system[edit]

Until the 1932 Olympics many scoring systems were used. Most of them put a lot of weight at winning of races. This changes in Los Angeles where a point for place system was used. Still the need for awarding the winning of races remained.

In Austria a point system was developed were the delta between two sequential places was decreased with the rank. In other words: a lot of points between 1 and 2 and less difference between 24 and 25. The system was based upon a formula taking the number of entries and the rank of into account. Not finishing, retiring after the finish, disqualification or not starting gave 0 points. The formula looked like this:

N = Rank and A = Number of entries. This formula is in the table below exercised for 1 to 25 entries.

This system was used for the 1948 Olympics. Seven races were scheduled, of the seven races, a yacht counted only the points for her best six races.

No. of entries (A)
Rank
(N)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
6 Metre
12
Dragon
13 14
Swallow
15 16 17
Star
18 19 20 21
Firefly
22 23 24 25
1 101 402 578 703 800 879 946 1004 1055 1101 1142 1180 1215 1247 1277 1305 1331 1356 1380 1402 1423 1443 1463 1481 1499
2 101 277 402 499 578 645 703 754 800 841 879 914 946 976 1004 1030 1055 1079 1101 1122 1142 1162 1180 1198
3 101 226 323 402 469 527 578 624 665 703 738 770 800 828 854 879 903 925 946 966 986 1004 1022
4 101 198 277 344 402 453 499 540 578 613 645 675 703 729 754 778 800 821 841 861 879 897
5 101 180 247 305 356 402 443 481 516 548 578 606 632 657 681 703 724 744 764 782 800
6 101 168 226 277 323 364 402 437 469 499 527 553 578 602 624 645 665 685 703 721
7 101 159 210 256 297 335 370 402 432 460 486 511 535 557 578 598 618 636 654
8 101 152 198 239 277 312 344 374 402 428 453 477 499 520 540 560 578 596
9 101 147 188 226 261 293 323 351 377 402 426 448 469 489 508 527 545
10 101 142 180 215 247 277 305 331 356 380 402 423 443 463 481 499
11 101 139 174 206 236 264 290 315 338 361 382 402 421 440 458
12 101 136 168 198 226 252 277 301 323 344 364 384 402 420
13 101 133 163 191 218 242 266 288 309 329 349 367 385
14 101 131 159 185 210 234 256 277 297 317 335 353
15 101 129 155 180 204 226 247 267 287 305 323
16 101 127 152 176 198 219 239 259 277 295
17 101 126 149 172 193 213 232 251 268
18 101 124 147 168 188 207 226 244
19 101 123 144 165 184 202 220
20 101 122 142 162 180 198
21 101 121 141 159 177
22 101 120 139 157
23 101 119 137
24 101 119
25 101
'DNF 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
'DNS 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
'DSQ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
  • DNF = Did Not Finish
  • DNS = Did Not Start
  • DSQ = Disqualified

In case of a tie[edit]

Ties were broken as follows:

  • First count the number of times one boat placed ahead of the other
  • The number of first places
  • The number of second places and so on
  • Tie breaker race

1952 Olympic scoring system[edit]

The Austrian scoring system of 1948 was used. Below you find the relevant tables:

No. of entries (A)
Rank
(N)
11
6 Metre
12
5.5 Metre
14
Dragon
17
Star
28
Finn
1 1142 1305 1331 1423 1548
2 841 1004 1030 1122 1247
3 665 828 854 946 1071
4 540 703 729 821 946
5 443 606 632 724 849
6 364 527 553 645 770
7 297 460 486 578 703
8 239 402 428 520 645
9 188 351 377 469 594
10 142 305 331 423 548
11 101 264 290 382 507
12 226 252 344 469
13 191 218 309 434
14 159 185 277 402
15 129 155 247 372
16 101 127 219 344
17 101 193 318
18 168 293
19 144 269
20 122 247
21 101 226
22 206
23 186
24 168
25 150
26 133
27 117
28 101
DNF 0 0 0 0 0
DNS 0 0 0 0 0
DSQ 0 0 0 0 0
  • DNF = Did Not Finish
  • DNS = Did Not Start
  • DSQ = Disqualified

1956 Olympic scoring system[edit]

The Austrian scoring system of 1948 was used. Below you find the relevant tables:

