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Enrollment, Judging, Illinois, and Random Draw

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I do agree that the state needs to be more organized with a standard scoring system. I don't know if the BOA sheets and system are the way to go. They are great, don't get me wrong. The issue that I have is that only a very small percentage of bands in the state of IL actually participate in BOA events. Can we truly us that system to judge the gestalt of our state? We need to balance a system that fair assesses all bands in the state. The focus on music performance and visual performance may need to be more significant in a state system as many groups are focuses on overall effect. Also, we are assessing music education programs. Again, not against BOA at all. Love it and attending St. Louis on Friday. But as a state, we must find a system that works for the highest percentage of ensembles in Illinois. 

 

Also, classification system. Band size? School size? Hybrid? What would be the most balanced?

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I do agree that the state needs to be more organized with a standard scoring system. I don't know if the BOA sheets and system are the way to go. They are great, don't get me wrong. The issue that I have is that only a very small percentage of bands in the state of IL actually participate in BOA events. Can we truly us that system to judge the gestalt of our state? We need to balance a system that fair assesses all bands in the state. The focus on music performance and visual performance may need to be more significant in a state system as many groups are focuses on overall effect. Also, we are assessing music education programs. Again, not against BOA at all. Love it and attending St. Louis on Friday. But as a state, we must find a system that works for the highest percentage of ensembles in Illinois. 

 

Also, classification system. Band size? School size? Hybrid? What would be the most balanced?

 

School size should be the only way to go.  Why?  Generally speaking, larger schools=more money.  More money=more hired staff. More hired staff=greater individual focus.  Generally speaking, smaller schools are the opposite.  Unfortunately, money makes the world go round.

 

Also, every school in each class has the same opportunities to get large numbers, proportionate to their school body.  A school with 400 kids but 150 in their band should NEVER go against a school of 3000 with 150 in their band.  It's not a level playing field.  Larger schools can be more selective and get rid of the bad marchers/players because there are more from which to choose.  If a suburban school with a student body of 2000+ only has 80 in ther band, that's their problem/fault.  Again, my two cents.

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School size should be the only way to go.  Why?  Generally speaking, larger schools=more money.  More money=more hired staff. More hired staff=greater individual focus.  Generally speaking, smaller schools are the opposite.  Unfortunately, money makes the world go round.

 

Also, every school in each class has the same opportunities to get large numbers, proportionate to their school body.  A school with 400 kids but 150 in their band should NEVER go against a school of 3000 with 150 in their band.  It's not a level playing field.  Larger schools can be more selective and get rid of the bad marchers/players because there are more from which to choose.  If a suburban school with a student body of 2000+ only has 80 in ther band, that's their problem/fault.  Again, my two cents.

 

I am in complete agreement. School size, not band size. There are a few exceptions to the rule, but most smaller schools simply cannot compete with the big boys. That's why it takes the perfect set of circumstances for a small program to flourish head-to-head over a consistent period. For Illinois, that's your 1A-3A bands and for BOA, classes A and AA.

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I am in complete agreement. School size, not band size. There are a few exceptions to the rule, but most smaller schools simply cannot compete with the big boys. That's why it takes the perfect set of circumstances for a small program to flourish head-to-head over a consistent period. For Illinois, that's your 1A-3A bands and for BOA, classes A and AA.

 

So you are saying that the recent class in a local competition wasn't exactly level?

 

Band A - 160 school enrollment (5th place)

Band B - 343 school enrollment (4th place)

Band C - 427 school enrollment (6th place)

Band D - 556 school enrollment (3rd place)

Band E - 1302 school enrollment (2nd place)

Band F - 2146 school enrollment (1st place)

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I do agree that school size is important, but then can a band of 50 really compete against a band of 150? You can't hide in a group that is small, but can in a larger group. Musically speaking, that playing field is not level either. And you can't seriously agree that a band of 150 from a school of 600 can't compete with a band of 150 from a school of 2000. I have seen it happen. It is not about money. Sure, a larger program has more resources to pull from, but it is also the use of those resources or the availability of them. There are tons of other factors involved.

 

I do like a hybrid system that balances both. Separating programs by school size first then band size:

 

Example:

1A (School size 1-800, <70 in band)

2A (1-800, >70)

3A (801-1200, <100)

4A (801-1200, >100)

5A (1201+, <115)

6A (1201+, >115)

 

Just something to think about. 

