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Enrollment, Judging, Illinois, and Random Draw

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One thing that I would like to see ISU do is go to a top 14 scores format. Not entirely sure but I am fairly confident that there were bands in 5a and 6a that outscored bands from 1a - 4a in prelims.I just feel like this creates a true state finals competition. All the bands in the finals performed great and it was truly a great year for marching in the state of Illinois

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One thing that I would like to see ISU do is go to a top 14 scores format. Not entirely sure but I am fairly confident that there were bands in 5a and 6a that outscored bands from 1a - 4a in prelims.I just feel like this creates a true state finals competition. All the bands in the finals performed great and it was truly a great year for marching in the state of Illinois

So the logical way finals works? :P

 

The only thing that would have to change is one panel for prelims and another for finals or one panel all day long (both logical ways). There would have to be space for exhibitions for class winners though and I don't want to stay until 1:00 in the morning so it should be top 12 or reevaluate class sizes or just make an actual state competition. ;)

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I keep hearing a certain schools parents say their 2014 show inst as good as their 2013 show, and 2013 wasn't as good as 2012. Yet, somehow the judges keep giving them first place. Is it possible some schools just get a free pass, even when they don't think they've put their best foot forward? Its a shame that every band starts off battling for 3rd place due to impartial or biased judging.

 

When you have humans judging any competition there is no way they can be completely unbiased. It is impossible for we mere mortals to not interject our experiences, tastes, likes and dislikes into judging. Also there is no way to have totally blind judging, bands wear uniforms! 

 

However, after years of watching competitions, I have never seen a certain third given a first because of who they are. I have been to close competitions where I had no idea who won because they were all so good. A very small tenths of a point bias could change an outcome in that circumstance. I feel that would be very rare.  

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Yes, we all know that smaller schools suck and should be counted out of the competition as quickly as possible!!!!! Why do they even let them take the field???? Small schools shouldn't even have bands!

You know that wasn't the point CrimsonDad. I would think you would agree that it should be the top 14 of the day not because bigger schools are better, but because of talent. Lincoln Way West and Limestone proved that with the performances they made. Even if it was to 14, LWW, Morton, Marian Catholic, LWN and Normal West would have all still made it. Also I appreciate people who are honest, but your best intrest would probably be to reel it in and maybe things you think you say are okay when they really aren't.

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Whoa.....what?

 

I did that for entertainment purposes only. I have been on a tear this weak about how small schools always getting the shaft at competitions. Just by putting the small bands first in the day and saving the "best" for prime time is a bias that can rarely be overcome. In addition to other arguments. 

 

I think a BIG band should be forced to wake up at 5:00 AM, board a yellow school bus (not a coach), rumble down the road, warm up,  compete and 10:30 AM and then sit until 8:00 PM to find out they made the finals, because the organizers have to take one school in their division, get warmed up again and then march again.

 

I can dream.   

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I did that for entertainment purposes only. I have been on a tear this weak about how small schools always getting the shaft at competitions. Just by putting the small bands first in the day and saving the "best" for prime time is a bias that can rarely be overcome. In addition to other arguments. 

 

I think a BIG band should be forced to wake up at 5:00 AM, board a yellow school bus (not a coach), rumble down the road, warm up,  compete and 10:30 AM and then sit until 8:00 PM to find out they made the finals, because the organizers have to take one school in their division, get warmed up again and then march again.

 

I can dream.   

Are you SURE you've gone to BOA? :rolleyes:

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I did that for entertainment purposes only. I have been on a tear this weak about how small schools always getting the shaft at competitions. Just by putting the small bands first in the day and saving the "best" for prime time is a bias that can rarely be overcome. In addition to other arguments. 

 

I think a BIG band should be forced to wake up at 5:00 AM, board a yellow school bus (not a coach), rumble down the road, warm up,  compete and 10:30 AM and then sit until 8:00 PM to find out they made the finals, because the organizers have to take one school in their division, get warmed up again and then march again.

 

I can dream.   

I understand this sentiment.  U of I has started to take that approach, by rotating the class sizes within small and large schools, but I think they should take it a step further by rotating the small school and large school performance time.  We've performed everywhere from 8:00-1:30, but NEVER in the evening.  In our class, which is the largest of the whole day, many of the bands are among the largest the whole day.  There is nothing like performing in a large stadium at night, but sadly, most of our kids won't get to experience that. 

 

Also, regarding scores, and having larger schools outscore smaller schools that make it into finals, I'm not sure how ISU works, but most competitions have obvious score inflation as you advance in classes.  We have seen "bad" bands in a larger class outscore "good" bands in a smaller class, merely because they are in the larger class.

 

Just my two cents.

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Yes. And this was in context with posts on non-BOA event. I think all of the competitions need to be a blind draw like BOA. Results would be significantly different. But, that would hurt the gate during prime time. 

 

Regardless of BOA or non-BOA, there are groups out there that are up before 5 and then traveling on buses for 4+ hours for a single performance and are not making it back home until 4 the next morning. Coach or not, my personal experience has been that buses are extremely uncomfortable. <-- Personal opinion there! I absolutely hate buses.

