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13 hours ago, N.E. Brigand said:

Yes, Hanlon's Razor presumably applies here.

"Wait, I thought you were telling Encorps about the new minimum size rule in 2020 that will be confirmed in January. You thought I was telling them? Dang! Better tell them now. Are there any other corps we forgot to inform?"

Interestingly, Hitchen's Razor applies more to the OP of this thread than it does to Encorps.

What's wrong with your use of Hanlon is that it takes my use of lack of "malice" in describing DCI's actions (or lack thereof) and substitutes "stupidity" for failing in some responsibility that's only ascribed to DCI by the OP and other Encorps defenders as a defacto cause of Encorps' problem.  I think neither the Encorps post, nor the OP attempt to conflate it to a DCI issue, has made the case that DCI is culpable for Encorps not attracting 55 MM's.

 

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It sounds like DCI's member corps have decided that there should be fewer drum corps in existence.

Some disturbing and questionable news has arisen once again in the DCI community. Before you continue reading, please read the following post put out by the now defunct drum corps Encorps.  

Why can’t these corps with small numbers just go max out the SoundSport program? Honestly, I’m not a fan of 37-member outdoor marching units in huge stadiums.  “We’re here! Let us in!” doesn't re

13 hours ago, cixelsyd said:

Rules matter.  Here is why:

1.  They can only change in January of an even-numbered year.

2.  Rule changes with significant impact on planning for the current even-numbered season should be (and usually are) deferred, to take effect for the following season.

These are not small matters.  A DCI title contender once had their season erased after losing a court battle with DCI over a change in the rule manual.

Even the smallest corps has to establish significant funding, hire staff, design a show, purchase equipment/uniforms/etc., coax other adults to volunteer, rent vehicles, line up housing, and recruit several dozen kids to commit significant time/effort/money to their corps and their schedule - every season, starting the previous August if not earlier.  To pursue all those things based on the prevailing rules, only to have those rules changed in the middle of that effort, can be devastating.

January, 2020 is an even year and they are going to codify a decision already discussed and agreed to implementation in that year of codification.

"Significant" is subjective.  "Should" isn't "Always".  "Usually" isn't a rule.  "Deferred" would be so WC Member drum corps with million dollar budgets, 150 MM's, and staffs that are bigger than Encorps whole operation have a year to implement decisions they make as a Member corps for their own orgs.  There's no "equality" between Member and non-Member corps; otherwise, what would be the point of being a "Member corps"?

All of your last paragraph is true.  But you forget to acknowledge that it's probable that there was already verbal agreement to change the prevailing rules for OC participation at WC shows, and that DCI owes no such time accommodation to those corps that are attempting to meet the participation requirements.  And you also presume that DCI's decision on 55/100 wasn't even discussed prior to the October rules update.

I'm not trying to be snide:  Would you be satisfied if DCI made it known that the rule change was agreed upon and would be passed at the Janual, but just not change the Rule book until after the vote was taken?  IOW, let everyone know it's coming but don't codify it in the rules until after the vote?  That would align with your rules timeline, but would it change the impact on Encorps?

Also, a "DCI title contender" in your description would be, by all accounts, a DCI Member Corps.  To compare that unit's situation with a group trying to attract 55 members is misplaced.

 

 

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1 hour ago, garfield said:

January, 2020 is an even year and they are going to codify a decision already discussed and agreed to implementation in that year of codification.

"Significant" is subjective.  "Should" isn't "Always".  "Usually" isn't a rule.  "Deferred" would be so WC Member drum corps with million dollar budgets, 150 MM's, and staffs that are bigger than Encorps whole operation have a year to implement decisions they make as a Member corps for their own orgs.  There's no "equality" between Member and non-Member corps; otherwise, what would be the point of being a "Member corps"?

All of your last paragraph is true.  But you forget to acknowledge that it's probable that there was already verbal agreement to change the prevailing rules for OC participation at WC shows, and that DCI owes no such time accommodation to those corps that are attempting to meet the participation requirements.  And you also presume that DCI's decision on 55/100 wasn't even discussed prior to the October rules update.

You cannot have it both ways.  You just spent paragraphs saying that DCI owes Encorps nothing, not even the level of communication that member corps receive.  Therefore, you should not be making presumptions about which discussions Encorps was privy to.

And frankly, what is "discussed" or "agreed to" outside of the context of the rule change process is of questionable relevance.  The Rules Congress is what counts.

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1 hour ago, garfield said:

I'm not trying to be snide:  Would you be satisfied if DCI made it known that the rule change was agreed upon and would be passed at the Janual, but just not change the Rule book until after the vote was taken?  IOW, let everyone know it's coming but don't codify it in the rules until after the vote?  That would align with your rules timeline, but would it change the impact on Encorps?

I think you are still missing my point.  Let me put this in terms you can relate to ($$$).

Say you had a 401k retirement savings account you accumulated while with a previous employer.  Say you decided last week to close that account, and roll it over into an IRA so as not to incur any taxes at this time.  You know this is legal because the law is in writing; it is not changing any time soon because laws require majorities of both houses of Congress and a presidential signoff to change; and it is typical in a relatively free/fair nation to provide fair warning time between ratification and when the new law takes effect.  But today, some government website changes a document to say that rollovers are now illegal, and anyone currently attempting a rollover will have all their funds seized by the government.  They take all your money.  Any complaints?

So to answer your question - no, I would not be "satisfied".  DCI changed a policy document in conflict with their own rules manual, and in ignorance of their own rule change process.  I would already be dissatisfied if the minimum size rule changes ratified in January 2020 were not deferred until the 2021 season... but if some unauthorized subset of DCI can make up the rules whenever they want, I would have no choice but to recommend that anyone with fiduciary responsibilities at a non-member corps cut their losses and get out while they still can.

