US Open 2013 Update #1

Fireworks!  Explosions!  Controversy!  Facebook rants!

Craaaaazy is in the house, friends and fellow dancers across the world.

The Open is here, baby! It is HERE!

Two weeks and two days … tick, tick, tick.

Record numbers of new routines!

36 Classic!

13 Sophisticated!

10 Masters routines!

10 Young Adult!

10 new Young America routines!

And get this:

12 Teams!

10 Cabaret routines!

And then, of course, Showcase … and DRAMA! US Open drama, baby!

Boom! Bam! Fireworks! Blowouts!

Here’s what happened.

The number of Showcase registrations kept coming in, and coming in, and got to be so many that the US Open board members worried. Judges wouldn’t be able to judge fairly with so many couples!

Because 16 is the cut-off number.

That’s from Wayne Bott – responsible for many of our current guidelines and author of the “Referee System”** – more than 16 couples and judging becomes confusing, he said. Too hard to rank dancers against each other, remember order, recall critical features of every routine.

Wayne said more than sixteen couples – you make it a prelim.

So when on November 2 the number of Showcase couples hit 21   [21?!? OMG! can’t wait to see them so excited aughghgh!]   a letter went out:

“Friday night will be a Prelim. Showcase Finals have been moved to Sunday.”

Moved to Sunday?!  A bomb went off! An international west coast swing bomb exploded. Boom! Phone calls! Emails! Facebook posts! Texts! Skypes between continents! Bashingpleadingpanickingconsolingattacking!  #drama #usopenfever  #twoweekstwodaystickticktick

“Finals on SUNDAY?!? But we’re flying out on Sunday! But we don’t have two routines! But we can’t dance a brand new Showcase routine on Sunday, minutes after doing strictly/cabaret! Costumes take time! And we need to physically prepare! Get mentally ready! And it’s disrespectful of Showcase to move it to Sunday, the last day! And we don’t want to be stressed out waiting for three days! And you can’t change on us last minute like this! It’s not right!”

What to do, what to do. Would have helped to have known beforehand that Showcase was going to be so big. But now, what to do.

Where does one put a 1 1/2 hour Showcase final?

Not at 1:30am Friday night, that won’t work, not after Lindy Showcase and 12 teams. No one wants to dance at 8:30 and then again in finals from 1:30 to 3am.

Not on Saturday, when some couples are already dancing the Classic prelim during the day and the final later that night. Can’t ask people to put a routine on the floor three times in one day.

What a headache. How to juggle judging schedules  —  deejay schedule, emcee schedules, volunteers  —  seven separate schedules re-worked for every schedule change.  It’s like a jig-saw puzzle, where everything depends on everything else.

It’s like a jig-saw puzzle where all the pieces are yelling and they were all married to each other but now they’re not anymore and their kids are dance partners.

For 18 years, during Jack Bridges’ time, Sunday at the Open was prime-time. It was called “Kick-Ass Day” because Sunday was the big day – Sunday was Finals. When there were 32 Showcase couples they’d watch 16 in the prelim, take an hour’s break, watch the next 16.  And the final would be on the big kick-ass day, the day it all led up to. Sunday.

But that was then.

This is now and the last-minute Showcase Schedule Surprise is not going well.

So. When the number of Showcase couples appeared to have settled at 19 instead of 21 a second letter went out:

“Never mind. We’ll keep it on Friday night. We’ll change it next year.”

Next year? Omgawd. Next year will be even more awesome if that is possible. Next year they’re expecting 30+ couples in Showcase. 40+ in Classic.

But this year – 19 in Showcase and it’s straight to Finals. On Friday night, as originally scheduled.

And … wait till you hear how many countries are coming!

They’ve had to order seven new flags for Opening Ceremonies!


**The Wayne Bott Referee System

Overview of Referee System:

  1. Review current NASDE and local competition rules for consistency
  2. A Referee sits on the judging panel watching for rules adherence. The Referee uses a Referee
    Rules Checklist.
  3. If all couples Pass, a Panel Review is unnecessary.
  4. If any couple Fails, a Panel Review is necessary and should occur immediately or ASAP, after all judges have scored the contest.
  5. The Head Judge will arrange a Panel Review, which consists of 3 people, The Referee and two other Judges. Each member has his or her own Panel Review Scoring Sheet.

a. 3 panel members review a video of the “flagged” couple(s) as many times as necessary to determine if a rule violation occurred. Verbal interaction between ref and panel judges is encouraged. Be concise, get to the point, give opinion, and move on.

b. At conclusion, each panel member indicates Pass or Fail for each couple in question. There is no need for panel members to agree.

c. The results are recorded on a Panel Results Sheet and the couple is given an overall Pass or Fail.

d. Majority opinion (2 out of 3) carries.

e. If couple “Fails”, the panel determines a drop in placement of 1 or 2 places and indicates this on the Panel Results Sheet. A 1 placement drop is the norm. A placement drop of 2 is severe and unlikely to occur; indicates some kind of ill intent.

f. Panel Reviews, Violations, and any Placement Drops are noted on the scoring sheets and posted along with scores on Sunday.

g. Referee Panel Review sheets remain in the scoring book.

h. Note: Swing Content is the responsibility of each judge, NOT the REFEREE Judge. Any violations or warning regarding Swing Content is reflected in the individual judges score and noted on their individual score sheets. Any Swing Content Warnings and Violations are posted by the Scorer on Sunday.


2 responses to “US Open 2013 Update #1

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s