Half marks may be introduced, says British Dressage

  • Dressage riders and judges have welcomed the news that British Dressage (BD) is discussing whether to introduce half marks to its scoring system.

    Currently, half marks are used for FEI level tests — prix st georges (PSG) and up — but not below. But many think the introduction to lower levels would “widen the range” of scores.

    Internet forums have been buzzing with debate, with most people backing the idea.

    However, there are concerns that the move might make for “safer” judging and longer waits for results.

    “I think it’s a wonderful idea and something I’ve been talking about for the past 20 years,” judge and trainer Kim Ratcliffe told H&H.

    “This will give more opportunities to differentiate. And if tests are quite good but have a small blip, they needn’t go down a full mark.

    Judges have been using it at FEI level for a couple of years now anyway — it’s just a matter of getting used to it.

    “I can’t see it being an added complication mathematically,” she added.

    International rider Wayne Channon thought it was an “excellent idea”.

    “It would be nice to see BD adopting international standards,” he said.

    “And anything to increase accuracy should be welcomed. I think it will be popular with riders and most judges as now scores won’t be rounded up or down as much.”

    A BD spokesman said the move was “under discussion”, but a final decision has not yet been taken.

    “Bringing in half marks at all levels has been discussed within the judges committee, but it has yet to be discussed in the other relevant committees and will require approval from the Board. We will let you know when a decision is taken.”

    Would you like judges to use half marks? Let us know at hhletters@ipcmedia.com.

    This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (1 November 2012)

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