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Amen! We had ONE night competition this year. Otherwise, we have had all day performances (minus home football games).  There is nothing like performing under the stadium lights at night in a big stadium. I attended a larger high school growing up. Now, I work at a school that has 400 kids..total. Its a different ball game. 

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Yes, we all know that smaller schools suck and should be counted out of the competition as quickly as possible!!!!! Why do they even let them take the field? ??? Small schools shouldn't even have bands!

I never said that any band sucked I just said that the 14 best scores should be in finals. If a small school is in the top 14 then good for them. 

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Regardless of BOA or non-BOA, there are groups out there that are up before 5 and then traveling on buses for 4+ hours for a single performance and are not making it back home until 4 the next morning. Coach or not, my personal experience has been that buses are extremely uncomfortable. <-- Personal opinion there! I absolutely hate buses.

 

We can all agree that to make competitions more fair the performance schedule should be a blind draw. Right?

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I never said that any band sucked I just said that the 14 best scores should be in finals. If a small school is in the top 14 then good for them. 

 

I think we can all read between the lines. I'm going to cover the same ground again but there is a built in bias at Non-random draw competitions as it perceived that the best will be last. Two others posting have noticed this as well. 

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I never said that any band sucked I just said that the 14 best scores should be in finals. If a small school is in the top 14 then good for them. 

 

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the change in the way bands are selected for finals at ISU just changed a few years ago (maybe four or so years). Though my opinion is just another opinion, I really like the way it is done now. Every band puts in an incredible amount of work to perform at this competition and deserves a chance to do so under the lights. At the end of the day, it's not all about who's winning or the trophies they earn (in fact, the plaques for fifth through fourteenth place finalists are exactly the same).

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I like when there is prelims and finals. I hope the finals there are a random draw. It is a chance to showcase the best shows large or small. 

 

I was referring more to the selection of bands who will perform in finals. The current system at ISU makes it possible for smaller bands (or at least bands from 1A-4A, who may not be all that small) to make finals, which I believe supports your thoughts in earlier posts. As for the order of finalists, I'll be cliche and say they're all winners!

 

And to comment on an older post of yours, CrimsonDad: There are many large bands who are up and at it early to get to competitions, only to find out they don't make finals. I happen to remember a day when I was in high school when we had a 4:45am rehearsal before leaving to compete at ISU. Performed in 3A, then had to stay until 7pm to find out we didn't make finals (back when the top fourteen bands, regardless of class, were selected for finals). It sucks, but that's just part of the game, unfortunately.

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If you make the finals at any competition you are a winner in my book too!!! I guess I am a rank sentimentalist at heart. 

 

1A and 2A has to face that more than most and 5A plus, rarely has to face the same arduous scheduling. It is just part of it but the extra-effort needs to be recognized. With our school it is every competition, every week. 

 

Deep down, I do love the thrill of winning. Winning anything: caption, third place, grand champion, anything associated with a piece of twisted plastic in recognition of how good I did, fine! But after seeing this activity from the side of an educator, it's much different for me. I stand on the sideline and sob as my kids perform their hearts out week after week. It could be the worst run we've ever had in public, but I'm still overwhelmed by how amazing it is that we took 180+ kids and put together a high-quality show. Ranks tell us what a panel of well-respected and highly qualified individuals think of our bands in comparison to the other performers, but inside we are all grand champions.

 

I agree, at ISU specifically the scheduling does favor bands from larger schools, but there are large bands who encounter the same problem here. I can't speak for many other competitions - most of ours this season have been afternoon and/or evening shows that have allowed us to have a bit of an easier morning. Unfortunately, I don't think there's much to be done about the issue. Random draw may still place small schools at the beginning of the pack, only to wait around all day to see if they make finals that night. If it makes you feel better, University of Illinois changed the scheduling for SuperState last year to make 3A (out of 4) perform Saturday morning... We left the school at 4am on school buses.

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Deep down, I do love the thrill of winning. Winning anything: caption, third place, grand champion, anything associated with a piece of twisted plastic in recognition of how good I did, fine! But after seeing this activity from the side of an educator, it's much different for me. I stand on the sideline and sob as my kids perform their hearts out week after week. It could be the worst run we've ever had in public, but I'm still overwhelmed by how amazing it is that we took 180+ kids and put together a high-quality show. Ranks tell us what a panel of well-respected and highly qualified individuals think of our bands in comparison to the other performers, but inside we are all grand champions.

 

I agree, at ISU specifically the scheduling does favor bands from larger schools, but there are large bands who encounter the same problem here. I can't speak for many other competitions - most of ours this season have been afternoon and/or evening shows that have allowed us to have a bit of an easier morning. Unfortunately, I don't think there's much to be done about the issue. Random draw may still place small schools at the beginning of the pack, only to wait around all day to see if they make finals that night. If it makes you feel better, University of Illinois changed the scheduling for SuperState last year to make 3A (out of 4) perform Saturday morning... We left the school at 4am on school buses.

 

I just want as much fairness for the kids as possible. In the current structure for most competitions from my perspective it could be improved for fairness.  