You also asked about changing the outcome for Encorps.  If DCI went ahead with this change, but for 2021 implementation, Encorps could still have proceeded with the 2020 season without the 55-member angst.  It would, of course, still be up to them to take that opportunity and make it a success.

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1 hour ago, garfield said:

Also, a "DCI title contender" in your description would be, by all accounts, a DCI Member Corps.  To compare that unit's situation with a group trying to attract 55 members is misplaced.

a.  Ironically, that particular situation arose because the corps in question was not a DCI member corps the year prior, when the age rule was tweaked.

b.  The comparison is valid.  Rules apply to all participating corps, not just member corps.

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3 hours ago, garfield said:

 

I'm not trying to be snide:  Would you be satisfied if DCI made it known that the rule change was agreed upon and would be passed at the Janual, but just not change the Rule book until after the vote was taken?  IOW, let everyone know it's coming but don't codify it in the rules until after the vote?  That would align with your rules timeline, but would it change the impact on Encorps?

 

 

 

I think part of the problem is having an item like the size requirement show up in two places. Is it a policy, or is it a rule?

In any case, it should only appear once.

By the way, the in addition to the 55-member policy in addendum 216 of the Policy manual, it also says this about Open class in section 1.2. Classifications:

1.2.1 Each unit must have a minimum of 30 performing members.

 

 

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19 hours ago, cixelsyd said:

I do not know how to make this any more clear.

Corps minimum size is a rule.  It says so in the rules manual.  It is on page 1, not hard to find.

The rule change process may be "outlined" in the bylaws, but it is spelled out in full detail in the rules manual.  That is on pages 13-16.  You cannot change the rules manual without following the process defined within it.

 

While the Rules Manual is seemingly clear regarding the membership numbers, it's not a standalone document governing DCI.  It's simply one appendix within the much larger Policy & Procedure Manual that guides the organization's governance, membership, compliance, tour and events, competition, operations, and much more. If you look at the P&P manual as a whole, it has multiple applicable sections/appendixes that have to be adhered to be each corps in order for them to remain in good standing with DCI.  The bulk of that manual is established, maintained and enforced by the Board of Directors.

When questions about roles/authority come into play, I typically look to the by-laws of an organization for guidance. In almost every circumstance, the by-laws of an organization supersede any other lower level policy, procedure, document that is put in place. That allows a Board of Directors to maintain control/direction of an organization through whatever challenges/adversity it might face.

In this case, the by-laws give the Board of Directors a lot of power/control over the operations DCI, but also reserve a couple areas for control by the membership. Specifically, the defining of adjudicating and competitive attributes is reserved for the membership control. That's where the rules congress & rules change process comes into play. Per the by-laws and subsequent policies, competitive rules changes must be approved by a majority vote of the membership after fulfilling the necessary proposal process.

The by-laws also indicate that the final responsibility/authority for all other business operations and management of DCI rest on the shoulders of the Board of Directors. That includes establishing, implementing and enforcing standards and requirements necessary to obtain and maintain good standing as a member or participant in DCI activities.

In this particular case, they've chosen to now include minimum membership numbers as one of the standards/requirements that will be reviewed when considering if a corps is in good standing for membership/participation in DCI events. Based on the by-laws (which again supersede any lower level policy), this is well within their rights. Add on the fact that this was worked on by two committees comprised of members of the DCI activity (also covered under the by-laws), and the implementation of the minimum member policy appears to be completely above board.

Admittedly, the new policy does create some conflict with other sections of the Policy & Procedure Manual where different membership numbers are shown. Perhaps those will be update/clarified down the road. Or perhaps the rules for competition won't be updated, which would allow a corps to march less than 55 members in competition without penalty (ex. in the event of illness/injury). However, to qualify on an administrative level for membership/participation in the upcoming season, the organization must show in good faith the intent to have 55+ members for the upcoming season before being added to the schedule.

Last, if the voting membership of DCI doesn't like a policy that is put in place by the Board of Directors, there are remedies for that in the by-laws as well (ex. vote for removal).

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34 minutes ago, MikeD said:

I think part of the problem is having an item like the size requirement show up in two places. Is it a policy, or is it a rule?

In any case, it should only appear once.

By the way, the in addition to the 55-member policy in addendum 216 of the Policy manual, it also says this about Open class in section 1.2. Classifications:

1.2.1 Each unit must have a minimum of 30 performing members.

 

 

The voting membership of Open Class has to vote on any changes within the Open Class Operating Policies section of the manual.  The presumption would be that this would happen at their next meeting, but it does leave conflicting information in place in the meanwhile. 

Since corps in good standing have to be in compliance with all applicable policies, the old information left behind isn't super critical as they would already be compliant with this 30 member rule if they're in compliance with the new 55 member rule.  Similar conflicts happen in laws/statutes all the time where more stringent laws are passed, but the old weaker laws are left in place.  People are held to the more stringent law/standard.

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1 hour ago, rjohn76 said:

The voting membership of Open Class has to vote on any changes within the Open Class Operating Policies section of the manual.  The presumption would be that this would happen at their next meeting, but it does leave conflicting information in place in the meanwhile. 

Since corps in good standing have to be in compliance with all applicable policies, the old information left behind isn't super critical as they would already be compliant with this 30 member rule if they're in compliance with the new 55 member rule.  Similar conflicts happen in laws/statutes all the time where more stringent laws are passed, but the old weaker laws are left in place.  People are held to the more stringent law/standard.

It goes to highlight the confusion when the same requirement exists in multiple places and they want to make changes. In this case they have the Open class size in 3 places apparently.

This applies to any requirement in any organization. It has just reared its head here due to the topic.

 

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