Welcome to the Country Two Step Tour
  Office Address: PO Box 23326 Portland, OR 97281-3326 email: info@countrytwosteptour.com
 

Rules and Procedures

The following is an abridged version of the 2015 CTST Rules, Contest Procedures and Scoring Format. For a complete version of the Rules that includes the cover page and table of contents, click here: Print Friendly Version. All appendices to the Rules may be found on the Forms page of this website.

Dancers interested in learning about CTST guidelines are encouraged to read sections V, VII, and X (as a minimum). Event Promoters, Prospective Event Promoters, and contest management personnel are encouraged to read the entire document which follows.

I.  General Information

The Country Two Step Tour (CTST) was formed in 2012 to promote the enjoyment and advancement of social dancing in general, but specifically the Two Step. The CTST seeks to achieve this objective by promoting and assisting in the development of Two Step Jack and Jill dance contests. 

The CTST advises the organizers and prospective organizers of dance events regarding the advertising and administration of Two Step Jack and Jill dance contests. In addition, the CTST sanctions dance events which choose to implement the structure and procedures offered through the CTST format. Guidelines and requirements for member events are included in Sections III and IV below.  

The CTST has developed these Rules, Contest Procedures, and Scoring Format to assist promoters and directors of Country, Swing and other related dance events, to plan and produce Jack and Jill contests that are uniform in the significant aspects of operation, and will promote a quality experience for their customers and guests. 

For the dancers that compete in sanctioned Jack and Jill Two Step contests, the CTST has developed a points tracking system whereby competitors earn “award points” for each contest in which the contestant finishes at or near the top of his or her division. The number of award points earned is dependent upon the number of competitors registered in a given division. A further explanation of the points system and graduation provisions are included in the “Competitor Information” section (Section V).     

II.  New Event Application Guidelines and Requirements

Prospective member dance events may apply for sanctioning by the CTST by filling out an event application form and paying an application fee. When received, the application shall be reviewed by the CTST management committee and shall be approved or rejected in a timely manner based in part upon compliance with the following requirements:

  1. New Applicants shall fully complete the membership application form detailing the proposed dates, location, event owners/directors, divisions of competition to be offered and other information relevant to the dance event as requested on the application form. The required application form appears as Appendix A to this document.    
  2. New Applicants shall pay a $50 application fee to be submitted along with the completed application form. Collected fees shall be applied to annual dues if the proposed event is approved. If approved, the event will owe the balance of their $150 annual dues (an additional $100).
  3. Event applicants shall refrain from proposing new events within four (4) weeks and within 300 miles of another CTST sanctioned dance event. Even if the distance exceeds 300 miles, the CTST is unlikely to approve two (2) events for the same weekend when they are in the same state/province (North America) or country (Europe). However, with documented support and endorsement of the impacted, established event director(s), the CTST may elect to make an exception to this general restriction. The CTST may elect to modify the time and distance parameters of this general restriction in the future should circumstances warrant.    
  4. Applicants shall agree that the decisions regarding acceptance or denial of new membership requests shall be made at the discretion of the CTST management committee.
III.  Guidelines and Requirements for All CTST Events

All member events must comply with the following requirements to maintain good standing within the CTST:

  1. Member events must be held in a hotel setting with appropriate ballroom facilities and available sleeping rooms. However, new applicants may propose and receive approval to host an event with a “substantially similar” venue arrangement. For example, a convention center, or a large dance studio or nightclub with an adjacent or nearby hotel, would be considered “substantially similar” to the traditional, single venue situation. 
  2. The duration of member events must be a minimum of two (2) days and at least one of the days must be a Saturday or Sunday.
  3. Member events must offer at least two (2) of the “tracked” divisions of competition (see Section VI for additional discussion).
  4. Member events must follow all currently published rules, contest format guidelines, registration procedures and scoring procedures published by the CTST in this document and as contained in any supplemental amendments and/or announcements.
  5. All member events shall collect a $1 participation fee for every dance entry tracked by the CTST and submit these collected fees to the CTST Administrator within ten (10) days of the event’s conclusion. Event directors are at liberty to include the $1 per entry fee within their contest fee pricing structure, or to add the fee on top of the entry fees. The Administrator’s address is: P.O. Box 23326, Portland, OR 97281.    
  6. Member events shall conduct all aspects of the event in a fair and ethical manner. Failure to comply with this ethical standards provision, or any of the above guidelines and requirements, may cause the CTST management committee to investigate reported violations and consider appropriate disciplinary action which, if warranted, may include revoking CTST sanctioning.   

