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The Judging System 2.0 25/02/2013

WDSM # 4 | 2009

More than five years ago, the World DanceSport Federation (WDSF) embarked on the process of developing a new and different approach to adjudicating. Certain features intrinsic to the traditional skating system were considered inconsistent with the overriding aim to produce objective results for the competitive match-up of skills in DanceSport.

Natasa Ambroz, the WDSF Education Commission Chair, wrote at the time: “The existing judging system that we have been using for years is working well and it is practical, but there are certain areas that could be improved on.”

Enter the ‘New Judging System’ and a novel way of assessing the merits of a couple’s performance. Starting with a field test at the GrandSlam Finals 2009 in Shanghai, CHN, the final standing was no longer established by comparison between the finalist couples – but by grading each couple on an absolute scale from 1 (very poor) to 10 (outstanding). To better accommodate such an evaluation on the absolute scale, the format of the final had to be changed. While the competition through the semi-final round was still danced in the traditional way, the finalist couples performed every one of the five dances as a solo. 

At the time, WDSF Communications reported in-depth about the first experience. The opinions of athletes and adjudicators on the new approach were also published: WDSM 4; p. 36 - 40!

World DanceSport Magazine # 4.

Overall, the views reflected acceptance, but some pointed to areas where the ‘New Judging System’ could be improved even further. One athlete wrote the following back in 2009. 

“Generally, the idea of trying to develop the judging system is good. But we think that WDSF has to go back to the drawing board, find a way to keep the final a lot shorter, maintain the stamina factor and put all couples on the floor together.”

Throughout the years 2010 – 2012, the WDSF Education and Sports Departments worked hard on training adjudicators in the use of the system and on improving it further. Proprietary software was developed and used in GrandSlam competition from 2011. And 2012 marked the first year with all 12 events – 10 regular legs plus the finals – being adjudicated with the system. 

As the GrandSlam Series 2013 is about to get underway, WDSF announces further amendments to the system based on experiences it accrued over time. In fact, the ‘New System’ becomes ‘System 2.0’ as it has matured and taken on several ‘new’ traits. WDSF Sports Director Marco Sietas explains.

8fFl45VT3-k|The Judging System 2.0 | WDSF Sports Department