The GOLD system is a new method for judging and conducting Dance Sport competitions, it can be applied
to all the sports with a strong artistic component and in which the adjudicators have to express a
qualitative evaluation. GOLD system is particularly suitable for the evaluation of the in couple dancing and
includes a complete redefinition of the dance sport competition in order to emphasize the "sport" aspect.
Currently the evaluation of dance sport competitions is based on the skating method. In this method the adjudicators evaluate the ranking of the final stage after a selection of the couples in the elimination rounds. The method, despite the undoubted merits that characterized it, has some well-known limitations including the subjectivity of the criteria adopted to select the couples in the early stages and to evaluate them in the final. The use of the verb "select" is not accidental; in effect in the early stages of the competition the adjudicators do not express evaluations of merit but simply "indicate" the couple for the next round. The application of this method in an activity so complex, with a so high technical level and strong emotional impact as the modern Dance Sport results in a complete loss of meaning of the judgement. What did the adjudicator who selected a couple for the next round considered? Why another adjudicator did not select the same couple? In most cases these questions remain unanswered generating misunderstandings and dissatisfaction among athletes and, at the same time, frustration for the adjudicators who, in most cases, cannot fully express their skills.
The GOLD method starts from an analysis of what happens in other sports including tennis, skiing and skating. It provides a totally new method to judge and a new method of operating the Dance Sport competitions.
The assumptions underlying the GOLD system are as follows:
• To propose judging criteria as objective as possible.
• To be easily understood by the public and athletes.
• To highlight the technical skills of the adjudicators panel.
• To make the competitions more attractive for the public.
• To provide a global assessment of the athletes on the dance floor.
The method requires, by the adjudicators, a numerical evaluation of different parameters related to the performance of athletes in the race but, unlike what happens in WDSF new evaluation system:
• The athletes are divided in batteries like in the current system.
• Each judge have to evaluate, at every stage of the race, only ONE PARAMETER.
• Each judge have to evaluate a UNIQUE SUBJECT: knight, lady or couple as a whole.
• Each parameter is evaluated with a different multiplier shown in Table 1.
• The evaluation is expressed in tenths with the possibility of intermediate values as currently proposed by WDSF in the Grand Slam competitions (Table 2).
• The highest rating and lowest score is eliminated from the calculation of the coefficient using as the average of the coefficients.
• The judgement levels are absolute (Table 3). In this way, couples can thus evaluate the progress of their preparation. It is also possible to evaluate at the same time couples from different classes and categories.
OPERATING THE COMPETITION WITH THE GOLD SYSTEM
1. The 13 judges are awarded which parameter they will evaluate at the start of the competition when receiving the evaluation sheet or a portable electronic device.
2. The competition is divided into two rounds. In the first one all the couples dance in randomly formed batteries (as at present).
3. The GOLD system will generate a provisional ranking based on the 11 useful values for every couple in the dance.
4. In the second and final run ALL the couples will dance in the final mode starting with the last classified ones end terminating with the last final in which will dance the better evaluated couples of the first round. 5. In the second round all the 13 judges will consider a different parameter and the different subject than the first one (Table 4)
6. The final results will be drawn up by the sum of the scores of the two rounds.
7. Prizes presentation will be performed for the first 3 classified couples.
The assignment of the parameters in the two round provides that:
• Each adjudicator have to evaluate 2 of the 3 different subjects (Knight / Dame / Couple). For example, from Table 4, the adjudicator A will judge the man in the first round and the lady in the second. Adjudicator B will evaluate the lady in the first and the couple in the second and so on.
• Each judge have to evaluate 2 parameters with different multipliers, the sum of the thatis a constant, so that all judges have the same weight in numerical terms.
The competition time with the GOLD system do not differ so much from current method despite the much more accurate assessment the adjudicator have to produce. Assuming to provide 12 seconds of evaluation for each subject on the dance floor and a duration of a single dance of 1 minute and 40 seconds, this results in battery composed by 8 couples. A more interesting approach should be to perform 12 couples batteries with a duration of 2 minutes and 30. The lengthening of the duration of the piece would have several interesting effects: a greater focus on the technical aspects of performance rather than the gymnastic ones, an exaltation of the differences between the athletes on the dance floor, and a general slowdown of the choreographies which would became easier to judge. In any case, the expected duration of a competition operated with the GOLD system is about 20% higher than the current one but there are some aspect to consider that could reduce this time: the evaluation method is absolute and it is always possible to saturate the batteries collecting couples from less populated classes and categories. Additional benefits would be in disciplines such as the 10 dances where dress changes make it difficult the execution of several rounds. Also the prize presentation time will be reduced with the new method.
The GOLD method has several advantages for all those involved in sports dance:
The athletes feel themselves thoroughly evaluated and not simply selected by a mark. An analytically opinion is expressed on their performance, an opinion that accompanies and guides them in the prosecution of their activities. All athletes dance two times in order to encourage the travels of the couples that, with the current system, leave the floor at the first round. During the second round also the athletes who have achieved the lowest scores in the first one will temporarily found themselves at the top of the rank until they will be surpassed by the sum of the scores of brave couples.
The adjudicators can finally fully express its technical capability to analyze and to evaluate specific aspects of sports performance. By focusing on a single parameter and, above all, on a single subject, strongly reduce the ambiguity of the selection / evaluation procedure typical of the skating system. The problem of the adjudicators impartiality is not addressed against them nor with random-based systems but by the social control on the adjudicator acts, acts which become transparent in front of everyone.
The public can follow a competition easy to understand and moreover attractive, the projection of judgments and real-time classifications would make the competition accessible to non-involved people and with a very high appeal for TV.
The role of the trainer / coach / manager, existing in all the sport disciplines, has not yet been discussed until now but this figure would find its place in the proposed competition system. As in other disciplines the trainers / coaches / trainers would obtain a formal role in the competition with a chance to settle on the parterre, giving technical advice or simply representing, in a transparent way, athletes and clubs in the tournament.