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NATIONAL STEP LEAGUE STEP CHAMPIONSHIP SCORING RUBRIC

Each Break The Stage competition is scored by a judges panel that must be 80% NPHC affiliation or 100% minimum of 2 years Step/Choreography Experience per judge. Each Judging Panel will feature 1 professional Artist or Professional Dancer to skew the numeric value of the professional Step/Chorographer’s perspective

All judges undergo an extensive certification program in National Step League ® Rubric such to be versed in proper scoring. Criterion is subject to change from Season to Season at the suggestion and majority rule of the participating teams in the league.

Each scoring criterion category is scored with a point value of 1-10 points, 1 being the furthest from ideal, and 10 being perfect adherence. Certain categories may be on a 1-5 scale with the same metric. This will be to ensure that categories most relevant to technical performance criterion are of the heaviest weight in total point evaluation.

Scoring Criterion

Introduction 10 Points

The Introduction of a performance will be scored based on its conduciveness with the theme of the act and/or its ability to properly captivate the judge and audience. The Introduction is more of an emotionally scored criterion. Being with the end in mind.

Attire 10 Points

A step team’s attire will be scored based on its conduciveness with the theme of the competition act, if they so choose to elect their own theme. It will also be scored on it functionality as in, taking into account proper preparation and/or dress-rehearsal time with the same said attire for the final act. Wardrobe malfunctions and inappropriate attire may be a cause for point deduction in the area of attire as per the discretion of the judge’s panel. Wardrobe malfunctions may include but are not limited to: pants ripping, pants falling, shirts coming undone, falling hair pieces, falling wigs, loss of accessories, unbuttoning pants, flying shoes, falling socks, suspenders falling or disconnecting, shoes coming off, breaking of heels, etc.

Creativity 10 Points

At the discretion of the judges, judges will gauge the creativity of each performance. They will look for unique sequences in geometric formations and unique percussive elements implemented in to the competition act. They will also look for non-traditional Greek Letter Style Stepping or progressive step choreography as aligned with the scoring criterion.

Difficulty 10 Points

At the discretion of the judges, they will work to gauge the difficulty of each team’s choreography. This is a criteria morphed to fit traditional Greek Choreography, at the level of identifying stunts, complex 8 count sequences, and execution of all criterion with limited senses. The difficulty category is non-gender bias, so cannot be scored based upon physical differences of a male and female.

Stunts are inclusive with but not limited to:
Flips, Hand stands, big man, shoulder stand, tumble, kip up, toe touch, tuck flip, traditional back-hand springs, front hand springs, front flips aloft, illusions which elude to stunts

Stunts are not required in order to score perfectly in the difficulty category and may or may not add to a team’s score are their own risk.

Precision 10 Points

This category deals with the muscle control of each team. Judges will work to gauge each competitor’s ability to maintain consistency with angles, parallel motions and perpendicular motions during choreography. Specific details are inclusive with but not limited to: closed hands, tight fingers, straight wrists, head motion with arm motion, synchronized 90 degree angels, 45 degree angles etc.

Synchronization 10 Points

This category deals specifically with each individual member’s ability to remain on the same sequence as one another. It is noted that some steps have separate break down groups; therefore synchronization does not have to be on the exact same 8 count. However, judges will listen for the “popcorn” effect, which may occur if a sequence is missed. They will also gauge synchronization with reference to choreography to music if it is used during a competition act. Deviations in this area can impact a synchronization score.

Vocal Projection (10 Points)

Judges will score a teams ability to have strong projection and clarity in this category. This is a means of indirectly gauging physical preparation in that in the midst of a performance act, speaking roles present a challenge. The historic relevance of these criteria comes from the late 1940s when stepping was largely used as a form of communicating hardship through song and dance. In its modernized form, we want the judges to properly score a teams ability to project and or chant while they perform.

Chanting is allowed, however teams MUST NOT cross the lines of strongly defaming the character of rivaling teams and organizations. The goal is to exude and encourage good sportsmanship. Chanting that can cross the line are the following: swearing, vulgarity, personal attacks, post competition negative commentary, social media negative commentary, and physical confrontation. These things will result in disqualification.

Showmanship (5 Points)

Showmanship represents a Step Team’s ability to convey their message and appeal to the audience. It is also a direct representation of their comfort and poise on stage.

Outro/Exit (10 points)

This criterion represents how a team concludes their competition act. The outro should tie the whole show together. Remember to end as strong as you began.

Stage Utilization (10 Points)

Teams will be scored based on their movement in transitions and formations. This category will be numerically quantified by the amount of transitions and/or moving formations rather than the size or breadth of the teams.

Overall Performance (5 Points)

This is the judge’s last opportunity to score a team on their overall performance. 1-10 points will be assigned at the judge’s discretion of how they gauge the act is in its entirety. This score should be, but does not have to be, within plus or minus 1 point of the average of a team’s other 10 scores.

