Description of the skating system used to judge ballroom dance
From a post to rec.arts.dance:
Date: Wed, 25 May 94 20:38:11 EDT
Subject: The Skating System
I just got finished typing the rules for the Skating System (the
method for compiling scores in ballroom competition) and it occurred
to me that you might want a copy for the archives.
converted to html format by: Richard
M. Moroney (feedback and additions are encouraged, please mail
them to 'email@example.com')
The Marking of Adjudicators' Cards
- In all rounds each judge must vote for the number of couples
demanded by the Chairman of Adjudicators.
- In the Final round each judge shall place all the competing
couples in order of merit in each of the dances.
- In the Final round the judge shall mark his first couple 1, his
second couple 2, his third 3, and so on in each of the dances.
- A judge must not tie couples for any place in the Final of any
Number of Couples to Dance in a Final
- In the Final round the open system of marking shall be used.
- When judges are instructed to select six couples for a Final
and six couples are clearly chosen only that number shall
dance. The same procedure would be observed if the Chairman's
instructions were for any other number.
- If it is intended that six couples shall dance in a Final and
through a tie more couples qualify for consideration the
number to dance shall be decided by the Chairman. The same
procedure would be observed if it is intended to have a Final
of any other number.
The Allocation of Positions in Each Dance
- The winner of a particular dance is the couple who is placed first
by an absolute majority of judges; second, the couple who is
placed second or higher by an absolute majority. The remaining
positions are allocated in a similar way.
If More that One Couple have a Majority for the Same
- The couple with the largest majority shall be allocated the position
under review, and the couple with the next largest majority, the
If the position under review is the "2nd" and two couples have a
majority of "2nd and higher" places, the couple with the larger
majority shall be placed "2nd" and the other couple "3rd".
We now examine the remaining competitors' markings, and the couple
with the largest majority of "3rd and higher" places shall be
allocated the next position, which in this example, is the "4th".
If none of the remaining couples has a majority of "3rd and higher"
places, then include the "4th" places (and, if necessary, lower
If Two or More Couples have an Equal Majority for the Same
- a) If such majorities are equal, then the lowest total of marks
given by those judges who form the majority, shall determine
the allocation of the position under review.
If the position under review is the "2nd" and two couples
have a similar majority of "2nd and higher" places, the
couple with the lower total of marks given by those judges
who form the majority, shall be allocated the "2nd" position
and the other couple the "3rd".
b) If the totals of the marks are equal, then the next lower
place (or places, if necessary), in respect of the particular
couples concerned, must be included.
It should be noted that only the couples who have a majority for
the position under review (say, for example, the "2nd" position)
must be considered at this stage, and only their "3rd" places
(and, if necessary, lower places) should be referred to, until
the "2nd" position has been allocated.
A definite result will eventually be obtained unless the
remaining markings are exactly the same, and should the latter
be the case, there will, of course, be a tie for "2nd" position.
If two couples were concerned, they would be allocated "2 1/2"
If No Couple receives a Majority for the Position Under
- If no couple receives a majority of "Firsts" then the winner is the
couple who are placed "2nd and higher" by a majority of judges.
If no couple receives a majority of "1st" and "2nd" places, then
the "3rd" places (and if necessary, lower places) must be included.
(Subject to Rules 6 and 7).
The "2nd" and other places should be calculated in a similar way.
Compilation of the Final Summary
- When all the dances have been concluded, the order ascertained for
each dance shall be carried to another sheet, showing the position
achieved by each couple in each dance. The first in each dance shall
be given one mark, the second two, and so on. These place marks shall
be added up and the couple with the lowest aggregate shall be the
If there is a Tie for a Place in the Final Summary
- a) If this results in a tie for first place, the winner shall be
the couple who has actually won the greater number of dances.
b) If there is a tie for the "2nd" place, the "2nd" prize shall
be awarded to the couple who has obtained "2nd and higher" in
the greatest number of dances. If the couples have obtained
the same number of "2nd and higher" place marks, then add the
"2nd and higher" place marks together and the couple with the
lowest total should be awarded second prize.
If more than two couples tie for second place, the second prize
shall be awarded to the couple who has obtained the most "2nd
and higher" place marks. Still only considering the remaining
"tied" couples, the "3rd" prize is awarded to the couple who
has won the most "3rd and higher" place marks.
c) If there is a tie for any remaining places they shall be
decided on similar principles.
- If after applying Rules 9 and 10 this still results in a tie, then
treat the judges' marks of the "tied" couples over all dances, as
for an individual dance (Rules 5 to 8). If this still results in
a tie, there shall be at the discretion of the organizers of the
competition, either a re-dance or the prizes for the places under
review shall be divided.
a) If the tie is for first place, a majority of "1st" marks to the
credit of either of the "tied" couples (4 dances-5 judges-majority 11)
would win. If neither of the "tied" couples receive a majority
of "firsts" see Rule 8.
b) If the tie is for second place, a majority of "2nd and higher"
marks to the credit of either of the "tied" couples would be
necessary. If neither of the "tied" couples obtain a majority
of "2nd and higher" marks see Rule 8.
c) The "3rd" or any other "tied" places should be decided on
d) If 3 (or more) couples tie for a place under Rule 10 (say, 2nd
place) Rule 11 is applied to all couples concerned in the tie,
and the best couple is awarded the "2nd" place. Rule 10 is now
applied to the remaining "tied" couples for consideration of the
place now under review, which is the "3rd". However, if they
now tie for "3rd" under Rule 10, then Rule 11 is again applied
to these "tied" couples, commencing this time with the "3rd and
higher" judges's marks in the individual dances.
David Sarnoff Research
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