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  • #16
    The drum contests that I have ran have gone off without a hitch.....except for one.

    The drum contest was pretty decisive, even to the casual observer you could easily tell who the top three drums were and in what order they would place. The judges ballots reflected this. Going into the last go round on Sunday all three top spots were literally sewn up as were the placings of those top three. The last go round was really a formality.

    In the last go round, the host drum judged. The two drums that were at the very bottom received by far, their lowest scores of the weekend, which did not not affect the outcome. The two bottom drums could have received perfect scores and still not place.

    The problem was that one drum was local and their lead singer was very well liked locally. He did not come to check out the books after the contest even though the oppurtunity was offered. Instead, he loudly complained that it was a fixed contest, and that all the judges were related to all the victorious drums, and that I wouldn't let him see the books, neither of which were true, he was just a sore loser.

    A few weeks later the committee asked to see the books. They agreed that going into the last session the contest was already decided, but they had a problem with such low scoring!!!!! That was the last time I worked with that committee, they bent to that kind of pressure too easily.
    It is so sad that a family can torn apart by something as simple as a wild pack of dogs.


    • #17
      Originally posted by dmoccasin
      I really feel for the dancers though, as a dancer you really look forward to the perfect song.
      That is a good point. I think the judge was trying to catch the singers off guard. But it is unfair to the dancers, because they want a good song.

      The other thing that bothered me was if I was the other drums, I would feel bad because it wasn't a fair contest. Almost like someone didn't have enough confidence in my drum to let the chips fall where they may. I would feel better about beating a drum that gave it their all, not missing part of their singers.

      I didn't want to down the other drum groups in this contest, because they were all good and sounded good. I hope no one inferred that.


      • #18
        Okay, I thought of one. I've had several, so I thought I'd pick one of the better

        My husband and I were head dance judges where there were quite a few good dancers in every category. Just by watching every contest round, you kinda had a good idea of who might place, but where they placed was up for grabs because there were so many good dancers in alot of categories.

        In one of the women's categories, when they were calling the winners, I was listening, wondering if the results would come out similar to how I would have judged it. When it came to 2nd and 1st place, there were only 2 dancers left that I knew would take the 2 top spots and was curious who would come out on top. Then they called someone's name that I had no idea who this woman was, recalled what she looked like, but I had an idea that she was very young, just up into women's, and wasn't someone that I had thought would take one of the top spots. Anyway, one of the women didn't place and wondered if there had been a mistake. I went and talked to the tabulator and told her what I was thinking and asked her if she could check the numbers and points of the winners in that category again. The reason I always ask if I'm a head judge and I notice something REALLY different is because I KNOW that if there is a mistake, or if something doesn't seem right, that the head judge will always be blamed.

        anyway, the tabulator said "no problem, we can double-check" and she pulled the tab sheet for that contest. She said, "Here is the number that took second place" and it wasn't the number they called! I told her that they didn't call that number, they called a different number. She pulled the registration sheets to check on the number and name of the dancer they had listed for 2nd place, and it was the woman I thought would have gotten in but didn't. I told her they called the wrong number and name and tried to remember the name of the girl they called. The tabulator found that registration sheet, and figured out that the number they called was right next to the number that was supposed to have gotten second, and that someone must have been in a hurry and pulled the wrong sheet with a different number and name instead of the pulling the sheet of the person who actually won 2nd place.

        We got together with some of the other committee members and told them what happened. They went over their options of what to do: get the money back from the girl they called by accident, or just leave it as is was. They couldn't pay both of them because they had zeroed out their budget and didn't have any incoming monies available. I urged them to make it right with the dancer that should have placed because she earrned that spot. I knew that it would be embarassing for the girl they called by accident, but they needed to make it right with the dancer who actually earned the points to second place. I told them that something similar had happened to us when we were running a different powwow and didn't have the money available either, that we publicly acknowledged our mistake, apologized to both dancers, and ended up compensating the dancer who didn't place with something later, it didn't necessarily have to be the same prize money. I told them also that I had been on both ends of the situation as a dancer and comittee person, so that this situation wasn't unheard of and should be addressed. I told them about back in the day at GON when Yvette Ewalk placed and the MC's called her number and someone else's name and gave the prize money to the other woman, how the comittee made asked that woman come back up and give the envelope back (which she did), so again, it wasn't unheard of.

        Anyways, they ended up calling both dancers up and explaining the situation to them both and asked the dancer they called to give the envelope back, which she did. Well, her mother and her auntie came running up there REAL quick to protest what they did. I had told them that they needed to publicly acknowledge their mistake to make it right with everyone involved, but the mom and auntie didn't want that either because they said it was the committee's mistake and that they shouldn't embarass the girl because it wasn't her fault. I told both of them that I had been in their daughter's situation before, and had ALSO been in the woman's situation before, so I understood how they both felt and I still said I thought they needed to make it right publicly.

        To sum this novel up, they didn't make it public, the actual winner of 2nd place got to keep the envelope, and the comittee worked it out with the tribal finance person to send the girl a check later. I probably got a bad rep for starting all of that, but my sense of fairness wouldn't let me just let it go when I knew something wasn't right.
        Last edited by ndnMSW; 03-23-2006, 12:55 PM.


        • #19
          Good for you, ndnMSW. Yes, it happens. I've seen this happen. Calling the right number, wrong name. One time the wrong name person knew it right away, packed up his gear real quick and blasted off. Probably counting his loot, laughing, goin' down the road. Aye.


          • #20
            Couple years ago my 17 yr old Grandson won 3rd Place in Mens Golden Age even though he danced in his teen category all weekend.

            How the heck does something like that happen?!!??!!


