Same-Sex Dancing Competition Rules
ESSDA Handbook for new competitors
ESSDA Same-Sex Dancesport Competition Rules
latest Version 10/04/2016 (SSDCR) and 29/08/2020 (ESDFCR) consist of:
Same-Sex Dancesport Competition Rules (SSDCR)
ESSDA Show Dance & Formation Competition Rules 29.08.20
Appendix 1: Adjudicator’s Code of Conduct
IFSSDA Same-Sex Dancesport Competition Rules
IFSSDA Competition Rules, 5th Draft (Aproved Draft by NASSPDA+IAGLCWDC+ESSDA) 200706
ESSDA Same-Sex Dancesport Competition Rules (SSDCR)
At 20.10.2014 (please find the updated PDF Version At 08.10.2017 here). The online Version will be updated as soon as possible.
With the growth of Same-Sex competition dancing in preparation for the 1998 Gay Games in Amsterdam and the explosion of interest in same-sex dancing thereafter,
there was a need for one set of rules to assist the organisation and running of Same-Sex dance competitions across Europe.
A.2 WDSF and WDC Rules
Although the WDSF and WDC rules are acknowledged, ESSDA is aware that Same-Sex dancing competitions have requirements that are different and are not covered by
the existing rules of WDSF and WDC.
A.3 Differences between WDSF / WDC Rules and ESSDA Rules
In a nutshell, the ESSDA rules differ from the WDSF/WDC rules in that the ESSDA
a. Allow for greater flexibility regarding principles of participation;
b. Take into account that couples do not always dance in the same class at different competitions;
c. Provide an elaborate classification system;
d. State that the roles of ‘Leader’ and ‘Follower’ are interchangeable and are not gender-specific;
e. Different age groups apply;
f. Do not have restrictions in choreography for lower classes.
g. Provide for fewer clothing regulations.
h. Do not distinguish between amateurs and professionals.
ESSDA’s Same-Sex Dancesport Competition Rules (SSDCR) shall apply to Same-Sex dance competitions across Europe, including the EuroGames.
1.2 Couple composition
Same-sex dance competitions are competitions where the couples are formed by two individuals of the same gender. See Rule 2.5 for a definition of gender.
1.3 Mixed-gender competition within Same-Sex event
Where a mixed-gender competition is organised as part of a larger Same-Sex Tournament, ESSDA’SSDCR will apply. For example: Leaders and Followers might exchange roles regardless of their gender.
1.4 Situations not contemplated in these Rules
If a situation arises during a competition that is not covered by these rules, an appeal shall be made to the General Chairperson. His/her decision is final.
2.1 Responsibility for registration at competitions
2.1.a Couples are responsible for registering to competitions and paying any applicable fees.
2.1.b Competition organisers should clearly indicate any requirements for registration to a competition as well as the date, fees and other useful information to
competitors and clearly include these in all competition publicity.
2.1.c The Competition organiser/s may allow dancers to enter additional competition categories at their discretion.
2.1.d The competition organisers may allow change of partner/s after the date of registration.
2.2 Compliance with the Law
Organisers should be aware and comply with any legal requirements in force in the State where the event is carried out. First Aid facilities should be available at all times.
2.3 Anti Doping
2.3.a Doping is strictly forbidden. Doping covers the use by, or distribution to, a dancer, adjudicator or member of the management team, of substances or methods in
contravention of the WADA code (www.wada-ama.org).
2.3.b Doping shall lead to automatic disqualification – see rule 2.12 c
2.4 Commercial activities and advertising
Commercial activities in or around the dance competition venue shall be prohibited without prior approval of the Competition organiser. This includes the sale of any articles or distribution of brochures and advertising materials.
2.5.a Same-sex dance couples shall consist of:
(i) two female partners or
(ii) two male partners.
2.5.b Where issues arise in regards to ascertaining the gender of a person, EGLSF rules regarding gender definition shall apply.
2.6.a Organisers may offer competitions to all levels from social dancers up to professional dancers.
2.6.b The Competition Organiser may limit the number of couples participating due to capacity reasons.
