The Skating System consists of a set of ELEVEN rules. Each rule applies to a specific step in the process of marking and then tabulating the results. There is a systematic progression from one to the next, until you end up with the final result.
A judge’s view of what they see on the floor in front of them is their view and their view alone. Human nature almost guarantees that there will be an element of subjectivity. That is why there are normally an odd number of judges, 3, 5, 7, 11 . . . To minimize the skew effect of a single judge’s marks and the possibility of couples being tied. The Skating System in no way manipulates the marks of a judge; it neither introduces marks nor deletes marks. The starting point for the Skating System is the judges mark sheet. It may happen that a judge has duplicated a number or a number is illegible. In all cases the sheet is passed to the Chairman of Adjudicators to correct the error with the judge concerned.
The first four rules apply specifically to the competition judges.
A preliminary round is any round in a section excluding the final. Examples are round 1, round 2, quarterfinal, and semi-final. The judges do not have to mark the competitors in any order. They simply indicate on their mark sheet the couples they wish to see in the next round. The judge MUST ONLY mark as many couples as the Chairman requests. As an example in a semi-final of eleven dancers the Chairman may request that six couples be recalled to the final. Each judge should then recall six couples for each dance in the section.
The couples that advance to the next round are simply those with the most callback marks. The scrutineer will add the marks together for each couple from all judges to find out who has advanced to the next round.
It is not an uncommon occurrence for the scrutineer to not be able to call back the number of competitors requested by the Chairman. Several couples may have received the same number of callback marks. The judges can all have provided the correct number of marks but the result just does not work out. Take a semi-final of 11 couples with 6 couples requested for the final.
Couples 11, 15, 17, and 18 are the couples with the highest marks. Couples 10, 12, and 14 all have 4 callback marks. The results therefore mean that 4 couples or 7 couples can be recalled, not the 6 that were requested. The decision passes to the Chairman as to how many couples are recalled. The Chairman alone makes the decision, not the scrutineer.
A final round of a section can contain a maximum of eight couples. If more than eight couples have been recalled from a semi-final then a further preliminary round must be danced. In some cases even a round with eight couples must be danced as a semi-final. Again the Chairman alone makes the decision. Often a particular section will be danced as a straight final, meaning that there were not enough couples entered to require a preliminary round. Also in this situation organizers typically award, say, only 3 prizes for a section of 6 couples. The judges are still required to allocate a place to each and every couple on the floor.
Typically each judge has a different opinion as to the placement of the finalists. That is why we need the Skating System and scrutinizers.
Since the final round is intended to determine final placements a judge is not allowed to tie any couples.
After applying the Skating System to the judge’s marks an unbreakable tie may result. This is not because the judge tied the couples but through the method by which the marks are tabulated. A possible cause of this is that the opinions of the judges differ because the ability of the couples varies wildly or are very similar to each other. Both of these extremes result in no clear-cut winner, runner-up, etc.
The remaining seven rules are the ones that determine how the final result is calculated. It starts of simply and then gets progressively more complicated. The Skating System uses two concepts to arrive at a final result. The first is “majority” and the second is “overall performance.” A couple must convince a majority of the judges to mark them to win the dance. Furthermore they must achieve this in a majority of the dances making up the section for them to win the section. Obviously this does not always happen. The Skating System rules therefore define how to tabulate the results when there is no clear-cut winner either for an individual dance or for the section as a whole. The Skating System attempts to always reward overall performance. As we progress through these seven rules you will begin to understand why a couple that does not win any individual dance can win the section. Conversely a couple can win an individual dance and may only be placed 4th in the section.
Rules 5, 6, 7, and 8 apply to tabulating the results for the individual dances in a section or for a single-dance section, such as seen in Freestyle.
The Skating System is based on the marks a couple receives from a majority of judges. The first and simplest step is to ascertain what makes up a majority. A few examples should suffice, the majority of 3 is 2; the majority of 5 is 3; the majority of 7 is 4, and so on.
We now tabulate each couple's marks in the final. The next step is to place the winner by inspecting the marks for the number of 1stplaces. It is important to note that in this rule we simply count the number of places, we do not add them together. A couple’s results are 1,1,2,3,1,2,1; they have 4 1st places.
The couple who has received the majority of 1st place marks is the winner of that dance and their marks have no further impact on the tabulation process. The next step is to determine who is to be placed second. This follows a similar process. In this case, however, we count the number of “2nd place and higher marks” for the remaining couples. The next step is to determine who is to be placed third. We, similarly, count the number of “3rd place and higher marks” for each of the remaining couples. This process is repeated until all couples have been placed.
In the following simple example the positions are awarded as follows:
Although #52 attained a first-place mark they have not been placed yet and therefore stay in the tabulation.
