The Limits Of FASR

Gero Teufert, 08/1999


FASR And The Geographic Orientation Of A Setup

FASR was designed to create a common language for caller's communication about setups. The primary goal was to offer a system that allowed to cover all relevant aspects concerning a proper "Allemande left, Promenade" get out.

The Allemande left is usually followed by a Promenade. Due to that the dancers get back their home positions regardless what distance or angle they were removed from it before the Allemande left. Hence FASR does not need to carry how much the dancers are "offset" from home and it does not.

A [0B1c] (e. g. Zero Box, Allemande Left Box) always is a [0B1c] no matter if in east/west or north/south orientation. FASR makes you know that from a [0B1c] you can call "Allemande Left, Promenade" or a proper get out. But FASR does not tell how far the dancers have to travel on the Promenade. The box can be in NS or EW orientation, but the "Allemande Left" is always sure.

Hence without extension FASR is not able to give you the information needed for a "return to home" get out. Although we can say that after a [0B1c] "pass thru, outfacers cloverleaf" the dancers are ALWAYS end in a [0S1p], they are only at home positions when the initial box had an appropriate orientation.


FASR And The Position Of Heads And Sides

Since Allemande left is always ending in a R+L Grand Circle for technical aspects it is not relevant where the heads or sides have been in the formation preceding the Allemande left. This information can be omitted and consequently FASR does not cover it.

The information [0B1c] (e. g. Zero Box, Allemande Left Box) does not tell you anything about the fact whether this is a "Heads Square Thru box" or a "Sides Square Thru box". To FASR both are technically equal.


The Limits Of FASR States

To use FASR-States is useful when you work with modules. I. e. you know a set of calls that works as a get out from a certain FASR State.


A module is a call or a set of calls that gets the square from one given definite FASR state to another (or the same) definite FASR state.


Reversing the definition that means that we are not allowed to use any calls in modules that do not allow to determine the exact FASR state after we called them.

In square dancing there are four different ways of addressing dancers:

  1. Addressing dancer's genders (boys, girls). This could be imagined like drawing an X on the back of certain genders and call to the X's (means marked).
  2. Addressing relative positions in a formation (ends, centers, outsides, leaders): Imagine this like drawing an X to the appropriate position in the formation. Note that when the formation is rotated, the X rotates with it the same degree, i. e. trailing end dancers are always on the same relative position in the formation.
  3. Addressing a certain geographical position in the room ("those on the head position...", "if you are facing a head wall...."): This is like drawing an X on the floor and addressing whoever occupies that spot. This way of addressing dancers feels strange from other than the square formation.
  4. Addressing dancer's starting positions ([original]heads, sides). This could be imagined like drawing an X on the dancers with those properties and call to the X's.

Cases 1. and 2. are perfectly covered by FASR. When addressing ends, centers, leaders, boys or girls from a given FASR the resulting FASR is absolutely predictable.

Case 3. leads us to an unpredictable result from a given FASR. This is because the FASR system does not carry information about the orientation of a setup in the room.

Hence we are not allowed to use any calls that assume a certain geographic orientation. Of course it is POSSIBLE to call such things, but it makes the result unpredictable when using FASR only. When you have diamonds with a known FASR and call "if you are facing a head wall: trade" it result to different FASR States depending on the geographic orientation. Hence those call are going over the limits of the FASR system.


FASR is independent of the geographic orientation of a setup.
Calls, that assume a geographic orientation are not allowed to use in modules.


As well you are not allowed to call a figure just for the heads or sides because FASR does not tell on which position in the formation they are. Legal are calls addressing boys/girls, ends/centers, infacers/outfacers, leaders/trailers aso.


FASR does not determine where heads or sides are in a setup.
Calls, that are addressing heads or sides are not allowed in modules.


The missing information about the position of heads and sides makes the existence of conditional zeros (technical zeros) ever possible. In a system that would cover the information about heads' and sides' positions a [0L1p] is named different after a "bend the line".


Missing References

Although FASR is a system designed for determine most of the in use setups it has a lack of terms. Callerlab agreed only on the 0-arrangements of [L], [B], [F] and [W] how to find the reference pair. We do not have that information for other arrangements. Due to the system the reference always consists of a boy and a girl, so we can determine relationship. That makes it hard to tell for those arrangements where two boys or two girls are occupying the position of the reference pair in the 0-arrangement.

My personal approach would be to define only one reference position in a formation. E. g. in an in facing line that would be the very left hand end position. The reference pair then would be determined as the dancer on the reference position and the first dancer CCW of opposite gender. That would change nothing for the 0-arrangements and for all other arrangements it makes a clear cut for the relationship.



last Update: 10.12.1999

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