NATIONAL STEP LEAGUE STEP NATIONALS SCORING RUBRIC

Terms of Rules

  • Each team is allotted 7 minutes on the stage this time includes set-up. There is 1 minute allotted for the set up transition.
  • No profanity/explicit content is to be allowed within any portion of the show/performance. Such behavior will not be accepted from performers or spectators.
  • No sexually explicit content is to be allowed within any portion of the event/ performance. Sexually explicit behaviors/content include, but are not limited to, inappropriate removal of clothing, gyrating in a sexual manner, imitating sexual motions, using music with vulgar sexual lyrics (including chants/ songs), etc.
  • No defamation of character or group is to be tolerated, on stage or off stage. This includes defamation on the basis of gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual preference/lifestyle, economic status, etc. This also includes inapproporaiate conduct and/or unprofessionalism exuded on and off stage toward other competition teams, audience members and the Step-in-School Inc organization. Such acts will result in disqualification.
  • No use of fire, pyrotechnics, or other hazardous materials/objects.
  • No props that resemble any type of firearms will be permitted under any circumstances.
  • Each Team is solely responsible for ensuring that all music, routines, props, costumes and all other aspects of the Team’s performance comply (and the approval by Sponsor or its designee of any of the foregoing will not relieve any Team of its responsibility to comply) with the Official Rules and these Performance Rules and Regulations and all applicable laws, rules and regulations.
  • Each team will adhere to the following age requirements: Elementary, ages 5-11, Middle School Teams ages, 9 to 14 years of age; High School & Community Step Teams from ages 13 up to age 21. Validation of age may be requested on the day of show by the judges.

Not adhering to any of the above rules and regulations will result in an automatic 10-point deduction, per deviation, from the team performance score, and may also result in disqualification at the discretion of the judges.

National Step League Scoring Rubric

Each Break The Stage competition is scored by a judges panel that must be 80% NPHC affiliation or 100% minimum of 2 years Step/Choreography Experience per judge. Each Judging Panel will feature 1 professional Artist or Professional Dancer to skew the numeric value of the professional Step/Chorographer’s perspective

All judges undergo an extensive certification program in National Step League ® Rubric such to be versed in proper scoring. Criterion is subject to change from Season to Season at the suggestion and majority rule of the participating teams in the league.

Each scoring criterion category is scored with a point value of 1-10 points, 1 being the furthest from ideal, and 10 being perfect adherence. Certain categories may be on a 1-5 scale with the same metric. This will be to ensure that categories most relevant to technical performance criterion are of the heaviest weight in total point evaluation.

Scoring Criterion

Attire (10 Points)

A step team’s attire will be scored based on its conduciveness with the theme of the competition act, if they so choose to elect their own theme. It will also be scored on it functionality as in, taking into account proper preparation and/or dress-rehearsal time with the same said attire for the final act. Wardrobe malfunctions and inappropriate attire may be a cause for point deduction in the area of attire as per the discretion of the judge’s panel. Wardrobe malfunctions may include but are not limited to: pants ripping, pants falling, shirts coming undone, falling hair pieces, falling wigs, loss of accessories, unbuttoning pants, flying shoes, falling socks, suspenders falling or disconnecting, shoes coming off, breaking of heels, etc.

Creativity (10 Points)

At the discretion of the judges, judges will gauge the creativity of each performance. They will look for unique sequences in geometric formations and unique percussive elements implemented in to the competition act. They will also look for non-traditional Greek Letter Style Stepping or progressive step choreography as aligned with the scoring criterion.

Difficulty (10 Points)

At the discretion of the judges, they will work to gauge the difficulty of each team’s choreography. This is a criteria morphed to fit traditional Greek Choreography, at the level of identifying stunts, complex 8 count sequences, and execution of all criterion with limited senses. Stunts are inclusive with but not limited to: Flips, Hand stands, big man, shoulder stand, tumble, kip up, toe touch, tuck flip, traditional back-hand springs, front hand springs, front flips aloft, illusions which elude to stunts. Stunts are not required in order to score perfectly in the difficulty category and may or may not add to a team’s score are their own risk. 

Precision (10 Points)

This category deals with the muscle control of each team. Judges will work to gauge each competitor’s ability to maintain consistency with angles, parallel motions and perpendicular motions during choreography. Specific details are inclusive with but not limited to: closed hands, tight fingers, straight wrists, head motion with arm motion, synchronized 90 degree angels, 45 degree angles etc.

Synchronization (10 Points)

This category deals specifically with each individual member’s ability to remain on the same sequence as one another. It is noted that some steps have separate break down groups; therefore synchronization does not have to be on the exact same movement, however the 8 count should remain aligned or symmetric in sound. Judges will listen for the “popcorn” effect, which may occur if a sequence is missed. They will also gauge synchronization with reference to choreography to music if it is used during a competition act. Deviations in this area can impact a synchronization score.

Vocal Projection (10 Points)

Judges will score a teams ability to have strong projection and clarity in this category. This is a means of indirectly gauging physical preparation in that in the midst of a performance act, speaking roles present a challenge.