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So you are saying that the recent class in a local competition wasn't exactly level?

 

Band A - 160 school enrollment (5th place)

Band B - 343 school enrollment (4th place)

Band C - 427 school enrollment (6th place)

Band D - 556 school enrollment (3rd place)

Band E - 1302 school enrollment (2nd place)

Band F - 2146 school enrollment (1st place)

 

I'm not exactly sure on what to follow on Marchguy, but I think I agree. ???

Also I agree with school size as a "state" classification system. I think for the range that we have in Illinois I would suggest 1A to 5A max. Not a fan of 6 because for me that is too much to coordinate and could run classes thin in local competitions. Honestly, though if a competition wants to go by band size, I could care less since I disagree wholeheartedly that groups should never compete against groups of different school sizes. If a competition wants to use band sized that should be standardized too with 1A-4A. Additionally I believe that it does not require perfect circumstance for a group of 150 from a school of 450 to be better than a band of 150 at a school of 2500, but rather the chance for opportunity. Dedicated students and great band directors are really the primary reason why groups start the trek towards success. Money is what keeps that train going and gives more opportunity, but is not the reason why a group is good as evident by multiple districts who have crazy funding and are not really successful.

 

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Maybe this is clearer.  This is an actual classification of bands at a recent local marching band competition that determined the classes based on band size:

 

Band A - 427 school enrollment (6th place)

Band B - 160 school enrollment (5th place)

Band C - 343 school enrollment (4th place)

Band D - 556 school enrollment (3rd place)

Band E - 1302 school enrollment (2nd place)

Band F - 2146 school enrollment (1st place)

 

Although I don't know how it was divided, I would imagine that all of these bands fell in the 50-75 member range.  However, you can see there is a HUGE difference in school size.  Yes, I have seen bands from small schools compete well with bands from larger schools, but a school of 160 competing against a school of 2146???????????

 

There is a reason that Hoosiers is such a great story.  Because it hardly ever happens!  Sure, it's great when it happens, but what about the other 99 percent of the time?

 

Add to that the fact the a lot of times the larger schools with smaller bands are extra-curricular groups that can be more selective.  My small, rural, school band has about 30 percent that are also involved in fall sports and other activities that cause them to miss rehearsal time and even performances for games and matches.  An extra-curricular band from a school with 2146 students probably doesn't have that issue as often. 

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I do agree that school size is important, but then can a band of 50 really compete against a band of 150? You can't hide in a group that is small, but can in a larger group. Musically speaking, that playing field is not level either. And you can't seriously agree that a band of 150 from a school of 600 can't compete with a band of 150 from a school of 2000.. There are tons of other factors involved.

 

I do like a hybrid system that balances both. Separating programs by school size first then band size:

 

Example:

1A (School size 1-800, <70 in band)

2A (1-800, >70)

3A (801-1200, <100)

4A (801-1200, >100)

5A (1201+, <115)

6A (1201+, >115)

 

Just something to think about.

So when Morton consistently out does groups from schools triple their school size that doesn't make you agree. Or Beechwood, KY or Bellbrook, OH who consistently wreak groups from schools quadruple their sizes. The word hide gets thrown around so much. Altough I never once heard that in the groups I was in. I have been in groups from 70 to 300 and no matter what everything was seen, everything was noticed and we knew when people were trying to hide. We never once did we ever intend to purposely hide someone. I know I am beating a dead horse since it will forever be a polarizing argument, but I find it a cop out or even hopelessness to say that small groups in small schools will never have a chance against a small group in a large school. Maybe I just don't want to believe that is how the machine works, but it really depends on the director I suppose (which we know can be a crap shoot in general education).

 

I am not a fan of hybrids, but that one would work just change it to equal band size on each so:

 

1A and 4A x<70

2A and 5A 100>x>70

3A and 6A x>100

 

EDIT: Made it so my sentences were actual sentences.

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I do agree that the state needs to be more organized with a standard scoring system. I don't know if the BOA sheets and system are the way to go. They are great, don't get me wrong. The issue that I have is that only a very small percentage of bands in the state of IL actually participate in BOA events. Can we truly us that system to judge the gestalt of our state? We need to balance a system that fair assesses all bands in the state. The focus on music performance and visual performance may need to be more significant in a state system as many groups are focuses on overall effect. Also, we are assessing music education programs. Again, not against BOA at all. Love it and attending St. Louis on Friday. But as a state, we must find a system that works for the highest percentage of ensembles in Illinois. 

