Racing Rules & 4LIYC By Laws

By Laws & Racing Rules

Learn the 9 rules of racing.


Updated February 2023
The By Laws and Racing Rules are also available in a pdf format which is the recommended method to print your own book.

By Laws Index

Article 1- Names

Article 2- Object

Article 3- Membership and Dues

Article 4- Associations

Article 5- Meetings & Elections

Article 6- Officers; Powers & Duties

Article 7- Board of Directors Powers & Duties

Article 8- Amendment of By-Laws & Racing Rules

Article 9- Delegates

Racing Rules Index

Part 1- Definitions

Part 2- Sailing Rules

Part 3- Race Management

Part 4- Protests and Disqualifications


Article 1 – Names

Section 1 – The name of this organization shall be the Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club.

Article 2 – Object

Section 1 – The object of this club shall be to encourage ice yachting, to promote the social interests and good fellowship of all persons and clubs interested in ice yachting, and to sponsor races which shall be conducted under reasonable and prudent rules.

Article 3 – Membership and Dues

Section 1 – Anyone who has an interest in iceboating and pays the club dues becomes a member in good standing.

Section 2 – Any member in good standing shall be eligible to participant in all club activities. Only members whose dues have been paid shall be scored in club races. (1216/81)

Section 3 – There shall be two types of membership; a senior member and a junior member. A senior member is any member 18 years or older and a junior member is anyone under 18 years of age. Type of membership shall be determined as of December 1st of each year.

Section 4 – Effective 11 /1 /96 dues shall be as follows:

  • Senior member – $20.00
  • Junior member – $5.00 (3/27/96)

Section 5 – Any member who is an active member of the military service shall be carried as a member in good standing without payment of dues until they are discharged.

Section 6 – Any senior member who is enrolled in college or university becomes eligible for junior membership dues.

Section 7 – Dues paying year for the 4LIYC shall be July 1st to June 31st of the following year, which will correspond to our fiscal year’s records. (2/24/2011)

Section 8 – A notice of dues shall be sent to all members with the first meeting notice of each season. A second notice of dues shall be sent out thirty days later with a request for an answer as to whether or not the individual wishes to become disenrolled. (11/14/79)

Section 9 – Outstanding contributions to iceboat racing in the Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club are the guidelines to be used for the body to nominate members at the first general meeting in January for the Honor Roll. (12/6/67) (2/20/2002)

  1. Any two members in good standing may submit in writing to the club secretary one person’s name per year for inclusion onto the Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club Honor Roll at the first general meeting in January
  2. The submission must include a brief written history that helps to document the nominee’s contributions to the Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club.
  3. Criteria for Honor Roll consideration shall include one or more of the following:
    1. Nominee helped to promote the sport of ice boating by bringing new members to the club, exhibiting sportsmanship on and off the ice, and participating in club activities.
    2. Nominee held various positions on club committees or served as an officer of the club over a period of time.
    3. Nominee was/is a long-time and consistent participant at club meetings and in club racing.
    4. Nominee was/is a builder of ice yachts in the Four Lakes area.
    5. Nominee was/is a club or regatta champion.
  4. All such nominations shall be compiled by the secretary distributed to all members in good standing not later than ten days prior to the Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club business meeting.
  5. The nominee shall be added to the Honor Roll if approved by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of those members in good standing present at the annual Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club business meeting. (2/20/2002)

Section 10 – A member may be expelled from the Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club by a majority vote of the Board-of-Directors.

  1. Expulsion shall only be for cause.
  2. Expulsion shall be indefinite or for a stated time
  3. A member expelled indefinitely shall not again become a member without the affirmative vote of the board of directors.
  4. Prior to expelling a member, a majority of the Board-of Directors must conclude that the member’s action was aggravated or persistent. In addition, the board must conclude that the member’s action was dangerous to a club member, or that it interfered with the object of the club.
  5. There is no required procedure for expulsion except that the Board-of Directors must meet to consider an expulsion. A member of the Board-of-Directors subject to expulsion shall not participate in his or her own expulsion meeting except as the board may provide.
  6. The Board-of Directors is the sole judge of whether a member will be expelled and the consequences of that expulsion. Its decision is final.

Article 4 – Associations

Section 1 – The Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club shall be a member in good standing of the Northwest Ice Yacht Association.

Article 5 – Meetings and Elections

Section 1 – Meetings:

  1. All officers shall be elected at the last regularly scheduled meeting in November.
  2. ISA and NIYA agenda items shall be voted upon at the regularly scheduled meeting in December.
  3. There shall be one 4LIYC Annual Business Meeting, shall take place at the last regularly scheduled meeting in February. (12/4/85)

Section 2 – Newly elected officers shall assume their role immediately after election.