2.6.c Dancers in the Senior category (see Rule 3.3) may dance in the Adult competition as well as in the Senior competitions.
2.6.d Adult competitions and Senior competitions may be danced with different partners.
In any given competition category, all dances shall be danced with the same partner. Different competition categories may be danced with different partners.
Each competing couple may decide which partner shall dance ‘Leader’ and/or ‘Follower’. Roles may be exchanged at any time in the same dance or across the dances required in a given competition.
2.9 Sexual Orientation
Under the ESSDA’SSDCR, competitions may specifically focus on the LGBT community. Competitors shall be treated equally regardless of their sexual orientation.
2.10 Nationality and country of residence
Couples of mixed nationality may compete together.
2.11 Requirement to dance at different rounds
2.11.a General Look and Classification: All competitors are required to dance all rounds. Couples who fail to dance in the General Look and/or the Classification rounds shall not receive the lowest possible mark (1) or zero but be automatically disqualified.
2.11.b Competition Rounds: in the event that a couple misses one or more dances at the competition round, the couple shall receive no marks in any of the dances missed.
2.11.c Final Round: in the event that a couple misses one or more dances at the final, they shall be placed last in any dances missed.
A dancer or couple may be disqualified from a competition for any of the following:
2.12.a Performing prohibited lifts – see rule 6.3c
2.12.b Wearing inappropriate clothing – see rule 7.4
2.12.c Consuming or being under the influence of drugs or applying methods that are forbidden in the WADA code (see rule 2.3).
2.12.d Failure to dance in the General Look or either Classification Rounds (see rule 2.11.a)
2.12.e Indecent behaviour
2.12.f Unsports(wo)man conduct
2.12.g Refusing to dance in the allocated class.
3.1 How categories are defined
Competition Categories shall be defined by:
(i) The couple’s gender,
(ii) The dance style,
(iii) The age group, and
(iv) The couple’s ability.
Example: Women’s Standard Senior A
3.2 Styles and Dances
There are two dance styles. Each of them contains five dances which are danced in the following order:
3.2.a Standard, also called Modern Ballroom or Ballroom.
• Waltz, also called English Waltz or Slow Waltz, (EW)
• Tango (TG)
• Viennese Waltz (VW)
• Slow Foxtrot, also called Slowfox or Foxtrot (SF)
• Quickstep (QU)
3.2.b Latin American, also called Latin.
• Cha-cha-cha (CC)
• Samba (SB)
• Rumba (RB)
• Paso Doble (PD)
• Jive (JV)
3.2.c Other styles, such as: Showdance, New Vogue, Sequence, Tango Argentino, Country & Western, Salsa and Line Dancing, etc. are not covered by these rules.
3.3 Distinction by gender
3.3.a In principle, female couples shall compete against other female couples and male couples shall compete against other male couples.
3.3.b When the Competition Organizer wishes to combine female couples and male couples in a given competition, this should be clearly communicated to all couples as soon as the Competition organisers are aware of this.
3.4 Distinction by age
3.4.a All competitors in same-sex dance competitions must be 16 years of age and above.
3.4.b Senior competitions: the following criteria shall be met by couples wishing to compete in the senior competitions:
3.4.b.i both partners’ combined age shall be of at least 90, on the day of the competition, and
3.4.b.ii the younger partner shall be at least 40 years old on the day of the competition.
3.4.c For the purpose of ascertaining the age of the couple as required in rule 3.4.b, the age of both partners shall be added. Only years since birth will be considered, any other units of time such as months, weeks and days shall not be considered in the sum of the partners’ age.
3.4.d Where Competition organisers wish to introduce age categories other than Adults and Seniors all publicity material should state all age categories clearly.
3.5 Distinction by dance ability
3.5.a In order to ensure that competitions are fair, couples will compete against other couples of similar ability.
3.5.b A group of couples of a similar dancing ability shall constitute a “class”.
3.5.c In any competition under the ESSDA rules, there shall be a maximum of five different classes (see Rule 4.1)
3.5.d Competitions shall hold up to five classes but there shall be no minimum number of classes in a given competition.
