Sometimes a judge's score or mark is drastically different from the rest of the judges. In such cases, should there be a rule to make that judge account for his or her mark?
Date added to ADN: Thu,
April 05, 2012
Originally Published: Thu, April 05, 2012
by Christine Zona
(About the Author)
(International Standard Competitor)
I think it would be a good idea. I've been questioned about it. Everyone has a right to their own opinion but when it's drastically different I think the dancers should know the reason. Sometimes a couple has all first places and one sixth. Maybe that judge saw something that he or she really didn't like. There could be a little report that the couples get with their marks. That's why I like visual marking, because it makes it visible to everyone.
(British Open Professional Latin Champion)
Any judge should be able to explain why they marked the way they did. As competitors we should respect any decision they have made.
(Coach and Adjudicator)
Dancesport is not an activity that can be measured against perfection, simply because we do not know what perfection is. With a certain measure of artistic value tucked in to the athletic and technical, a judge must place the couples in order of most accomplished dancer to least accomplished amongst those on the floor. This artistic value is where the judges will often differ since the worth of the particular style (musicality and artistry) is an individual opinion.
Along with this evaluation, the dancer is responsible for what we as judges mark on our paper. What a dancer gives us is what we are marking. One of the largest factors for differences in opinions of placing comes from the dancers' inconsistency. As the dancers improve, the marks become more consistent because the dancer is also becoming more so.
The question: Should a judge be required to explain the mark? I am sure that the judge can explain why they evaluated as they did. A hearing is not necessary to get this answer. If dancers do not understand why they are getting or not getting certain marks throughout a season of dancing, book a lesson and find out what is missing in that professional's view.
An important thing to remember is that the placings from 1 to 6 are only one tenth of a point apart; i.e. 1st = .1, 2nd = .2, 3rd = .3, etc. This makes the gap between 1st and 6th very small. We are not allowed to tie couples, and so a decision must be made. Remember, our opinion is based on what you, the dancers, give us to mark.
Louis van Amstel
(U.S. International Latin Champion)
That's what I would like. I think a judge can do whatever he wants. I don't think it's fair to say the marks that are very different are wrong. Maybe those are the right ones! But I would like the judges to write down or talk about it; maybe have a press conference with the finalists and the judges where they have to explain their marks, then we all can learn from it. If a judge knows that will happen he will think twice before he actually puts his mark down. But on the other side, the judges only have two minutes to place six couples, and I can see that it's hard. But if they had to explain there would not be judges saying, "I didn't like the costume. That's why I put them sixth."
There are a lot of complaints about visual marking. Some people think that if they do it after each dance the competitors get de-motivated. But that's part of the game. If you have good marks you'll fly and if you have bad marks you'll drop down. That's part of the sport. You'll know to stay in your dancing. We won the World Championship twice after losing the first two dances and winning the last three. I'm all for showing the marks after each dance. When they show it after five dances the whole atmosphere is gone. The way they add up the points is not a bad system. It's just the judges have to be put to the stand.
(Coach and Adjudicator)
In the field of competitive ice-skating, judges are indeed required to account to the chairman of judges if their mark is deemed to be unusually different from that of the other judges on the panel. While this may work well for ice-skating events, and some may express a desire to see such a method at work in Dancesport, at this time our art/sport is not set up in such a manner as to make this a possibility.
In ice-skating, because the skaters are judged singly with no others on the ice, all of the judges view exactly the same performance at the same time. Therefore, because the chairman/supervisor of judges saw exactly the same performance at the same time as the judge, he or she can call upon a member of the panel to express what their position is and why. This would be completely impossible in Dancesport.
Each Dancesport judge sees only a small vignette of each couple's performance, depending on how many couples are on the floor at one time, and makes the determination based on their own set of priorities. These priorities have been learned over the judge's entire career as a student, as a competitor, as a performer, as a coach, and as a judge. If asked for the most important elements, a large percentage, if not the majority of judges, would enumerate exactly the same points, although perhaps not in the same order of importance. When the competitive dancer is judged, it may be that the couple is in the midst of the most perfect rendition of their most difficult party piece - great - first place! Equally as likely, further down the floor, they may be in the midst of some huge problems with the execution of their work. Too bad! Definitely sixth. Hence a first and a sixth placing for the same couple in the same dance. So which judge was wrong? Of course it is easy to see that each was correct in their assessment of the performance at the time they viewed it. Therefore, no incompetence was demonstrated, nor would it be possible for the chairman of judges to challenge such marks - after all, who's to say which one was correct?
Originally published in Dance Notes by Christine Zona
About the Author:
A health major in college, Christine Zona has always been interested in physical, emotional and mental wellness. She is currently working on combining her dance expertise and healthy lifestyle knowledge to give dancers a lifestyle program that will increase their energy, enhance their performance and reshape their bodies.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the AccessDance Network. Be aware that imagery is copyrighted and often licensed for use on AccessDance only. Copying of images is strictly prohibited.