Section 3 – Fleet Captains shall be members in good standing of the club. They will be elected by a vote of the members of their respected fleets at the next meeting following the meeting when election of officers are held.

Section 4 – The suggested order of business shall be as follows:

  1. Meeting called to order and address by the Commodore.
  2. Reading of the minutes of the previous meeting.
  3. Financial report.
  4. Committee reports.
  5. General business.
  6. Roll call (attendance signatures).
  7. Election of officers (November meeting).
  8. Adjournment.

Section 5 – Use of proxies in any vote at any general or board meeting of the club is not allowed. (12/16/84)

Article 6 – Officers – Powers and Duties

Section 1 – The officers of this organization shall be a Commodore, Vice-Commodore, Secretary, and Treasurer, who shall hold office for one year or until successors are elected. These officers shall constitute the Executive Committee.

Section 2 – The Commodore shall preside at the meetings of the club and the Executive Committee and shall be an ex-officio member of all club committees. In the absence of the Commodore, the Vice-Commodore shall perform the duties of the office of Commodore, and in the absence of the Commodore and the Vice-Commodore the Secretary shall perform all the duties of the office of Commodore, and in the absence of all other officers the Treasurer shall perform the duties of the office of Commodore.

Section 3 – The Secretary shall keep and record the minutes of the meetings, shall keep all documents of the club, and shall render a report at any time upon request of the Commodore.

Section 4 – The Treasurer shall collect and account for the club dues and the other funds and disburse such funds as directed by the Executive Committee. The Treasurer shall render a financial report at any time upon request of the Commodore.

Section 5 – The Executive Committee shall control and manage the affairs of the club and the expenditure of its funds but shall not have the power to make the club liable for any debt or debts beyond the amount of cash on hand and not previously appropriated. The Executive Committee shall meet at any time the Commodore or any two of its members shall request such meeting. The Executive Committee shall appoint any additional committees deemed necessary. A two-thirds majority of the Executive Committee must be present for these appointments.

Section 6 – The following is a list of suggested committees.

  1. Stern Steerers. (2/15/2023)
  2. Skeeter. (Includes A, B, and C Skeeters.) (2/15/2023)
  3. Renegade. (11/14/79)
  4. Nite. (11/14/79)
  5. DN.
  6. Unclassified.
  7. Score Keeper.
  8. ISA Correspondent.
  9. Publicity.
  10. Refreshments.
  11. Entertainment.
  12. Banquet.
  13. Picnic.
  14. Regatta Committees.

Article 7 Board-of-Directors, Powers and Duties

Section 1 – The Board-of-Directors shall consist of the Executive Committee plus five additional members to be appointed by this committee.

Section 2 – The Board-of-Directors shall choose the two boats to be sent to the Ice Yacht Challenge Pennant of America race. The decision will be made not less than five days prior to the race. (11/14/79)

Section 3- The Board-of-Directors may appoint a representative to be at the disposal of the host club of the two sanctioned regattas, and expense of room and board to be paid by the club. This representative will not be considered a delegate unless so instructed.

Section 4– The Board of Directors shall draw up a list of duties for the race committee. (2/4/81)

Article 8 – Amendment of By-Laws and Racing Rules

Section 1 – Any two members in good standing may submit a proposed amendment to the By-Laws or Racing Rules in writing to the club secretary not later than the last scheduled meeting in January. Each proposal shall bear the signatures of those members and shall constitute a valid motion.

Section 2 – All such motions shall be compiled by the Secretary and distributed to all current members not later than 10 days prior to the 4LIYC Annual Business Meeting. This compilation shall constitute the exclusive agenda for the Business Meeting. A matter not appearing on the agenda, if raised, shall be ruled out of order. (2/20/2002)

Section 3 – An amendment shall be adopted if approved by a two-thirds vote of those members in good standing present at the 4LIiYC Annual Business Meeting.

Section 4 – Except as provided in Section 5, any amendment adopted under this article shall become effective the following racing season.

