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DCI Tournament of Champions Format

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Question: Please describe the details of the new DCI Tournament of Champions events. What will a typical evening event schedule look like? Will the events be judged like any other DCI show or will there be changes (audience participation?) ? Are corps compensated for appearing just like any other DCI event or is there a change in the disbursement of funds? If TOC events continue into 2012, will the participants again be the top 8 corps from 2010 or are there other criteria involved in the selection of TOC participants?

Answer: (from Dan Acheson, DCI Executive Director and CEO)

The 2011 DCI Tour of Champions will be comprised of a series of eight events featuring the eight top corps from the 2010 World Championships. The directors and program coordinators of these eight corps will determine how the events will be programmed. Their next meeting to discuss the added features will take place in mid-December. Corps will allow closer audience access during the pre-show warm-up, and there will likely be instant encore performances and a special finale presentation at the end of each event. The competitive performances of each corps will continue to be the cornerstone of the evening, however these shows will be judged differently from the larger Drum Corps International tour. The eight corps will determine how the events are adjudicated but intend to include fan participation. The corps will receive more compensation than typical to assist in covering the extensive deadhead travel necessary in order to bring them all together in the early portion of the season, and also to assist those from the Midwest and the East traveling to the West. There has been no determination as to whether or not the events will continue in 2012 or how the corps will be selected if there should be another series. These are discussions that will be held later in 2011.

Look for more details regarding programming and judging to be released after the New Year.

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> The corps will receive more compensation than typical ...

There it is: Hop and Gibbs have prevailed in their quest. Even if this idea continues to be the top eight each year which qualify for the special TOC shows, the current top eight are starting off with a huge financial advantage. So much for the other WC corps' fighting for parity in DCI.

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sometimes you win the war in small steps. we've seen that approach before

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> The corps will receive more compensation than typical ...

There it is: Hop and Gibbs have prevailed in their quest. Even if this idea continues to be the top eight each year which qualify for the special TOC shows, the current top eight are starting off with a huge financial advantage. So much for the other WC corps' fighting for parity in DCI.

Before asserting this claim, it's worth looking at the money that corps will have to spend just to GET to these events. Everybody's putting in big miles for the first weekend of the year. I'm sure the directors involved will have "arranged" matters so that they don't go too far in the hole, but that is still an aspect worth looking at before calling it a "win".

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> The corps will receive more compensation than typical ...

There it is: Hop and Gibbs have prevailed in their quest. Even if this idea continues to be the top eight each year which qualify for the special TOC shows, the current top eight are starting off with a huge financial advantage. So much for the other WC corps' fighting for parity in DCI.

Naive as my response may be....I choose not to jump to the conclusion that this is a huge windfall for the corps. It is described as compensation intended to cover a specific cost.

In that light, though, it is interesting to note what we're paying for - more travel. Many on here advocate a more regionalistic approach to touring in response to increasing travel costs and housing challenges. Clearly, that is not the direction this experiment is taking. In the interest of taking this discussion on a productive tack, I'd like to hear supporters of 'regionalization' offer ideas on how to induce DCI and/or their corps to move in that direction long-term.

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> Everybody's putting in big miles for the first weekend of the year.

Everybody? Are you sure? Because that word encompasses all corps' associated with DCI and therefore everybody should receive extra travel compensation from DCI. Or do you mean everybody as just the "elite eight"?

> Before asserting this claim [win for Hop and Gibbs], it's worth looking at the money that corps will have to spend just to GET to these events.

These corps' are part of an "elite" group being extra compensated for an "elite" traveling show. This extra financial compensation was a primary goal for Hop and Gibbs in their initial proposal along with all of the other aspects they have received within the TOC format. With the exception of the A, AA, AAA restructuring, this traveling show containing an elite group idea is exactly what was in the G7 proposal. So the asserted claim has validity.

> It is described as compensation intended to cover a specific cost.

Yes; covering a specific cost for just an "elite" group to perform at just "elite" shows throughout the United States. Again, this is exactly what Hop and Gibbs wanted which was a national traveling group of "elite" corps' with extra financial compensation from DCI.

> 2001 DCI Tour of Champions ...

Hmmmm. define Champion. Is a Champion one that receives the Gold (if so where is Madison in the TOC)? Is a Champion one that makes Finals (if so, where are Boston, Madison, Blue Knights, and Glassmen)? Is a Champion one that is in the top eight (then sould not Finals be just the top eight not the top twelve)?

> featuring the eight top corps from the 2010 World Championships ...

At least the status is earned and not self-proclaimed.

> I'd like to hear supporters of 'regionalization' offer ideas on how to induce DCI and/or their corps to move in that direction long-term.

a) Apparently DCI can only be induced by a select few people (ie a select few corps directors); b) Read the original Hop Gibbs proposal because they do want a regional system for all the "non-elite" corps'; and c) Any organization calling itself Major League by definition cannot be regional but has to be national.