Rule 6 is a simple follow-on to Rule 5. I am sure in the previous example you very quickly asked, “Well, what happens if more than one couple has a majority?”
The position is allocated according to which couple has the greater majority. A simple case of the more the better! All couples with the majority are placed before you consider the remaining couples.
There are 7 judges so the majority is 4.
The important thing to remember here with Rule 6 is that more than one place can be awarded while working in one column of the work sheet. The placement being assigned may not coincide with the column/marks that you are working with. The second thing to remember is that all the couples assigned a place must have achieved a majority when they are assigned a position.
Now is the time to add together the place-marks and not just count them.
Let’s work the example.
This process continues until all couples with the equal majority have been awarded positions. You then go back to the remaining couples in the section. We continue with the “3rd place and higher” column to award 4th position, even though we are working in the “3rd and higher” column.
OK! Next question, “Same majority, same sum . . .?”
Continuing with the example.
The third part of Rule 7 defines a tie. There are situations where no matter how many rules you apply you cannot separate the couples. In the event of two couples having an equal majority and also an equal sum, we go to the next column, FOR THESE COUPLES ONLY. If the next column still gives us an equal majority and sum we go to the next column, and the next until we reach the last possible column. For 6 couples this will be “6th and higher,” for 7 couples “7th and higher,” and for 8 couples “8th and higher.” Remember that if you have more than 8 couples you will not be running a final!
If we still have a tie at the last column then each couple is awarded the average or mean of the positions that we are working with. If we have two couples and we are looking to place 3rd and 4th each couple will be awarded the 3½th position, (3 + 4 = 7 ÷ 2 = 3½). For a 3-way tie for 3rd, 4th, and 5th positions, each couple is placed 4th, (3 + 4 + 5 = 12 ÷3 = 4).
This describes the mathematical methodology that the scrutineer uses to calculate the results. When the compere announces the results, they are all listed as the highest of the positions involved in the tie. In the example above the first two couples are announced as being tied for 3rd place. In the second, the three couples are tied for 3rd place.
Rule 7 is as complicated as it gets when working with the individual dances.
After Rule 7, Rule 8 is simplicity itself. If no couple achieves a majority of 1st place marks then you move on to the “2nd place and higher” column. If there is no majority there you continue onto the next column and the next until one or more couples achieve a majority.
When one or more couples are found with a majority, subject to Rule 6 and Rule 7 the 1st place is awarded. We then continue in a similar manner to allocate all other positions.
We move on to the “2nd and higher” column. No couple has a majority in that column either. Moving on to “3rd and higher” we find that couples #81 and #82 have a majority of 6 and 4 “3rdand higher” place marks each. Subject to Rule 6 we award 1stplace to #81 and 2nd place to #82.
Remember the column that you are working with may not coincide with the position you are looking to award.
So, with Rule 5, Rule 6, Rule 7, and Rule 8 you can work out the results for a single dance with simple majorities, multiple majorities, tied majorities, and no majorities!
We now move on to Rule 9, Rule 10, and Rule 11. These apply to multiple-dance sections as found in Ballroom and Latin competitions. It covers the whole gambit from Bronze sections containing two dances, Waltz and Quickstep or Cha-Cha-Cha and Jive to the Championship sections of five dances and the combined styles such as six-, eight-, and ten-dance sections.
All of the results, and only the results not the individual place-marks, are transferred into a new table called the “Final Summary.” These results are then simply added together, not counted, to give a total. The couple with the lowest total is awarded 1stplace in the section; the next highest total is awarded 2ndplace, and so on until all couples have been placed.
After having transferred the individual dance results to the “Final Summary” we see that #91 has the lowest total of 5 and is therefore awarded 1st place. #92 has the next lowest total and is awarded 2nd place. We continue in this way for all couples with #98 being placed 8th.
In the event that two or more couples have an equal total for the position under review, then there is a tie for that place. We use Rule 10 and Rule 11 to break the tie for multiple-dance sections in the same way that as we did for the individual dances and a single dance section.
#11 and #12 are placed 1stand 2nd, respectively. #13 and #14 both have the same total and cannot be placed; we need Rule 10 and Rule 11 to break the tie. They will be awarded 3rd and4th places. #15 has the next lowest total and is placed 5th. #16 and #17 are tied and require Rule 10 and Rule 11 to break the tie for 6th place. With the largest total of 30, #18 is placed 8th.
You are about to hit the wall! Rule 10 is the most involved of all the Rules. There are several sections to Rule 10. Let’s try and be simple and take it one section at a time.
One important point, before we start. Whilst working within Rule 10 we are not looking for the majority of anything. It is another case of the more the better!
