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Re: Judging own pupils
Posted by terence2
8/19/2008  11:43:00 PM
I used to teach the beginners class every week for about a yr in 03/04 (?)
Re: Judging own pupils
Posted by anymouse
8/19/2008  9:45:00 AM
"Anonymous. It only takes one rotten apple to spoil the barrel."

And there you are mistaken.

Due to the skating system of mark tabulation used, under most circumstances an outlying mark has no greater effect than a mark one place above or below the norm. The marks are NOT averaged, instead the algorithm finds the placement at which a majority of judges have marked you at or better, specifically to reduce the way in which an outlying mark could distort an average.

Lets say a couple "deserves" 6th place, but their coach marks them first. Unless they are tied with someone in the ordinary tabulation, that first place mark is no different than a 5th place mark in it's effect.

And the opposite is true as well. A couple who "deserves" first receiving a 6th place mark from their teacher's arch-enemy will in the absence of a tie be no more adversely affected than if that "bad apple" had marked them second.

Corruption and favoritism are bad, no question about it. But a single "bad apple" can do very little damage. The placement you get is the placement that a majority of judges thought you should have, and not the average of what they all marked you.

"Would it be fairer if the judging panel stood aside at the completion of each dance and another panel took their place.. Why not."

It would be outrageously expensive to staff competitions with that many judges. Ordinarily you have two to three times as many as are working, but that's so that they can go on real breaks, not be standing up and sitting down after every dance or round.
Re: Judging own pupils
Posted by dheun
8/19/2008  12:12:00 PM
This has been a very interesting discussion, as I often wondered how the competitions were judged. My only experience in these matters has been local contests, some of them as a fund-raising tool for a worthy cause (you raise money by convincing people to "buy" votes for you... if someone wants to cast 100 votes for you, they pay $100 to the worthy cause!) But I digress. I just wanted to make the comment that the only analogy I can make would be with another of my favorite sports -- boxing. Could you imagine if a fighter's trainer was allowed to judge his fight? It would be even more corrupt than it probably already is!
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.

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