3.5.e The number of classes in a given competition shall be determined by the results of the classification rounds (see Rules 4 & 5).
4.1 Classes explained
There shall be a maximum of five classes or levels in competitions under these Rules. The classes shall be as follows:
Class “A” – couples who have considerable experience dancing at an advanced level; (Championship level)
Class “B” – couples with experience dancing at a high level; (Pre-Championship level)
Class “C” – couples dancing at an intermediate level;
Class “D” – couples who are just beginning to dance in competitions;
Starter Class – starter/beginner couples – couples who are new to dancing and who have no competition experience in either same-sex or mixed gender dancing competitions.
4.2 Allocation of couples to classes
The allocation of competitors into the different classes shall be made according to the rules of classification (see Rule 9.2b and Rule 9.2c).
5.1.a At the time of registering for a competition, each couple shall state their preference for a competition class (from A to D or Starter) on the registration form for each of the two dance styles.
5.1.b Couples that are not experienced in same-sex dance competitions shall indicate roughly the dance class in which they are expected to dance (please refer to Rule 4 for guidance).
5.1.c Couples that are experienced in same-sex dance competitions are expected to register themselves consistently and fairly, based on their own personal experience and past results.
5.2 Use of self-classification
Self-classification information provided by couples competing is used in order to:
A. enable the organizers to make up a rough timetable after the registration stage;
B. mix the couples in the heats of the first classification round (see rule 9.2.a.i);
C. get an additional criterion for the classification if the main rules for classification are not effective.
Couples’ self-classification information is confidential to the Competition Organiser. It shall not be published before, during or after the competition.
6.1 Dances per round and class
6.1.a The number of compulsory dances shall depend on the class. Generally, the higher the competition class, the higher the number of compulsory dances.
Please refer to the table below:
Round/Class Standard Latin
General Look: One dance: EW or TG or QU One dance: CC or RB or JV
Classification I: Three dances: EW, TG, QU Three dances: CC, RB, JV
Classification II : (Optional) Two dances : EW or TG or QU Two dances : CC or RB or JV
Starter class competition: EW, QU CC, JV
D class competition: EW, TG, QU CC, RB, JV
C class competition: EW, TG, QU CC, RB, JV
B class competition: EW, TG, SF, QU CC, SB, RB,JV
A class competition: EW, TG, VW, SF,QU CC, SB, RB, PD, JV
6.1.b The Competition Organiser and the adjudicators may choose to place a couple in a class higher than the class the couple stated at the time of registration. This may result in a couple having to dance one or two extra dances.
6.1.c A couple, having stated at the time of registration their preference for a class, and eventually being placed at a higher class requiring the couple to dance one
or two extra dances, shall not be permitted to dance in the lower class by reasons of not knowing the dance or not having a routine.
6.1.d If a couple in a position described in rule 6.1.c chooses not to dance one or two dances in the class to which they have been allocated, they shall be marked with the lowest possible score for that particular dance.
6.2 Tempi and durations per round
6.2.a During all preliminary rounds as well as the final, the tempi and duration of the music shall be as follows:
Dance Tempi (bars/min.) Duration (minutes)
Slow Waltz 28-30 1.5 – 2.0
Tango 31-33 1.5 – 2.0
Viennese Waltz 58-60 1.0 – 2.0
Slow Foxtrot 28-30 1.5 – 2.0
Quickstep 50-52 1.5 – 2.0
Cha-Cha-Cha 30-32 1.5 – 2.0
Samba 50-52 1.5 – 2.0
Rumba 25-27 1.5 – 2.0
Paso Doble 60-62 2–3 Highlight
Jive 42-44 1.0 – 2.0
6.2.b During the first classification round the duration of the music should be longer as every couple needs to be classified.
6.2.c The dances of the General Look and the Second classification round shall be played for approximately one minute. (See Appendix 2 for further information).
6.2.d The regulations regarding tempi and duration of the music shall apply both to adult and senior competitions.
6.3 Prescribed Figures
6.3.a Couples shall dance in the International style only. Other dance styles such as free-style dancing, American style dancing and Show dancing are not permitted.