#101, #102, #103, and #104 all have a total of 12 and therefore must be considered for 1st place. #101 has more 1stplaces (2) than the other and is therefore awarded the overall 1st place. The remaining couples are now tied for 2nd place, so we must count “2ndand higher” places to award the position. #102 has more “2nd and higher” places than the others and is therefore awarded the overall2nd place, (even though the couple did achieve any 1stplaces). We are now left with #103 and #104 to be considered for the overall 3rdplace. We now count “3rd place and higher”. #103 (3) has more than #104 (2) and is therefore awarded the overall 3rd place. #104 being the only remaining couple in the Rule 10 is automatically placed overall 4th.
Having placed the first 4 places we must now award 5th place. #105 and #106 have the same total so we count “5th and higher” places for the two couples. #105 has the most (4) and is awarded the overall 5th place. #106 as the last in this Rule 10 is awarded 6th place.
It is important to notice that although we had four couples with the same total under the Rule 10 we only placed one couple at a time. Rule 10 is repeatedly applied to place each couple. Rule 10 for 1stplace (count the 1st places), Rule 10 for second place (count “2ndand higher” places), Rule 10 for third place (count “3rd and higher” places), and Rule 10 yet again for 4th place (count “4th and higher” places).
If you have a tie under Rule 10 and cannot award places then you apply Rule 11. The actual process, however, is to temporarily leave those couples and places that you cannot award and continue with the remaining couples and positions under Rule 10. You then go back to the tied couples and apply Rule 11. This keeps the process structured and logical, believe me!
In summary you will have a tie under Rule 10 and need Rule 11 if:
A final and very important point to remember. You need to know how to handle the positions in the Final Summary that include fractions such as 2½, and 3½. When evaluating place marks in the Final Summary table a fraction is considered to be a place mark for the next highest whole number. 2½ is viewed as 3 and 3½ is viewed as 4. We cannot leave this as simple as that. If when you have considered the place marks and the couples in the tie have the same number of place marks then, as above, you must add the place marks together to give a total. When you do this you include the fractions at face value!
Let’s try another example to sort it all out.
Rule 11 is fairly simple to apply. Effectively you take all of the place marks given to the tied couples and process them as if it was a single dance. So if you have two dances in the section, say the Waltz and Quickstep and seven judges, in a Rule 11 all 14 place marks will be treated as if it was one dance.
There has to be a sting in the tail, with Rule 11 it is when more than two couples are tied under Rule 10 and move to Rule 11. Rule 11 is applied to all tied couples and the “best” couple is awarded the overall placing under review. The remaining couples in the tie then revert to Rule 10. If there is a tie under Rule 10 for the remaining couples we go forward again to Rule 11. After awarding the next overall position to the “best” couple this time around we revert back again to Rule 10 for the remaining tied couples. This procedure of Rule 10 followed by Rule 11 is repeated until all of the tied couples have been awarded an overall placing. It is important to note that as with Rule 10, Rule 11 only places one couple at a time. The only time when two overall places are awarded is if there are two couples in the tie or you are placing the last two couples in the tie.
The answer to your question is Yes! You can still have a tie under Rule 11. At this point we, the scrutinizers, throw in the towel; there is no Rule 12! You have an unbreakable tie. To get rid of the problem you pass it to the Chairman of Adjudicators to decide. Typically if the tie is for 1st place a dance-off takes place between the tied couples. For the minor places the couples are, typically, awarded the tied position.
Having initially stated that Rule 11 is simple lets work through an example.
|Final Summary||Rule 11||Result|
If you got this far then you are very committed to understanding this or plain bored and have nothing better to do. So just to make sure that you get your moneys worth, let’s roll it all together, throw it into the pot and see what comes out with one last example. Don’t panic it only contains two dances.
|115||1||1||5||2||6||2||3 (4)||3 (4)||3||—||—||—||—||2|
|116||4||2||4||1||1||2||3 (4)||3 (4)||5||—||—||—||—||1|
1. There are five judges for the dances. The majority is therefore 3
Note: DO NOT GET CONFUSED by the marks for #115 and #116 in the “3rd and higher” and “4th and higher” columns. They are part of placing those two couples 1st and 2nd and are not included in any further inspections.
"8th and higher" column. The work sheet is then 100% correct and complete.
11. Finally copy the results into the “F” column in the Final Summary work sheet.
A similar process is followed for the Tango. In summary:
23. We have three remaining couples, #112, #113, and #117 each with a total of 14. We are looking to allocate 6th place. #117 has not achieved any 6th places and therefore immediately drops out, being awarded 8th place. #112 and #113 have both achieved one 6thplace and are therefore tied under Rule 10. A third visit to Rule 11 to break a tie.
Well here we are at last Rule 11:
• #115 and #116 for 1st and 2nd place
• #111 and #118 for 4th and 5th place
• #112 and #113 for 6th and 7th place