MCSA Policies

A. General Information Regarding the Administration of the Association and Responsibilities of the Membership


1. Communication

The Midwest Collegiate Sailing Association (the Association) utilizes a listserv as its official means of communication. Each team is required to have at least one member that is registered on the listserv. Use of this listserv must be consistent with the purposes of communication, coordination and administration of the Association and the Intercollegiate Sailing Association (ICSA). The listserv is public and users should follow the Rules and Guidelines described on the ICSA Mailing List homepage. Proper use of the listserv respects individual’s rights to freedom from intimidation, harassment and annoyances.

Should instances of improper use come to his or her attention, the Conference Commissioner will investigate. The Executive Board may take appropriate corrective action to prevent further occurrences.

2. Conduct of Individuals

Each Member school shall be held responsible for the conduct of its individual members while representing their organization during any MCSA or team sanctioned events. If any harassment is reported to the MCSA conference commissioner or executive board, the team and/or individuals involved will be suspended from competition while an appointed committee or university investigation is conducted. The suspension is not to exceed twenty-eight (28) days in length, at which point a final decision must be made or the suspension be lifted until a final decision is rendered.

3. Insurance

The Association participates in a Regatta Liability Insurance Program. This policy covers Association officers, committee members and judges.

4. Financial

Members of the Association will be billed in advance of each season. Spring dues must be paid by April 1 and fall due must be paid by October 1. Members will be fined $25 per month that their dues are late. Dues will be collected according to membership classification:

Membership Classification:

Annual Dues:







An officer will notify a Member of the Association of any fines at the time of infraction. The fine will be billed by the Treasurer as soon as notification is received. Questions regarding fines may be directed to an officer of the Association.

A Member’s racing schedule may be suspended at any time if it fails to meet the financial obligations to the Association. Members that do not participate for one calendar year and have not met their financial obligations to the Association may be terminated from membership.

A Member school that fails to meet its financial obligations prior to the Annual Meeting will forfeit the right to schedule events for the following year.

All payments are to be mailed to the Treasurer with checks made out to the Midwest Collegiate Sailing Association, Inc. Any other method of payment, or payment to a different officer, may be returned.

The Association may loan Members money for the purchase of boats and/or sails. The amount to be loaned shall be fifty percent (50%) of the cost up to a maximum of one thousand dollars ($1,000) for Members with fewer than two racing boats. The loan is to be paid back in four equal payments plus interest at the rate of one percent (1%) over the prime interest rate within two years. Loan applications may be obtained from the Treasurer and must be approved by both the Member’s faculty advisor and the Executive Board.

5. Annual and Mid-Year Reports

Each Member of the Association is required to submit an annual report (due January 15) and a Mid-Year report (due September 1) each calendar year. Annual and Mid-Year Reports shall include postal mail address, email address and phone numbers (and other information as requested by the Executive Board) of the organization, team advisors and team officers. Annual and Mid-Year reports must be completed using the Association website at and the ICSA Database at

6. Required Publications

Each member of the Association is required to maintain one printed copy of the Association By-Laws and Policy Handbook. Online copies will be kept current with policy changes. Members will be notified when these updates occur.

The Association shall maintain an internet website located at

The Tell Tale is the official newsletter of the Association and is posted on the website.

7. Midwinter Session

The Annual Meeting of the Association is to be held on a Saturday prior to February 15. Each member is required to send two authorized representatives to the Annual Meeting. A Notice of Meeting shall be posted on the Association website within fourteen days of the approval from the Executive Board. The notice shall contain

1. The date, time and address of the meeting.
2. Cost, email address, phone number and deadline for registration with the host school and commercial housing provider (if applicable).
3. A tentative schedule of events. Information pertaining to bids will be available on the Association website.

A host school may be appropriated up to $100 upon submission of a written report of the activities, planning and complete financial report to the Conference Commissioner.