Section 5

  1. Any two members in good standing may petition the Board-of Directors in writing for leave to propose immediate amendment of the By-Laws and Racing Rules.
  2. The Board shall consider the importance of prompt action on the proposed amendment, its potential impacts upon fairness and good sportsmanship, and rule on the petition within 7 days of its receipt.
  3. If authorized by the Board, the proposed amendment shall be submitted to the membership at the next regular General Meeting. If approved by a two-thirds vote of the members in good standing present, the amendment shall be adopted and becomes effective immediately.
  4. In no case shall amendments operate retroactively. (12/4/85)

Section 6

  1. All proposed By-Law and Racing Rule amendments shall include reference as to what current Article or Section is being amended or added to, or what new Article or Section is being added. (2/26/97)
  2. The exact wording of a proposed By-Law or Racing Rule amendment shall be agreed upon by the person(s) who proposed the amendment before voting on it at the Business Meeting or other meeting as allowed in Article 8, Section 5 of our By-Laws and Racing Rules. (2/26/97)

Article 9 – Delegates

Section I – Delegates to the annual ISA and NIYA meetings shall be elected among those members represented at the regatta, at a meeting called by the Commodore, or a member appointed by the Commodore. The delegates shall vote in the best interest of the club.

Section 2 – Delegates shall vote as the club has instructed him or her to vote. The delegate shall vote all club proxies unless a member in writing specifically instructs the delegate to vote otherwise. (12/l/84)

Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club

Racing Rules

Part I: Definitions

Refer to the Racing Rules of the National Iceboat Authority, Part I: Definitions (Feb, 2016)

Part II: Sailing Rules

Refer to the Racing Rules of the National Iceboat Authority, Part IV: Sailing Rules. The safety zone shall be optional. (Feb, 2016)

Diagram for reference only (2-18-2015):

Thumbnail Image: Click for full size image

Part III: Race Management

A. Race Committee

1. The Chief Judge and the Fleet Captains constitute the Race Committee.
2. The Chief Judge is to have a suitable watch to time each race and record these times on the race sheet.
3. The Race Committee shall have the authority to determine which fleets sail together.

B. Racing

1. Tune-Up races and official races for points will be called by the Race Committee only on lakes Mendota, Monona, Waubesa, and Kegonsa.
2. Tune-Up Series

a. If one or more races are completed on the Tune-Up weekend, this will constitute the Tune- Up races. Tune-Up races are cancelled if not held before Jan. 1st. Separate class trophies are to be given for the Tune-Up series. (12/12/62)
b. The Race Committee shall call for the Tune-Up weekend on the earliest safe and sailable ice sheet on either lakes Mendota, Monona, Waubesa, or Kegonsa. (2/25/87)
c. If races cannot be sailed that weekend (the Tune-Up weekend) due to lack of wind, fog, or too much wind as to make sailing unsafe, the Tune-Up series shall not be rescheduled for any following weekend. (2/25/87)
d. If one fleet gets its Tune-Up series in and the other fleets do not on the designated weekend, then no other Tune-Up races shall be scheduled. (2/25/87)

3. The club will sail a maximum of 8 races per fleet, per weekend, with 4 races per fleet on both Saturday and Sunday. Start time is 10:00 AM. Minimum of 2 boats per race. A lunch break should take place after the 2nd set of races on each day, but is at the discretion of the Race Committee. If a break is taken, the starting time for the next race shall be set and announced by the Race Committee prior to the break. (2/20/2002 & 2/20/2019)
4. No races shall be sailed with a temperature of less than 10 degrees (F) above zero. Official temperature shall be determined at the U.S. Weather Bureau at Truax Field in Madison, as established and broadcast.
5. Notice of Racing

a. The decision not to race due to adverse weather conditions shall be made by the Race Committee. The Fleet Captains shall notify their fleet of the decision. (2/20/2002)
b. The decision to schedule races shall be made by the Race Committee. The Race Committee shall give notice to sailors before 5:00 PM on the day prior to scheduled racing. It is the individual sailor’s responsibility to contact his/her Fleet Captain. Note: Note: Additional forms of notice may be the club web site or phone hotline, but the primary source is the Race Committee. (2/2/2002)
c. If a member has not been notified by 8:00 p.m. Wednesday of scheduled weekend regatta races, and by 8:00 p.m. Friday of local racing schedules (for final confirmation), it will be up to the individual to contact the Fleet Captain or club officers.

6. Postponement: If a race cannot be started on time due to unfavorable conditions, a 30 minute postponement will follow. For example, the announcement for the 2:00 race will be made at 1:45. If the race is to be postponed for 30 minutes, the second announcement will be made at 2:15. If the race is to be sailed it shall start at 2:30
7. Scoring

a. A low point scoring system shall be used. Yachts shall be given points for finishing as follows:

