MSA Sim Racing Ruleset 2021(v1.1 100201)

Under all circumstances, refer to each Series for the applicable rules and regulations.

 


 

eLicense

Drivers wishing to enter MSA Sanctioned Sim Racing Series will be required to purchase an MSA annual eLicense. This license will be valid for the calendar year in which it is purchased and will bind each Series and drivers to the MSA Sim Racing Ruleset. 

 

Each MSA Sanctioned Sim Racing Series shall have a race steward panel who will enforce the ruleset and be responsible to MSA.

 

Each driver’s MSA eLicense will accrue warning and penalty points which may result in qualifying and race bans as well as loss of championship points should enough points be earned.

 

Additional benefits and features may be added during the course of the year.

 

Series Communication platforms

Each Series will have available to drivers multiple communication platforms for the purposes of providing Series-specific information as well as communication between drivers and race organisers. Certain communication platforms may be mandatory for drivers for improved incident and restart procedure communication. 

 

These communication platforms will be - but not limited to - Website, Email, Whatsapp, Discord

 

Certain Series will use Discord for voice communications on race day, such as pre-race driver briefings and podium interviews. Eg. Playstation-based Series will not use Discord for voice communications. 

 

In-game text chat functionality is for use by race stewards and race organisers, drivers may not use the text chat functionality in-game and is punishable with penalties.

 

Sign-out Procedure

Should a driver be aware that they are unable to attend a race, they must ‘sign-out’ of that race using the Series-specific communication platforms. 

 

Eg. via Discord: John Smith #555 Sign-out Round 5 Monza

 

Should a driver wish to retire from their Series, they must ‘sign-out’ of the Series using the series-specific communication platforms.

 

Eg. via Email: John Smith #555 Sign-out Series

 

Divisions and Grid Sizes

With high numbers of driver entries into sim racing championships, multiple divisions are required to split the drivers into manageable size grids. 

 

Grid sizes are determined by the Series Organisers as well as game platform. Grid sizes may also be amended, based on the number of driver entrants, before and/or during a Series.

 

Examples

  • Playstation GT Sport grid sizes will not exceed 13 drivers

  • PC Assetto Corsa Competizione grid sizes will not exceed 40 drivers

 

Promotion and Relegation

In a series with multiple divisions, a promotion and relegation system will be utilized to move drivers between divisions based on their performance. The promotion and relegation system is a process whereby the top drivers are promoted to the above division and the bottom drivers are relegated to the below division for the following round. 

 

  • Promotion & Relegation numbers are determined by the Series, and size of the grid. Eg. 15 driver grids will promote and relegate 3 drivers respectively. 30 driver grids will promote and relegate 5 drivers respectively. 

  • Top drivers in pre-race qualifying will be promoted to the above division for the next round. 

  • Bottom drivers in pre-race qualifying will drop to the lower division next round. 

  • Race results are not considered for promotion or relegation due to uncontrolled events or incidents.

  • Drivers will have 1 round demotion grace (per 6 races) for being unable to attend a race. Drivers are required to sign-out of races they cannot attend via Series communication platforms. More than 1 sign-out (per 6 races) will result in a demotion. 

  • No-show will automatically demote for the next race. 

  • Rage-quit will automatically demote for the next race.

  • Order of preference for demotion: 

  1. Rage-quit

  2. No-show

  3. Second-sign-out

  4. Bottom 5 qualifiers



Success Ballast

Game platform and Series dependent, success ballast may be utilized to help with the balance of performance between drivers. Certain game platforms are unable to apply ballast to drivers. 

Ballast earned in a race will only be carried over for 1 race after which the ballast figures will be reset and new ballast will be applied. Ballast amounts will be determined per Series.

 

Example:

P1 - 80kg

P2 - 60kg

P3 - 50kg

P4 - 40kg

P5 - 30kg

 

A driver who earns P1 in race 1 will carry 80kg of ballast for race 2. If in race 2 the driver achieves P5, then in race 3 he will carry 30kg.

 

Live Stewarding

Certain game platforms and Series support live stewarding with the application of penalties to drivers in real time. Where applicable, a panel of 2 or more stewards will spectate a race using the available software stewarding tools to investigate race incidents. 

 

Should an incident require additional investigation, stewards may defer an investigation to post-race. 

 

Custom Liveries

Certain game platforms and Series support custom liveries. Refer to each series for specifications.

 

  • Only family appropriate liveries are acceptable

  • May only use logos you have rights to use

  • Proof of logo permission may be requested

 

Liveries must be approved by each relevant series. Liveries not meeting the requirements will be removed and penalties applied by race stewards. 

 

Safety Car

Certain game platforms and Series support the use of a safety car. The safety car is a tool for the race stewards to keep all the drivers on the same race lap after a significant incident. The number of cars involved in the incident will be determined by the Race Director and Stewards on a case by case basis.