 

Also, classification system. Band size? School size? Hybrid? What would be the most balanced?

 

1. Take the seven-judge six-caption BOA system. Eliminate the second MGE judge, change MPI and MPE to "add" instead of average, and the 100 point result is very close to your six-judge system and relative weights.

Some directors may lobby very hard for one system or for the other. Many will probably be comfortable with either. They're not too far apart. Contest managers may consider the six-judge system an improvement when slots are hard to fill and panels are costly.

 

2. A designated "state" marching band system may result in some high school principals (the core of the high school association) pressing for classes on an enrollment basis, like any team sport or the organization music contest.

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I am not a fan of hybrids, but that one would work just change it to equal band size on each so:

 

1A and 4A x<70

2A and 5A 100>x>70

3A and 6A x>100

 

I like the idea of a hybrid system and something akin to this would be nice. This way your leveling out the number of musicians against one another and the supposed resource differences between school sizes.

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My Personal Class Breakdowns

School Size Only (Ranges are similar to ISU currently, however, minus 6A and with appropriate room for the natural increases and decreases year to year):

1A (1-650)
2A (651-1300)
3A (1301-1750)
4A (1751-2200)
5A (+2201)

Hybrid System (I said previously I am not a fan of complete isolation so that is why the class range is larger and changed the band sizes slightly. Also I don't know how to do greater/less than or equal to signs, but that is what they should be):

1A (1-1400 and x<70)
2A (1-1400 and 71<x<120)
3A (1-1400 and x>121)
4A (+1401 and x<70)
5A (+1400 and 71<x<120)
6A (+1400 and x>121)

Rough State Championship:

This is my current thoughts on a hardcore option on a state competition that would have to be a combination of UIL and ISSMA with either two or three competitions. I know score sheets come first, but I can dream ahead of time right? :D

First event would be an Area Competition either determined by ILMEA districts or modifying them so we only have at max 6 Areas (9 would probably be to much to coordinate). The school accommodations would be the main factor in deciding how many Area competitions would be needed per area (a large school could accommodate more bands than a smaller one).

To not eliminate revenues from local competitions, schools currently having competitions could register to be the host school and have the results be to move on. I do not want to eliminate the fact that it is still a fundraiser so these could be two separate competitions at their school ( i.e.. Ben Davis in Indiana holds Semi-State and their own competition). The goal is to have at max 14 groups at the next event so the ones that move on will be dependent on how many are registered at each Area combined (so if there is only 18 groups registered in 2A and 14 of them are in one area while the other 4 are in different areas, the 4 isolated are automatically in while only 10 in the one event move onto the next competition. This would ensure that every Area could have one band representing each class at the next competition).

The next one would only be class based and could be the final competition if wanted showing the top 14 in each class. We would need to coordinate locations where the majority of each class resides so we don't have tons of groups crossing all of Illinois. However, this would be on a 3 pronged system. This could be avoided though if able to procure a great and large location (More on that in a second). I would say either Top 8 or Top 10 (if applicable) would go onto Class finals (again if it was a separate place and date). This would run exactly like ISSMA or KMEA Finals.

Either with a 2 pronged or 3 pronged system, both would have to end in a great venue. It would be amazing if ISU and U of I could work out one of two options:

 

If it was 2 pronged, we could see both venues catering to a certain set of classes (ISU 1A-3A and U of I 4A and 5A) and alternating who goes where each year. If it was divided between the two, we could easily incorporate a night finals to have the top 5 in each class perform again similar to UIL (also would end around the time that ISU normally ends after finals). If it is a 3 competition system we could have them flip flop each year. So if we only had a Top 8 or 10 in each class, I think either could easily accommodate 40 to 50 bands (they already are doing it). I personally like the first option better.

 

Now where UIL comes in would be the chance to alternate years. We would have to figure out the best combinations of classes to school sizes (i.e. if we have 100 5A groups and 100 2A groups, it would be nuts to pair them in the same year when 3A has 10). Under this notion we could use either system and could modify the number of groups that make it. So instead of Top 14 we could up it to Top 20 which then reducing to Top 12.This way could also make it possible to have U of I and ISU have their current permutations as well. Although we would have to pick a venue as a permanent place to host it every year or alternate every other class year  (ISU 4A-5A 2010, U of I 4A-5A 2012, ISU 4A-5A 2014). The second method, depending on resources, could eliminate the opportunity for either of them to have both the final competition and their own competition, albeit, that is where a lot a talking would have to happen to see if they would even want to after agreeing to this system keep their old competition as well. I would imagine though if this became a wide spread thing, they would not have to worry about having two competitions a year.