Position Points
1 1
2 2
3 3
4 4
5 5 (Etc)


b. Fleet Size Computation: Fleet size is the largest number of boats to sail in that fleet that particular season. (3/27/96)
c. Did Not Start (DNS) Scoring: A DNS point score is equal to the number of the Fleet Size plus one. (i.e. 12 boat fleet size = DNS 13 points).
d. Did Not Finish (DNF) Scoring: A DNF shall be awarded points corresponding to one position greater than the number of yachts starting in that race. Example: In a race where 12 yachts are registered and 6 start, a DNF shall be scored as 7th place (7 points) . (2/21/90)
e. Disqualified (DSQ) Scoring: A DSQ shall be awarded points corresponding to one position greater than the number of yachts starting in that race plus 4 points. Example: In a race where 12 yachts are registered and 6 start, a DSQ shall be at 7th place (7 points) plus 4 points for a total of 11 points. (2/21/90)
f. Throw-Outs are scored separately for the Saturday and Sunday Series and the Stay-at-Home Series. Adjusted Saturday and Sunday scores are then added together to determine the Season Championship scores. Worst score is thrown out first, followed by 2nd worst, 3rd worst etc.. DNS, DNF, DSO, or an actual finish position may be used for throw-outs. (3/27/96)

Throw Out Schedule:
Same for Saturday and Sunday Series
Number of Races Throw-Outs
0-6 0
7-10 1
11 or more 2

g. Tie Breakers: In the event of a tie, the tie shall be broken in favor of the yacht with the greater number of first place finishes, then second place finishes, etc. If a tie still exists, perpetual
trophies shall be so engraved and each party shall retain the trophies on a divided time basis. (2/24/2011)
h. Fleets: Skeeter (includes A, B, & C Skeeters as defined by ISA), Renegade, Nite, DN, Stern Steerers, & Opti. (2/23/2023)

8. Stay-at-Home Series & Regattas

a. Stay-at-Home Series on the weekends that club boats attend sanctioned regattas away from the Madison Lakes. (NIYA, ISA, and IYCPofA for class E only). Special series points will be awarded to boats racing “at home”, with a special trophy awarded to the low point boat.
b. Stay-at-Home Series on the weekends when class DN regattas are sailed on the Madison lakes. If the DN Regional, North American, or World Championship regattas are sailed on the Madison lakes, any club DN races shall be scored as Stay-at- Home series.
c. On weekends when the Grand Slam, DN Westerns, DN Nationals, DN Worlds, Renegade Championship, Nite Nationals, Ice Optimist North American Championship, ISA, Western ISA, or NIYA regattas are sailed on the Madison lakes, all races sailed on Saturday and Sunday will be scored in regular club (or tune-up series if appropriate) series for 4LIYC yachts. 4LIYC yachts shall be scored in the appropriate finish order as they cross the line with respect to other 4LIYC yachts regardless of actual finish position in the regatta fleet. (2/25/87 & 2/24/2011)
If a regatta has different fleets (Gold, Silver, Bronze for DN or Nite), then the finishers in Gold will be scored before Silver and Silver before Bronze, etc.. If a Skeeter regatta has A Skeeters sailing separately from B and C Skeeters, then A Skeeters will be scored before B and C Skeeters. If a regatta had a different number of races completed by the fleets in a class, then the lowest number of races completed by a fleet shall be used to determine which races are scored in that class. (2/25/87 & 2/24/2011 & 2/23/2023)
d. Fleets not invited to the regattas. scores count in regular season series. Madison lakes race scores count in regular season series.

9. Trophies: No trophy or final position shall be awarded to anyone who is not a member of this club.
10. Starting Positions: Skippers shall draw for starting positions before the first club race on each Saturday and each Sunday of every weekend.
11. All skippers (and crew) must wear crash helmets.(10/29/69) (Note: Much discussion has been held over the years on perhaps adopting a standard, such as the common Z-90 or the tougher Snell Memorial Foundation standards. The club has not done so at this time. Just remember, iceboats are fast, the ice is hard, do yourself a favor and wear a good helmet.)
12. The official 4LIYC season shall end on the first Sunday in April at sundown. (1/26/77)
13. Minimum of three races in Saturday Series for Saturday trophy. Minimum of three races in Sunday Series for Sunday trophy. Minimum of any three club races (excluding Tune-Ups, Holiday, or Stay-at-Home races) for season trophy.
14. Holiday Series races shall be on December 25th,January 1st, Thanksgiving, and Easter for all classes, with one trophy for each class. There will be two races per class, per day with the first race starting at 2:00 PM.. The number of races required to complete this series shall be one in each class. There shall be no more than 8 races for each class. (12/17/68)
15. Time and Distance

a. Time limits shall be nine minutes per mile in the DN class, and seven minutes per mile for class E, Renegades, and Nites. To be counted as finishing any yacht must finish within 30 minutes of the first yacht. Other time limits suggested for races are: 20 mile race-1 hour 15 minutes, and for an 8 mile race- 30 minutes.
b. Length of races. As nearly as possible, races shall be 6 miles in length. (Feb, 2017)
c. Special Races

