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2022 Daily Run Down

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11 minutes ago, DrumCorpsRadio said:

Absolutely correct. Not sure how I missed that. I must have just only looked at the list when Mandarins were on top. Thanks for catching that!

Gold and SCVC just tied for first in Charleston Illinois with 80.250

BDB over two points behind both 78.050

Tried telling everyone, just because Gold was out of sight out of mind with Covid, didn't mean they were out of the running.

Monday and Tuesday will be fire for Open Class. 

Good luck to everyone. 


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I personally underestimated Southwind with where they are.

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August 7th Run-Down

After several hours catching up with friends old and new at the Crossmen picnic in the park, I enjoyed another great night of drum corps in Allentown. This was my first viewing of any kind of Carolina Crown and The Cadets. Personally, Carolina Crown is the show I am mostly looking forward to seeing again of the Top 8. The next few I'm mostly looking forward to seeing next week are Mandarins, Phantom Regiment, and Troopers. While the numbers will say it's a long-shot when I do my full Allentown analysis, my heart tells me there's a small chance of Carolina Crown surging over the next week. Even without a competitive victory, it seems the Crown show design will move the activity the most of this year's medalist contenders in my opinion.

Now on to the objective side of things!

Allentown, PA:

As expected, Carolina Crown won the night with a healthy margin over Santa Clara Vanguard. Looking across the two nights of DCI East - as DCI does - Carolina Crown finished in second place.

The placements stayed the same as they were following last weekend's regionals with the 5-8 grouping with more than a point separating SCV from The Cadets and Blue Stars from The Cavaliers. The Cadets and Blue Stars are separated by 0.425 points. The two corps had not met head-to-head since San Antonio when The Cadets led by a little more than 1.4 points.

The fight for 12th place got even more interesting with Troopers jumping over both Blue Knights and Colts in score across the two-night regional. Crossmen also jumped Colts across the two nights. Crossmen defeated Colts exactly one time this season - way back on July 1st in Muncie, IN. Troopers have not been within one point of beating Colts head-to-head. The entire group will not come together again until Thursday in Indianapolis.

Further down the World Class rankings, there were no key head-to-head match-ups. Jersey Surf put up the second highest score increase at 3.700 points compared to Troopers' 3.900 points.

Charleston, IL:

The fight for Open Class gold took on a fever pitch with a Gold-Vanguard Cadets tie in the corps' final regular season show. Gold defeated Vanguard Cadets on July 5th, 8th, and 10th by narrowing margins at each show and then did not compete for 20 days. During that time, Vanguard Cadets registered five appearances with a massive jump in scoring. When Gold returned to competition on July 30th, the corps' scores came in 6+ points lower than Vanguard Cadets. That all changed on August 5th when the two corps met up head-to-head again with a narrow 0.100 point win for Vanguard Cadets on August 5th and now the tie. Spartans have yet to see either corps in competition.

Despite a large score increase after nearly two weeks out of competition, Blue Devils B lost ground with the leaders. When the corps last saw Vanguard Cadets on July 24th, the spread was 1.000 point. It is now 2.200 points.

After trading victories early in the season, River City Rhythm has gradually expanded its lead over Colt Cadets to the point where the two corps no longer appear to even be in the same grouping of corps. 

Avon Lake, OH:

Spartans saw another large point increase (2.100 points) without any direct competitor for the top of the show. The other corps put up relatively comparable gains raning from 1.350 points (Louisiana Stars) to 4.850 points (Raiders). Everything will come into better focus on Monday night in Marion, IN.

Top 15 Allentown comparison over the years

The spreadsheet below shows where corps stood at the mid-season mark and then after each regional with all of the standard caveats of comparisons across shows. I started doing this back in 2017 partially to fact check the wild claims made about slotting and other things. You can see that in 2019, 7 of the top 15 corps in Allentown finished in a different position in Indianapolis. In 2018, it was 9 of 15. And in 2017, it was just 2 of 15. That said, it's rare to see a corps move more than one position - just the 2019 Colts (-2) and 2018 Crossmen (-2). That's true even with Allentown always being a two-night, one-panel show, and even true when corps were not scored at a particular regional for one reason or another.

It is also true that in recent memory, a corps won championships without winning any regional when Blue Devils did so in the last competitive season of 2019. Like Carolina Crown this year, Blue Devils were as far down as 3rd in these rankings although that was in the mid-season ranking and not head-to-head like Crown's third place finishes in San Antonio and Atlanta this year. 

It may be notable that no corps has made finals since in recent years that was not ranked in the top 12 after Allentown. I only went back one year further than this chart to check on that, but that means it has been true through at least 2016. 

As of today, there are only two corps in the same position as they finished the 2019 season - Blue Devils at #1 and Crossmen at #11.


Full spreadsheet for today


If the season ended today, the biggest improvements over 2019 would be:

  • Columbians (+12 positions)
  • Vanguard Cadets (+10 positions)
  • Blue Devils C / Guardians (+8 positions)
  • Raiders (+7 positions)

Columbians may see this positional ranking fall one more spot if the Raiders can improve by another 1.100 points or more during championships week. However, Vanguard Cadets would need an epic finals week performance to overtake Columbians on this list. Guardians and Raiders could both move up further this week.