 

I know there is so many holes and so many different problems that would arise and I want all of them! The more we figure out holes, the more we, the "experts", can solidify ideas for someone to pick up on and COMPROMISE. :)

 

I hope some high up people are watching and hopefully do the unthinkable and steal ideas. ;)

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Like any system, there are exceptions. Morton is one of those. Great staff, planning, instruction and execution trumps the system in every case. But, I don't think you can argue school size resources without considering band size issues. That is my point. The numbers are just arbitrary examples. Having taught, designed, judged, and put festivals together for several years, there are several issues to consider. My comments are simply "the other side of the story" in order to further discussion.

 

The word hide does get thrown around, but it is true. Maybe directors do not say it, but we know it happens (mostly by student choice). In a small group where you only have 3 trumpets, you can tell which ones are playing. In a larger group, it is harder to determine (unless on the field judging) which players are truly contributing. And this does not mean smaller groups cannot compete with larger groups. Again, resources versus numbers. Both very valid points to consider.

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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.

 

McKendree is the same way. That's why there are two Grand Champions, not a "small school champion" and a Grand Champion as you have seen fit to label it.

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Wow, PastTiger84, sounds confusing! I'm not sure I understand, but that's okay.  I feel bad for the bands that like to get some competition experience, no matter where they finish and whether they get to "move on or not" getting their season cut short because they don't get to move on to the next round.  There is a lot that goes into putting on a "show" as a fundraiser and as a great opportunity to allow bands to compete. After all, at least 75% of the "competition" bands need the smaller, non-sanctioned competitions in order to allow their programs to grow and feel successful.  Ideally, shouldn't marching band be all about the kids' experience and not all about the trophy and moving on to the title of best in state?  A band that may never make finals at ISU can place in the top three in a local competition and feel great about their performance, giving them hope to improve for the next competition. We already have an idea of the top 5 bands in the state just by reputation of their excellence!  I've never been a fan of "representing all schools" when it comes to ILMEA! It's a shame that some students that score high enough to be a part of District bands don't get the opportunity because one school may only have a flute player and clarinet player audition so we have to take at least one of them even if they scored lower than several other students on the same instrument. It sort of sounds to me that that is what you're leaning toward with making sure every region is represented.  But back to the marching band competition; how do the other states  do their "state" championships? Maybe for more consistency, judges should be registered through an organization such as ILMEA, just like solo contest judges and those of us that run our own competitions can choose from that pool rather than choose directors that might be available that particular weekend. Our school noticed a fluctuation in scores this season ranging from in the 60s to in the 80s and although there was improvement each week, the scores bounced like crazy! Look at the difference in the scores at U of I from small school to large school with a different panel of judges. Were the schools' performances that spread out or was it the interpretation of the different panel of judges? Food for thought.

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I think this has already been mentioned - maybe in years past, but I've always thought something along these lines would be good:

 

Bands would have to register to participate in the "state" marching band circuit run by IMEA, IHSA, or whoever takes charge.  Of course, there would be a yearly entry fee to cover judges, etc.

 

Some sort of state regional/sectional competitions at college or large high school stadiums in mid October (depending on college FB schedules).  These could be held at:  ISU, EIU, SIU, NIU, Illinois Wesleyan, Western Illinois, McKendree, and/or other schools around the state with bands assigned based on geography.  These would be open to bands that wish to compete in the "State" circuit.  If there are bands who wish to compete at these competitions, but not advance through the state circuit, that option would be available based on open spots.  So, if EIU has slots for 40 bands and only 20 wish to be a part of the "state" competition, 20 more can participate in the competition, but only the 20 are elligible to advance.  There are several colleges that host shows now.  All of these regional or sectional competitions would need to take place in early-mid October to ensure that the bands have relatively complete shows, etc.  You wouldn't want one regional in September and another at the end of October.

 

After the regionals are completed, there would be a state championship competition to be held at U of I the last weekend of October/first weekend in November.  Sorry, ISU fans, having performed and watched shows in both stadiums, U of I's stadium is the place to be if we have an "official" state championship.  You take the top scoring band in each class from each regional, plus the next "x" number of top scores.  Similar to how finals are selected at ISU. 

