Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by Laura, Mar 16, 2005.
I'll report back after chatting with them next weekend.
I seem to remember that in chess tournaments, they didn't used to worry about the individual opponents, but instead changed your rating based on your record in the tournament and the overall average ranking of the participants. I think that could be pretty easily generalized to dance competitions.
Whether it's a good idea is another issue entirely.
A chess-style rating system for dancesport does actually exist, and it works suprisingly well, considering the differences between the kinds of competitions it was created for (1-1 like in chess) versus what it is used for here. There are some quirks, and it obviously doesn't work well for couples who only have a few results in the database, or for competitions circles that have little overlap with each other, but all in all, it's a useful start.
It's been implemented by a guy calle Sbyszek on http://www.dancesportinfo.net/
(look under the "rating" tab)
For example, it gives the world top 5 pro ballroom couples as:
2092 Timothy Howson & Joanne Bolton England
2068 Jonathan Wilkins & Katusha Demidova USA
2065 Mirko Gozzoli & Alessia Betti Italy
2052 William Pino & Alessandra Bucciarelli Italy
2036 Alan Shingler & Donna Shingler England
(Chris & Justyna only have 1 event in their database so do not feature yet)
To me this seems fairly reasonable, tim & jo are currently clear winners at most events, alan & donna are usually at the end of the final, and it's a toss-up between the other three...
What Chris said.
I think that if one partner has ZERO experience, you have to go by their level.
In fact, it's safe to say that the partnership should start at the lower partner's level.
I think in practice it's fairer to others to start somewhere not unreasonably far from the more experience partner's level (and especially so if that is the leader). Yes, it may be a challenge initially, but at least someone in the partnership knows how tihngs are supposed to work, how to set up good lessons, etc. Often just getting a few aspects of dancing really right is fairly quickly enough to make some cuts or even the final.
So for example, under the present system you might dance the more experienced partner's minimum legal level - which might in some cases be one or two below what they had been dancing with a previous partner. Or you might study mostly what is appropriate for the less experienced partner, but compete it in the events appropriate for the more experienced partner.
I'd also point out that allowing people to dance down with a new partner encourages another form of sandbagging. "Oh, I've placed out of bronze with this partner, I guess I'll get a new one so I can continue to win it."
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