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I risk sounding pretentious, but fair is a really sticky term. I don't believe it is possible for competitive marching band to be a fair activity. Fairness is in the eye of the beholder - what seems fair for one band may seem unfair to another. Just out of curiosity, what do you believe could be improved to make competitions more fair?

 

A real big issue that I fear cannot be remedied is the order of competition. Individual competitions control this and I don't see it ever changing for single day competitions. To be completely fair a random draw through the whole day should be adopted.

 

Also, there should also be a final competition at every competition with an equal number of large to small bands. Again the order should be random.

 

Those are two ideas. Keep in mind in general these local competitions are doing a real good job and they are not intentionally hobbling some schools over others.  

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I don't see anything wrong with randomizing the performance order of Class 1A, 2A and 3A, then 4A, 5A and 6A. I would never put 4A, 5A and 6A bands on earlier in the day. At that point, you risk losing fans who don't want to get up at 4:30-5:00 a.m. to the webcast, which ultimately means fewer people coming to your school for this recruiting/fundraising event. If people don't think that their school will make finals, they won't show up at all. If they can see their band and make a day/night of it, perhaps there's more money to be made-per-seat. Perhaps more overnight motel stays. And of course the opportunity for all to see the BRMM.

 

The one change that I do not care for is the selection of additional finalists (non-class winners) per class grouping. I get the logic, but would rather it remain Top 14 overall. If there's a major concern, do what BOA does, and make the class champion bands exhibition bands (unless they qualify on their own). That should free up enough spots to work-around my criticism.

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I split off about 20 posts or so from the scores thread so it doesn't get too cluttered.

 

Also, we can't have a straight "random draw" at ISU, because ISU is technically judged as two separate contests with 1A-4A, and 5A-6A.  In addition, the judging format of ISU was changed about 3-4 years ago into this new format.  ISU used to have 10 judges, 4 Music GE judges whose scores were averaged and 2 Visual GE judges whose scores were also averaged.  Those same 10 judges judged ALL of prelims and finals, switching captions for finals.

 

We don't want to go back to that.

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A real big issue that I fear cannot be remedied is the order of competition. Individual competitions control this and I don't see it ever changing for single day competitions. To be completely fair a random draw through the whole day should be adopted.

 

Also, there should also be a final competition at every competition with an equal number of large to small bands. Again the order should be random.

 

Those are two ideas. Keep in mind in general these local competitions are doing a real good job and they are not intentionally hobbling some schools over others.  

 

The random draw would be very interesting. I believe there are a few non-BOA competitions that have adopted that method, but I am not entirely sure if that has made an impact on the results or general morale.

 

The problem I foresee with having a finals round at every competition is that there is going to be even more wasted time that way. In the Chicagoloand area there are many bands who choose to compete at two different competitions on the same day - one in the morning, one in the afternoon (I'm not sure if this is a trend in southern Illinois). A finals round at every event would limit this severely (or just make the selection of finalist bands a nightmare). Finals at every competition means long days for everyone involved, waiting for the awards ceremony to see if you'll be going on for finals or packing up and heading home. For those competitions electing to host both a preliminary and final round, I do think it would be nice to have a mix of the small and large bands performing in random order. Again, every band puts a tremendous amount of work into each performance and deserves to be recognized in a finals performance.

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Here's what I'd like to see:

  • A set scoring system across the state based on the BOA method (Music Individual+Music Ensemble/2, Visual Individual+Visual Ensemble/2, Music GE 1+ Music GE 2+ Visual GE=Final Score), with bands classified based on school size.
  • No more parades factoring into final scoring.  It's disappearing, but not quickly enough for my taste.
  • Judges that know how to use the sheets.
  • A BOA regional in Champaign or DeKalb (I know...it's close to Indianapolis/St. Louis.  Whatever)
  • Shows that don't factor guard/drum major/percussion into final score.  I don't have a problem with that being a caption, but factoring into the final score doesn't work for me.

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Here's what I'd like to see:

  • A set scoring system across the state based on the BOA method (Music Individual+Music Ensemble/2, Visual Individual+Visual Ensemble/2, Music GE 1+ Music GE 2+ Visual GE=Final Score), with bands classified based on school size.
  • No more parades factoring into final scoring.  It's disappearing, but not quickly enough for my taste.
  • Judges that know how to use the sheets.
  • A BOA regional in Champaign or DeKalb (I know...it's close to Indianapolis/St. Louis.  Whatever)
  • Shows that don't factor guard/drum major/percussion into final score.  I don't have a problem with that being a caption, but factoring into the final score doesn't work for me.

 

I would heartily second especially the first and third of Dan's points!  I believe ANY sort of standard scoring and classification would immediately begin to improve the quality of shows and in turn performances across the state.  No more moving targets from competition to competition.  Of course, you must have judges that know how to use and interpret the sheets.  I personally don't even care right now if it's BOA format or not.  Yes, that is probably the most accurate and documented tool out there, but let's just start with any sort of consistent method of classification and judging......

 

A BOA regional in Champaign would be incredible in my opinion.  That stadium is fantastic to perform in.

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