6.3.b Figures which might endanger other couples shall not be permitted.
6.3.c Lifts shall not be permitted in either dance style.
6.3.d For the purposes of rule 6.3.c a lift is defined as any movement during which one of the dancers has both feet off the floor at the same time with the assistance or support of their partner.
6.3.e The General Chairperson may disqualify any dancers performing a lift.
6.3.f In the Standard (Ballroom) dance style, dancers shall only dance in closed hold unless they are changing roles from Leader to Follower and vice versa.
6.3.g There shall be no figure restrictions for the lower classes (C, D and Starter).
6.3.h All figures are allowed in any class and in any round.
7.1 Minimum standards
Competitors shall wear clothes in accordance with accepted standards of decency and etiquette.
7.2 Competition dress at award ceremonies
Couples shall wear their competition outfits at the presentation of prizes.
7.3 Competition dress for couples in Starter Class
Couples competing in Starter Class are advised to dress according to the spirit of the event e.g. no tail suits.
7.4 Request that couple change clothes
7.4.a If clothing is deemed inappropriate, the General Chairperson may instruct any couple to change clothes.
7.4.b If a couple refuses to change clothes as requested, as per rule 7.4.a, the General Chairperson may disqualify the couple.
7.5 Advertising material on competition dress
7.5.a Competitors shall be allowed to display a maximum of three sponsors’ logos on their competition dress which may take up a maximum of 40 sq mm per logo.
7.5.b Organizers may display advertising material on competition numbers but not in excess of 20% of the surface of the number card.
8.1.a Appointment of competition officials
All officials shall be appointed by the Competition Organiser.
8.1.b Announcement of Officials
The names of the officials involved in a competition shall be announced at the beginning of the competition and published in the program.
8.1.c Competition Management
The competition management team shall be responsible for all procedures of the competition. The schedule of responsibilities among the members must be stated clearly and should be published.
The Competition Management shall perform the following duties:
8.1.c.A organise the orderly formation of the adjudicators, check of their licenses,
8.1.c.B organise the time schedules, including updates,
8.1.c.C. organise the heats,
8.1.c.D. organise the number of rounds and the number of couples qualified for each class/ round,
8.1.c.E recording the marks and marking sheets,
8.1.c.F. ensure their compliance with the ESSDA rules and regulations
8.1.c.G make decisions on matters not covered by these Rules and on all other matters or situations that may arise
8.1.c.H have the authority to exclude dance couples from a competition category or from the entire contest on the grounds of a dancer or couple’s:
8.1.c.H.1. Indecent behaviour,
8.1.c.H.2. Unsports (wo)manlike conduct,
8.1.c.H.3. Performance of prohibited lifts, (see Rule 6.3.e and Rule 8.3.c)
8.1.c.H.4. Refusing to dance at the allocated class,
8.1.c.H.5. Failure to dance the Classification
8.1.c.H.6. Health/medical reasons and
8.1.c.H.7. Drug abuse
8.1.c.I. make all relevant announcements in the competition such as introducing the adjudicators, announcing the dances, announcing the competitor numbers to go onto the floor and any other public announcements. In competitions where there are foreign competitors all announcements shall be made in English as well as the language/s of the country where the competition is held.
8.1.d General Chairperson/Chair of Adjudicators
8.1.d.A The General Chairperson’s role is to guarantee that the tournament unfolds in compliance with the ESSDA rules and guidelines.
8.1.d.B He/she is available to support the scrutineer and has the authority to make decisions on matters not covered by these Rules and on any other matters or situations arising in the course of the competition.
8.1.d.C The decisions of the General Chairperson (if necessary after consultations) shall be final.
8.1.d.D The General Chairperson shall have the authority to exclude dance couples from a competition category or from the entire contest (see rule 8.1.c.H).
8.2 Competition Desk:
There shall be a competition desk operating at all times. The competition desk shall undertake the following functions:
8.2.a. It shall serve as the initial registration point for each couple on arrival.