Chanting is allowed, however teams MUST NOT defame the character of rivaling teams and organizations. The goal is to exude and encourage good sportsmanship. Chanting can become inhibiting to your score if used in these ways: swearing, vulgarity, personal attacks, post competition negative commentary, social media negative commentary, and physical confrontation. These things will result in disqualification.

Showmanship (5 Points)

Showmanship represents a Step Team’s ability to convey their message and appeal to the audience. It is also a direct representation of their comfort and poise on stage.

Stage Utilization (10 Points) 

Teams will be scored based on their movement in transitions and formations. This category will be numerically quantified by the amount of transitions and/or moving formations rather than the size or breadth of the teams.

Overall Performance (5 Points)

This is the judge’s last opportunity to score a team on their overall performance. 1-10 points will be assigned at the judge’s discretion of how they gauge the act is in its entirety. This score should be, but does not have to be, within plus or minus 1 point of the average of a team’s other 10 scores.

NATIONAL STEP LEAGUE STEP COMPETITION OFFICIAL RULES

Registration: The registration deadline will STRICTLY be enforced, 2 weeks prior to an event. All late registrations are subject to $25 penalty outside of 7 days, and $50.00 inside of 7 days late. Registration fees are non refundable. Once registration fees are paid and a team chooses to, is unable to, or does not participate in that competition they do have the option to transfer that registration fee to another competition within the same round; ie championship to championship not championship to nationals.

Each team is allotted 8 minutes on the stage of performance time. There is 1 minute allotted for the set up transition. Clock will start upon the first sign of the beginning of a competition act.

No profanity/explicit content is to be allowed within any portion of the show/performance.

No sexually explicit content is to be allowed within any portion of the event/ performance. Sexually explicit behaviors/content include, but are not limited to, inappropriate removal of clothing, gyrating in a sexual manner, imitating sexual motions, using music with vulgar sexual lyrics (including chants/ songs), etc.

No defamation of character is to be tolerated, on stage or off stage. This includes defamation on the basis of gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual preference/lifestyle, economic status, etc. This also includes inappropriate conduct and/or unprofessionalism exuded on and off stage toward other competition teams, audience members and the National Step League organization. Such acts will result in disqualification.

No use of fire, pyrotechnics, or other hazardous materials/objects.

In the even of a riser or elevated stage of any kind, there is no jumping off the stage.

No props that resemble any type of firearms will be permitted under any circumstances.

Each Team is solely responsible for ensuring that all music, routines, props, costumes and all other aspects of the Team’s performance comply (and the approval by Sponsor or its designee of any of the foregoing will not relieve any Team of its responsibility to comply) with the Official Rules and these Performance Rules and Regulations and all applicable laws, rules and regulations.

Each team will adhere to the following age requirements: Middle School Teams up to 14 years of age; High School & Community Step Teams from age 13 up to age 21. Validation of age may be requested on the day of show by the judges.

All teams between the ages of 9-14 years old will compete as co-ed teams. If there are more than 2 teams ages 6 to 10, they will be categorized elementary, separate from the 9-14 division. If there are not, then those teams will automatically default to the 9-14 division.

All teams between the ages of 13-21 years old will compete in gender specific categories; categorized as: male, female or co-ed.**

All 1st Place Teams advance to Nationals in their respective categories.

All teams that score above the 90 percentile advance to Nationals.

State Competitions that have no teams scoring in the 90th percentile will have their 1st and 2nd place teams advance to Nationals.

In the event of a cancelled or postponed event, pending registrars will be able to submit audition tape to qualify for nationals. Audition tape will be subject to exact same scoring rubric.

Not adhering to any of the above rules and regulations will result in an automatic 10 point deduction, per deviation, from the team performance score, and may also result in disqualification where specified.

**Unique circumstances for the 13-21 year old category** 
In the event that a team is the only team in their category, they will be placed in a different category based on the majority of gender of their entire team. Moreover; In the event that a co-ed team is the only team in its category, in a competition with more than 2 all female and more than 2 all male teams, the co-ed team will be placed in a different category based on the majority of its gender. In the event that one team of one specific gender is the only team in its category at a specific competition, and there is only one other category present, the competition will become co-ed competitions by default.

PRIVACY & MEDIA DISCLOSURE

It is understood that the things of the functionality of the National Step League Step competition including recruitment methods, show structure, judging criterion all constituents of this agreement are under copyright laws protected and owned by National Step League. In signing this agreement you agree not to attempt to duplicate or replicate these said methods for competitive purposes against the same said organization. It is agreed and understood that participants in National Step League may be photographed,interviewed, and/or videotaped by representatives of National Step League and/or media outlets (newspaper, radio, T.V. stations, CBOs, apparel companies, etc.). Any media obtained may be reproduced by National Step League/Break The Stage/Step-in-School and/or the public media for use in advertising, publicity, or educational activities. Publications include but are not limited to: the website, advertisements, annual reports, posters, banners, bulletin boards, commercials, PSAs and other public relations materials.

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