TRC Gimmick Rallye Protest Policy
The purpose of the protest committee is to allow second-guessing the rallyemaster in favor of maximum fairness to rallyists. See the Protests section of our Gimmick Rallye Rules.
Protest Committee Constitution
Ideally, the protest committee should have no one who submitted a protest that needs committee consideration, though you may have been granted one by the RM. If necessary, the protest committee can include protesters, but a protester shall recuse him/herself from his/her own protest; the committee needs a replacement in this case.
Protest Committee Behavior
A protest should be considered based on what is written on the protest form (and rallye materials, including the critique, of course). It is unfair to argue verbally, or to vote, on a protest you filed. But a protester may answer questions from the committee or provide an explanation if the committee seeks one.
It is perfectly fair to grant a protest involving a gimmick that you got or that you missed. These are not grounds to be recused. Even in the case where the committee decides to grant the gimmick to all cars that missed it, you are only part of the crowd, and need not abstain from voting. But a protest committee member should recuse him/herself if the decision will affect his/her own award standing (and not just the score).
Win on Route, not by Protest
Ultimately, rallyists should win based on what they did during the rallye. Yes, protests will affect the results, but favor decisions that produce results based on what rallyists did during the rallye, over decisions that produce results based on protests.
Be Fair to Everyone
Try to make protest decisions that are fair to the protesting rallyists, to other rallyists in their class, and to everyone else who ran the rallye.
If a gimmick is broken, grant credit for it to all cars.
If the protest is based on an alternative interpretation, grant only to the car(s) determined to have had that interpretation.
Don't Encourage Trivial Protests
Grant protests to individual cars only when the situation is truly unique to that car. Granting protests to multiple cars, but only to those cars that filed protests, actually encourages rallyists to file protests for every gimmick they miss. Otherwise they could miss out on getting points for someone else's granted protest.
Understand the Protest
Each member of the protest committee should understand each protest before voting on it. Each protest should be read by each member, or be read aloud (in unabridged form) so each member can hear it.
Give the protesting rallyist the benefit of the doubt. Look up the RIs/CMs/gimmicks referenced by the protest, and feel free to ask for clarification if necessary.
Give Lower Classes More Slack
A little more latitude should be given to cars in lower classes if the request is reasonable, even if it may not be completely correct nor completely consistent with other behavior by the rallyist. The idea is to encourage ongoing participation for lower classes of competitors, and not discourage them because of what may appear to be unfair or overly picky evaluations of protests.
An example might be if a beginner lost points because they did not perform an action at a T intersection because, they argue, there is no such thing as an “intersuction” in a particular rallye where the definition of T had a misspelling ( “an intersuction shaped like the capital letter T, approached up the stem”). You should grant such a beginner protest, even though the General Instructions may have also stated that there are no gimmicks on spelling in the General Instructions.