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Re: Unfair judging
Posted by Laura
2/23/2004  3:02:00 AM
To get certified back in 2001 under that USABDA program that was being talked about you had to have been a Championship-level athelete, meaning that you've earned too many points to dance in any level except for Championship. That's not just anybody.

Even if organizers of NDCA-sanctioned competitions wouldn't hire a USABDA-certified judge, I could imagine that USABDA-sanctioned and collegiate competitions would. Of course, there was that big stink that some Canadian judge raised either last year or the year before when she found herself serving on the same panel as a certified amateur judge. Maybe that's why USABDA's amateur judges program has died a quiet death?

My point is that people have tried to change things. It hasn't succeeded because (a) enough people want to keep things the way they are and (b) no one has come up with an alternate idea yet that inspires anyone to change point (a).

People often say that coaches shouldn't judge. That's a valid point, but no one yet has figured out where to get non-coaching judges from. Also people are VERY hung up on titles in this sport. Competitors don't react well to having no-name judges who might be very impartial, very responsible, very knowledgeable, and well trained. They don't react well because if the person doesn't have a few important titles behind them, then they are considered a nobody who knows nothing -- no matter how much they really do know! Meanwhile, when someone is unhappy with their marks, they turn around and blame the judges. Someone was trashing a World Champion on a twin of this discssion being run on another bulletin board. It seems no matter what is done someone complains.

Is there any solution to this problem at all? How big is the problem anyway? I've been dancing in Pro/Am and Amateur events for 6 years and I think the problem on the lower levels (syllabus, Novice) is more of grumbling by people who don't realize what it takes to be a winner than a big problem of nepotism-like favoritism. I don't speak for the Professional or high-level amateur events, because I've never danced in these and so have no experience. But when college dancers are complaining about block judging and other political stuff I have to wonder. I've helped to organize small to medium sized amateur competitions and I must say that we try very hard to get judges who we respect and who we think the people who participate in our events respect. Some of the ones I pick I don't particularly like to dance in front of, but I know their reputation for fairness and respect so we hire them for the good of the entire competition and not to benefit anyone in particular.
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