O2cm banned from NDCA events?


Well-Known Member
Mark asked me to post this here (any errors are his):

In response to the July Meeting outcome, I wrote the NDCA board the following mail (And received NO response)

To the National Dance Council of America

The O2CM goal in DanceSport competition is to support its customers (organizers) in an endeavor to improve competition experience for judges, competitors and spectators. Also it is designed to provide more accurate and transparent results than has been previously experienced by it’s developer in his competitive DanceSport career.

It has come to my attention that you have directly contacted O2CM customers regarding the restricted use of the O2CM system at their events. In your letter, you cite two issues where you assumed O2CM does not meet NDCA requirements. Both of these accusations are incorrect, and your restrictions are groundless.

Issue 1 –“the lack of hard copy records of judge's marks, signed by the judges themselves.”

The nearest rule you have to this is “IV.B.6. Judges shall mark and sign their score cards in ink, including their code letter, and shall initial each and every alteration.”

When you look at the intent of this rule, written long before electronic judging was even possible, you would realize that this is to have reference documentation in the event that data transfer or tabulation is called into question. The possible errors and O2CM resolutions can are as follows

1) Scrutineer Errors

A. Calculation – O2CM automatically calculates results, there is no paper master scrutineer sheets, and no human error in calculation.

B. Data Entry Error – With O2CM, a scrutineer never touches the marks unless requested by judges or chairman

C. Scoresheet swapping between judges - with O2CM, this can’t happen unless forced by the system operator.

2) Judges errors

A. Placing couples multiple times - O2CM system prohibits this action

B. Recalling couple multiple times - O2CM system prohibits this action

C. Transposing numbers – O2CM system prohibits this action

Furthermore, the U.S. Code defines an electronic signature for the purpose of US law as: "an electronic sound, symbol, or process, attached to or logically associated with a contract or other record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record.”

In the case of O2CM, it is a process consisting of:

1) A portable electronic pad, identified by name, dedicated and presented to a particular judge,

2) The Pad is directly connected to the receiving server by highly encrypted connection. (No intermediate connections as if on a the internet)

3) Each submission from the judge is written into a log (Printable), with the last submission being saved as the final decision in the marks database.

4) Each line on the log comes from that pad along with that judge’s identifier.

This process would be the similar to the judges typing their marks directly into CompMgr (although, with extra backup and logging added). And you may note that O2CM is far more secure and accurate than paper data transfer.

For added security, an entire backup of the local O2CM database is performed every 10 minutes. Also, at those events running live.o2cm features, marks are immediately stored (although not immediately displayed) to an online server.

Issue 2: “the Ballroom Department cannot access information from the electronic files associated with this software.”

I could not find a general rule regarding accessing electronic files. You do have rules regarding reporting of final results (III.E.1-4,7,8), and a specific exception for events using CompMgr (III.E.6).

I have been submitting electronic reports to the NDCA via Brian Puttock for most of the past 10 years with no issues raised. In discussions with Brian, he understood the full concept of O2CM, knew that results are posted online for all to see within minutes of the days end, and that there was no need for the submitted reports. At one event, he took advantage of O2CM online features to validate a competitor’s eligibility for dancing in a particular skill level, without having to refer to many electronic files submitted in the past. I will resume sending even more complete electronic reporting. Lee Wakefield has received several of these. This report should satisfy rules III.E.1-8.

If there are any other issues, or you feel the previous issues above are not sufficiently addressed, please submit a feature request to me at markt@o2cm.com. Allow up 90 days for completion of any requests requiring system modification. Any request for specific data reporting or recording should be accompanied by a detailed specification for any electronic file(s) or processes. With proper communication, I can easily address issues as I have done with DanceSport Series, California Gold Rush and Superstar Dance Series

Might I suggest that the decision to restrict new systems should be a matter of the ballroom committee reviewing products against NDCA standards, and not a matter of a vote put forth to uninformed member bodies.

The NDCA should immediately contact those organizers that were previously restricted from using O2CM and inform them that

1) The vote to restrict O2CM was not based on factual information.

2) O2CM system does meet NDCA standards.

3) They may resume their use of the system.

Many existing customers have been with O2CM for many years. Some have never used CompMgr and would be seriously handicapped by using CompMgr.

Thank You

Mark Tabor


Well-Known Member
Unfortunately, ya gotta pick one (or both) if you want to compete.