The Agenda for the Annual Meeting shall be

1. Call to Order
2. Roll Call
3. Approval of Minutes
4. Treasurer’s Report
5. Proposals from the Executive Board

a. Approval of New Members
b. Advancement of Members
c. Termination of Members
d. Appointment of individuals to the board
e. Confirmation of ICSA Representatives
f. Unreimbursed Expenses for Graduate Officers
g. Dues Increases

6. Proposals from the Floor
7. Election of Officers
8. Installation of New Commodore

a. Approval of Life Membership for outgoing Commodore
b. Transferring of the Commodore’s Plaque
c. Announcement of Transition Board Meeting

9. Adjournment

Proposals from the floor must be presented in writing to the Conference Commissioner. The Annual Meeting shall authorize the disbursement of two hundred dollars ($200) to the Conference Commissioner, and one hundred fifty dollars ($150) to the Treasurer and to the Interconference Coordinator for unreimbursed expenses.

The Scheduling Meeting shall be held after the Annual Meeting. Representatives will finalize the tentative schedule and determine which events require the trailing of boats.

8. Regatta Scheduling

Scheduling for all in-conference regattas:

Scheduling will take place by Members signing up for one regatta at a time. Each host school will automatically be scheduled for their own regattas.

Members signing up for a regatta after all provided boats have been taken must bring their own boat for the regatta (if available) or place their name on the waiting list.

When teams withdraw from a regatta, all teams below them will move up one spot on the list.

Members wishing to sign up for regattas after the scheduling meeting must contact the MCSA Race Chairperson to request a berth and shall be placed at the bottom of the waiting list for those events.

The order in which Members sign up will be determined based on the following participation scale:

Conference Championships – 4 points
In-conference Interconference Regattas – 3 points
Other Regattas – 2 points
Clinics and one day events – 1 point

Singlehanded events will earn points as follows:

Conference Championships – 2 points for each entrant up to 4 points for each Member

Other Regattas – 1 point for each entrant up to two points for each Member


Members meeting their scheduling obligations will receive the above points for each event. Members hosting events will receive 6 points for each event hosted. Members withdrawing before the two week deadline will receive 0 points for that respective event.

Members withdrawing before noon on the day before racing starts (24 hour deadline) will have one-half of the available points for each regatta deducted from their total. Teams “no-showing” for a regatta (withdrawing after the 24-hour deadline) will have all of the available points for each regatta deducted from their total.

Any team that leaves a regatta before it is completed will be marked as having failed to attend. They will not receive scheduling points for that event.. If the team had to leave because of extenuating circumstances, the team may appeal to the board within 14 days of the regatta’s completion.

Members with more than one entrant at a regatta will be treated as individual teams. Points for each team will be awarded to the Member according to the above rules.

All teams will be treated equally regardless of using provided or towed boats.

If a team is to tow for another team and fails to bring the requisite number of boats, the towing team shall be penalized the appropriate number of scheduling points for each boat not towed.

9. Association Championships

All Association Championships are open to all Members of the Association. For qualifying events, only Regular and Provisional members may advance to National Semifinals or National Championships (per ICSA PR 11.b).

The Treasurer shall keep custody of all Association championship trophies and awards requiring engraving on an annual basis.

For the MCSA Sloop Championship, ICSA Procedural Rule 18 (c) (ii) is modified to include a time limit of twenty minutes for the first boat to make the first mark, sixty minutes to the finish, and ninety minutes for all boats to finish. Each boat after ninety minutes is to be awarded an average (rounded off) of the remaining positions.

In order to qualify for an ICSA National Championship berth, a team must finish in a qualifying position at the respective MCSA championship regatta. For spring championships (Women’s fleet race, Co-ed fleet race, and Team Race), a team that qualifies must also have attended a minimum number of MCSA or ICSA sponsored events in that classification within the previous fall season and current spring season. The minimum threshold is four (4) regattas for co-ed fleet race, and two (2) regattas for women’s fleet race and team race each. If a team finishes in a qualifying position but does not fulfill the minimum event threshold, the berth will be forfeited to the ICSA. The conditions for each of the ICSA National Championships can be found on the ICSA website.

10. Area East and Area West Boundary

The East and West Areas shall be determined by the North-South line that represents the state borders between Illinois and Indiana, and as that line extends North and South for the duration of the conference.