IV.  Guidelines and Requirements for Established CTST Events

Established member events are those that have received sanctioning by the CTST and that have held at least one (1) event in which a Two Step Jack and Jill contest was conducted per this Rules, Competition Procedures and Scoring Format. Established member events will annually comply with the following requirements to maintain good standing within the CTST:

  1. All member events will pay annual dues on time and in full. Annual dues shall be $150 per sanctioned event, due and payable on or before September 1st.
  2. Any established event director may apply for an additional CTST sanctioned event by completing a new event application form and submitting it with the required application fee. If approved, the application fee will be applied to the first year dues of the new event. As described in Section II above, the CTST reserves the right to grant or deny sanctioning to additional events at its discretion. Annual dues for second (or third) events shall be half the amount of the initial event fee and shall be due and payable at the same time.
  3. Any sanctioned event wishing to change its established date, location, owners, or other significant aspects of the original application, must inform the CTST at least three (3) months prior to the event and receive approval from the CTST management committee. However, movement forward or backward one week from the established date to accommodate venue and other scheduling situations shall not require approval from the CTST unless such movement causes two (2) events to fall on the same weekend in the same state/province (North America) or country (Europe).      

V.  Competitor Information, Guidelines and Requirements

CTST sanctioned Jack and Jill contests are open and available to anyone who wishes to participate, regardless of skill level. However, the CTST requires that only males may compete as leaders, and only females may compete as followers. Other information relevant to competitors is as follows:

  1. Each competitor will be issued a CTST member identification number (tracking number) after he/she receives his/her first award point. Once assigned, the tracking number will remain the same throughout the competitor’s association with the CTST. Each contestant shall be responsible for remembering their assigned number (once assigned) and supplying the number to the event coordinators each time he/she registers for a CTST contest.   
  2. With the exception of lifts above the shoulder level (which are not permitted) there are no restrictions regarding dance movement. However, it is highly recommended that variations of the basic patterns (“quick-quick, slow, slow”; “quick-quick, slow, quick-quick, slow”; and/or “quick-quick, quick-quick, slow, slow”) do not become so frequent or extended the dance becomes unrecognizable.
  3. Two Step is defined as a progressive partner dance that moves primarily in a counter-clockwise direction, where performers weave in an intertwining of partnership, or move for short periods of side by side action that then returns to weaving movement. Couples may also execute single-use ‘west coast’ type whip actions that momentarily stall progression and catapult the follower back around the leader and then continue down the floor to return to the weaving of partners. These moves shall constitute the core concepts of the dance.
  4. Beginning January 20, 2016, with the exception of petitioning contestants (see section XII below), all new CTST participants, and participants without at least one (1) recorded point in a skill level division above Novice, must enter CTST contests in the Novice division. These participants must then remain in the Novice division until sufficient points for graduation have been earned. Refer to the chart on the following page for a very general definition of the skill levels available.
  5. Once tracking points have been awarded to a competitor, he or she shall be responsible for registering in the correct division at each CTST event. A hard copy or electronic database of current registry points shall be available at each event for reference if the competitor is unsure of his or her status. A discussion of which divisions are tracked appears on the following page.    
  6. CTST sanctioned event directors are permitted to set contest fees and registration deadlines as they so choose. Competitors shall be responsible for discovering for themselves the applicable cut-off dates and times, and for paying applicable contest fees before the advertised registration deadlines.
  7. CTST sanctioned event directors shall decide whether or not to offer a competitors’ meeting prior to the start of sanctioned competition. If offered, and if designated a “mandatory” meeting, competitors shall be responsible for attending the meeting and following the direction of the chief judge or contest coordinator to maintain their eligibility.
  8. The following divisions (when offered) shall be “tracked” by the CTST.  Competitors must be at least sixteen (16) years of age to compete in tracked divisions. Any and all points awarded shall be reported to the CTST by the member events, and the points shall be recorded in the CTST points registry.
Division Name
General Skill Level Description
Novice Knowledge of basic skills, timing and rhythm, with basic core concepts recommended in pattern choices. Minimal or no prior competition experience is typical.
Intermediate Knowledge of core concept ‘variations’, character and style, with partnership skills more refined than Novice level. Some competition experience is typical.
Advanced Significant knowledge of core concept continuity performed “on the fly”, showing technique and presentation commensurate with highly skilled dancers. Seasoned competitors are typical here.
All Stars Skills above Advanced level. Dancers have a polished, poised, professional approach, often with musically matched movements. Significant competition experience strongly recommended.