            • #21
              Sloppy writing probably. Musta wrote the wrong number or the person writing the numbers didn't put the number down clearly. The person who transfered the number to the final winners list just entered the name what they thought was the correct name that coincided with the number.

              Did he keep the prize?


              • #22
                alot of committees are goin the computer route these days - just need an excel type program and viola! instantaneous calculations as you enter in your contest points -
                but the only draw back is you have to be extra careful when entering in the names and corresponding contest numbers ... guess it would be the same as paper/pen calculation sheets.

                i made one at home (both excel and that one in microsoft works spreadsheet program) and have emailed to friends to use for their pow wows, it adds up all points entered automatically .... and just print and everyone can see the tabulations if they want

                this one year my sister and i were asked to do calculations for our first nations pw and when it came to the men's traditional contest, there was this number that kept coming up in all the judges' sheets that wasn't one of that categories delegated numbers (they used series of numbers for each category (1 - 50) for junior girls jingle, (50 - 100) for junior boys grass, etc., so each category had its own series of numbers). and this cut down all those teen dancers trying to get into adult only specials .. lol.

                well i was wondering why this one dancer was NOT getting any points AT ALL and he was/is a well known dancer. so during one intertribal, i checked out his number, it was an OLD number from the pw he was at the last weekend!! he didn't change/or didn't notice he had lost his number for this pw. sooo i asked the pw committee president what should be done, she said give him the points he was awarded. so, we went back and recalculated his points, he ended up getting first.
                Watch your broken dreams...
                Dance in and out of the beams of a neon moon


                • #23
                  Lol....I saw something similar at a powwow here. A Northern traditional dancer got called as 1st or 2nd in Men's Southern straight. By the time the committee was calling his number back to straighten it out, we all saw his van pulling out of the powwow

                  When I was on the receiving end of this situation, I was dancing in a 35 and over contest and there were only 3 of us. I had been given a number for the younger adults when I registered and they didn't catch it until grand entry. They gave me a new number, and I asked one of the ladies to make sure my grand entry points got switched over to my new number. She checked and reassured me they had. I ended up getting called for third, and after we got our envelopes, I saw that same lady take off for the back booth. Pretty soon the announcers called my category back to the booth, where we found out that the lady had run back to double check on my grand entry points after they announced the winners, and she showed us all where my points hadn't been moved over, and showed us how when she added them in, then I should have gotten 1st. She gave us the order of where we should have placed. She just asked us to switch envelopes right then, which we all did. I thought that was very nice of the ladies in my category, because they didn't have to do that voluntarily. I know it's a grim situation when that happens, but I believe that a committee has to do the best they can to address the problem and make it right.

                  When that happened at a powwow we were running, they called a number and name for 1st of a dancer I had never seen before. The head men's judge came up after and asked to see the tabs for that category because he thought a dancer would have placed and got shut out. When we checked, we found out there was a number mix up and the dancer he was checking on was supposed to have gotten first. The head judge said, "That guy is right there, just get the envelope from him." I told him we couldn't do that because it was our mistake and that we had the money to pay both dancers. So we had our MC announce the mistake, apologize to both dancers and announced who the actual first place winner was and paid him 1st place money.


                  • #24
                    I was at one pow-wow in 2004 where they paid out four places in the adults, two grass dancers who placed only danced Friday night, two other grass dancers tied, one got 2nd, the other got shut out. That was the only contest that it happened in that year. The two grass dancers who only danced Friday grabbed the money and split real fast.

                    Having a pre made spreadsheet is a good thing.

                    A couple of us here ran a good sized pow-wow with a bunch of other people who had never helped out before. Believe it or not, we turned the tabulating over to the rookies, along with a pre made self adding spreadsheet. It worked out awesome. Our tabulators were not familiar with popular names so they were not influenced, and the data entry process was fast, we knew within one song after a contest whether or not there was a tie.

                    One other thing we made sure to do was to leave all names off the tabulation worksheets, so that all you see is a number.
                    It is so sad that a family can torn apart by something as simple as a wild pack of dogs.


                    • #25
                      He tried. But they couldn't figure out what happened, so he ended up getting to keep his winnings.


                      • #26


                        • #27
                          yea that spreadsheet(s) that i made up was contest numbers only - no names.

                          but i was wonderin WHY this one number kept showing up sooo i watched the intertribals to find out WHO it was. and it was the same guy who wasn't gettin any points ...

                          yea it really really speeds things up ... you know right away if a tie-breaker song is needed.

                          there are pow wows out there that have incorporated those UPC scanner code devices (points get uploaded to the laptop/computer they are using) into the grandentry/spotcheck system ... every number has a UPC code in the corner and all they do is scan the code and the points get calculated automatically.
                          Watch your broken dreams...
                          Dance in and out of the beams of a neon moon


                          • #28
                            Contest Horror Stories

                            undefined Knee grow that is one awesome avatar!!

                            Yeah these pow wow stories are very similar to what I've seen in Montana and Oregon. I would like to see that magic spreadsheet if at all possible.



                            • #29
                              Dang.... that is awesome chazzif. UPC codes. I commented on this a coupla years ago right here on this website. Where do they have this? Whatta!......really nosey now.

                              I'd like to contact them folks about it.


                              • #30
                                When my husband was the dance contest coordinator for Red Earth festival in OK, he used the UPC codes on the dance numbers and had the tabulators use the scan guns for Grand Entries. We got the idea from Maynard Kicking Bird from Browning, he was telling me how they used those for Browning Indian Days. It worked great for Red Earth when we were inside, but it got messed up when we tried to use it for the parade. The scan guns don't work in direct sunlite unless it has a hood attachment, which we didn't that first year we tried to use them during the parade.


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