Sign in to follow this  
eric24

Corps 19-25 Placeing Higher

Recommended Posts

I'll reprise an idea I have expressed elsewhere:

Thursday, Prelims: All corps competing for WC championship

Friday, Semis: 25 top corps from prelims. Just like it is now.

Saturday, Finals: The same 25 corps, in reverse order of Semis placement; defending champion has option to perform last

  • You just put 25 corps on the field on Friday; there's no reason you can't put 25 corps on the field Saturday. Yes, Saturday programming would be longer than it is now. It's 8 hours of drum corps. Doesn't matter. Friday was 8 hours of drum corps, too. Luckily, Saturday is allocated 24 hours of earth rotation, just like Friday. The Saturday event ends at the same time at night as it does under the current 12-corps setup. Maybe the crowd trickles in and only really fills the stands as the top 15 or so begin to compete. Doesn't matter; that's what happens on Friday anyway.
  • You still end up with your champion; you still get the finals-night battle among the top 3-4 corps for that crucial 0.05-point difference. You still get a brass champion, etc.
  • Over the years, you gradually do away with the artificial chasm between 12th and 13th place. The cluster of corps on either side of the 12-13 dividing line can compete naturally on Saturday to see who is the best among their tier. From No.1 thru No. 25, corps compete more organically within their competitive clusters. In that way, you end up with one official champion and several unofficial "champions" within their competitive neighborhoods.
  • Longer term, by diminishing the "finals or bust" mindset, you reduce incentive for members to jump to higher-placing corps. You don't eliminate it, but you reduce it. This is where you increase the potential for 19-25 corps to place higher. More fluidity in the standings.
  • Vinyl LPs, and TV broadcasts, which in the 1970s helped to enforce and ultimately cement into the DCI psyche a 12-corps finals night, no longer are relevant. Everything is streaming and digital. There are no more artificial reasons for a "Top 12," unless there is some law that says the show can begin no earlier than 7 p.m.
  • You sell more hot dogs, more T-shirts
  • You don't sell more tickets, but you can charge more for them on Saturday than you did on Friday -- which happens already.
  • 13 corps get one more payday
  • All age-outs get their finals-night opportunity
  • You probably get more and better post-finals parties

Yes, it means the end -- or a significant modification -- of the one and only full-corps retreat of the season. I would miss it. But the gains would far outweigh the losses.

Edited by 2muchcoffeeman
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Explain how SCVC did it last year? Placing in15th place with many high school performers.

I think the question before however, is how can Corps in 16th or below move UP from there ( SCVC finished 16th last season). Can these Junior High and High Schoolers in SC Vanguard move UP from 16th ( a commendable effort ) to challenge for a Finalist spot ? Perhaps. But is it realistic to believe that it can be done with mostly younger age, newbie marchers ? I don't believe so. I believe 16th or so, is their ceiling for these type Corps that basically compete for the 16th to last place range in the World Class Division each summer. Also, a one year commendable finish, does not make for a trend, nor a norm. SCVC has finished anywhere from 23rd to 16th most seasons in World Class Quarterfinals. It is unrrealistic to believe that any of these Corps in the 16th to 40th position most years can move up to challenge for a Finalist spot in the future without substantial vet retention most seasons.

Edited by BRASSO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Explain how SCVC did it last year? Placing in15th place with many high school performers.

Since I don't know much about the open class groups.

Is the majority of the group from california?

Do they do camps on the weekends while people are in high school still?

Does a majority of the corps move in before the school year ends?

Now I don't believe that SCVC and BDB have open class shows. I feel like they always win and beat WC come finals weekend because the shows are designed that way. I believe that they normally have better designed shows than the groups on the edge of finals but the age gap/shorter schedule hurts a little. Plus college kids cut from world groups can stay in the organization.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Explain how SCVC did it last year? Placing in15th place with many high school performers.

I cannot explain what I do not agree with. As good as Vanguard Cadets were, I did not think they were better than Mandarins, Spirit and/or Oregon Crusaders. I had a similar reaction when Blue Devils B shot up to 15th in 2014.

Maybe the conventional wisdom is no longer correct, and there is a point where greater familiarity with the championship panel becomes a disadvantage. GE judges may see Mandarins 20 times on tour. Familiarity breeds contempt. Then they see these feeder corps at championships for the first time since June. In comparison, the SCVC/BDB shows seem fresh and new, and vastly improved from their last viewing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Corps at this level are chock full of junior High and High School aged newbies throughout their ranks.

I would contend that the ages of the marchers, and their veteran status, is less a factor in these corps than the talent and dedication of their marchers, all the way up to age-outs. From my observations, the abilities of the 20 year olds in the lower level corps are not necessarily any better than those of the high school students, and to me that represents the fundamental hurdle to overcome*. That said, the late move-in dates for high schoolers does present a major problem, though some states let out earlier than others.