In terms of regression:

  • Pacific Crest (-8 positions)
  • Blue Knights (-7 positions)
  • Genesis / Legends (-5 positions)
  • The Academy (-4 positions)

Happy Finals Week everyone! I'll be in Indianapolis Wednesday night through Sunday morning enjoying the excitement and wonderful performances from start to finish each day.

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August 8th Run-Down

Just one show last night. The excitement around Troopers' appearing to be in the last finalist spot from the Allentown  results was quickly tempered with Blue Knights winning a decisive head-to-head to match-up and both corps' scores remaining lower than the last scores from Crossmen and Colts. The two corps see each other again tonight in Cincinnati. 

Also in competition tonight? Every corps still competing except Blue Devils. 

What am I watching for?

  • Carolina Crown - Bluecoats - Boston Cruaders. Without Blue Devils present, how do these three medalist contenders stack up? Can Boston reassert itself the corps on the heels of the Blue Devils, or has Carolina Crown retaken that role? Do Bluecoats have a push to make through friendly territory?
  • The Cavaliers - Mandarins - Phantom Regiment. There has been a lot of movement among these corps. How does the relative newcomer handle the final week of the season against the midwest stalwarts?
  • Blue Knights - Troopers. Blue Knights have not missed finals since 2003. Troopers have not made finals since 2009. Can one of these corps take a decisive lead tonight to set itself up to take on Colts (who have not made finals since 2007) and Crossmen?
  • Gold - Vanguard Cadets - Spartans. The California corps are literally tied heading into Open Class Prelims. Neither corps met up with the defending champion Spartans so this is a toss-up. 


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August 9th Run-Down

Two of four shows did not have scores due to weather issues so we are all going to have to wait until Thursday to get the answers to some of our questions about how World Class corps from different shows will line up. The scheduled but unscored shows are highlighted.

In the Cincinnati show, we did see Blue Knights reassert its Top 12 bona fides, however, Troopers were just 0.150 points behind. There is going to be a real dogfight for 12th on Friday night!

Vanguard Cadets came out on top of the Open Class prelims with a greater than 1.2 point margin over second place Gold. Vanguard Cadets won the last two Open Class finals the corps attended in 2017 and 2018. Although a large margin, the recent close competition with Gold suggests the top spot could still be up for grabs tonight.

No doubt there's a wide open battle for two and three as Gold, Blue Devils B, and Spartans were separated by just 0.600 points. Even a second place finish would be Gold's highest placement ever.

Guardians are also on track for a new high placement with a pretty solid 5th place finish. The Batallion made a strong 8th place finish in the corps' first appearance in Indianapolis.

Les Stentors saw a big score increase at exactly the right time to take the last spot in Open Class finals. 


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Open Class Southwind with a very small corps is holding its own in the Top 25 it seems.  Thanks.

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2 hours ago, mjyaub said:

Open Class Southwind with a very small corps is holding its own in the Top 25 it seems.  Thanks.

I was very impressed with Southwind seeing them live last night. 

Sadly what's going to happen with all these Open Class corps on Thursday is big score drops when they get thrown in the fire with the World Class corps. With 20 WC corps, we know at least five OC will make Semi's. Now the OCs placed sixth and below, how many of them can pick off some WC to get a Semi's spot on Friday. We will see.

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Honestly, if you're planning on only one read of open class this year, make it tonight, not Thursday.   The crowd under the lights for these corps with their fans in force truly brings out the energy from the performers.   LoS is just dwarfing to them and their fans and the energy ins't the same because so many wait until the top 15 or so of world class to take their seats.  

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August 10th Run-Down

Vanguard Cadets are the Open Class Champions with Gold in second and Blue Devils B in third. Spartans finished just outside the medalist, falling short of Blue Devils B by 0.563 points.

Guardians had the corps' highest placement ever at 5th. The Battalion made a move up a spot in finals, finishing in 7th at its first ever DCI World Championships event. Louisiana Stars also gained a spot on finals night, moving up to 9th place.

The 12 finalists will be joined by Raiders and Colt Cadets in World Class Prelims on Thursday evening. The top four Open Class corps enter that competition ranked 15th-18th, the fifth place Open Class corps ranked 20th, and Southwind and The Battalion currently in 23rd and 25th respectdively. This puts seven Open Class corps in the current standings for a spot in Friday night's World Class competition.  Only four corps were in that position in 2019 and five if we go back to 2018 when Vanguard Cadets and Blue Devils B were last in Indy. Given the fact that the World Class corps have not competed in several days, it seemsl ikely that Genesis, at least, will move back into the Top 25, however, Jersey Surf's spot at 30th is tenuous for moving past Thursday night.


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Congrats to Gold on their highest placement ever, and their highest score in corps history. 

Gold also made history this season beating BDB, Spartans and SCVC earlier in the season for the first time ever. 

Job well done to all the open class corps. Last couple days of competition was nothing short of phenomenal. 

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