Edited by Stu
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a) Apparently DCI can only be induced by a select few people (ie a select few corps directors); b) Read the original Hop Gibbs proposal because they do want a regional system for all the "non-elite" corps'; and c) Any organization calling itself Major League by definition cannot be regional but has to be national.

a. Then you would suggest communicating with those directors, er, directly?

b. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think most people would consider it to be "regionalism" if it didn't apply to the top 8.

c. For decades, DCI coordinated national tours in concert with regional-oriented activity. It is certainly possible for DCI to do that again in the future. Do you think they would have to drop the "major league" marketing label in order for regionalization efforts to succeed?

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Naive as my response may be....I choose not to jump to the conclusion that this is a huge windfall for the corps. It is described as compensation intended to cover a specific cost.

In that light, though, it is interesting to note what we're paying for - more travel. Many on here advocate a more regionalistic approach to touring in response to increasing travel costs and housing challenges. Clearly, that is not the direction this experiment is taking. In the interest of taking this discussion on a productive tack, I'd like to hear supporters of 'regionalization' offer ideas on how to induce DCI and/or their corps to move in that direction long-term.

Here's one: Induce a local show sponsor to pay the corps at his show not only the fee paid through DCI but also a percentage of the gate if the show is profitable...

(Yes, I'm keenly aware of the impact of this idea on show sponsor's, and I'll put forth an example of this plan in due course...)

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> a. Then you would suggest communicating with those directors, er, directly?

Go ahead; contact Hop and Gibbs; see if "you" can induce them to do what you want.

> b. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think most people would consider it to be "regionalism" if it didn't apply to the top 8.

I agree; and that is why I believe regions will not thrive without the support of the top eight. Dan Achison is doing the best he can just to keep DCI from imploding. The term "most people" does not seem to matter as it applies to the select few upper level corps' who desire power and prestige for their own particular entities over the survival of the hosting body. And apparently the voting members at DCI decided that they need the upper level corps' more than the upper level corps' need DCI.

> For decades, DCI coordinated national tours in concert with regional-oriented activity. It is certainly possible for DCI to do that again in the future.

DCI used to develop shows mainly mid-summer through finals with some coordination with the Independent Regional Organizations early summer. However, DCM for example, survived not on its regional "status", but on the fact that every corps involved in that region supported their own region as a pre-national tour situation. DCM was able to thrive because headliners like Regiment, Scouts, The Cavaliers, etc. stayed close to home early summer thus supporting DCM. Once those corps began to go national early in the the summer, somewhere around the mid-late nineties, DCM folded quickly. And remember, it was the choice of the Corps' to go national in June "not" the choice of DCI. So, the only way to make this possible "again" is for DCI to force regions on the Corps' (and since DCI is not an independent organization but comprised of the member corps' directors that will not happen) or to have regional organizations like DCNA convince the headliners support their own regions prior to going national; but do not hold your breath.

> Do you think they would have to drop the "major league" marketing label in order for regionalization efforts to succeed?

I am personally fine with DCI being The Major League; however, for regional activities to succeed DCI would have to adjust their Major League season and schedule in order to once again help out and accommodate Regional Organizations. But since DCI is comprised of member corps' who are now accustomed to only supporting DCI on a national scale I for one do not see that happening.

Edited by Stu

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Naive as my response may be....I choose not to jump to the conclusion that this is a huge windfall for the corps. It is described as compensation intended to cover a specific cost.

In that light, though, it is interesting to note what we're paying for - more travel. Many on here advocate a more regionalistic approach to touring in response to increasing travel costs and housing challenges. Clearly, that is not the direction this experiment is taking. In the interest of taking this discussion on a productive tack, I'd like to hear supporters of 'regionalization' offer ideas on how to induce DCI and/or their corps to move in that direction long-term.

Wow! And good -- I've been getting slammed for choosing to' not jump to conclusions' as well.

Starting the season with TOC shows is a real potential problem. Quite frankly a lot of fans choose *not* to go to early season shows. Attendance at the pilot event (in Allentown) was poor and I went just because my kid was there. Would have skipped it otherwise. I wonder if the reason for forcing 8 shows into the schedule is to give each corps a TOC event to call their own (and maybe get some larger % of the gate?).

In any case the top 8 will continue to be geographically spread out and have to pay the price in travel costs. Crown goes to Texas then the midwest for 2 shows then all the way back to the northeast for July 4th (map).

Unless the early shows are staggeringly successful I really don't expect to see the TOC continue unless they start later in the season and are fewer in number. It's just a matter of logistics and attendance patterns.

Edited by corpsband

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