11. Championship Regatta Bids

Teams will be encouraged to submit to the MCSA Executive Board one week prior to the last Board meeting of the Fall. The Executive Board will attempt to award the bids such that each area will receive at least two of the six championships.

12. Interconference Regattas

Association Members are to contact the MCSA Interconference Coordinator with all questions regarding interconference regatta participation. In the event of an emergency, when the MCSA Interconference Coordinator cannot be reached, the Conference Commissioner should be contacted.

Prior to each season, the MCSA Interconference Coordinator will distribute a list of interconference regattas and Association members may respond with interest in attending one or more of these events. Should the number of berths available be fewer than the number of Members interested, the berths will be allotted by

1. Highest Choice
2. Elimination of the most recent school attending
3. Elimination of the school with the highest number of requests
4. Choice of the MCSA Interconference Coordinator.

The Association is charged an intersectional fee for each interconference regatta a Member attends. This fee will be assessed to the Association Members competing and will be applied to the following season’s billing.

The Executive Board reserves the right to review any existing interconference regatta within the Association. Members desiring to host a new interconference regatta must have them approved by the Executive Board and the ICSA Board of Directors before they can be sanctioned or scheduled. This process usually takes a year and a half.

Berths for the J. F. Kennedy Memorial Regatta and the Intrepid Match Race Regatta are determined following an application review process. Applications for the April event must be submitted to the MCSA Interconference Coordinator by November 15 to be considered. The team(s) selected by the MCSA Interconference Coordinator will be announced at the Scheduling Meeting.

13. Perpetual Trophies

The Executive Board must approve all perpetual trophy regattas before they can be sanctioned or scheduled. No perpetual trophy regatta will be sanctioned without the host school’s agreement to maintain the trophy in a specific designated location and presentable condition.

14. Afterguard

All individual Association sailors become Afterguard members when they have exceeded the limits of their eligibility for collegiate sailing competition. Those members of the Afterguard who keep their address current with the Conference Commissioner, or other designated individual, will be kept informed of Association and Afterguard activities.

Upon completion of their eligibility, or anytime thereafter, former college sailors are encouraged to sign up for the ICSA Afterguard List (see ICSA website for instructions). Association Members will contact Afterguard members in their area for possible assistance in coaching, running regattas, and other kinds of service.

15. Amendments

Amendments to the MCSA policy must be approved by a majority vote of the MCSA executive board. Prior to any changes being voted on, the board must first hold a meeting, open to the conference, where conference members may ask questions and discuss the changes. The conference must be notified of the meeting at least 14 days prior to the meeting. Any changes that are approved by the board will be effective 30 days after approval.


B. Policies Regarding Events Sanctioned by the Association

1. Safety

The Association believes that safety is the primary concern of any event and will always support a regatta chairman, organizing authority, or host that postpones or cancels a regatta in the interest of safety.

Inherently buoyant personal flotation devices (U.S. Coast Guard certified Type III or Type V, or conforming to the appropriate governmental regulations of the country where the competing college is located) shall be worn by all competitors while on the water. PFDs shall be worn outside all clothing and foul weather gear, except for a pinny or Team Uniform.

2. Rules

All events shall adhere to The Racing Rules of Sailing, the Procedural Rules of the ICSA and this Association Policy Handbook.

3. Registration and Eligibility

All individuals must register with the ICSA Individual Directory [LINK] and receive approval from their Team Administrator BEFORE sailing in any sanctioned events.

If an individual transfers to another school, has not competed for more than a calendar year or has changed his or her surname, the Conference Commissioner must be notified as soon as possible and this individual is required to update his or her information on the ICSA Individual Directory.

The ICSA Eligibility Case Book and Guide are used to interpret the eligibility rules including amateurism. Any challenges to an individual’s eligibility should be reduced to writing and sent to the Conference Commissioner. The Conference Commissioner will investigate the matter and make a ruling. If desired, the ruling may be appealed to the ICSA Eligibility Committee.