8.2.b. It shall provide the couples their participants’ competition numbers and their registration package.
8.2.c. For the purposes of rule 8.2.b a registration package shall consist of:
(ii) Lists of all competing couples per competition category
(iii) The following information on the competing couples:
A. The couples’ respective competition numbers,
B. The first name of the partners in the couples
C. The family name of the partners in the couples
D. The couples’ gender
E. The couples’ town and country of residence and
F. Where applicable the name of the couples’ dance clubs.
8.2.d. It shall serve as a first point of contact between the participants and the competition management for passing on last minute changes or cancellations.
8.2.e It shall serve as a first point of contact between participants and the competition management for information and complaints regarding the current competition.
8.2.f. It shall serve as an information point for answering any questions and distribute information.
8.2.g. It shall hold the certificates for collection by the non-finalists (where applicable).
8.3.a Quantity and panel composition
8.3.a.i Table on panel composition:
i) Minimum number of adjudicators
9 which shall be allocated to several panels.
3 or any higher odd number
ii) Minimum number of adjudicators in a panel.
7 for any competition category and class. The competitions of the A class may be held with 9 adjudicators.
iii) Nationality requirement in relation to the composition of a panel
At least 4 out of 7 adjudicators (or
6 out of 9) in a panel shall have
their habitual residence in a
country other than the country
hosting the competition.
No more than two adjudicators in
a given panel shall come from the
same country except in the case
of the host country where 3 may
have their habitual residence in
the country hosting the
At least 1 of 3, 2 of 5, 2 of 7 or 3 of 9 adjudicators in international competitions shall have their habitual residence in a country other than the country hosting the competition.
Organisers of more local competitions should make clear in any publicity that although international competitors may enter, the panel will not reflect this.
iv) Gender balance in panel.
When appointing the panel of adjudicators, the Competition Organisers shall make reasonable attempts at striking at gender balance in the panel composition.
When appointing the panel of adjudicators, Competition Organisers shall make reasonable attempts at striking gender balance in the panel composition
8.3.a.ii It is preferable that the same panel shall be responsible for a complete
competition category from the Classification rounds to the Finals of all classes or
at least for one complete competition (first round to the final or one class).
8.3.b Adjudicators’ qualifications
All adjudicators engaged in judging same-sex competitions shall meet at least one of the two criteria below:
1. Hold a current licence from a recognised dance sport association; and/or
2. Be an active or former international tournament dancer in mixed competitions at top level and/or former tournament dancer in same-sex competitions at top level; in addition, she/he shall have commenced the process of obtaining their recognised judging licence at the time of the competition.
i) The judging by the adjudicators shall be based on international standards and the additional guidance provided in the Code of Conduct (See Appendix 1).
ii) The adjudicators shall comply with any instructions given by the Competition Management.
iii) Lifts — adjudicators observing any dancers performing lifts shall mark ‘D’ next to the competitors’ number and inform the General Chairperson.
iv) The General Chairperson shall inform the couple of the marking for the purposes of rule 8.3.c.iii in any rounds before the final.
v) If the infringement of rule 6.3.c is repeated by the same couple in a subsequent round which is not a final, and is reported by the majority of adjudicators, the couple shall be disqualified.
vi) In a final, if a lift is reported by a majority of the adjudicators, whether or not previous infringement has been reported in relation to the couple concerned, that couple shall be placed last in that dance by the General Chairperson.
vii) All ‘D’ marks and disqualifications must be noted on the Scrutineering sheet and results.
viii) The General Chairperson’s decision shall be final.
8.3.d Actions inconsistent with the role of adjudicator
i) Adjudicators shall not compete at same-sex competitions.
ii) Adjudicators may apply to ESSDA for re-instatement as a competitor.
iii) The process described in rule 8.3.d.ii may be undertaken only once.
iv) Adjudicators shall not judge in competitions where their life partner or close family relatives are participants (see Appendix 1 rule 3(a)).
9.1 Before the competition
9.1.a The Competition Organiser shall, as far as possible, provide practice times within the timetable for each competition category. A short additional warm-up is recommended for classes B and A in the dances which are not performed neither in the Classification rounds nor in classes D or C.
