Adjudicator’s Code of Conduct

This is the Appendix 1 to the Same-Sex Dancing Competition Rules

1. Introduction

1.a This Code of Conduct is intended to provide a framework of standards, conduct and ethics for adjudicators of same sex dance competitions. It should be seen as an aid to the new adjudicator and a reminder to the experienced one.

1.b Same sex competitions originated with the Gay and Lesbian community wishing to express themselves through competitive Ballroom and Latin dancing. Over the years it has developed and embraced the term Same sex to indicate inclusion of all dancers, regardless of their sexuality.

1.c More recently, with the development of same-sex dancesport competitions, the emphasis has been placed on the quality of performance and a more flexible interpretation of aesthetics as befits a sport in the twenty-first century.

1.d The rules and standards set out in this Code are intended to assist adjudicators to conduct themselves in accordance with the appropriate standards. This shall enable them to gain the confidence of their peers, as well as the confidence of the competitors they are judging, competition organisers, sports administration bodies including EGLSF, FGG and GLISA, the sports media and the general public.

1.e The Code cannot anticipate all possible situations in which adjudicators may be called upon to exercise their judgement. It is the responsibility of each adjudicator to consider the intent and purpose of the Code and not just its literal interpretation.

1.f The adjudicator should conduct himself/herself in an ethical and professional manner, to ensure all competitors are judged on their merits free from any bias or coercion.

1.g It is the adjudicators’ responsibility to familiarise themselves with the Code and any documents available from the ESSDA website regarding the evaluation and aesthetics of same sex competitions.

1.h The Code applies to all adjudicators officiating at competitions under the SSDCR.

1.i The Code may be amended from time to time by the board of ESSDA.

2. Conflict of Interest

An adjudicator must adhere to the rules set out in this Code, and shall withdraw from the panel where any potential Conflict of Interest arises.

3. Rules for Adjudicators

3.a An adjudicator shall not judge any event, and shall withdraw from the panel, where any person competing in that competition is a member of his/her immediate and extended family, including de facto relationships, or where s/he has a personal relationship to any competitor in the competition which makes it inappropriate for him/her to serve as an adjudicator.

3.a.i For greater clarity, the words “immediate and extended family” include anyone to whom that judge is related by blood or marriage, to the degree of first cousin or closer, or by an adoption order, or with whom the judge lives or cohabits.

3.b An adjudicator shall not judge in any event and shall withdraw from the panel, if s/he knows or believes that his/her physical or mental condition does not allow him/her to perform the job properly.

3.c Adjudicators must not allow their decisions to be influenced by the acceptance of gifts in any form.

3.d An adjudicator shall not make any false representation in respect of his/her accreditation level or experience and in relation to his/her adjudicator’s licence.

3.e An adjudicator will act only as an adjudicator throughout the day/days of the whole event and in no other capacity.

3.f An adjudicator shall not coach, teach, or give any advice in person or by any other means to any participating couple during the whole event at which he/she
is judging, whether Ballroom or Latin.

3.g An adjudicator shall not threaten to mark a couple in a particular way, nor intimidate them in any manner.

3.h An adjudicator shall refrain from expressing any bias in respect of any couple he/she may judge in any competition.

3.i An adjudicator shall not seek by any means to improperly influence, or to intimidate, another adjudicator.

3.j An adjudicator who is not a member of the judging panel for an event, shall not discuss with any adjudicator who is a member of the judging panel for that event the merits of the performance of a competitor in that event or any previous performances or results, before the completion of the event.

3.k An adjudicator shall not discuss a competitor’s performance with the competitor before the end of the event in which s/he is judging.

3.l An adjudicator shall not seek to influence the outcome of a competition other than by marking all couples in the competition on their merits.

3.m An adjudicator when appointed to judge an event held under ESSDA’s SSDCR shall judge strictly in accordance with ESSDA’s SSDC rules and policies on judging.

3.n If an adjudicator converses with fellow adjudicators, spectators, competitors or coaches during an event, s/he may not discuss the performance of any couple
s/he is judging or any of their previous performances or results, until after the end of the event.