No. of entries (A)
Rank
(N)
10
5.5 Metre
12
Star
13
12m2 Sharpie
16
Dragon
20
Finn
1 1101 1180 1215 1305 1402
2 800 879 914 1004 1101
3 624 703 738 828 925
4 499 578 613 703 800
5 402 481 516 606 703
6 323 402 437 527 624
7 256 335 370 460 557
8 198 277 312 402 499
9 147 226 261 351 448
10 101 180 215 305 402
11 139 174 264 361
12 101 136 226 323
13 101 191 288
14 159 256
15 129 226
16 101 198
17 172
18 147
19 123
20 101
DNF 0 0 0 0 0
DNS 0 0 0 0 0
DSQ 0 0 0 0 0
  • DNF = Did Not Finish
  • DNS = Did Not Start
  • DSQ = Disqualified

1960 Olympic scoring system[edit]

The Austrian scoring system of 1948 was used. With the exception that a yacht that did not finish now gets 101 points. Below you find the relevant tables:

No. of entries (A)
Rank
(N)
19
5.5 Metre
26
Star
27
Dragon
31
Flying Dutchman
35
Finn
1 1380 1516 1532 1592 1645
2 1079 1215 1231 1291 1344
3 903 1039 1055 1115 1168
4 778 914 930 990 1043
5 681 817 833 893 946
6 602 738 754 814 867
7 535 671 687 747 800
8 477 613 629 689 742
9 426 562 578 638 691
10 380 516 532 592 645
11 338 475 491 551 604
12 301 437 453 513 566
13 266 402 418 478 531
14 234 370 386 446 499
15 204 340 356 416 469
16 176 312 328 388 441
17 149 286 302 362 415
18 124 261 277 337 390
19 101 237 254 314 366
20 215 231 291 344
21 194 210 270 323
22 174 190 250 303
23 154 171 231 283
24 136 152 212 265
25 118 134 194 247
26 101 117 177 230
27 101 161 214
28 145 198
29 130 183
30 115 168
31 101 154
32 140
33 127
34 114
35 101
DNF 101 101 101 101 101
DNS 0 0 0 0 0
DSQ 0 0 0 0 0
  • DNF = Did Not Finish
  • DNS = Did Not Start
  • DSQ = Disqualified

1964 Olympic scoring system[edit]

The Austrian scoring system of 1960 was used. Below you find the relevant tables:

No. of entries (A)
Rank
(N)
19
5.5 Metre
26
Star
27
Dragon
31
Flying Dutchman
35
Finn
1 1277 1331 1423 1463 1620
2 976 1030 1122 1162 1318
3 800 854 946 986 1142
4 675 729 821 861 1017
5 578 632 724 764 921
6 499 553 645 685 841
7 432 486 578 618 774
8 374 428 520 560 716
9 323 377 469 508 665
10 277 331 423 463 620
11 236 290 382 421 578
12 198 252 344 384 540
13 163 218 309 349 506
14 131 185 277 317 473
15 101 155 247 287 443
16 127 219 259 415
17 101 193 232 389
18 168 207 364
19 144 184 341
20 122 162 318
21 101 141 297
22 120 277
23 101 258
24 239
25 222
26 205
27 188
28 172
29 157
30 142
31 128
32 114
33 101
DNF 101 101 101 101 101
DNS 0 0 0 0 0
DSQ 0 0 0 0 0
  • DNF = Did Not Finish
  • DNS = Did Not Start
  • DSQ = Disqualified

1968 Olympic scoring system[edit]

For each class a series should consist of seven scheduled races. For each yacht the best six races will count. If only six races are sailed the best five race will count. If only five races are sailed all five will count.

  • 1st place: 0 points
  • 2nd place: 3 points
  • 3rd place: 5.7 points
  • 4th place: 8 points
  • 5th place: 10 points
  • 6th place: 11.7 points
  • All other places: Place + 6 points
  • DNS: Place = No. of entered boats
  • DNF: Place = No. of started boats
  • DSQ: Place = No. of entered boats + 2
  • RET: Place = No. of started boats

In case of a tie[edit]

In case of a tie the yacht with the most first places, over the 6 counting races for each yacht, wins the series. If this does not break the tie the helmsman with the most second places wins the series and so on. If the tie is still not broken then the tie remains.

1972 Olympic scoring system[edit]

The 1968 Olympic scoring system was used. With the exception that DSQ scored now: Place = No. of entered boats + 1

1984 Olympic scoring system[edit]

The 1968 Olympic scoring system was used. With the exception that DSQ scored now: Place = No. of entered boats + 1

Also: RET = Place = No. of entered boats + 1 YMP = Points by decision of the jury (most used = average score)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ More scoring system will be added as the series of article about Sailing at the Summer Olympics gets updated.
  2. ^ We see this system still in use with the medal tables during the Olympics.
  3. ^ Handboekje der Koninklijke Verbonden Nederlandsche Watersport Vereenigingen, 1940

References[edit]