*Edit. - IF, of course, it is the goal of the corps to move up the standings. If the goal is simply to provide a home for these marchers and work at the appropriate level for them, then this isn't a hurdle - it simply is what it is, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I think a lot of us lost sight of the fact that music is still about performing for an audience first, and second about competition. If you do away with the judges, players will still want to perform. If you do away with the crowds, I don't think they would.

Edited by Eleran

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll reprise an idea I have expressed elsewhere:

Thursday, Prelims: All corps competing for WC championship

Friday, Semis: 25 top corps from prelims. Just like it is now.

Saturday, Finals: The same 25 corps, in reverse order of Semis placement; defending champion has option to perform last

  • You just put 25 corps on the field on Friday; there's no reason you can't put 25 corps on the field Saturday. Yes, Saturday programming would be longer than it is now. It's 8 hours of drum corps. Doesn't matter. Friday was 8 hours of drum corps, too. Luckily, Saturday is allocated 24 hours of earth rotation, just like Friday. The Saturday event ends at the same time at night as it does under the current 12-corps setup. Maybe the crowd trickles in and only really fills the stands as the top 15 or so begin to compete. Doesn't matter; that's what happens on Friday anyway.
  • You still end up with your champion; you still get the finals-night battle among the top 3-4 corps for that crucial 0.05-point difference. You still get a brass champion, etc.
  • Over the years, you gradually do away with the artificial chasm between 12th and 13th place. The cluster of corps on either side of the 12-13 dividing line can compete naturally on Saturday to see who is the best among their tier. From No.1 thru No. 25, corps compete more organically within their competitive clusters. In that way, you end up with one official champion and several unofficial "champions" within their competitive neighborhoods.
  • Longer term, by diminishing the "finals or bust" mindset, you reduce incentive for members to jump to higher-placing corps. You don't eliminate it, but you reduce it. This is where you increase the potential for 19-25 corps to place higher. More fluidity in the standings.
  • Vinyl LPs, and TV broadcasts, which in the 1970s helped to enforce and ultimately cement into the DCI psyche a 12-corps finals night, no longer are relevant. Everything is streaming and digital. There are no more artificial reasons for a "Top 12," unless there is some law that says the show can begin no earlier than 7 p.m.
  • You sell more hot dogs, more T-shirts
  • You don't sell more tickets, but you can charge more for them on Saturday than you did on Friday -- which happens already.
  • 13 corps get one more payday
  • All age-outs get their finals-night opportunity
  • You probably get more and better post-finals parties

Yes, it means the end -- or a significant modification -- of the one and only full-corps retreat of the season. I would miss it. But the gains would far outweigh the losses.

so the answer is to let EVERYONE play on saturday? gross.

you've just taken the meaning of "making finals" and tossed that out the window.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

. From my observations, the abilities of the 20 year olds in the lower level corps are not necessarily any better than those of the high school students, and to me that represents the fundamental hurdle to overcome. That said, the late move-in dates for high schoolers does present a major problem, though some states let out earlier than others.

As for the 20 year olders that march in the lower tier Corps ( including Open Class ) some are no doubt loyal soldiers to their unit. Others are probably newbies, others probably those who tried out for the Elites, but were cut. Who knows what the percentages are of these types of post high school marchers are that march in these 16th to 40th placement corps .I compliment them however for what they do. You have no idea the respect I have for the marchers in this age range that march in these 16th to 40th place Corps each summer. Moving forward, I think we can all agree here that ( for example ), The Cadets, BD, Crown have far less a percentage of high schoolers in their ranks than just about every one of these Corps that are perennially in the 16th to 40th placement positions at Quarterfinals each year. The fact that the elites have far more time and talent to perfect their " more demanding and complex show designs " over these 16th to 40th placement corps, is the very reason itself that they have these " more demanding and complex show designs " that are richly rewarded on the current judging sheets.

Edited by BRASSO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you've just taken the meaning of "making finals" and tossed that out the window.

Yes, you've noticed. That's the point. The meaning of "making finals" has downsides. If the objective is to create conditions that make it more possible for 19-25 corps to become upwardly mobile, then eliminating the finals-night cutoff makes sense. Because a 12-corps-only Saturday nurtures a "finals or die" culture that incentivizes members to abandon lower-placing corps. Diminish that incentive, and you create conditions that make it more likely that at least some veterans will stay with their original corps, improving their competitive capability. "Finals or die" has the effect of concentrating talent at the top, which creates dazzling top-level corps to be sure, but also contributes to the sclerosis of the competitive rankings. "Finals or die" = nothing changes.

There is a nostalgia and gauzy romance around the idea of "making finals." There is a chest-thumping satisfaction to it. But it serves no practical purpose. The 12-corps limit to finals does not encourage greater number of kids to try out for corps. The 12-corps limit on Saturday does not increase revenues to DCI. The 12-corps-only rule does not broaden the appeal of the activity. It does not sell more DVDs. At no other (non-ToC) DCI contest is an arbitrary limit placed on the number of corps competing. The "Top 12" has no reason to exist other than conceit.

