In honor of the All Scotland Championships being last weekend, it seems like a good time to mention the importance of major competitions. Major competitions are competitions that help you qualify for the World championships. They start with regional majors; this is called the Oireachtas (pronounced as o-rock-tahs). Every region has it’s own oireachtas that dancers can compete at to qualify for the North American National Championships and the World championships (called the Oireachtas Rince na Cruinne, pronounced as o-rock-tahs rin-ka na crew-na). To qualify for the Oireachtas, a dancer has to be at the preliminary or open championship level. Dancers who are at the open championship level also automatically qualify for the North American National Championships. Dancers cannot automatically qualify for the World Championships unless that dancer got a placement medal at the previous World Championships; these dancers are considered world medal holders. Now these are only the rules in the united states. In other countries the rules are very similar, but the amount of dancers that qualify for the World Championships varies. As Americans, we can attend regional and national competitions in other countries, but we are not allowed to qualify for the Worlds in those countries. You can only qualify for the worlds in your home country. Dancers attend overseas majors to size up the competition and get a feel for how they compare to the other dancers at the worlds.
At these competitions the scoring is the same as at a regular feis. There are raw score and irish point system are the same, but the recall and placements are different. At the North American Nationals or NAN’s, the top 50% of the competition recalls. This means that the top 50% return to the stage and perform their set dances. After this round is completed, all of the scores from the three rounds are tallied and the dancer return to the stage for awards. There are two types of medals you can receive: a placement medal or a recall medal. Out of the original competition, 50% of the dancers recall and then the top 25% receive a placement medal. Receiving a placement medal is as high as you can ask for in a major competition apart from being in the top 5 on the podium. If you are confused I can break it down in numbers. If there are 100 dancers in a competition, 50 are asked back to dance their third round. Out of that 50, the top 25 receive an actual placement. The other 25 dncers receive a recall medal that shows that they made it to the set round. The most renowned medal in the world is being a worlds medal holder. Dancers can work their entire lives for that title.