4. Fees

Host schools may charge each team a sailor’s fee for two day events. This may be up to $5 per person, or up to $10

per person if food is to be provided. If $10 is charged, the host school must provide breakfast on Saturday and

Sunday, as well as lunch on Saturday. The sailors’ fee may be higher for three day events or events hosted by yacht clubs, subject to approval from the MCSA Commissioner. Host schools may choose not to charge an entry fee.


5. Housing

Host schools are not required to provide housing for teams, though it is encouraged. Any housing must be coordinated between visiting schools and the host school individually.

6. Record of Participation

All Record of Participation (RP) information shall be entered on Techscore. Members are required to enter their own RP information for each regatta they attend. Failure to do so shall result in a team being penalized according to ICSA PR 33.

7. Event Entrance, Cancellations and No-Shows

Teams listed in the current year’s regatta schedule are officially entered in each of the events for which they are listed.

To withdraw from an event, a team shall notify the host school and the MCSA Race Chairman by 12 noon on the Friday two weeks before the event begins. Teams withdrawing from an event after the two-week deadline has passed shall be fined seventy-five dollars ($75) for each fleet race event and one hundred twenty-five dollars ($125) for each team race event. After the two-week withdraw deadline for an event has passed, the MCSA Race Chairman shall attempt to contact the teams on the wait list in order, after verifying the number of open berths with the Host School.

Teams that withdraw from an event within 24 hours (after 12 noon on the day before the first scheduled race) and teams that fail to attend shall be fined one hundred fifty dollars ($150) for fleet race events, two hundred and fifty dollars for team race ($250) and fifty dollars ($50) for singlehanded events. Per Policy A8, any team that leaves a regatta before it is completed will be marked as having failed to attend. These funds shall be used to distribute to the host school for sailor’s fees for four (4) sailors for fleet race events and six (6) sailors for team race events, and the Association shall retain the balance.

Teams that withdraw within two weeks of a conference championship or a regatta hosted by a yacht club shall be fined two hundred and fifty dollars ($250) and shall lose their first round regatta selection the following year. The selection penalty will apply no more than twice.

Any regatta withdrawal penalties can be appealed to the conference commissioner, within two weeks of the end of the event, who can decide to uphold, partially waive, or fully waive any penalties.


8. Regatta Format

PR 22 shall not apply to Conference fleet race regattas (as defined in PR 9)

The format for Championship fleet races (as defined in PR 8) shall be a single round robin. If there are fewer than 10 teams, additional races shall be scheduled in a second Round Robin so that each team sail 10 races in each Division (Changes PR 22).

PR 25 shall apply to Conference team races (as defined in PR 9). The following formats are suggested

1. One round-robin and final four, if possible
2. One round-robin + Final four double round-robin + Consolation round-robin
3. Three round robins

The format for Championship team race events shall be a maximum of three round robins. (Changes PR 25) Only completed round robins shall be included in the final standings. Races from incomplete Round-Robin shall be used to break ties. (PR 25(b)(2).

In-conference interconference regattas (as defined in PR 6) shall use PR 22 unless changed by the ICSA.

9. Competitors’ Meeting

The host school shall have a competitors’ meeting at the sailing site on the first morning of the event.

10. Regatta Schedule

All two-day events shall be held to the following schedule


Report Time: 8:30am
Competitor’s Meeting: 9:00am
First Race Warning: No later than 9:30 am


Report Time: 9:00am
First Race Warning: No later than 9:30 am

No A Division race shall be started on Sunday after 1:00pm local time for regular events and 3:00pm local time for Championship events.  Sailing later than these deadlines requires agreement from all teams in attendance before 12:00pm (noon) on Sunday.


12. Borrowed Crews

In the event that a team needs to borrow a crew from another school, the borrowed crew is subject to ICSA PR 14.c. No sailors may alternate between teams at any event.

13. Disqualification

Authority is given to the Conference Commissioner to disqualify any team from any race of the regatta in those cases where a violation of the ICSA Procedural Rules or MCSA Policy Handbook doesn’t become evident until examination of the regatta report. The Member in violation shall be sent a notice with the reasons stated. The corrected regatta results shall be sent to the Association listserv. Upon receiving notice of the disqualification(s) a team may send an appeal to the Commodore for review by the Executive Board.