Note: The divisions in the table below (if offered) shall be “recorded” by the CTST. Awarded points may appear in the points registry. However, as there are no provisions for graduation in these divisions, accumulated points will not determine eligibility. Further, each sanctioned event shall be at liberty to offer some, all, or none of these divisions, and set their own additional requirements for eligibility.

Division Name
Common Requirements
Newcomer None – usually beginners with little or no experience
Juniors None – usually based on age (under 16 years of age)
Sophisticated Check event rules – usually based on age (35 and over)
Masters Check event rules – usually based on age (50 and over)
Invitational Usually requires personal invitation from event director(s)
Others Varies by event; check published criteria for admission

Competitors are encouraged to also read sections VII, VIII, X and XI of this document.

VI.  Contest Structure and Procedures

While it is the prerogative of event directors to organize their events in any manner they choose regarding staffing of contest officials, the specific contests offered, the selection of contest music, etc., the following minimum requirements must be met in the tracked divisions for events to remain in good standing:  

  1. Member events must offer at least two (2) of the four (4) “tracked” divisions of competition. Again, the tracked divisions are: Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, and All Stars.
  2. Member events must utilize a “Chief Judge” or “Contest Coordinator” whose job it shall be to ensure that all aspects of this Rules, Contest Procedures and Scoring Format have been properly followed.
  3. The most current version of the CTST points registry database shall be utilized to ensure all contestants participating in the tracked divisions register in the correct divisions. The points registry is available at www.CountryTwoStepTour.com. Sanctioned directors may obtain a hard copy of the report prior to their events by contacting the CTST via email at: info@CountryTwoStepTour.com.  
  4. Leaders and followers shall be paired randomly prior to competition. Any reasonable pairing method, such as rotating the leaders or followers, that ensures a truly random result shall be acceptable.
  5. Contestants must pre-register for competition, and attend contestants’ meetings when required, to permit eligibility verification of all participants. In the case of uneven numbers of leaders and followers in preliminary competition rounds, contests shall not be “made even” by moving contestants from one division to another, by accepting additional members from the audience, or by designating “stand-in” dancers. Should some leaders or followers be required to dance more than once to accommodate uneven participation, the dancers shall be determined using any rationale that promotes random pairings.              
  6. Contests may utilize as many preliminary rounds as may be determined to be necessary by the event director and chief judge/ contest coordinator.
  7. A minimum of five (5) judges shall be used for all rounds of competition. In preliminary rounds, separate panels of judges may be used for leaders and followers, as long as each panel numbers three (3) or more.   
  8. The event director(s) shall work in conjunction with the chief judge/contest coordinators to ensure that judging assignments are made that avoid judging bias (whether real or perceived) for or against any particular contestant or group of contestants due to personal, business, or other relationships. Judges should be selected and be given skill-level assignments based on “Two Step” experience and expertise if at all possible.
  9. Judges shall judge the contests independent from one another utilizing appropriate ballots provided by the scoring coordinator or chief judge/contest coordinator.

