Ballroom Dance > O2cm banned from NDCA events?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by dancelvr, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    I take that back, I was using the information in a letter that was sent out to organizers, that specifically states cmpmgr or premiere. In the actual rule book, regarding provisional and final status of championships, it states "submit the CMPMGR disk or a copy of the program and scrutineering sheets"

    In the rest of the rulebook it simply has a section called "2.RULES FOR EVENTS USING CMPMGR SOFTWARE" . There basically has never been any provision for any other software.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2014
  2. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    I can understand the NDCA wanting to create their own software that gives them more control. Maybe they want to have a central database. I suggested this to them a few years ago, not necessarily to ditch existing software, but to create a way to have a main database of results. It sounds to me like there has been little attempt at "partnership" with a software company like O2CM. If anything, they didn't seem quite aloof to emerging technologies and their need to understand them better. Maybe now they have a plan that will be further revealed going forward.

    I certainly don't know the relationship NDCA has with O2CM and I'm sure there are details we won't hear about on this forum.
  3. TwoRightFeet

    TwoRightFeet Active Member

    What about non-championships? I don't see this rule as requiring non-championships to use CMPMGR.

    I take that to mean that any event using CMPMGR must follow this specific set of rules. If an event does not use CMPMGR, it does not need to follow this specific set of rules. Therefore, O2cm events that do not use CMPMGR would not need to follow this specific set of rules. As the rules are written right now, I don't see that they preclude non-championship organizers from using other software, they just require that IF they use CMPMGR, they must follow the specific CMPMGR rules.

    If the NDCA will not allow O2cm because: "There basically has never been any provision for any other software", then I don't see how the NDCA's own "Premiere" software should be allowed. How can they ban one software package not mentioned in the rules, yet allow another software package not mentioned in the rules?

    It sounds like the NDCA is trying to come up with a new rule: "No NDCA sanctioned event may use any scrutineering software except that which has been approved by the NDCA". In which case, perhaps they should follow their official rule-making process to introduce the new rule, whatever that is, rather than sending out a letter telling organizers not to do something that the NDCA doesn't seem to have had a problem with in the past umpteen number of years.

    Personally, I think they should have a new rule, although it should say something like: "Any scrutineering software used in NDCA sanctioned events must meet the following requirements: ....", and specify specific requirements (electronic signatures, preservation of records, submission of results to the NDCA, etc., etc.) Implement the new rule by following a legitimate rule-making process, receiving input from their member organizations, competition organizers and software vendors, and allowing sufficient time for O2cm to bring their software in compliance with their stated requirements. I think that approach would be much more in line with the NDCA's stated purpose, which is to: "provide, on a nation-wide basis, a united inter-association agency to represent the interests of those in the dance profession and other dance-related entities and organizations". Otherwise, they'll be seen as merely representing their own interests and agendas.
    Lioness, dancelvr, ChaChaMama and 3 others like this.
  4. GJB

    GJB Well-Known Member

    If the Ballroom Department must be able to access information from electronic files, then the file format must be specified in order for O2CM or other software vendors to meet this requirement. I would not expect the format to be specified by dance professionals. I would expect the rule book to make reference to documentation most likely provided by the maintainer of compmngr - if that is the software that must be able to read the files.
  5. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    Funny, to me it sounds more like the old news arm of the Politbureau, where everything coming out of the US is spun in the most negative light (ie, "President Reagan Takes Dog For Walk" becomes "American Dictator Drags Dog On Chain".) NDCA is dumping a software that I've seen on here described repeatedly as not being a very good system FOR PRO-AM, which accounts for the biggest number of entries at almost all NDCA events. Larinda mentions a couple other reasons (lack of signatures and paper trails.) Why keep using a system that's awkward at best for their biggest source of entries and causes a paper-trail problem just because some people who do USADance events like for that?
    TwoRightFeet likes this.
  6. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    Of course, working with the software developer to make it better is NEVER an option….
    dancelvr and dlliba10 like this.
  7. JudeMorrigan

    JudeMorrigan Well-Known Member

    As far as the paper trails, my am instructor could look up his score sheets from competitions in 2008 on o2cm if he wanted to. I am skeptical that any paper trail issues that may exist are insurmountable. To be honest, I'm actually skeptical that they're anything more than procedural.