 

Some sort of solution  like this would not eliminate the local shows.  In fact, I believe it would make them bigger because the college shows would all take place around the same time of year - eliminating competition with some of the local shows.  Bands that don't want to be a part of the state circuit could still compete at local shows (and even some of the regionals if there were open slots).  All local shows could use the state judging sheets free of charge to allow bands to see how they stack up heading into regionals.  You could create a pool of judges for each region and these judges could also judge local shows on other weekends.

 

Come up with some standard judges sheets and maybe we could begin to see some consistency across Illinois. 

 

Of course, all this would be dependent on lots of people giving up some measure of control to whichever organizing body stepped up to take charge.  But - it would also still allow colleges and local shows to continue while having an official "state" championship.

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For those of you wondering how other states (Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas) do it:

 

State marching band championships, where they exist, share some characteristics.

  • Classes are based on school enrollment.
  • Bands perform grouped by class for class state championships. There is no overall champion.

The variations of the “state championship series” include the number of events required. No two are alike.

  • Some state championships will schedule qualifying contests by geography. 
  • Others will qualify bands for state contest based on performance in local contests.
  • Some states require a three-weekend state series of progressive contests from local events to final event.
  • Some states do it all in one day/site per class, with as many sites as are needed.

 

A state championship is dependent on its available final contest location(s).

  • FL, IN, MI and TX final contests are at indoor stadiums.
  • KY and WI finals are at university stadiums.
  • OK and SC finals are at multiple high schools.

 

A state championship may be best defined by the structure of its final contest(s).
Here are three distinct models and their variations:

IN, MI, and WI have an all-day-evening final contest at one central site; bands perform only once that day.

  • Each final is four classes (MI has 12 finalists/class; IN has 10 per class).
  • Two panels judge alternate classes.

 

FL and KY have a final contest at one site, with same day prelim class contests at five sites nearby.

  • Each final is five classes (FL has 5 finalists per class, KY has 4 per class).
  • Two finals panels work two or three classes each.

OK, SC, and TX have finals at separate sites or days, by class. Some also have a same-day prelim contest.
Classes: OK has six classes; SC and TX have five. (TX: six in 2014).

  • OK has a prelim and final for 1A-3A, another for 4A-5A, and another for 6A, on three separate Saturdays.
  • SC has a final only for 1A, 3A and another for 2A, 4A on two sites, one Saturday.
  • SC has a prelim and final for 5A on a later Saturday.
  • TX has a prelim and final on a Monday for one class and Tuesday for another.
  • TX bands have qualifying area and final contests in alternate years (1A-2A, 4A alternate with 3A, 5A)
  • TX ‘off-year’ classes only compete regionally

 

tl;dr

 

If Illinois ever considers a state marching series, finals should be the first show considered, and ultimately agreed-upon, however many bands that is; that's the target, the pinnacle, the event.

 

Should it be one big one-performance event with 40 bands like Indiana? A multi-site prelims and finals (where the top 4 bands from each class meet at one finals location) like Kentucky?  Or separate days (years) and sites like Texas or Oklahoma?

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Wow, PastTiger84, sounds confusing! I'm not sure I understand, but that's okay.  I feel bad for the bands that like to get some competition experience, no matter where they finish and whether they get to "move on or not" getting their season cut short because they don't get to move on to the next round.  There is a lot that goes into putting on a "show" as a fundraiser and as a great opportunity to allow bands to compete. After all, at least 75% of the "competition" bands need the smaller, non-sanctioned competitions in order to allow their programs to grow and feel successful.  Ideally, shouldn't marching band be all about the kids' experience and not all about the trophy and moving on to the title of best in state?  A band that may never make finals at ISU can place in the top three in a local competition and feel great about their performance, giving them hope to improve for the next competition. We already have an idea of the top 5 bands in the state just by reputation of their excellence!  I've never been a fan of "representing all schools" when it comes to ILMEA! It's a shame that some students that score high enough to be a part of District bands don't get the opportunity because one school may only have a flute player and clarinet player audition so we have to take at least one of them even if they scored lower than several other students on the same instrument. It sort of sounds to me that that is what you're leaning toward with making sure every region is represented.  But back to the marching band competition; how do the other states  do their "state" championships? Maybe for more consistency, judges should be registered through an organization such as ILMEA, just like solo contest judges and those of us that run our own competitions can choose from that pool rather than choose directors that might be available that particular weekend. Our school noticed a fluctuation in scores this season ranging from in the 60s to in the 80s and although there was improvement each week, the scores bounced like crazy! Look at the difference in the scores at U of I from small school to large school with a different panel of judges. Were the schools' performances that spread out or was it the interpretation of the different panel of judges? Food for thought.

