Rules & Guidelines

What is a Jack & Jill Competition?

The key characteristics of a Jack & Jill competition include:

  1. Random Pairings: Unlike traditional dance competitions where dancers often compete with a chosen partner, Jack & Jill competitions involve random pairings. Dancers are paired up with different partners through a random draw, which can occur before each round of dancing.
  2. Spontaneity and Improvisation: The format emphasizes the dancers’ ability to adapt and improvise with different partners and to different music. This tests their skills in leading and following, musicality, and overall dance versatility.
  3. Multiple Rounds: Competitions often have multiple rounds, starting with preliminaries and moving to semi-finals and finals. Dancers are judged individually in the early rounds, and only in the final rounds might they be judged as a couple.
  4. Music Variety: The music for Jack & Jill competitions is typically chosen by the organizers or DJs and covers a range of tempos and different Bachata styles adding to the challenge for the dancers to showcase their adaptability.
  5. Judging Criteria: All Judges are looking for qualities such as timing, technique, connection with the partner, musical interpretation, and overall presentation. The ability to connect well with a randomly assigned partner is particularly important.
  6. Community and Fun: While competitive, Jack & Jill competitions are also known for their fun, community-oriented atmosphere. They encourage social interaction and are often a highlight at dance events and festivals.


A minimum of five judges are required. In the preliminary and semi-final round an even or odd number of judges may be used: five, six, seven, eight or nine. In Jack & Jill competitions, one half of the judges may judge leaders, the other half followers. 

A final round of a competition must be judged by an odd number of judges: at least five, recommended seven, preferred nine. 

Preliminary Round, Semi-Finals

In the preliminary round and if needed in the semi-finals, the competitors are not ranked in a specific order, a call-back system is used instead.

Every dancer gets judges individually, neverless partnership is an important part of the judging.

Every song will be danced with a random partner. This can be determined by rotating or shuffeling after/before every song.

The judges select competitors for the next round (essentially yes or no) and determine alternates.

The event organizer determines how many competitors are promoted for the next round. There are two possibilities:

  • Pre-fixed number of semi-finalists or finalists
  • Considering the natural break in the ranking (often it occurs, that the first group of ranked competitors are close together before there is a break to the second group with the rest of the ranked competitors)

The callbacks will be announced to the competitors. After the awards the detailed scores of judges without headjudge will be posted.

Final Placements

In the finals, all the competitors get placed by the judges by defining a rank:

1st place, 2nd place, 3rd place, etc. while duplicate placements are not allowed.

For the final placement a majority is needed. If no competitor has a majority of the same placement, the

next placement is added to the previous placements until a majority is reached:

  • 1st and 2nd place (= 1-2)
  • 1st, 2nd and 3rd place (= 1-3)
  • etc.

If two or more competitors have an equal majority, the numerical value of the ordinals for each competitor is added. The competitor with the lower sum get ranked higher. If the sums for two and more competitors are equal, the next placement is added to the previous placements.


Example 1:

Competitor Number Judges Placements Total Relative Placements Final Place
J1 J2 J3 J4 J5 1-1 1-2 1-3 1-4 1-5 1-6
1 1 5 1 1 2 3 1st
2 2 2 5 4 1 1 3 2nd
3 3 3 3 2 3 - 1 5 3rd
4 4 4 2 3 4 - 1 2 5 4th
5 5 1 4 5 5 1 1 1 2 5 5th
6 6 6 6 6 6 - - - - - 5 6th

In this example, the result is clear through all competitors. The majority of votes with five judges is three. 

  • Although Judge 2 placed competitor #1 fifth, the majority of three judges placed them first, so the final place is first as well. 
  • Competitor #2 got one first place and two second place votes. Therefore 1-1 is 1 and 1-2 (1st plus 2nd) is 3.
  • Competitor #3 got no first place, one second place and four third place votes: 1-1 is 0, 1-2 is 1 and 1-3 is five (1st plus 2nd plus 3rd)

Example 2:

Competitor Number Judges Placements Total Relative Placements Final Place
J1 J2 J3 J4 J5 1-1 1-2 1-3 1-4 1-5 1-6
1 2 1 5 1 1 3 1st
2 1 2 2 5 5 1 3(5) 3(5) 3(5) 5 2nd
3 5 6 1 2 2 1 3(5) 3(5) 3(5) 4 3rd
4 3 3 3 3 6 - - 4 4th
5 4 4 4 6 4 - - - 4 5th
6 6 5 6 4 3 - - 1 2 3 6th

In this example we have a more complicated situation. The majority of votes is still three.

  • For competitor #1 the result is clear, the majority of judges voted them first.
  • Competitor #2 and #3 reached both the majority of three for 2nd place. Now we take the sum of the ordinals: 1+2+2=5 (written in brackets) for both competitors, we have an equal situation. 
  • The same procedure will be repeated until a majority is reached. In this example the difference is eventually at 1-5.
  • Competitor #4 has more votes for 1-3 than #2 and #3, but less for 1-2, so the final place is 4.

Divisions (will be applied soon)

The individual divisions will be applied as soon as we have collected enough data and points from the upcoming events.

In Bachata Jack and Jill competitions, you may see the following divisions:

• Newcomer
• Novice
• Intermediate
• Advanced
• All-Stars
• Champions (by invitation of BachataCouncil only)
• Invitational (by invitation of event organizer)
• Junior/Masters (age-based divisions)

The most common divisions are Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, and All-Stars/Champions or

Points are tracked separately for leaders and followers, so you can easily dance as both roles at an event. But not in the same division.

Division Requirements max. points Description
Newcomer --- any points Newcomer division is for new dancers with less than 2 years of experience and no BCID.
Novice --- 30 Novice points Novice division is for dancers that start competing. You can decide between Newcomer and Novice.
Intermediate 15+ Novice points 60 Intermediate points
Advanced 30+ Intermediate points 90 Advanced points
All-Stars 45+ Advanced points
Champions invited by BC
Pro teachers For dancers that teach for money.

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