 VII.  Scoring and Awarding of Points
The event’s Chief Judge/Contest Coordinator shall oversee the execution of any and all CTST contests per CTST procedures and ensure the following:

  1. Judges shall at all times be expected to reward the best examples of “spontaneous, social” Two Step dancing.
  2. Judges will use “relative placement” to mark their ballots during competition. Contest results must be tabulated utilizing a “majority rules” scoring system (often referred to as the “skating” system”). The scoring coordinator and/or scrutineer must be someone knowledgeable and skilled in the use of relative placement scoring techniques and the majority rules scoring system.
  3. Scores shall be tabulated from the judges’ ballots as soon as possible following the conclusion of each round of competition. Results shall then be delivered to the chief judge/contest coordinator for review and approval. Only the results of finals rounds of competition shall be announced to the public, and reported to the CTST. Finals results reports must include the placements of all finals participants.
  4. Points shall be determined and awarded based upon the total number of competitors entered in each division. Points will be recorded/tracked separately by leaders and followers. Points shall only be awarded in contests where the number of leaders or the number of followers equals five (5) or more. The following chart reflects the number of points that will be awarded. In summary, only finalists receive award points, but the number of points earned is determined by the total number of leaders registered (for leaders) and total number of followers registered (for followers) prior to any elimination rounds.  

For example: In a tracked CTST contest, 16 followers and 4 leaders registered. After 4 preliminary heats of 4 couples per heat, 8 of the followers and each of the 4 leaders advanced to the finals. Following the two (2) finals heats of competition (4 couples per heat; leaders dancing both times), the 8 follower finalists receive award points from Level 2 (the 13 to 30 category) on the following page (reference second row of the table) since there were 16 total followers who registered and danced. The leaders receive no award points because the minimum of 5 entries was not met.

  
Level
Number of Entries
First Place
Second
Place
Third Place
Fourth
Place
Fifth
Place
Sixth Place
and below
1
5 to 12
5
4
3
2
1
0
2
13 to 30
10
8
6
4
2
6th to 10th,
1 pt. each
3
31 or more
15
12
10
8
6
1 pt. to all finalists

Additional Note: Any finals leader or follower that could gain points for more than one placement in an uneven finals round of competition, shall only receive the number of award points corresponding to the higher placement.

VIII.  Award Ceremonies and On-site Results Postings

  1. As stated above, it is the prerogative of event directors to organize their events as they choose. While the CTST has no requirements regarding the amounts of cash or other prizes to the winners of CTST tracked divisions, or any other Jack and Jill contest divisions offered, it is suggested that, in addition to the population of entrants in each contest division, event directors also give consideration to the skill level of the divisions when deciding what types of prizes to distribute to the winners.    
  2. Further, the CTST has no requirements for how awards ceremonies are to be conducted, or if they must be held at all. However, it shall be a requirement that near or upon conclusion of the event, the scoring coordinator/scrutineer (or his/her designee) shall post in a conspicuous place the finals placements for each CTST tracked Jack and Jill division. The posted results must include the final placement for every competitor that participated in the finals round of competition. It is suggested that in similar fashion, events post the finals results for all two step Jack and Jill divisions, not just the tracked divisions. Posting the judges’ names and actual scores shall be optional.  
  3. Event directors shall be free to announce as many placements as they desire at their awards presentations (if held). However, posted results on-site and after the event on the event’s web site (if utilized) must contain the placement of all finals participants.

IX.  Reporting Placements to the CTST

Event directors are required to submit their competition results, including the number of competitors that registered in each division, to the CTST within three (3) days or by the Wednesday immediately following the conclusion of their event. The sooner results are submitted, the sooner the points may be included in the points registry for use at future events.

Results may be submitted in any manner deemed appropriate as long as the required information is displayed logically. The “Event Summary Report”, appearing herein as Appendix B, may be used to report overall event information. The “Contest Results Report”, appearing herein as Appendix C, may be used to summarize each division contested. Please submit results electronically to info@CountryTwoStepTour.com. Results may also be submitted via regular mail to: CTST Results, c/o John Daugherty, 3495 Cecelia Jo Rd., Ramona, CA 92065.

