Advice for running a very small collegiate comp

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by Nicole17, Oct 5, 2013.

  1. Nicole17

    Nicole17 New Member

    My collegiate ballroom club is dipping our toes in the waters of competition hosting by holding a very small competition this semester geared towards newcomer and bronze dancers. We will have under 50 couples competing only in the American style plus a few social dances, but we still want to make sure we're as organized as possible. Does anyone have some good advice on how to coordinate the judges' marks efficiently? I know a lot of comps have gone digital now, is there a free or very low-cost system we can use on laptops or iPhones? Any from anyone who's attempted this before, any advice on how NOT to organize things?

    Again, the goal is to make this as seamless and stress free for everyone involved. :)
  2. middy

    middy Well-Known Member

    Hire an experienced scrutineer. Paper could be fine with so few couples. I don't think there's a cheap digital system...the most commonly used one is o2cm. I think some schools rent out their digital equipment for this.
    5678dance and stash like this.
  3. stash

    stash Well-Known Member

    DCDI is still done with pen and paper, and we are a large comp.
  4. middy

    middy Well-Known Member

    Make that huge. :)
  5. footyjammies

    footyjammies New Member

    I'd say pretend it is a big comp like DCDI. Some of the smaller comps fall apart because they don't take it as seriously as a big one. That's not to say don't have fun, but don't go in with the approach that you can wing things. Be ready with your volunteers, officials, food runs, snacks, safety pins, etc...

    I would definitely jump on the band wagon of getting experience where ever possible. Experienced chair of judges, MC, and scrutineer will be able to see problems before they happen and have good solutions already in mind.
    stash likes this.
  6. 5678dance

    5678dance Active Member

    Hiring an experienced scrutineer, whether they use paper or digital or carrier pigeon for judges marks, will make all the difference!

    Not sure if you will have a TBA list, but having a good TBA system will be helpful, too. It's one part about a comp that the organizers sometimes forget (at least I did, haha). The scrutineer might be able to help with that, as well.
    Sania likes this.
  7. smidra86

    smidra86 Active Member

    O2cm from what I know charges depending on the size of the comp. If its small they wont charge. Also someone who is familiar with the system of o2cm then would be good to hire. Or someone who will do it by hand but they need to know their stuff. So yes I agree on the experienced scrutineer.
  8. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Are you talking acquiring marks electronically, or scrutineering electronically?
    Warren J. Dew likes this.
  9. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    It's $50 for amateur events sanctioned by USA Dance or WDSF and affiliates. Mostly as a cost for database setup and hosting. But yes, to use O2CM you definitely need someone familiar with the system.
  10. Dancing Irishman

    Dancing Irishman Well-Known Member

    I believe they just charge a flat fee for collegiate comps (and possibly all amateur comps). I've never heard of totally free, but the hosting fee was really manageable (a two-digit number) for my team.
  11. XtremeNuisance

    XtremeNuisance New Member

    We made a small beginner collegiate comp at the school I went to. We still do paper marks from the judges (make sure you have at least 2-3 runners at time, some to cycle out throughout the day). But for the callback screen and the on deck area, we use GoogleDocs--if you have at least 1 or 2 iPads or some sort of tablet on hand (check out from the library, someone on the team is trusting enough to bring theirs), it makes it easier for the deck captain to keep track of who should and should not be in line. The computer that callbacks were directed from had been hooked up to a projector (viola! Easy call back screen for a small comp! :D)

    Ask some old members of the team to come back and support. They can be judges, the MC, deck captain, (and if you're lucky and you know someone who can scrutineer) or even just to show support for the team. Cycle out the person stuck on the registration desk because it sucks to be that person stuck dealing with registration all day (especially when it slows down around lunch time or whenever). Have a water station (if possible). Don't leave numbers, ribbons, or anything paper related left to the last minute. Do it ahead of time so you won't have to worry about it.

    It is a nice thought to get dinner and lunch comped for the judges (get restaurants in the area to use it as a donation towards their quota of the year--places like Moe's and Noodles&Co are typically glad to comp a meal for up to 15 people at a time most times. But keep in mind they really do have a quota--if they met their quota for the year, corporate typically won't let them donate anymore. Ask Starbucks for donations too--they typically give you free coffee and the whole shibang for free! I have had yet to have had a problem with them)--*especially* if they are doing it for free. You can even ask professional instructors to participate if they have time (if they are your team's coaches, they tend to also have really great critiques).

    Most of all keep it fun. Add fun events that you wouldn't typically have (I remember Baby BAM Jam (or is it just BAM Jam now?) used to do Simon says and hold workshops so that newcomers and Bronze members could improve and it was a very memorable event for me). If anything goes wrong, don't ever make anyone who isn't helping with organizing aware of it. It makes people uncomfortable and it helps with developing yourself as a professional if you can fix problems without stress.

    -EDIT: I actually still have my old checklist from our second or third year doing it, if you're interested.
    latingal and 5678dance like this.
  12. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

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  13. XtremeNuisance

    XtremeNuisance New Member

  14. Ailuene

    Ailuene Active Member

    Hey I play the viola. :D

    Back to the topic at hand - if you're wanting to do digital on laptops we've used Compmngr and found it to be pretty good provided the person that inputs entries and the scrutineer know how to handle the program WELL. Also I think it's free.

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