9.1.b Each couple shall report to the competition desk at least 20 minutes before the published start time of their competition category in order to confirm registration and to receive their competition number.
9.1.c The Competition Management shall draw up the heats for the General Look and the Classification Round which shall be displayed either after all couples registered in the competition category have arrived or 20 minutes before the published start time
9.2 Order of Events
9.2.aThe competition shallunfold in stages and the rounds shall be heldin thefollowing order:
ii.First classification round
iii.Second classification round (optional)
iv.First Round (optional)
v.Following Rounds (optional)
vi.Semi Final (optional)
9.2.b The number of Rounds (including Semi Final)is dependent on thenumber of couples in a Class.
9.2.c Starter Class: it is recommended that couples in this class have a warm up round as they do not dance GeneralLook or Classification round asabove.They join
the competition fromiv to vias above.
9.2.dAll Rounds, with the exception of the final, may be danced in more than one heat.
9.2.eThe Competition Management may run a Round of one Competition Categoryinbetween Rounds ofa different competition category.
9.2.fThe Competition Management shallnot run aheat ofone CompetitionCategoryin between heats of a different competition category. NB: alternating finalsof the
same dance level are notheats.
9.2.g The competitors’ duty to dance is covered in rule 2.11
9.3 The General Look
Before the classification rounds begin, it is recommended to start with a General Look.
In this round the panel of adjudicators does not judge, but has the opportunity to form an overall impression.
9.3.a. Heats: Couples who have registered for the D class must not be placed in the same heat(s) with couples who have registered in the A class. This will generate two types of heats (D-C-B and C-B-A) in most cases. The order of heats is not mandatory.
9.3.b There will be a separate Heat for the Starter Class
9.3.c Announcement of heats: there shall be no announcement, before or during the round, that shall identify a heat as a D-C-B heat or a C-B-A heat.
9.3.d Sequence of heats: there shall be separate heats for each dance. The first heat of the first classification round shall not start until the General Look has concluded. The second dance heat shall only begin after all couples have danced their first dance.
9.4 First Classification Round
9.4.a Purpose: in same-sex dancesport competitions, the class in which couples compete is not fixed; therefore, it is necessary to hold one or two classification rounds before the competitions begin. The purpose of the classification rounds, also called “separation rounds”, is to separate all couples of the same average
ability into the same class. Starter couples do not participate in the Classification.
9.4.b The aim of the classification shall not be to obtain an equal number of couples per class.
9.4.c Classification may result in some classes having no couples.
9.4.d For Heats in this stage see rule 9.2.a.i
9.4.e Judging: the couples shall be graded by the adjudicators independently from self-assessment (Rule 6) or former results.
9.4.f The adjudicators will mark every couple in every dance to the class relevant to their performance. The marks given shall be:
1 point if the adjudicator is of the view that the couple should dance in A Class,
3 points if the adjudicator is of the view that the couple should dance in B Class,
5 points if the adjudicator is of the view that the couple should dance in C Class,
7 points if the adjudicator is of the view that the couple should dance in D Class.
9.4.g Calculation: The points of the individual couples shall be added up for each dance. The provisional classes for the second classification round shall follow from the scores obtained in the first classification. Please see Appendix 2 for further information.
9.4.h Grading: couples shall be graded separately for each competition category.
9.5 Second Classification Round
9.5.a Purpose: The aim of the Second Classification round is to review the results of the first classification round.
9.5.b Heats: the couples shall be classified into heats which represent levels A-D. The number of heats in the second classification round shall depend on the number
of couples per provisional class.
9.5.c Judging: The adjudicators at this stage shall watch the couples in the provisional class and shall indicate whether any couple/s should be allocated to the class
immediately above or immediately below the class where the couple has been provisionally allocated. If the adjudicators are satisfied that no couple should be moved up or down; they shall not write down anything on their cards for this round.
9.5.d Calculation: a couple shall be moved up or down a class only if the majority of the adjudicators have indicated such change in the couple’s class.