C. Special Races
1. Madison Open Ice Boat Champion Trophy donated December 16th, 1954, by Ripp Millwork and Building Supply Co.

a. A traveling trophy to be awarded each year. All Madison iceboats and skippers are eligible. Races to be regularly scheduled for the first weekend in February of each year, or so soon thereafter as possible; schedule to be arranged so as not to conflict with schedules of regularly established regattas.
b. A notice of at least 7 days must be given before the start of the event. These races to be conducted and scored in accordance with NIYA regatta regulations in effect the year the races occur.
c. The Madison Open Championship shall consist of not less than 3 nor more than 3 races. These three races shall be the first club race on Saturday, the first club race on Sunday morning, and the first club race on Sunday afternoon.
d. In the event that not all of the three races scheduled are completed that weekend they will be carried over and the remaining races will be sailed consecutively (one after the other in accordance with the regular weekend racing schedule) the following weekend. If none of the three races can be completed the first weekend, the series will be sailed for the next weekend with the same race schedule as that of the first weekend.
e. Length of race 16 miles. Time limit 60 minutes.
f. The points obtained in the Madison Open will be counted in their respective classes in our weekend race results.

2. The Grand Slam Regatta shall be sailed on the first safe and sailable ice in December or the first week in January. If the regatta is not sailed by then, the regatta shall not be sailed for in that sailing season.

3. A Weekday Series may be sailed and scored for the DN, Renegade, Nite, and Skeeter fleets for races sailed on Lake Kegonsa, Lake Wingra, Lake Monona, or Lake Mendota for races taking place on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. Weekday Series scores will not be included with weekend or holiday series scores. (Feb, 2019)

D. Race Course: Refer to National Iceboat Authority Racing Rules, Part II, D: Courses (Feb, 2016)

E. Start: Refer to National Iceboat Authority Racing Rules, Part II, E: Starting (Feb, 2016)

F. Finish: Refer to National Iceboat Authority Racing Rules, Part II, F: Finishing (Feb, 2016)

When using the INLINE COURSE, the use of the windward DARLING MARK is optional. (Feb, 2017)

G. Accidents: Every yacht must render every possible assistance to any yacht or person in peril and should she not render such assistance she will be disqualified. If, in the judgment of the Race Committee, any yacht not responsible for the accident shall have thereby injured her chances of winning any prize, it shall award the assisting yacht(s) either their average points from the series or a finish position corresponding to their best leeward mark position from the race when the accident occurred, whichever is more beneficial to the assisting yacht(s).
(Feb, 2017)

Part IV Protests & Disqualifications

A .Protests
1. Parties to protests.

a. Who may protest:

1. Any competing yacht.
2. The Race Committee, or any member of the Committee.

b. Who may be protested:

1. Any competing yacht.
2. The Race Committee.

2. It is mandatory for any member of the Race Committee to protest any infringement of the Racing Rules.
3. A party entering a protest shall:

a. Make his intent to protest known to the Race Committee immediately after the race in which the rule infringement occurred or as soon as an infringement of other than the Racing Rules is noted. A protest may be entered at a later time if the protesting party is unable to finish the race, but must be made within two hours of the finish of the day’s racing unless the protesting party can prove, to the satisfaction of the Race Committee, that he was unable to meet the deadline.
b. Present the protest in writing to a member of the Race Committee stating the rule violated, a statement of the facts, and a diagram to illustrate same (when relevant).

4. The Race Committee shall do its best to notify the protested party as soon as possible.
5. The Race Committee shall normally serve as the Protest Judges. Any Protest Judge who is an interested party in the protest, or is unavailable, shall be replaced with a Protest Judge selected by the Commodore.
6. The Protest Judges must call a hearing as soon as possible, allowing a reasonable time for preparation of defense. Protests should be heard before prizes are awarded. Failure on the part of any interested party to make an effort to attend the hearing may justify the Protest Judges in dismissing the case or in deciding the protest as they see fit.

B. Decisions and Penalties
1. Interested persons must not take part in decisions. No Protest Judge may hear a protest involving a yacht he owned or sailed on at the time in question or involving a Race Committee of which he was a member.
2. The Protest Judges shall make a prompt decision and notify (verbally or in writing) the parties involved.
3. If, during the hearing, any yacht is found to have infringed any of the Racing Rules she may be disqualified or otherwise penalized.
4. If the Race Committee is found to have infringed a Racing Rule and a yacht’s chances to win a prize were prejudiced as a result of the infringement, the Protest Judges may order the race resailed.
5. The decision of the Protest Judges shall be final.