 

YES!!!!! Thank you for that incredible idea. Having a pool of judges is a goal that could be easily implemented along with a standardized scoring sheet. Especially in the first years it would make sure we have judges that understand how to interpret the guidelines and then branch out in the future.

 

I honestly do not feel bad for bands that just like the competition experience and do not care if they move on because I was in one of those bands and I have no regrets about never constantly thinking about winning. I think the groups that become bitter and score hungry are the ones that forget that this is what it is about and then become disappointed and dejected when the outcome is not what they expect (especially if one competition they do really well and then the next competition they do better but scores say otherwise). I had the greatest satisfaction in going to a BOA event and performing in those wonderful stadiums! Never did I except, and I made sure no one else did, that finals was a guarantee, but it was just a privilege to play in these gigantic football stadiums. Even with smaller stadiums, just the opportunity to perform always got my heart pounding and adrenaline to give a good show always kicked in.

 

I honestly would not want to limit those who could make a state championship by making sure every area got at least one band, but for some reason ISU thinks that is how it should be. You make a really good point in reference to District and man would that suck if that was the case, though I really said that because it is close to what we currently have. I desperately want it to be that way since this year at ISU because there was not enough spots for all those groups that should have been in if it was actually at top 14 of the day.

 

Dan, thanks for the run down. Thinking about it, I do not know if we could really derive a state championship besides maybe Texas just based upon population density and the size of our state. Indiana, Florida, South Carolina and Kentucky are pretty compact compared to Illinois or Texas and Michigan, Oklahoma and Wisconsin are about in the middle. Its a tough one to decide though maybe someone will give us a 'blue sky' to the answer. We don't have any indoor stadiums in Illinois right?

 

Marchguy, I am glad you summed up the majority of what I talked about quicker. My brain often just splatters information everywhere and sometimes it does not come out as clearly as I want. I would like to agree with you on U of I, but I have only been there once so I can't have an opinion on it. It was a very nice stadium for sure, though it should be as a big 10 school.

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I kind of like Indiana's current format.  There's not one, but two circuits: Open Class and Scholastic Class.  Open Class is where the big hitters across all 4 classes compete based on school size, and Scholastic Class is based on school size and band size.

 

Open Class is 4 classes based on school size, and this year, there were 103 bands that competed in Open Class.  There's 3 rounds: Regionals, Semi-State, and State Finals.  There's two meeting spots for each class at regionals, where the bands are evenly split up.  Top 10 from each site for each class makes Semi-State, which is held at 4 schools around Indianapolis.  The top 20 from each class meet, and then the top 10 from that competition advance on to State Finals at Lucas Oil Stadium.

 

One thing I don't like: scores are not released publicly.  They're considered "trade secrets" and copyrighted.  Bands can get into serious trouble if their students post the scores anywhere.

 

 

Indiana Marching can explain it better than me:  http://www.indianamarching.com/features/2013/10/11/a-new-division-issma-scholastic/

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Like Dan said, this is not something that they just decided on. I pretty sure this has been festering for years (I assume the same went with PCEP too). Especially for a district of that caliber, I really could care less. Additionally for any district to think so highly of both programs to allow this so the students have the best maximum experience is phenomenal. If more schools thought about this I really couldn't care at all (Lincoln Ways are the first that come to mind). Promotes more unity within the district. Furthermore this may also be the catalyst for that district to eventually combine schools because of their financial struggles. I cannot wait to see their show this year (The Green Table) and wish them the best of luck for the years to come.

I care that schools compete on an equal footing, not based on district boundaries where "legally" they can create super teams.  Why stop at marching band?  Let's expand it to sports teams et al.  Why not allow cites to create their own "select" band programs and have them compete?  I would be more amenable to this where they would compete in an "Open" class but not eligible to compete against other single high school bands.  The hypocrisy of this current approach does not sit well with me at all...

