Why I took a serious look at ILHC related to unfair competition.

First thing first, ILHC is considered by many to be the Olympic of Lindy Hop . As such, it is the most visible event of the year. Everybody talk about it, share the videos, talk/chat/share about it.

First problem, the communications, the rules should be clear, and enforced. The rules should make sense, they should clearly define the context of each competition, clarify terms that are flexible, like advanced, all-star, professional, Amateur. If the objective is to welcome everyone, then maybe the rules should be understandable by everyone.

The results should be quickly available, and be complete. The result of all the years should be available for future reference, The website should be at least complete without missing pages, and those pesky “Page not found”

Example of page not found : http://www.ilhc.com/2813/

Seeing the level of inertia with the results, having looked at some general rules that seems to indicate that they don’t really care about enforcing their own rules, that it is the responsibility of any honest participant and hypothetical cheaters to enforce the rules themselves. There is no more need to ask the question : “Did a judge used his/her influence to get into the competition with a professional dancer as an amateur?”. The most obvious assumption, was that there was no safeguard, probably not even a question, so basically anyone who don’t care about the rule, can enter nearly any competition, and the only thing that could stop them, is if random people realize what they are doing. And can do something about it. But as I saw, nope, nada, not even an acknoledgement of reception of my emails, and contact attempts.

“All Competitors are responsible for reading and understanding the rules prior to the 2015 INTERNATIONAL LINDY HOP CHAMPIONSHIPS. Competitors are responsible for adhering to these rules whether or not they have been read.”

The principle of fair play/sportsmanship should be the norm and be enforced. The environment should help the dancers to perform, without the added pressure of not knowing if people are there to protect the integrity of the events and assure a fair competition.

Lastly, the reputation should be protected, when someone talks about problems, or presents pieces of facts that put into doubt the fairness and integrity of a competition or the whole event, someone should take notice, and actually check into it. Even if it means that I would be forced to acknowledge (not likely at all) that my opinion was wrong. It would show that this event is really taken care of.

I’ve been part of several teams that organized very big events, we are talking 10-20k peoples, I’ve seen the amount of work first hand, the logistics, making sure everything is ready in time, the stress so intense that for the whole week-end, somehow your body stop working right, some things even completely shut down, I’ve held positions of authority, took decision that everyone second guess afterward. So I can empathize with the organizers, I can appreciate the mountain of work, the relative success of the event.

But having said that, since ILHC is known all around the world, the prize used to promote school, teachers. Since everything in our community relies on reputation. How can the relatively simple task of posting the result could be so difficult, How strengthening the rules could be such a job, How addressing issues that could tarnish the event’s reputation  be so non-important? It is, after all, the most important event in the Lindy Hop community in North America, and with International in the name, people might think the world.

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