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Do Early Season Scores Really Matter At All?

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I have enjoyed reading what has been said by various posters on various threads regarding early season scores and placements. I wanted to seperate this discussion out as its own specific topic so that input could be in one place.

I am one that thinks early scores matter, and more importantly, that the amount of feedback each unit gets early on in the season may be crucial to final placements.

I think this affects BD less than PC, Cadets less than Spirit.

A few supportive points:

"Top" Groups:

In most fans' terms, BD will never have a "bad" year (though they make think so from time to time). They will write great shows

that will be rewarded well on each year's sheets. The corps will always be more mature, aged than most. Even before

listening to one tape, their staff has detailed show development plans in the works. Because of their maturity in all facets of

their organization, they may "need' early input less than other groups. I would say this is true for other "top" corps as well.

Early Surgers:

A corps seeming to make a early season surge (SCV, Bloo, PC) may need the input and scores more early in the season as a

way of reinforcing the staff's view of their corps' potential, the support of planned changes/additions/enhancements, and

some due ego boost to members, though ego can work against you.

Corps 11-15:

This group may need the early input more than any. Besides reasons mentioned for the early surgers, these groups may have

design flaws the staff may not see right now, some possibly major. These members and staffs may be more nervous,

questioning at this stage. Such is expected, and a mature staff will know how to handle that. Though all grpups want to

know how they compare to the groups scoring around them, a good tape/critique often reveals not only what needs

attention, but what issues need addressing sooner than later. Ego can be a positive or negative within this grouping.

Not going to happen this year group:

Though no corps should ever throw in the towel at any stage of the game, sometimes you just know sooner than later that

the goal of making finals, semis, is not yet an option (Spirit, probably Colts). Early input may help reinforce what a staff

should do differently next year in terms of off-season design and/or training, what the corps needs to look and sound like

early season next year. This could allow for the staff to spend the summer making the show as great as possible, but also

using the summer to watch, listen, take note of what other group are doing in the live setting, building as much trust and

commaraderie in the group as to help with next year's retention (not that all corps do not do this any way). Side Note: These

groups can be greatly affected by talent levels, corps' average age, early season rain/weather issues. etc. Bottom line, one

group will always deal with these issues better than the others, plan ahead better than the others, write a better show than

the others, come out the gate strong- and that is usually the group that makes that final spot and yes, there are extremely

rare exceptions. To count on being that rare exception is a gamble I would never want to take.

ALL Groups:

First place or second, twelth or thirteenth, placements can of course be decided by less than a tenth of a point. Groups are

always hyper aware of the corps placing just above or just below them. The more consistently a group out-places you, the

more likely that will remain the case come finals week. Another thread discusses how often corps have made a two or even

one placement jump after July 1. While it happens, it is not common. I would want judge input when competing with the

groups that I am touring with, and especially with my competitive peers that I have not seen. As the early summer

progresses, we begin to see judges flying across country to evaluate various groups. Though we can consider differing

show dynamics, there is something to be said for same judge, same caption, same sheets. I would prefer a "ballpark"

comparison over no compariosn at all.

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Feedback? YES.

Scores? Eh, not as much. Especially when you're dealing with shows with less than full panels.

As usual, the best measure of how you're doing will come when all the corps are together at one show for one full panel.

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Feedback? YES.

Scores? Eh, not as much. Especially when you're dealing with shows with less than full panels.

As usual, the best measure of how you're doing will come when all the corps are together at one show for one full panel.

The regionals, where all the Corps meet head to head, is a good barometer of the pecking order that will be established for that season. While Corps can move up or down a spot or 2 after that, by Regionals, for good or bad, most all the Corps placement pecking orders will have been baked in. i wish it was like most sports, where the mid season standings typically can look like nothing come the playoffs.

Edited by BRASSO

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If scores don't matter, then why score? Is it more of an ego boost as opposed to how much a corps is improving or how less? I think scores do matter, regardless of whether or not there is a full panel and regardless of different corps in different shows. If they didn't matter, then I think it would be more logical for corps to start every show from zero.

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Feedback is the life blood of these corps at this stage in the game.

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Yes they matter, because slotting.

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If scores don't matter, then why score? Is it more of an ego boost as opposed to how much a corps is improving or how less? I think scores do matter, regardless of whether or not there is a full panel and regardless of different corps in different shows. If they didn't matter, then I think it would be more logical for corps to start every show from zero.

Scores matter. Its just that with half panels they are valued at halfazzz values. When a Drum & Bugle Corps ( we can still use that term right ? ) is judged without a Drum judge ( or a Color Guard Judge ) it naturally lessens the value of the scores to most people... at least I would imagine it would anyway. its not the activities fans decision to have the performers that are giving their 100% effort, met with a 50% effort on the part of DCI in terms of assigning 100% full panels for early shows. DCI decided a few years back to abandon its promise of full panels for early shows, and instead, as a means to economize and save money, went with this halfazz size panels where Percussion has no judge that judges Percussion abilities of its DCI competitors.It is what it is, and most of us have apparently gotten used to this halfazz commitment to the competing performers on the field in their early season shows. Maybe all the Corps should come out for June shows halfazz ready to give 50% efforts to compete. One that matches DCI's apparent 50% effort to judge such performances.

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Early-season scores (or, for that matter, any scores througout the season outside of regionals or finals week)?

1) Only insofar as where you rank against the specific corps at your specific show last night, tonight, or tomorrow night.

2) Only insofar as from the specifically exact panel of judges which adjudicate you last night, tonight, or tomorrow night.

3) Only until your next show...at that point, last night's or tonight's score becomes insignificant.

Comments?

At all points in the season: Priceless.

Edited by HornTeacher

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Even with DCI's halfazz approach to judging competitors in early season shows, these halfazz size panels are not weighted. These halfazz size panels scores are weighted as equally as are the 100% DCI commited full panels are for the all important positioning at later Regionals. So despite the fact some of us fans might assign halfazz values to these halfazz size panels(without Percussion and / or Guard Caption judges), its seems pretty clear that DCI assigns these halfazz size panels at full value for its Regionals as that of its full panels scores have... which is kind of goofy way to do things, when you think about it, ( haha!)

Edited by BRASSO

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Even with DCI's halfazz approach to judging competitors in early season shows, these halfazz size panels are not weighted. These halfazz size panels scores are weighted as equally as are the 100% DCI commited full panels are for the all important positioning at later Regionals. So despite the fact some of us fans might assign halfazz values to these halfazz size panels without Percussion and / or Guard Caption judges, its seems pretty clear that DCI assigns these halfazz size panels as full value for its Regionals as that of its full panels have... which is kind of goofy, when you think about it, imo.

Halfazz Panel: An assemblage of adjudicators, all having suffered partial cheekectomies?

Edited by HornTeacher
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