Example: 2 dances 5 adjudicators
Marks for Couple XX
Waltz: 4 up 1 no mark
Quickstep: 2 up 3 no mark
Result: Couple XX is moved up because the majority over all dances is 6 out of ten for moving up. In classification the results shall be determined over all dances not in individual dances.
9.6 First Round to Semi Final
9.6.a The competition shall begin at the conclusion of the classification rounds.
9.6.b All couples graded into one of the classes (A-B-C-D) as well as the couples registered as Starters will be listed in the overall result.
9.6.c Couples who withdraw before the competition rounds start shall not be disqualified and shall still appear on the overall result sheet.
9.6.d Couples who miss one or more dances during the rounds, shall receive no marks in those dances. In the case of a final, they shall be placed last in those dances.
9.6.e A couple’s withdrawal before a final leads to being placed in the last position in all dances of the final.
9.6.f Purpose of the First Round: this shall be held when there are more than 12 Couples in a Class. Further Rounds shall be held to reduce the number of Couples until there are between 7 and 12 for a Semi Final.
9.6.g Where the number of couples per class is 6 or below, the Technical Manager may choose between the following options:
A- the couples may be required to dance a presentation round without judging instead of a competition round;
B- the couples may dance no competition round but a double final;
C- the couples may pass directly from the classification rounds to the finals.
9.6.h Heats: The Competition Management shall determine the number of Heats. Each dance shall, preferably, have different couples in the heats.
9.6.i Judging: All rounds held after the classification rounds follow, overall, the rules of national and international mainstream dance sport organisations. The
adjudicators shall recall the number of couples required for the next round either placing a cross next to the number or writing the number itself on their marking sheet, as requested.
9.6.j Calculation: The marks for all dances of a couple must be added. These totals will be used to determine who dances in the next round (Cross System).
9.7.a Two finals of different dance styles and gender may be combined and the dances
of these finals may be presented alternately.
9.7.b Preferably, 6 couples shall participate in the finals, but if the number of couples
that qualify is over/under 6, the Technical Manager and the General Chairperson
shall determine the total number of couples.
9.7.c Judging: Adjudicators shall place couples 1 for the first, 2 for the second, etc. Open judging is possible for the finals of all classes. This may take place after each dance or at the end of the Final.
9.7.d Calculation: During the finals the “skating system” must be employed (rank qualification by majority classification). Should there be a tie for the first place, another final may be danced at the General Chairperson’s discretion.
10.1 Upgrading of a winning couple
The Competition organiser may, in his/her discretion, decide to invite the winning couple of any class to compete in the competition of the next higher class held on that day. A 15 minute break should be allowed before the First Round of the class above is danced.
10.2 Awards Ceremony
10.2.a Couples shall wear their dance outfits at the presentation of awards.
10.2.b Where a competition provides for upgrading of a winning couple in accordance to rule 10.1 the awards ceremony shall be held as soon as possible after the final.
10.2.c Apart from as stated in rule 10.2.b, in all other circumstances the Competition Organisers shall decide when to hold the awards ceremony.
10.3.a The Competition Management shall make the results available for publication as soon as practicably possible after the conclusion of the awards ceremony.
10.3.b The detailed results shall be published on the internet as soon as possible after the competition.
10.3.c If for any technical reason it is not possible to publish the results, the Competition Organisers shall publicly state that the results shall be available to the competitors upon request.
Showdance Competition Rules
Following work undertaken by an appointed “Showdance Rules Sub-Committee” (which included interested parties from both European Showdance Teams and International Dancing Organisations and a further full membership consultation in June 2020), we have a revised set of Showdance & Formation Rules which were approved by the membership at the Annual General Meeting on Saturday 29th August 2020.
A distinction between Showdance and Formation will be formulated by the same Showdance Rules Sub-Committee and updated here shortly in 2020/21
ESSDA Show Dance & Formation Competition Rules 29.08.2020
Adjudicator’s Code Of Conduct
This is the Appendix 1 to the Same-Sex Dancing Competition Rules
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.
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.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.
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.
4.h.vi 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.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.
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.