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Re: Unfair judging
Posted by Tiki-Treasures
4/4/2005  10:20:00 AM
Why do you think ballroom dancing is not an Olympic sport? In ballroom dancing, there's too many judges who are teachers, which is a blatant conflict of interest.
Remember the outcry with the SLC Olympics Figure Skating Pairs judging and the behind-the-scene deals that were made? In skating, the judges are all volunteers. Not a single one coaches skaters. If the general public heard how many ballroom judges are also coaches, they'd never consider ballroom dancing a legitimate sport for the Olympics.

Politics will always be present in any sport that is judged.

However, ballroom dancing competitions and judging has to change and clean up its act. The first thing to do is eliminate all judges who are coaches. People either can be judges or coaches but not both.

In our experiences, we find the judging to be more political when it is a small competition and when we are out-of-towners dancing in these small competitions. In these types of comps, the judges tend to favor the local dancers they know over the out of town ones, especially when everybody is very close in dance ability. And most of the judges in these comps also coach. So they are going to put in their own students because they don't want to lose the income from those students.

Look at it this way: if you were a judge and you didn't place your own student high, that student will think your teaching sucks and will go to somebody else. On the other hand, if you place your student high, they'll think you are the greatest teacher ever and will keep coming to you for lessons.

Too many judges movitivated by their pocketbook. They will not mark you unless you've taken lessons from them. That's why you experienced this block judging because these judges want their students to keep coming back to them. By placing their students in the top three, it validates their great teaching to these students. In other words, the students will think their teachers are fantastic because they placed so high, and thus keep coming to them for lessons.

I've seen dancers who deliberately book lessons with judges a week or two before a competition that the judges are in so they will be marked. Unfortunately, their strategy works.

Thus is my two cents worth....

Re: Unfair judging
Posted by Laura
4/4/2005  10:34:00 AM
There have been some interesting and valid points made here, but there's one thing I'd like to add. It might not be true in this case, but I've seen some accusations of "unfair judging" can really be unfounded if the person making the accusation really understood how the system of combining the judge's marks to produce the final score worked.

I was at USDSC one year and a Pro was looking at the marks he and his Student received in a Pro/Am event and he was telling her that he couldn't understand from looking at the marks why she placed so low. I happened to be standing next to them at the board where all the marks were hung. She asked him a question about how the places were computed, and when he started to explain them to her it seemed to me he didn't really know what he was talking about. After a few minutes of this I explained how the skating system works, and all of a sudden their point of view changed from "We was robbed, it's all politics!" to "Wow, this event was close, the marks were all over the place, and we got the short end of the stick mathematically today. But look how close it was, we did great!"
Re: Unfair judging
Posted by Ahnungsloser
12/4/2005  3:40:00 PM
Don't waste energy on speculating what judges could have done wrong, instead find out how to improve your dancing. This will hopefully bring you to a level, where even the seemingly most hostile judges will reward your performance with good marks.

Don't forget, that good dancing alone doesn't make a winner, how to you enter the dancefloor, how do you behave during the complete competition (and even between competitions), every little detail is adding to the picture you create of yourself in the small dancing community.

Ahnungsloser

PS: Learn to be a good looser, and once you maybe start winning, even more important, learn to be a good and fair winner.
Re: Unfair judging
Posted by Don
12/4/2005  8:47:00 PM
Unhappy. You certainly started something with your question. I would add one more thing. How does a judge sleep at night . Easy , They don't even look at you to compair. They wouldn't have a clue how you may have danced, you might just as well not be their. Here's a good one for you. A professional I know very well told me that in a competition he took part in, four of the judges were his pupils.
Re: Unfair judging
Posted by Ihavetosay...
12/6/2005  6:57:00 AM
My 5 year old participates in Karate cometitions that involve several Karate schools around the state. Knowing that it is "human nature" to tend to score your students higher, the judges panel is comprised of one judge per school....to KEEP IT FAIR. Why, then, does ballroom not enforce a commmon sense rule that a kids Karate competion recognizes? I do not understand.
Re: Unfair judging
Posted by Anonymous
12/6/2005  11:54:00 AM
"My 5 year old participates in Karate cometitions that involve several Karate schools around the state. Knowing that it is "human nature" to tend to score your students higher, the judges panel is comprised of one judge per school....to KEEP IT FAIR. Why, then, does ballroom not enforce a commmon sense rule that a kids Karate competion recognizes? I do not understand."

Because except in rare cases there is simple mapping of dance schools to competitors. The IDSF does have a rule about only one judge per country at their international events; problem is England still has maybe 80% of the good judges, so this wastes a lot of badly needed expertise.
Re: Unfair judging
Posted by Anonymous
12/6/2005  11:54:00 AM
no simply mapping
Re: Unfair judging
Posted by Ihavetosay
12/6/2005  4:10:00 PM
Anonymous, why would you need to map a school to a student? Wouldn't it suffice to just set up a regulation that you cannot have more than one judge from a school judging a heat? That way, "conflict of interest" would be less of an issue (I believe this was already mentioned in this thread). To expand on your analogy on international competitions, there may exist some schools that have more than one highly qualified judge; however, in the promotion of good sportsmanship, wouldn't the industry wish to deliver a fair competition? In the original scenario (a college comp from 2004), everyone loses: the winners, the losers, the judges, the competition promoters....
Re: Unfair judging
Posted by Anonymous
12/6/2005  9:21:00 PM
You seem to think it's more important to eliminate the appearance of bias than to have qualified judges. If all the qualified judges in a town work at one studio (not unlikely) then most of the judges should be from that studio. Only way to get better than that is to have the budget to bring in even better outsiders.
Re: Unfair judging
Posted by Ihavetosay
12/7/2005  5:39:00 AM
My argument is that it is an actual bias, not just an appearance of bias. In the original complaint, a school had three judges on the panel and the debate was that their students won due to favoritism. I see your point about expense; however, this competition was in the Boston area, how difficult would it have been to have a diverse panel? This is an interesting topic; unfortunately, my margins on this thread seem to be narrowing, so I will have to sign off.

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