Only those member events that are in good standing with the CTST shall have their points added to the points registry database.

X.  Graduation Provisions

As described earlier, successful competitors shall earn award points at various CTST contests, and they shall be able to view their accumulated points in the points registry. When a competitor earns the appropriate number of points in his/her tracked division of sanctioned competition, he/she will “graduate” to the next highest level. Shown below are the entry and graduation provisions for each tracked division.  

Novice: Anyone who has never competed before, or has not earned any CTST points above the Novice level, must enter the Novice division (unless petitioning to a higher skill division – see Section XII below). Novice level dancers must remain in the Novice Division until they have earned at least 15 Novice level points. 

Intermediate: Contestants that have been awarded at least 15 Novice level points must graduate from the Novice Division to the Intermediate Division. Intermediate level dancers must remain in the Intermediate Division until they have earned at least 30 Intermediate level points.

Advanced: Contestants that have been awarded at least 30 Intermediate level points must graduate from the Intermediate Division to the Advanced Division. Advanced level dancers must remain in the Advanced Division until they have earned at least 45 Advanced level points. 

All Stars: Contestants that have been awarded at least 45 Advanced level points must graduate from the Advanced Division to the All Stars Division. An All Star level dancer may compete in the All Stars Division indefinitely. However, at events where an All Stars Division dancer accepts an invitation to participate in the event’s “Invitational” contest, that dancer cannot also compete in that event’s All Stars competition. Hence, All Stars Division dancers shall not be permitted to compete in both of these divisions at the same event.    

XI.  Annual Points Championship Award

Each year, the CTST will present a year-end points championship award to the leader and follower who accumulate the most award points in any of the “tracked” divisions during the calendar year. This award will be an “overall” award, not one based on any particular skill level.

The points championship award shall be calculated using all CTST member events that properly report their results as described in this rules document beginning with the first scheduled CTST member event in January and ending with the last scheduled CTST member event in December. Please consult the official CTST website for the most current listing of member events. In addition to the comprehensive points registry, the CTST website will also display current year award points separately so interested parties may keep track of the current points leaders.

XII.  Special Provisions

The CTST recognizes that no set of rules and procedures can accommodate the needs and circumstances of every competitor, of every contest, and of every event. The following special provisions are included here to be used if circumstances warrant a resolution outside of normal CTST guidelines:  

Petitioning - If a competitor has compelling reasons that he/she believes justify competing in a CTST tracked division above or below the level for which he/she is currently eligible, he or she may petition the event for a temporary reclassification. The competitor must initiate a verbal petition request to either the event director(s) or chief judge/contest coordinator no later than upon the conclusion of the contestants meeting (if held), or two hours before the contest begins, whichever is earlier. The event director(s) and the chief judge/contest coordinator shall meet without the contestant present and make the decision based on the circumstances of the petition. If the petition is granted, such approval shall apply only to the current event, not to future events. If the contestant does not earn any award points as a result of a granted temporary reclassification, the competitor must re-petition at any future events if desired. However, should the petition for a higher classification be granted, and the contestant earns at least one point in a requested higher division, he/she shall remain qualified (without further petitioning) to compete in the higher skill division until he/she graduates out of the higher division.    

Combining Divisions – Sometimes not all divisions of Jack and Jill competition offered will generate sufficient entries to maintain the integrity of a quality social competition experience. In the case of significantly under-populated divisions, event directors shall be permitted to combine contiguous skill-level divisions if desired. If the event director elects to combine two or more skill level divisions, all points earned by the competitors shall be awarded at the lowest skill level of the combined divisions.  

Rather than combining divisions, the CTST encourages event directors to instead cancel the under populated division(s). The reasoning is that combining divisions generally creates a disservice to both divisions: the participants rightfully positioned in the lower of two combined divisions will generally be uncompetitive with participants from the higher division, and those rightfully in the higher of the combined divisions will not receive award points at their rightful skill level which will move them closer toward graduation. If combining divisions becomes a frequent practice, potential customers (especially Novice division) could stop participating.