 

Once race stewards have deemed an incident as a safety car incident:

  • Drivers will receive a safety car notification via in-game text and or discord

  • Drivers will then be in a no-overtake scenario

  • The safety car will exit the pits and circulate slowly until P1 is reached

  • Drivers reaching the safety car before the P1 driver will be indicated to overtake

  • P1 must not overtake the safety car

  • Drivers affected by the incident will be allowed to pit

  • Lapped drivers will be indicated to overtake the field and unlap themselves

  • The safety car may dictate a slower pace to allow drivers to unlap themselves quicker

  • The end of the safety car period will be announced in Discord as well as in-game text “Safety Car in this lap”

  • The safety car will then enter the pits at the end of that lap and P1 will assume the role of the safety car until the last corner, after which the start will be as per a normal race start.

  • P1 will restart the race after the last turn at a pace of his discretion

 

Drivers are expected to drive with awareness and understanding behind the safety car. Be aware of hard braking cars and unseen upcoming danger. Unsafe driving under the safety car will be investigated by the race stewards and punished accordingly.

 

NOTE: Safety Car interventions are specifically designed to bring an uncontrollable situation under control. It allows for prejudiced drivers the luxury of repair at a slowed-down pace, thus assisting those unfairly damaged a fair chance of further game participation and enjoyment. 

 

Lengthy Safety Car interventions are not fun for anyone and as such the stewards will restart a race as soon as they possibly can. Drivers are urged to respect the latitude granted to you in a safety car period and to hurry up the process.

 

Race Restarts

A race will be restarted only if an uncontrolled event affects a significant number of drivers on the grid. Those uncontrolled events can be - but not limited to - a first-lap incident affecting 50% or more of the grid or a mass disconnection event of a significant number of drivers.

 

Race stewards will determine if such events require a safety car or a full race restart. 

 

Should a mass disconnection event occur during a race, the race will be restarted at a reduced race length either on the original qualifying grid, should the disconnection event occur in the first 5 laps, or track positions 1 lap before the disconnection event. If 75% of the race has been completed then the results will be finalized from the lap before the disconnections occurred. Depending on the severity of the mass disconnection, the restarted race may be rescheduled for a later date.

 

Mass disconnections are an event where a significant number of drivers disconnect at one time. This does not cover single disconnections over the course of the race.

 

Load Shedding

Using the driver sign-out procedure, drivers may indicate their load-shedding status up until the start of the race. Should there be a significant number of drivers affected by load shedding, race stewards or tournament administrators may reschedule the race for a later date. 

 

Should load shedding affect a significant number of drivers during the course of a race, mass disconnection rules will come into effect.

 

Public Behaviour

Drivers participating in MSA sanctioned events under the MSA eLicense will need to conform to a certain level of public decency. 

 

Public outbursts will be investigated as race incidents and penalties will be applied as such. This may include - but is not limited to - time penalties, qualifying bans or race/series bans.

 

  • Finger-pointing aimed at race organisers and/or other drivers on public communication and social platforms

  • Foul language in-game text

  • Foul language in voice communication platforms

  • Outbursts and beratement of organisers or drivers

  • Live stream text chat behaviour may result in channel bans or race penalties for associated teammates

 

Hacking and cheating may result in a lifetime ban from MSA Sanctioned events.

 

Penalties and Warnings Tracking

Any warnings/yellow flags or penalties a driver accrues during the course of a Series will be added to their MSA eLicense. Consistent and recurring incidents by the same drivers will not be tolerated.

 

  • 3 warnings/yellow flags in total will result in a qualifying ban

  • 5 penalties in total will result in race ban and the loss of 10 championship points

 

Warnings and penalty points will be reset at the end of each year.




Driving Standards

Competitors will receive a penalty for driving infringements. These will range from a 5-second penalty added to your race time up until race exclusion or life ban.

 

Any manual penalty issued is above any in-game penalties automatically issued by the software.  

 

The decision to impose a penalty is solely at the discretion of the Steward Panel (any dispute among the stewards will result in the senior steward making the final decision). 

 

The decision of the stewards can be taken under review by a disgruntled competitor lodging a formal protest in writing with an attached fee of R2000-00 to the event promoters who will refer the data and footage to MSA for review. If MSA upholds the steward’s decision the protestor loses his protest fee. If the protestor wins, he will receive his protest fee refunded. 

 

The decision taken by the MSA panel may be taken on review via an application for leave to appeal to MSA’s National Court of Appeal as per MSA’s General Competition Rules.

 

The driving standards penalty schedule will be as follows: -

 

NOTE: When making decisions of CLOSE PROXIMITY the below reference points will be referred to as the “A” Pillar, “B” Pillar or “C” Pillar of the car.








 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DS 01_Start Procedure Infringements

Under various starting conditions, most - if not all - Simulation Platforms will impose in-game penalties for infringements. In-game penalties for start infringements are not up for review, it is the driver’s responsibility to adhere to the start procedures in-game. 

