Proficiency points system - point IN, or point OUT?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by Borbala_Bunnett, Aug 14, 2007.

  1. Borbala_Bunnett

    Borbala_Bunnett New Member

    Hello All,

    Among other things, the Dancesport Council is reviewing the current proficiency points system - the points given, accumulation, tracking, portability etc. etc. One of the questions that we are very interested to hear opinions on is whether you think it is more appropriate to point OUT of a level, or point INTO a level?

    Example to showcase the difference:
    a. Current system is a 'point out' system: a couple can accumulate 3-5 proficiency points at a level (e.g. Silver) before they are no longer allowed to compete at that level and must dance one level higher (i.e. Gold)
    b. An example of the 'point in' system would be if a couple would not be eligible to dance in gold unless they acquired e.g. 5 gold qualifying points (however that is defined)

    What are your thoughts?

    Also, any other feedback on the current proficiency points enchilada is welcome.

    Thank you -

    Borbala
    Dancesport Delegate
    AAN Co-Chair
  2. Adwiz

    Adwiz New Member

    Only a "points out" system makes any sense if you want to sustain a vibrant DanceSport community. People don't want to be trapped in a level like rats in a maze just because they haven't accumulated enough points. When they feel ready to move up, they need to be free to do so.

    Sure, there are some who abuse the system but it's pretty rare to see people competing completely out of their element. Most of the time they look like they belong there, even if they've rushed it a little.

    The "points in" system might work in some cultures where people are used to restrictions on all aspects of life. But it seems to run counter to the very foundation of American culture, which has always celebrated the freedom to become what we feel we are capable of. We need to allow people to explore their potential without putting barriers in the way.
  3. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    I'm for point-out too - this is from my experience in pro/am. There is no point out or in there and you have competitors that just stay in a level permanently. While I have no problem with them doing whatever they like they deprive the up-and-coming competitors a fair chance to win their level.

    It may be a bit irritating to have unqualified couples at the high levels but this has, at least, its own discouragement since they will consistently rank very low.

    Thus, I think it more important to keep the field open at the lower levels and encourage new couples than to keep the field open at the higher ones.

    One idea would be to actually have both! Thus for syllabus (Bronze-gold-star) have point out. Then for championship have point-in. So how does that work? Well you would have to have an intermediary level (pre-champ works) where there is neither point-in or point-out. Basically this would be a holding tank where couples would have to face the reality of their dancing skills and future.

    My preference is a point out system through syllabus and then just hands off - the judging will be its own regulator.
  4. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    How do you work it under the current rules that allow entry of 2 levels?

    I don't care whether or not it's point-in or point-out. If it's tracked effectively, it doesn't matter. As far as people moving up "when they're ready," if you're not gaining any points in your current level, you're not ready for the next one.
  5. Ithink

    Ithink Active Member

    Point out works.

    I actually really like the Swing Dance Counsel Point System, as I have been exposed to it lately and I think it works very well. Because points are awarded for Jack&Jill and noone who's attained a certain level in J&J and actually belongs there wants to get a random partner in a contest who is completely out of his/her element, the syustem is designed to move people up in a level when they are ready. Does it always work - no, because people may be accumulating points at smaller events and when they get to a big event they may feel a bit overwhelmed at a level they are dancing, but generally it seems to work (and there is a way to petition to dance down a level at the huge West Coast events if all your points come from smaller regional events)...

    Instead of typing out all the rules and screwing something up, I'll just post a link to the PDF doc that describes the rules: http://www.swingdancecouncil.com/library/WSDC Points Registry Document.pdf

    The system is so flexible that it would be quite simple to change it around so it works for ballroom (increase the points, change around the tiers, etc.). I really like it... I especially like that you can get points by making the final from a big field, and not just points for winning at your level, which I think is the most ridiculous part of the current proficiency system...

    Oh, and the best part: there is a searchable database, by competitor's name, where anyone who wants can look up their points because they are carefully tracked. While if you do searches for a name you can see that there are a few people who move up a level without accumulating enough points, there is generally no movement in the opposite direction (as in people staying in a level forever...).

