To get back to the original problem, which I admit I stopped following when the debate on dancesportinfo.net and other sites became no more than an exchange of namecalling, often in very bad English (mostly bad grammar, but some profanity as well). Am I correct in understanding that amateurs from Italy and Russia are now banned from participating in Blackpool, per orders of their respective amateur organizations? Since this fight between the organizations has been going on for a long time, with little hope of being resolved in the next couple of months, what kind of Blackpool can we expect? The pros will be there, unaffected. But not having amateurs from Russia and Italy will decimate the amateur events. I was planning on going early, as usual, and made my bookings to attend the pre-qualifying events for amateurs. Not so much for the dancing (it's pretty atrocious in those events, very in-your-face, and the objective is to catch the judge's eyes in a huge field, just to make the next cut). But still, the costumes alone, and the vibe in the ballroom, are worth the price of admission. Without the Russians and the Italians, the amateur events will consist primarily of the east Asians (Japan and China), and the East Europeans. Hmmmm. That's a terrible disappointment. Then of course, in the comp proper and at the higher level, it would make for some serious couples not attending. I'm trying to stay cool and keep repeating "it's just a hobby for me", but still, darn it. A PLAGUE ON BOTH YOUR HOUSES.