April 27, 2012

'V' is for Violations

I've been reformatting my articles for publication recently. Studios across the globe are using them in classes, so I figured it was time to get them in a uniform, easy to read and cohesive format. While doing this, I discovered that my Judging Article didn't touch on violations. I realized that I had covered it in the Rearview Mirror section the week after my first article on Judging went out to my readers. I've gone ahead and updated the article, but since its been the most popular article at the last three events (usually run out by Saturday afternoon and have to run more copies... when will I learn!) I think I'll go ahead and fill you in on what I said in my Rearview Mirror piece, more or less...


Let's just say, there's a reason I didn't write about them in that first Weekly Note on Judging. It's because I didn't think about them. Why would I? They are useless. So I never use them, I never teach anyone to use them and therefore, I never think about them.

So what if a couple is violated? It never affects their placing. Oh, I've heard of the random contest where a violation moved a couple down one placing, but I've also heard that the event director freaks and makes them put the couple back up.  How corrupt is that? It's a joke. So why should any judge bother violating anyone? It just puts a huge target on their back.

A violation punishes the judge, not the couple. 

The cost just doesn't outweigh the benefit.

And violating for Swing Content? Come on. That's like saying "hey, you did a Waltz in a Cha Cha competition, but we'll just violate you and give you your trophy anyhow." Huh? Yeah. I like my method of Judging much much more. It's much cleaner, much easier to understand and it makes sense.

Could violations have a place in our system? Maybe.  Violate for too many drops, a lift when it's not showcase... okay.  But it has to knock the couple out of the Top 5 at least. Why violate if there aren't any consequences?

There has to be a firm consequence to a violation, 
a standard that no one, no how, is exempt from. 

And that includes names. It's worthless and fruitless and ticks people off instead of making them change their routines. The fact of the matter is that I've been competing long enough in WCS to see our violations do absolutely nothing worthwhile and edifying in our community. A bark without bite, because the leadership is too scared to make a violation stick.

So if you ask me, forget the 'V.' 

But maybe I'll shake things up one day and smack down a 'D' instead.

That's right. If I had my own little dreamworld, I would have the freedom as a judge to Disqualify a couple.  Especially for doing a different dance... Abstract, Zouk, N2S... anything more than Swing. I would like this freedom. I think it's fair. Do the dance you signed up to do already.

And I'd certainly like to Disqualify certain behavior. Cruel, unethical, pornographic and other downright wrong things are happening out there now, and though the audience nervously giggles when it happens, it would be nice if we, as judges, had the ability to lay down consequences to discourage such behavior.

But its not my little dream world. Our system doesn't have Disqualifications. When I have a clipboard, they want numbers next to every name on it, so that's why I've developed my new Judging method. And it's a system that works. And I enjoy judging again. It's become much easier to do, and I can easily explain every single one of my scores, like I used to do before we had a variety of dances on our swing floors.

So there you go.
Judges, ditch the 'V''s and drop them in your scores on your own.