4. General Behaviour of Adjudicators

Adjudicators shall comply with the following rules of conduct so as to uphold the highest
standards of behaviour:

4.a An adjudicator’s behaviour both on and off the dance floor must be consistent with the principles of good sportsmanship. An adjudicator must not behave in a questionable or unseemly manner in public or at any Dance Sport related function or occasion where members of the public (including competitors, spectators and the media) are present in any capacity.

4.b An adjudicator must be consistent, objective and neutral in his/her decisions. Biased judging undermines the whole basis of competition.

4.c An adjudicator must not publicly question his/her fellow adjudicators’ judgement, honesty or good faith.

4.d Where an adjudicator is permitted by the Code to judge the couples s/he coaches or has coached in the past, the adjudicator should not allow this relationship to influence his/her judgement.

4.e An adjudicator must maintain and develop his/her judging skills by keeping himself/herself informed on developments in technique and style, and any changes in ESSDA’s SSDC rules and policies on judging.

4.f Where judging responsibilities have been assigned to an adjudicator for a competition, regardless of the status of that competition, the adjudicator shall not
consume any alcoholic beverage or recreational drugs before and during any period of the event, until the end of the event.

4.g It is a basic requirement of the adjudicator’s licence that any adjudicator engaged to judge at a competition shall:

4.g.i Arrive on time at the venue in reasonable physical and mental condition.

4.g.ii Report his/her presence to the organiser and General Chairperson of Adjudicators.

4.g.iii Ascertain the timetable of the competitions.

4.g.iv Be available to adjudicate as scheduled.

4.h During the conduct of a competition, the adjudicators on the judging panel shall:

4.h.i Stand apart from one another and at such locations that they do not interfere with the competitors.

4.h.ii Move to whatever position is required to see all of the couples.

4.h.iii Judge independently and not compare notes with the other adjudicators.

4.h.iv Mark and sign their score cards in ink, including their code letter, and initial each and every alteration s/he makes to the score card.

4.h.v Not make any attempt to become familiar with names, numbers and nationalities of the participants by using the official programme and with any intermediate results or marks of other fellow adjudicators of the competition before the end of the competition. Follow any instruction given by the General Chairperson.

4.h.vii Be concentrated on judging only and not have any communication with the audience, fellow adjudicators or couples and not do anything that might distract him/her (mobile phone, camera…).

5. Complaints about Adjudicators during a Competition

5.a During a competition the General Chairperson is authorized and under a duty to observe the compliance with the Code by all the adjudicators.

5.b Any complaints regarding the breach of the Code during the competition, should be made to the official Competition Desk who shall report it to the General Chairperson.

5.c If the General Chairperson has reason to believe that there has been a breach of the Code by an adjudicator on the panel of which s/he is General Chairperson,
then s/he is empowered and under a duty to notify such adjudicator of the complaint against him/her, hear him/her in reply, and then take appropriate action immediately according to the provisions of the Code.

5.d The General Chairperson shall have the power to reprimand or replace the adjudicator by an appropriate substitute for the remainder of the competition.

5.e The General Chairperson shall document any incident or observation of alleged or suspected misconduct by an adjudicator, and any reprimand or replacement
of an adjudicator, and include it or them in a competition report to the ESSDA Board who shall decide whether there is any need to initiate a further investigation.

6. Other Complaints about Adjudicators

Any other complaints about an alleged breach of the Code after the results of the competition have been announced must be submitted to the ESSDA Board in writing.

A complaint shall not be considered unless the following lodgement criteria are met:

6.a The complaint is made in writing signed by the complainant and lodged with an

Member of the board of ESSDA within 21 (twenty one) days of the date of the alleged breach together with any supporting documents.

6.b The complaining person or persons shall agree, in writing, to give evidence and to take all steps in their power to require persons with knowledge of the matter of the complaint to be cross-examined on that evidence.

6.c The ESSDA Board shall consider any complaint made under this section. If the lodgement criteria are not met, the ESSDA Board shall write to the complainant advising that this is the case. In all cases the decision of the Board shall be final.

6.d The adjudicator shall be notified in writing or email of the complaint against him/her before such complaint is to be considered by the Board.

6.e The adjudicator has a right to defend his/her case in writing or email.

6.f If the adjudicator fails to supply his comments in reply without reasonable excuse, the complaint shall be heard and dealt with by the Board according to its absolute discretion and its decision shall be final, provided always that it shall give written reasons for its decision.


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