I happen to be an old grump that believes NO open class / div.2-3 corps should be competing during WC Finals AT ALL!
You had your Finals. Congratulations. That's it. If you want to be World Class, then get your butt on a WC tour and compete against WC corps night after night where the WC judges can get multiple looks against you and your peer competition.
This "feel-good," "let our little brothers and sisters play with us too," stuff is baloney. Open Class competing at prelims has NOTHING to do with enrichment or education or any of the other reasons you hear... it has EVERYTHING to do with the fact that DCI does NOT have enough World Class corps anymore to justify holding a Thursday show - so they have to manufacture a way to make Thursday look important enough for people to still show up and buy tickets. Open Class to the rescue! $$$$
The result is this bastardization whereby everybody has been separate all season, but now we are all equal? Thank you Boston, we are the Animal Farm.
I just think it is a slap in the face to Academy, Spirit and Oregon Crusaders for BDB to pop in 15th without the same amount of looks and comparisons within the World Class competitive framework.
My solution? Take away all of the divisions... everybody is just Drum Corps - big or small. Everybody goes up against everybody every night. You don't like it? Then start your own league and have your own finals - but you aren't part of DCI.
That's my rant - what's yours?