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Re: Judging own pupils
Posted by Polished
8/19/2008  3:27:00 PM
Anonymous. So you beleive that judges should judge there own pupils. Let me tell you what once happend to me.With the past record I should have been placed 3rd. Two judges were so intent on marking their pupils 1 st and marking their main opposition as low as possible. What happened was I came first. It has happened before and will happen again.
I have the copy of the marks from a competition in S. Africa. At the end of each dance two judges were replaced by another two.
Have you considered what would happen in a competition with six couples and three judges.
It's not uncommon in some comps to have only three contestants in an event.
I've seen very recently where there were three couples dancing one dance only, the Cha. Two of the couples danced out of time. The other couple never missed a beat. They came last.
This is absolutely true. One of those judging later in the evening came to the couple who were placed last and said I marked you first and told them they were the only ones who were together. They were not his pupils and had never even met before. So you tell me. Are you in favour of judges judging their own pupils . Yes or No.
Even as recent as last weekend I saw the worst decision I have ever witnessed in a competition. This was in the major event when a couple unheralded who had only been back in the country three days could not have been placed any lower. There record in Europe which was much higher than the others didn't mean a thing. So what am I to conclude from that. I think the placing had been decided before the music started playing.
I will add one more thing. I was at a Seminar and sitting quietly in the corner. I was the only amateur present. When one of the speakers said. We have all been in the situation where the organizer of the competition has told us in no uncertain manner who the winners should be. What do you say to that one.If this is to become an Olympic Sport. It never will unless the method of judging changes.
Re: Judging own pupils
Posted by anymouse
8/19/2008  3:51:00 PM
"Anonymous. So you beleive that judges should judge there own pupils."

I don't believe it is ideal, but banning it would mean either that the best available experts are not available as judges, or are not available as teachers. There's already nowhere near enough true experts to fill the world demand for either coaching or judging work, and most serious competitors would not be willing to accept second rate in either category!

"Let me tell you what once happend to me.With the past record I should have been placed 3rd. Two judges were so intent on marking their pupils 1 st and marking their main opposition as low as possible. What happened was I came first."

The skating system of marking makes such simple explanation unworkable. You would need high marks from a majority of judges get first place - it can't be just the two you cite, at least half the panel must be involved.

What can happen to elevate a mediocre couple is where there is widespread disagreement amongst all the judges over all the couples. Then someone who is universally seen as neither particularly outstanding nor particularly offensive can win. But this generally happens when you have either very sloppy dancers with a lot to object to, or inexpert judges who are looking for their whims rather than anything comprehensive.

Have you considered what would happen in a competition with six couples and three judges.


Running a serious competition with three judges is almost unheard of. If it occurs as a result of economic or scheduling reality, everyone realizes that the result are a bit dubious.

"When one of the speakers said. We have all been in the situation where the organizer of the competition has told us in no uncertain manner who the winners should be."

And having judges who don't teach is going to protect against this how? If anything, having teaching income should make them more resistant to alleged manipulation by a competition employer.

"What do you say to that one.If this is to become an Olympic Sport"

Along with most who are serious about dancing, I rather hope that our artform is never abused as an Olympic "sport" You will find that most of the olympic dreamers in the dance world are either low level dancers who think the idea is fun with contemplating how much damage it will cause, or IDSF bureaucrats who see it as a way to solidify their power.
Re: Judging own pupils
Posted by Polished
8/19/2008  4:42:00 PM
Anonymous. Well answered. We probably have many more competitions than you do. In smaller competitions its not uncommon for there to be only one couple entered in their grade. They will take to the floor and dance their dances whether it be one or five. There could also be two or three or more dancers , and maybe only one dance. The same. They all get there full quota.
Sometimes it can be very interesting if a really good couple are alone it becomes a Demonstration.
But that doesn't alter the fact that to be on the floor judging your own pupils cant be right. And if that one rotten apple does, then the rest do it also. Otherwise they put themselves and their pupils at a disadvantage. Would you agree with that last sentance
Re: Judging own pupils
Posted by anymouse
8/19/2008  5:08:00 PM
"But that doesn't alter the fact that to be on the floor judging your own pupils cant be right."

I disagree. I don't think it's ideal, but I'd rather have experts who teach the competitors than 2nd rate dancers who aren't expert enough for any competitors to want to study with them. Besides, if a judge has couples in the event, they are as likely to have several as just one.

This isn't stuff you can learn from a book - you need first hand experience as a dancer yourself, then as a teacher, and also as a judge, before you will really be expert at any of those things.

"And if that one rotten apple does, then the rest do it also."

If they judge based on who gives them business, then they are all bad apples. You started out saying one bad apple can ruin it, I contend that they can't - one has very little effect at all, a few can be a problem and move overall placements slightly, but it takes a majority of the panel to generate a drastically wrong result. That's why we use the skating system and not a simple average.