Do the members of BD care if they beat a field of 11 or a field of 24? I don't think so. Whether they are the 12th or 25th corps of the day to perform, they step off at the same time. The crowd is just as amped up. The stakes are just as high. I don't think Saturday is any more special to them either way. They're out there on Saturday to be No. 1, period. The number of corps behind them is immaterial.

Only 2-4 corps go into Saturday with ambitions of winning the championship. All others go into Saturday to finish on top of the grouping of corps in their competitive neighborhood. Expanding the field to 25 on Saturday would not undermine that dynamic; in fact, it would enhance it, giving all corps one "finals" shot at coming out on top of their grouping. Seems to me that makes finals more exciting, not less.

The only corps that have a direct stake in "making finals" are the 12th- and 13th-place corps. For all others it is an abstraction.

I hear you saying, "Abstraction? It is a point of pride for marching member to be able to claim they march for a 'finalist corps.' Striving for finals is one of the things that promotes excellence in the activity." And that is exactly why it contributes to the "finals or bust" culture. I don't know why a member would have any less pride in the claim that they march for a corps that ranks among the top 5, or top 10, or top 15, or why they would be any less dedicated to excellence, because the objective remains to win a championship -- first among all comers, not merely first among 12.

Hey, I don't think this idea has even a snowball's chance. But the OP asked what could help move the 19-25 corps into a more competitive position. Eliminating the arbitrary 12-corps limit to finals would help.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

. I think a lot of us lost sight of the fact that music is still about performing for an audience first, and second about competition. If you do away with the judges, players will still want to perform.

I can't speak for anyone else, but when I was a young marcher, if we eliminated the competition, scores and judges, I would rather paint houses in the summer than pay money to sleep on gym floors, practice from sun up to sun down, ride cramped busses, etc to do 25- 35 exhibitions of the same 11.5 minute performance. Furthermore, take away the competition aspect of the enterprise, and the product of the performance itself would not get that much better from June to August either, imo. So when you say here that ( quote ) " if you do away with the judges, players will still want to perform", I say a few might still want to perform 30 exhibitions in the summer, but I would have to think DCI would cease to exist if judges and competition was eliminated in the activity, as the vast majority of potential marchers would find something else to do with their summers than to do non competition, non judged, exhibitions. Thats my 2 cents worth of an observation on this anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, you've noticed. That's the point. The meaning of "making finals" has downsides. If the objective is to create conditions that make it more possible for 19-25 corps to become upwardly mobile, then eliminating the finals-night cutoff makes sense. Because a 12-corps-only Saturday nurtures a "finals or die" culture that incentivizes members to abandon lower-placing corps. Diminish that incentive, and you create conditions that make it more likely that at least some veterans will stay with their original corps, improving their competitive capability. "Finals or die" has the effect of concentrating talent at the top, which creates dazzling top-level corps to be sure, but also contributes to the sclerosis of the competitive rankings. "Finals or die" = nothing changes.

There is a nostalgia and gauzy romance around the idea of "making finals." There is a chest-thumping satisfaction to it. But it serves no practical purpose. The 12-corps limit to finals does not encourage greater number of kids to try out for corps. The 12-corps limit on Saturday does not increase revenues to DCI. The 12-corps-only rule does not broaden the appeal of the activity. It does not sell more DVDs. At no other (non-ToC) DCI contest is an arbitrary limit placed on the number of corps competing. The "Top 12" has no reason to exist other than conceit.

Do the members of BD care if they beat a field of 11 or a field of 24? I don't think so. Whether they are the 12th or 25th corps of the day to perform, they step off at the same time. The crowd is just as amped up. The stakes are just as high. I don't think Saturday is any more special to them either way. They're out there on Saturday to be No. 1, period. The number of corps behind them is immaterial.

Only 2-4 corps go into Saturday with ambitions of winning the championship. All others go into Saturday to finish on top of the grouping of corps in their competitive neighborhood. Expanding the field to 25 on Saturday would not undermine that dynamic; in fact, it would enhance it, giving all corps one "finals" shot at coming out on top of their grouping. Seems to me that makes finals more exciting, not less.

The only corps that have a direct stake in "making finals" are the 12th- and 13th-place corps. For all others it is an abstraction.

I hear you saying, "Abstraction? It is a point of pride for marching member to be able to claim they march for a 'finalist corps.' Striving for finals is one of the things that promotes excellence in the activity." And that is exactly why it contributes to the "finals or bust" culture. I don't know why a member would have any less pride in the claim that they march for a corps that ranks among the top 5, or top 10, or top 15, or why they would be any less dedicated to excellence, because the objective remains to win a championship -- first among all comers, not merely first among 12.

Hey, I don't think this idea has even a snowball's chance. But the OP asked what could help move the 19-25 corps into a more competitive position. Eliminating the arbitrary 12-corps limit to finals would help.

Well, then, why go halfway? Have all 40 corps compete all three days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.