Random: what would it take to set up a local "outlaw" comp? But who would be willing to be a judge? Some ppl have mentioned unsanctioned comps, but I've never seen one.


Well-Known Member
Ah. No experience with collegiate. Have to spectate sometime. Where do the judges, invigilators, etc come from?
Pretty much the same place they come from for NDCA and USADance. Those people aren't employees of NDCA they're independent contractors certified through it. Since the comp is not affiliated with an organization, NDCA doesn't care what they're doing.
General Rules
I. Introduction
G. NDCA & Recognized Professional Organizations - Judges/Scrutineers

Judges, Scrutineers and other officials, to include but not limited to MC's, Music Directors, Registrars, Competition Organizers, etc, who choose to register with the NDCA are not permitted to officiate at or organize any Championship, Multi-Day Competition, or Local One-Day Event that is not sanctioned by the NDCA or other recognized organizations.

1. It is within the province of the Ballroom Department to investigate and rule upon violations of this rule. Offenders may be subject to a $500 fine, a six month suspension, or have their registration with NDCA cancelled (with no refund). EXCEPTIONS AS FOLLOWS:
c. Events run by educational institutions and their affiliated clubs.
Also could just result in the NDCA changing the rule to require competitions run by educational institutions to apply for an exception to the rule instead of automatically being granted one. Few enough people understand the NDCA rule book (some people involved with the Midwest collegiate scene liked talking about what it said without ever cracking open a free digital copy), that there wouldn't be a severe loss of entitlement risk.


Well-Known Member
I've looked at this thread and I admit to complete ignorance when it comes to O2CM, compmngr etc. I have noticed that over the last year or so- it is increasingly difficult to actually get your scoresheets from a comp and look at your results. The entire format has changed. I used to be able to click on my name- in a format similar to heatlists- and look at my scores in each of my heats. Now, it is a very confusing, convoluted effort of looking at each category and multiple subdivisions- which I simply do not have time to do. My question is- why are more comps not on the DanceComp App? And my second question is- why does the Dance Comp App have so many glitches and mistakes?


Well-Known Member
I only do pro am. I don't know anything about USA dance. I just feel after spending so many $$ on comps, I should at least be able to view my score sheets easily. Isn't it time the dance industry followed the rest of the world of business and become more tech savvy?


Active Member
I only do pro am. I don't know anything about USA dance. I just feel after spending so many $$ on comps, I should at least be able to view my score sheets easily. Isn't it time the dance industry followed the rest of the world of business and become more tech savvy?

The "new" way of seeing the scores online is actually using premier- the NDCA program. I find it a bigger pain in the neck to view scores than compmngr as well.

And more people don't use the the DanceComp app because- like you said, it's buggy. Less people are using it over time, not more. That's usually a sign that it's not quite working the way they thought it should or it costs too much to see the value
I only do pro am. I don't know anything about USA dance. I just feel after spending so many $$ on comps, I should at least be able to view my score sheets easily. Isn't it time the dance industry followed the rest of the world of business and become more tech savvy?
I can remember speaking with someone that is high up in the Pro-Am about this and it seemed that there was this feeling that many competition organizers and even dance studios prefer to keep their records more private. Another weak point that you did not mention is that it is also very difficult to see what happened in previous years. Most Pro Am competitions scrub their website of the previous year. I know this because there were many old threads here on Dance forms that linked to places on the conversation websites that were removed.


Well-Known Member
....there was this feeling that many competition organizers and even dance studios prefer to keep their records more private.
That reminds me of a conversation I had with this lady who has since passed on. A sweet lady but not a very good dancer. She started taking lessons from a pro and entered competitions with him. She told me that she placed first and owed it all to her instructor. I hadn't noticed any real improvement in her dancing, so I went to the online records to look up her results. Sure enough, she was in an uncontested competition and she didn't realize it. All she knew was that she was on the floor with a half-dozen other women and the judges awarded her first place. I didn't take it on myself to educate her, leaving her happy in her delusion.


Well-Known Member
Huh. And I've been thinking the people that yammer on FaceBook about their (uncontested) firsts are a bunch of gas bags. Perhaps they're just confused.


Well-Known Member
There's a local pro who takes several ladies to competitions. When he gets back, he brags about how many firsts, seconds, and thirds his ladies got. When you go online and look at the results, his ladies actually placed last in most of them. A first place in an uncontested heat is also a last place.

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