"Otherwise they put themselves and their pupils at a disadvantage. Would you agree with that last sentance"

Absolutely not. A teacher who develops good dance skills in their students will have their students well marked by any skilled judge. Only the inept need resort to corruption.
Re: Judging own pupils
Posted by Polished
8/19/2008  5:30:00 PM
Anonymous. You have made your position very clear. You do believe that a person should judge their own pupils. You have given several reasons why you think its correct. I will never agree with that. If this went before Judge Judy . I wonder what her ruling would be. Is that program still on over there.And I will say again. It takes only one person to manipulate any system to their advantage and others will have no choice but to do the same. That why one rotten apple will spoil the whole barrel.
Re: Judging own pupils
Posted by anymouse
8/19/2008  7:10:00 PM
"Anonymous. You have made your position very clear. You do believe that a person should judge their own pupils."

Once again, you paraphrase someone's argument with critical changes instead of quoting it.

I've said repeatedly that having the teachers judging their students is not ideal, but that it's preferable to having second rate teacher or judges.

"You have given several reasons why you think its correct."

No, I have stated why it is not as problematic at serious competitions as you seem to believe it would be.

"And I will say again. It takes only one person to manipulate any system to their advantage and others will have no choice but to do the same. That why one rotten apple will spoil the whole barrel."

You've repeatedly failed to explain how "one person" can manipulate the skating system of mark tabulation. That's the whole point of the skating system - a biased judge or two can't pull or push the results very more than a place or so on their own, because it takes a majority of the panel to award a placement. Experienced dancers and judges know this, which is why we're more interested in improving our dancing to play to the honest majority of judges, rather than in finding our own ways to cheat.
Re: Judging own pupils
Posted by Polished
8/19/2008  7:38:00 PM
Anonymous Can you find your way to Dancsport UK .
Then Articles and Interveiws
Then to How can a couple lose when the majority of judges marked them to win .. Read it for yourself and the comment if you think it can't happen. Also in smaller competitions I doubt if the Skating System is used. Imagine three judges Three competitors Two of the judges judging their own. What chance has the third couple got.
Re: Judging own pupils
Posted by anymouse
8/19/2008  8:15:00 PM
"Anonymous Can you find your way to Dancsport UK .
Then Articles and Interveiws
Then to How can a couple lose when the majority of judges marked them to win .."

That article fails to state what the real issue is: under skating except in the case of ties, the result in each of the five dances is determined using all of the judges' marks for that dance alone, and then then the results of the dances are combined to determine the overall winner. The article is based on the premise, which it fails to state, that if you instead treated each judge as a panel of one and determined who they had as the overall five-dance winner, and combined those results from each judge, that this would give a different result.

But this is not relevant to the discussion of bias or corruption, because it was about the precise placement between two couples who were very nearly tied in the collective eyes of the judging pool. That's a very different case than the inability of one maverick judge to substantially distort the majority voice by voting in an extreme manner - they can perhaps swap the tabulated results of closely matched couples, but the algorithm prevents them from moving a weak couple to the front or a top couple to the bottom. Under skating it ordinarily doesn't matter if their vote is one mark away from the majority or 5 marks away from the majority, it still has the same limited effect.

Due to this, the skillfully dishonest judge would cast marks only one place away from the expected opinion of the the others - it would have the same quite limited effect as outrageous marks, and such minor differences of opinion could usually be defended.

"Also in smaller competitions I doubt if the Skating System is used."

I have only ever seen one instance in which it was not used, and it was not used due to the ignorance of the first time organizers. There were many complaints and they never made that mistake again.

"Imagine three judges Three competitors Two of the judges judging their own. What chance has the third couple got."

As I said before, if there are only three judges all bets are off. No serious competition uses so few.
Re: Judging own pupils
Posted by Polished
8/24/2008  3:53:00 AM
Anonymous. So all of your writting tells us nothing. Is it possible under the Skating system for a pair to score more firsts and not win. Did it actually happen. And you never answered yes or no to . If there are three judges. Three competitors. Two of the judges are judging their own . What chance has the third couple got. Would you give them any chance.
Re: Judging own pupils
Posted by anymouse
8/24/2008  9:40:00 PM
"Anonymous. So all of your writting tells us nothing. Is it possible under the Skating system for a pair to score more firsts and not win. "

It's always possible to score more firsts and not win. Thats part of what projects us from biased or simply bad judges who give outlying marks.

Winning requires securing a majority of marks for a higher place than anyone else, and in the cited example that did not happen in enough dances for the couple that the author thinks should have won.

The article you reference is very misleading - it acts as if the judges award overall placements for five dances combined, which they simply do not. As a result, the situation as literally cited never occurred, because the marks referenced simply do not exist - there are no rules in the book for combining placements in each dance by judge to determining overall 5-dance placements by judge, so it's impossible to have a majority of them.

Instead, if you follow the rules that do exist in the book, you award first in each dance to the couple who secures high placements from a majority of judges, and then the overall winner is determined by combining the placements per dance.

"Did it actually happen. And you never answered yes or no to . If there are three judges. Three competitors. Two of the judges are judging their own . What chance has the third couple got. Would you give them any chance."

If they are better than the others, yes. A judge who mis marks couples is simply embarrassing himself. But as I've said repeatedly, a competition with only three judges is too small to be taken seriously.

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