    So that's my two cents:)
  6. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    could not express this any better. perfect.
  7. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Are swing comps as frequent as ballroom ones?
  8. Ithink

    Ithink Active Member

    Yes, if you want to, you can go to an event almost every (or every!) weekend:) It would leave you broke because of the travel you'd have to do but you could do it;)
  9. Katarzyna

    Katarzyna Well-Known Member

    I think point in system could work but would require a bigger field first. Its working very well in most other countries and as some mentioned in other threads gives couples a sense of accomplishments to "achieve" the next level.. but given that the field in the US is so small, it would be hard to make it work well here.
  10. wyllo

    wyllo New Member

    For a point in system to work, we'd need both a bigger field and a more liberal point system. Right now only the couple that takes first place receives points and there has to be a semifinal danced. If you're second out of 50 couples that's very nice, but you don't accumulate any points. I'd say at that point all of the couples in the final are displaying a degree of proficiency and should earn points at that level.

    The second problem is that in some areas semifinals at the higher syllabus and open levels are quite rare. So, couples in say gold would either get stuck there or be required to travel to the East or West coast to receive enough points to move up.
  11. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Katarzyna & Wyllo - what we have right now is the point out system. I believe your comments apply to the feasability of switching to a point-in system.
  12. wyllo

    wyllo New Member

    I've edited my post, thanks Chris! :)
  13. Katarzyna

    Katarzyna Well-Known Member

    me too, thank you!
  14. Ithink

    Ithink Active Member

    Yes, the fact that all the finalists are not accumulating points and only the winners are is ludicrous. If there is a quarter or even a semi, people who are in the final should be getting points. That's why I think the swing system works so well. You need 20 points to be able to get out of novice (an option not a requirement unless you've won once AND have 20 points). Depending on the number of total competitors in the event, points are scaled. So the winner gets 10 points, second place gets 8, third gets 6, fourth gets 4, fifth gets 2, sixth gets 1). If there is a quarterfinal, it can be 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2...
  15. Katarzyna

    Katarzyna Well-Known Member

    Also in other countries you get some points for attending, some for placement.. and to place out of a level into the next you need a combination of points as well as placements in top 3 in the final.. from what my friends from poland explained...
  16. DrDoug

    DrDoug Active Member

    I think competitive country-and-western dancing uses something like a point-in system. Am I wrong, or are they un-American?
  17. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    In general, I'd agree - and likewise the switch from 3 points to 5 was very counterproductive.

    Except that the general opinion seems to be different from the pre-champ to champ division, where there seems to be concern about being consigned to champ-only too soon.

    Maybe we should do something a bit more like the college comps for changes between the syllabus levels, with some points awarded for finals placement in-level. But then leave the pre-champ to champ switch the way it is.

    Some will argue it's too complicated... but really, individuals would only be dealing with one version of the rules at a time (unless they are dancing syllabus in one style and open in another)
  18. star_gazer

    star_gazer Active Member

    Don't think we have enough competitors to make the point-in system work. Also, how would it handle youth competitors moving into adult categories?
  19. fenixx

    fenixx Member

    I still feel a rating system would be much better than either a point in or out. With ratings, you can adjust everyone who competes in the event based on whatever formula USA Dance uses. This would allow event organizers to "max rate" (point out) or "min rate" (point in) events. An example would be:

    Bronze: (Max rating 1000)

    Silver: (Max rating 2000)

    Championship (Min rating 5000)

    I know rating have been tossed around on this board before and I know many people dislike the idea of being put against other people or given a ranking, but every sport, even ours, does this at some level. So, instead of ranking people I think a rating system would give a much more accurate picture of point accumilation. A rating system would capture gain and loss of proficiency and the amount of gain or loss would be relative to the field not an absolute number. I think these two aspects of a rating system make it superior to a point system and gives organizers a lot more flexibility in organizing events that are fair and competitive.
  20. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    A rating system requires a switch from competitor-tracked to organization-tracked.

    Until the last few years, that would have had a lot of overhead, but is now possible.

    However, in the US, we also have two organizations, each handing out their own registration numbers (which are probably necessary for automatic disambiguation)

    Who is going to be able to get results from both, by registration number, and combine them?

    Even if only one of USA Dance or NDCA uses the results of the ranking, both sets of competitions will need to feed into its calculation, otherwise the data size will be too small to be very accurate.

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