RELATIVE PLACEMENT
SCORING SYSTEM RULES

 

Introduction

 

The Relative Placement Scoring System has been devised to provide a fair and accurate method of evaluating the subjective opinions of judges scoring a dance contest. It is based on several years of experimentation and development, and is currently used for virtually all of the major swing dance contests in the Texas – Oklahoma area. It has been in successful use since 1985, and has achieved wide spread acceptance.

The system incorporates two features which make it uniquely suitable for use in subjective judging situations. The first is the conversion of all scores to relative positions or placements. Since a dance performance is very difficult to accurately quantify, the judges' scores are converted into ranking differences between the contestants. These rankings can then be compared on a common ground. The second feature is the selection of winners from a consensus of the judges. In this way, one high or low judge is effectively disregarded. This has proven especially useful in avoiding bias or favoritism from a judge.

The system also lends itself to the use of statistical analysis techniques as an assist in evaluating the judges' scores and identifying biased or inaccurate judges. The use of statistics is most effective in situations such as local and state contests where there is less variation in dancers' styles and judges' preferences.

The system described in these rules is normally used with seven judges and a referee. Any number of judges may be employed, although an odd number is best to reduce the possibility of ties. The referee is highly advised for use as a replacement in the event of a disqualification and as a tie breaker. The prohibition against duplicate or tie scores is based on the premise that the judges must make a choice between each of the couples that dance. However, the system will work with duplicate scores present.

Because each judge's scores are used only to establish the appropriate position or rank for each couple, the actual numeric value is unimportant. Since the raw scores are not comparable or of quantitative value, they are best left in the tally room. Only the relative placements or rankings should be revealed to contestants. For similar reasons, the statistical results should also not be released.

Although seemingly complex, the system consists of a series of simple rules that can be applied either manually or by computer. The use of a computer is advised, both because of the reduced error potential and because it facilitates the use of statistical techniques.

Rule 1.0 - Number of Judges

Each contest shall have: Seven (7) Overall Performance Judges One (1) Referee Judge

Rule 2.0 - Judging Majority

A judging majority shall consist of:

Number of Judges
7
6
5
4
3
2
1

Number for Majority
4
4
3
3
2
2
1

 

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