    Which is not to say that I have any particular issue with the idea of the NDCA developing their own software package that better meets their own needs. I'd hope that it would come with most of the features that I, as a competitor, have grown accustomed to with o2cm. But that may be a case of foolish optimism on my own part.
  8. dlliba10

    dlliba10 Well-Known Member

    I don't presume to know what conversations, if any, have been going on behind the scenes between Mark and the NDCA powers that be, but the cited reasons for discontinued use of o2cm seem to have relatively easy fixes that could have been attempted or ones that allow for some sort of compromise in the middle before a blanket prohibition on o2cm's use.
  9. ACtenDance

    ACtenDance Active Member

    To be fair, NDCA's ruling isn't all that dissimilar to USA Dance's rule,
    I haven't seen anything official about banning O2CM. Similar to the USA Dance rule, use of other software may in effect be banned, but the reasoning can be completely legit. For the case of USA Dance, using O2CM makes sense so that proficiency points can be tracked and all results can be stored in one database.
  10. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    I guess that ruling is also suspended since 'proficiency points' are no longer being complied….
  11. Loki

    Loki Well-Known Member

    Dear Heavenly Leader approves of compmngr?
  12. Akita

    Akita Well-Known Member

    Remember a few years ago when NDCA announced ambitious plans to launch an amateur division with separate regional comps culminating in a Nationals event to pick U.S. reps for Paris? It never materialized. I'm wondering if "Premiere" will be the same ... :confused:

    Vaporware to discourage NDCA comps from using O2CM?
  13. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    Why bother if there are other options available? Apparently ams like this one, the rest of us don't care (and it doesn't work well with what we do.)
  14. jiwinco

    jiwinco Active Member

    Still haven't heard what changed that this is just now an issue. Why was this NOT a problem last year or before? I work in IT and things are built to solve a business problem... unless it is only a money thing...
    Bailamosdance likes this.
  15. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    This. It amazes me how many people think software materializes out of nowhere, or that anyone's 13-year-old nephew can write a professional software package. Where are the requirements, the interface specifications, the use cases, the data schemas? Do they want well-designed software or is being cheap the only criteria?
    Sania, Loki, GJB and 1 other person like this.
  16. JudeMorrigan

    JudeMorrigan Well-Known Member

    In fairness, I suspect there are plenty of pro-ams who would quite like some of the features of o2cm if they were ever exposed to them. I mean, maybe you still wouldn't care, but don't things like:

    - An easily accessible record of all of your scoresheets from forever
    - An easily accessible record of *everyone's* scoresheets from forever
    - Entry lists that update in real time as people register, so you can see who else is registering a competition ahead of time and what events they're registering for (I can see how some pro-am competition organizers might not be entirely thrilled with the idea of the last two)
    - Live updates of heat times and recalls on your cell phone, with scoresheets that can posted within minutes of the awards ceremony at particularly on-the-ball comps. These are awesome not just for the competitors, but for people who can't make a particular comp to follow along with their friends.

    sound like things that a lot of dancers might reasonably like? I know I'm sounding like an infomercial here. I'm not actually wed to o2cm. But for the pro-am students who have never done a competition that uses o2cm, these are the sorts of things that I'm hoping that whatever the NDCA winds up using in the long run will have.
  17. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    For high-stakes events, I'm less skeptical.
    Larinda McRaven likes this.
  18. JudeMorrigan

    JudeMorrigan Well-Known Member

    How do you mean?
  19. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    Can you imagine a pro world finalist crying foul over marks... and a judge saying "hey those weren't really the buttons I pushed!"

    At least on paper I recognize my own handwriting... my own initials and numbers.
  20. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    Basically, you can physically watch pieces of paper. You can watch them being transported and otherwise handled. You can keep them in plain view of many people who are unlikely to collude while their contents are tallied into a result. You can double-check the tally without fear that the contents have changed. You can lock them up and feel certain that they will hold the same information when unlocked and re-inspected. Furthermore, paper is cheap, insusceptible to power/battery problems or network glitches, and everyone understands exactly how it works.

    Electronic records have none of those properties.

    For e.g. amateur college comps, electronic records sure are convenient, and there's not very much incentive for anyone to muck with them. Even at fairly high levels of accomplishment, participants mostly have lives and careers apart from competition and regard their dancing as recreation.

    For competitions that purport to identify the best professional ballroom dancers in the world, I expect that the calculus of economics and prestige is much different. If a relatively cheap electronic intervention could undetectably influence the outcome (and especially if it could do so in such a way as to make the alteration part of the official historical record), I imagine that somebody would attempt it sooner or later.

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