Sailing Scoring Abbreviations

Sailing scoring abbreviations
Credit: Yachts & Yachting

The Racing Rules of Sailing scoring abbreviations can be found in Appendix A 10.

In the RRS 2021 -2024 update, World Sailing added the NSC scoring abbreviation.

Let’s face it. Letters next to our name on the results sheet isn’t what we want to see. Especially when we’ve sailed a blinder only to realise we were over the start line.

But it’s worth knowing what the World Sailing scoring abbreviations all mean. This isn’t easy when many of them look the same (DNC, DNS, DNE).

My hope is that you can return to this post whenever you need to know what you were penalised for.

I hope for your sake that’s not too often!


Racing Rules of Sailing Scoring Abbreviations

DNC Did not start; did not come to the starting area

DNS Did not start (other than DNC and OCS)

OCS Did not start; on the course side of the starting line at her starting signal and failed to start, or broke rule 30.1

ZFP 20% penalty under rule 30.2. If flag Z has been displayed, no part of a boat’s hull shall be in the triangle formed by the ends of the starting line and the first mark during the last minute before her starting signal. If a boat breaks this rule and is identified, she shall receive, without a hearing, a 20% Scoring Penalty calculated as stated in rule 44.3(c). She shall be penalized even if the race is restarted or resailed, but not if it is postponed or abandoned before the starting signal. If she is similarly identified during a subsequent attempt to start the same race, she shall receive an additional 20% Scoring Penalty.

UFD Disqualification under rule 30.3. Otherwise known as the U flag. A boat within the triangle formed by the ends of the line and the first mark during the minute before the start will be disqualified without a hearing. If a restart or resail is called, the disqualification is rescinded, unlike the black-flag or Z-flag penalties.

BFD Disqualification under rule 30.4. A boat within the triangle formed by the ends of the line and the first mark during the minute before the start will be disqualified without a hearing. BFD sailing term.

SCP Scoring Penalty applied. The race score for a boat that takes a Scoring Penalty shall be the score she would have received without that penalty, made worse by the number of places stated in the notice of race or sailing instructions. When the number of places is not stated, the penalty shall be 20% of the score for Did Not Finish, rounded to the nearest whole number. However, the penalty shall not cause the boat’s score to be worse than the score for Did Not Finish.

NSC Did not sail the course.

DNF Did not finish

RET Retired

DSQ Disqualification

DNE Disqualification that is not excludable

RDG Redress given DPI Discretionary penalty imposed


It may be worth bookmarking this post for future use. But if you’re having to refer back to it too often you’re probably doing something wrong!

You may also find our analysis of the 2021-24 Racing Rules of Sailing changes of interest.