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I care that schools compete on an equal footing, not based on district boundaries where "legally" they can create super teams.  Why stop at marching band?  Let's expand it to sports teams et al.  Why not allow cites to create their own "select" band programs and have them compete?  I would be more amenable to this where they would compete in an "Open" class but not eligible to compete against other single high school bands.  The hypocrisy of this current approach does not sit well with me at all...

 

Co-op (i.e. combined HSs from the same district) sports teams are actually allowed, at least for some Illinois HS sports. I  know that this is done for hockey, gymnastics and lacrosse.

 

There was a rumor at one point that Wheaton-Warrenville South and Wheaton North were considering a co-op marching band - not sure how true it was.

 

Fair and unfair is in the eye of the beholder. If you assume that a larger band has an unfair advantage, so be it. Not sure I agree. And this wouldn't be akin to "recruiting".

 

On the flip side, Lincolnway dividing into multiple bands could be considered "unfair" because it introduced more competition - for example, "old" Lincolnway HS would take one spot at ISU finals, now, 2,3 or 4 Lincolway's may take finalist spots.

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Currently, I noticed that a few bands performed this year out of class as we typically class the bands by "playing members". Does a band change class throughout the season if students drop or are ineligible to perform (if their band size is on the bubble between classes)? Aren't most local competitions, at least in the northern part of the state, up to 64 -A, 65-96 - AA, 97 + AAA? Maybe another reason to factor in school size?

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Co-op (i.e. combined HSs from the same district) sports teams are actually allowed, at least for some Illinois HS sports. I  know that this is done for hockey, gymnastics and lacrosse.

 

There was a rumor at one point that Wheaton-Warrenville South and Wheaton North were considering a co-op marching band - not sure how true it was.

 

Fair and unfair is in the eye of the beholder. If you assume that a larger band has an unfair advantage, so be it. Not sure I agree. And this wouldn't be akin to "recruiting".

 

On the flip side, Lincolnway dividing into multiple bands could be considered "unfair" because it introduced more competition - for example, "old" Lincolnway HS would take one spot at ISU finals, now, 2,3 or 4 Lincolway's may take finalist spots.

One school, one band, compete by school size.  If you win you win, if you don't win you don't win.  Multiple schools may give more individuals the opportunity to participate in a competitive band program.  Co-Ops are done for sports where the school's individually cannot support their own program.  I fail to see that in the case where each school is nearly 2500 strong?  As to band size, please name the last "A" band that won BOA Grand Nationals, as in Grand Champion?  Are you seriously going to contend that this is for the good?  This smacks of the gerrymandering that politicians support to further their position.  This isn't for the good of marching band competitions, this is about stacking a team to win.  Fair and unfair is not in the eye of the beholder in this case at all...

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Co-op (i.e. combined HSs from the same district) sports teams are actually allowed, at least for some Illinois HS sports. I  know that this is done for hockey, gymnastics and lacrosse.

 

There was a rumor at one point that Wheaton-Warrenville South and Wheaton North were considering a co-op marching band - not sure how true it was.

 

Fair and unfair is in the eye of the beholder. If you assume that a larger band has an unfair advantage, so be it. Not sure I agree. And this wouldn't be akin to "recruiting".

 

On the flip side, Lincolnway dividing into multiple bands could be considered "unfair" because it introduced more competition - for example, "old" Lincolnway HS would take one spot at ISU finals, now, 2,3 or 4 Lincolway's may take finalist spots.

 

When that occurs in sports teams in Illinois the total amount of students in both school districts are combined to determine classification. Many schools struggling to find quality athletes find that the advantage of adding one or two, becomes a big disadvantage when they are jumped up a classification or two especially for post season play.

 

That would even out the playing field in band contests if this becomes a trend. I have always wanted codification of classes in Illinois based on school district size for marching band. It would lead to a more equitable competition.   

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One school, one band, compete by school size.  If you win you win, if you don't win you don't win.  Multiple schools may give more individuals the opportunity to participate in a competitive band program.  Co-Ops are done for sports where the school's individually cannot support their own program.  I fail to see that in the case where each school is nearly 2500 strong?  As to band size, please name the last "A" band that won BOA Grand Nationals, as in Grand Champion?  Are you seriously going to contend that this is for the good?  This smacks of the gerrymandering that politicians support to further their position.  This isn't for the good of marching band competitions, this is about stacking a team to win.  Fair and unfair is not in the eye of the beholder in this case at all...

Ok. So where would you stand on private schools that can draw from further than the next town? Sayyyyyyyyy a certain Chicago school for example?

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