 

DS 01A_Safety car restart - at the end of the safety car period where the car in P1 is to restart the race at the final turn no-overtaking may occur before the finish line. 5 seconds


 

DS 02_Cut In

means that an outside car constricts the drivable section towards the curve center (Apex) thus forcing the other (inside) car to leave the drivable section either partially or completely for passing the curve. It is irrelevant if the cars have touched each other or not. A prerequisite is, however, that the offending (outside) car must be at least with the C pillar equal to the A pillar of the inside car.

 

An advantage is at hand, if (either/or):

 

DS 02A - Inside car suffers a position loss. 5 seconds added to race time.

DS 02B - Inside car suffers damage leading to a position loss or retirement (Pit Stop) within the same lap. Drive Through in-game or 45 seconds added to race time if Drive through cannot be taken in-game.


 

DS 03_Edge-Into

means that the inside car drives next to the outside car (e.g., to start an overtaking action) without possessing enough drivable sections (including kerbs). It is irrelevant if the inside car is completely or partially next to the outside car or if the inside car is completely or partially off the track.

 

An advantage is at hand, if (either/or):

 

DS 03A - The inside car wins a position. 5 seconds added to race time.

DS 03B - The outside car loses a position. 5 seconds added to race time.

DS 03C - The outside car suffers damage leading to multiple position losses or retirement (pit Stop) within the same lap. Drive Through in-game or 45 seconds added to race time if Drive through cannot be taken in-game.



 

DS 04_Push-Out

means if the center car constricts the drivable section towards the outside line forcing the outside car to leave the drivable section either partially or completely. 

 

It is irrelevant if the cars have touched each other or not. 

 

A prerequisite is, however, that the offending (center) car must be at least with the C pillar equal to the A pillar of the outside car.

 

An advantage is at hand, if (either/or):

 

DS 04A - The center car wins a position. 5 seconds added to race time.

DS 04B - The outside car suffers a position loss. 5 seconds added to race time.

DS 04C - The outside car suffers multiple position losses or retirement on the same lap. Drive Through in game or 45 seconds added to race time if Drive through cannot be taken in game.


 

DS 05_Bump

means that the front of the trailing (following) car touches the rear of the front (lead) car. 

 

Neither the reason nor the intensity of the contact is relevant. Only the consequences of the impact are relevant to judge an advantage, not the impact itself.

 

An advantage is at hand, if (either/or):

 

DS 05A - The trailing car wins a position, and the previous order cannot be restored within the next 2 corners. 5 seconds added to race time.

DS 05B - The lead car suffers a position loss. 5 seconds added to race time.

DS 05C - The lead car suffers damage leading in multiple position losses or retirement within the same lap. Drive Through in-game or 45 seconds added to race time if Drive through cannot be taken in-game.

 

NOTE: A Warning (No Advantage Gained) Black / White flag for Unsportsmanlike behavior can be issued by the stewards which go towards a Yellow Card for the next race.





DS 06_Weaving

(ZIG-ZAG left & Right) means that the lead car (car in front) changes the driving line more than once (one time to defend and then return to the racing line) on a straight track section for more than a car width. 

 

It is irrelevant how far the car is ahead of the trailing (following) car or if the trailing (following) car would have been able to overtake or not.

 

An advantage is at hand, if (either/or):

 

DS 06A - The lead car acts more than once but less than three times this way within the same race. 5 seconds added to race time.

DS 06B - The lead car acts more than twice (Three times or more) in this way within the same race. Drive Through in-game or 45 seconds added to race time if Drive through cannot be taken in-game.

 

NOTE: A Warning (No Advantage Gained) Black / White flag for Unsportsmanlike behavior can be issued by the stewards which go towards a Yellow Card for the next race.


 

DS 07_Corner Cutting

means a driver cuts the corner to gain an advantage. If the game platform does not penalise corner-cutting and a driver cuts the same corner 3 times or more. Drive Through Penalty


 

DS 08_Rage Quit

means a driver frustrated with either his performance in-game, or a race incident, or a reaction to a penalty received in-game, disconnects and leaves the game.

 

This type of action is deemed as poor or bad sportsmanship and can result in relegation to a lower division or a penalty by the stewards. 


 

DS 09_Intentional Contact

means a driver frustrated with either his or fellow competitors’ performance in-game or a reaction to a penalty received in-game and willfully drives his car into other cars without any care or attempt to prevent avoidable contact.

 

This type of action is deemed as poor or bad sportsmanship and can result in

preclusion from future participation of between 1 race to a life ban at the discretion of the stewards panel.

 

Incident Reporting Procedure

Should a driver feel a race incident was not dealt with by live stewards, a post-race incident report may be submitted for investigation.

 

Drivers are to use the series-specific communications platforms to submit the required data.

 

Information required will be:

A) Driver

B) Offending Driver

C) Lap

D) Turn

E) Video of incident from various angles

 

NOTE: Certain Series will rely solely on post-race incident reports for race investigations as live stewarding is not possible.

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