14. Towed Boats

Members towing a boat may be protested and disqualified under ICSA Procedural Rule 22(b)(iii) if the towed boat does not suitably match the condition of the host school’s boats.

If an emergency causes a Member who towed a boat has to leave early, teams having the towed boat shall be scored as with a BYE for those races in which they are assigned the towed boat which has been removed from the rotation.

The host school should inspect all towed boats before the first race to determine if they can be used in the event. If a towed boat breaks down during an event, the host school is expected to repair it. If the host school uses parts to repair the boat during the event, it shall be reimbursed by the school who towed the damaged boat.

The host school is expected to provide a secure area where boats can be left at the regatta site during the event.

C. Policies Regarding Regatta Hosts and Their Responsibilities

1. Notice of Race

Host schools shall prepare a Notice of Race (NOR) and sailing instructions using the format on the Association website and send it to the MCSA Race Chairman a minimum of thirty days prior to the scheduled start of the event.

2. Regatta Reports

Additional requirements beyond ICSA Procedural Rule 21 may be implemented by the Executive Board and will be found on the Association website. When necessary, the regatta chairperson will be contacted by the Conference Commissioner. All information required in the regatta report must be postmarked before the Wednesday following the event.

3. Regatta Officials

Host schools should invite at least three individuals who are active sailors to serve as a protest committee. For Association championships, district eliminations and interconference regattas, at least two members must be US Sailing certified, one of whom must serve as the Chief Judge.

With the Limited Umpire system for team racing events, a minimum of two umpires must be US Sailing certified judges, one of whom must serve as Chief Umpire.

The Conference Commissioner shall approve the sailing instructions, principal race officer, team racing umpires and protest committee members for all Association Championships. The Conference Commissioner may appoint a representative from the Executive Board to represent the Association and to rule on all matters of Association policy.

4. Required Equipment

The host school shall provide the following equipment for the duration of each event

i- Certified PFDs for all race committee members and other regatta personnel on the water.
ii- One rescue boat (operated by two individuals with knowledge of how to pull a competitor from the water and how to right a capsized boat) is required for every six competing boats. Rescue boats may not be used as coach boats or signal boats.
iii- A suitable race committee signal boat. This boat shall be equipped with: boat anchor and line, marks with anchors and lines, whistle or other sound making device, recall flag, race score sheets from the Association website and a communication device to shore.
iv- A suitable computer and printer at the event site to score the regatta using the Techscore program for fleet and team races or an excel spreadsheet for match racing events
v- Immediate access to the ICSA Individual Directory, ICSA Procedural Rules, the Association Black Book, the Racing Rules of Sailing and any issued regatta documents (Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions…).

5. Damage and Reimbursement Requests

To qualify for coverage, a boat must be inspected and approved as sound by an officer of the Association or an individual designated in advance by the MCSA Race Chairman. The following scale has been adopted which limits the coverage as indicated:

Wind Speed


0 – 14.9 mph


15 – 19.9 mph


20 – 24.9 mph


25+ mph


Coverage extends to parts and materials used by member teams in repairing their own boats that were damaged while racing. Racing is defined as the point of time between the preparatory signal for the first race of the day to the time when the boat finishes its last race of the day.

Coverage for non-member boats is limited to approval by the Treasurer. The Treasurer, with authorization from the Executive Board, may purchase borrowed boat insurance for non-BYO boat championship events in which privately owned boats are used.

A claim for damage reimbursement must be made to the MCSA Race Chairman within thirty days of the damage. The claim must include receipts for all parts and materials, the name of the individual that conducted the inspection prior to the event, the race committee’s determination of wind strength at the time of damage and a detailed description of how the damage occurred. If some part of the claim cannot be completed within the thirty-day period, a request for an extension must be filed with the MCSA Race Chairman. All claims must be resolved by the Annual Meeting.

The MCSA Race Chairman may authorize reimbursements to host schools for rental of a rescue boat, including the gas and oil to operate it, for a regatta to continue safely.