II/III format... (beating a dead horse)

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Jay5635
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Post by Jay5635 » Thu Sep 05, 2002 10:03 pm

seems to me that the current system is not working. If DCI boast to be the best of the best and Div III wants to add credibilty to what they do you have twi major problems. There is currently too much disparity in Div III - You have corps that regadless of size work there butts off to recruite and do a very innovative and competitive show and push there members to the limits(Revo,Bluestars,Marion Glory,and others) Then you have other units that just want to be there and pull kids off the street the day of contest and have a hard time just completing there show (Citation,Kingsmen,Blue Staint, St. Johns) Bless thoise kids haerts out for just being there but they should not be lumped in with the HIgher group. The score disparity is huge - 90.5 to 46 something. There is not that much disparty in Div 1 - 99.05 to 75 something or in Div II 99.05 to 79 something. But the DCI powers the be and the div II/III directors do not want to create another division - "That is what Div III is for" But yet the Kingsmen and the others like them never get any rays of sunshine and never get to grow always being so low in the tier. NOW IS THAT FIAR --NO but yet none of you are complaining about that. What need to happen is Division needs to change not by size but by merit. Score placings is the only way. I would much rather make finals knowing I deserved to be there not because i was handicapped in cause I am a small corps - Div II should be no more that 100 but no less than 30 - Division III should be for small corps that are not competive like the semifianlist but want there moment of sunshine. So Bluestars can have 67 members or right at 60 and still continue to place well and contend for a title againts Spartans and other current II since they cannot become monsters like Cap Reg was or Magic (a seasonal fluke by the way thanks to the DCI bylaws). Just my thought.

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Post by bluestarcontra » Thu Sep 05, 2002 11:07 pm

Jay5635 wrote:What need to happen is Division needs to change not by size but by merit. Score placings is the only way.
I've already gone over why this is a bad idea. You would be forcing corps that don't want to move divisions or aren't ready to move divisions to do so based on one year's placement. What determining factors would be used to have the corps move divisions? Number of years in finals? Not making finals? Winning?
Corps choose to move divisions because they are able to handle fielding a corps of a certain size. If you take away a corps' ability to choose its own destiny, so to speak, you put a lot of corps in danger of being in over their heads financially, or of having corps yo-yo back and forth between divisions constantly. Let the corps' plans dictate where it will go, or I'm afraid we'll see more Div. II/III corps in financial trouble.
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Post by top dawg » Fri Sep 06, 2002 4:54 am

Ask Tom King, former Blue Star Director, why he kept Blue Stars in Div 3 ..........

"to win a championship, of course. I don't want to have to recruit against Pioneer!"

Attitudes like that make it difficult to accept the notion that the Division 3 welfare state should be returned.

Yamato, Blue Stars, Tai Pei & Revolution & Americanos all had similar size brass lines to Patriots, Spartans and East Coast. That would be the only issue where size (volume) would suffer. Wasn't the case. I gues the Blue Stars found a way to own so many horns without putting them in financial strain.

The case for a Division 4 is a good one. Unfortunately it's the directors of those corps who belong there who oppose it most. Of course they also like being on Div 1 sheets in June and losing to the Cavaliers by 50 points..............

THERE IS A REASON WHY SOME CORPS ARE NOT GOOD AND IT IS NOT THE KIDS

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Post by bluestarcontra » Fri Sep 06, 2002 6:19 am

top dawg wrote: Yamato, Blue Stars, Tai Pei & Revolution & Americanos all had similar size brass lines to Patriots, Spartans and East Coast. That would be the only issue where size (volume) would suffer. Wasn't the case. I gues the Blue Stars found a way to own so many horns without putting them in financial strain.
We had the number of horns we did because 1) that's how many we were able to get to march and 2) that's approximately the size of corps we could financially handle. If 135 marching members had shown up at our door, there's no way we could have let them all march and still had a corps the next year. It's all about the long-term.
The case for a Division 4 is a good one. Unfortunately it's the directors of those corps who belong there who oppose it most. Of course they also like being on Div 1 sheets in June and losing to the Cavaliers by 50 points..............
Because it's a real score, not some fake over-inflated score. Like I said, ask the Div. III directors themselves why there is not a Div. IV. If the directors of the smaller corps don't want one, it's probably for a good reason.

As for the rest of this nonsense, it doesn't bear responding to. Try getting informed about actual Div. III corps before making such assertions. Even if Tom King said something like that, that's not the attitude of the corps or its management. Why were Blue Stars Div. III these past two years? Because it's where we would actually be able to grow and become a stronger corps. If we'd been Div. II, for one thing, we couldn't have competed at DCM finals because you have to have at least 61 members to compete in Div. II there, and for the other, we would have been out of our depth with that size a corps even if we could have competed in the division.

Oh, and one other thing: during Tom King's run as director of the corps, Blue Stars were Div. III only the second half of his last season, and that was because we didn't have enough members to compete in Div. II.
Try getting some facts.
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Post by bfhdznr » Fri Sep 06, 2002 9:51 am

If you dont like the idea that it seems teh 2 divisions are competeing against each other than just change the whole deal so there is not competition but set a goal that determines finals performance. prelims monday any corps over a score of 80 advances to semisfinals tuesday. Any corps that scores over an 85 in semifinals would advance to finals. Still crown champions for each division but change the requirement for finals. Instead of one randomn number of groups based on size use a solid # that corps have to acheive to get to finals.
I like a finals system that rewards quality. So no matter what your division or size there is a set level of quality each group has to aim for to make finals.
BRRRRRRT

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Post by bluestarcontra » Fri Sep 06, 2002 10:28 am

That wouldn't alleviate the situation of an unequal representation of Div. III in finals. It's a lot easier for Div. II corps that are larger to break those score barriers, plus you need to plan ahead of time how many corps are going to be in the shows for various logistical reasons.
You also insinuate again that the reason that Div. III corps don't score as high is because they're not as good. I'm saying the reason is that they don't generate as much general effect by result of their smaller size. GE counts for 40% of the score, and that's a big chunk that they have a natural disadvantage in.
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Post by Jay5635 » Fri Sep 06, 2002 11:04 am

Well Blue stars and Revo had no problem with GE nor the much smaller Marion - When the instructors and designers know how to program a show there will be no problem with that! But when you have a show like like the lower div III corps do yeah then it makes a big difference. Quit making excuses for lack of quality staff or directors - the kids are the one that suffer. but do not drag Blue stars or other qulaity corps down with them. Must I remind you of the 5th place AMericanos corps in 1999 that had 61 members in Div II and did some major damage to those other corps much larger - BUt americanos had a quality show and that is what made the difference! Mandarins always have a quality program - so what are those just flukes? No I think not! Is it just because they have been around so long and have aged staff - not really cause look at Revolution this past year (new corps - new staff). GE is big but when you know how to program then it is not at all that big. If you think your weak then you are! If you think you are strong then no one can beat you! Excuses are like A$$holes everyones got them but are you gonna base your success on the bad or focus on the good! Who cares about those that did not make finals and having equal representation - this should just light a fire to those others corps staff to do better to prepare those kids like Bluestars and Revo - or they could take your attitude and just roll over and die out but it would be there choice!!! I think there should be a division for the mediocore corps who just want to come out and play but not be challenging to the members or to drum corps like a Div IV or novice group and then create a div II with the current semi finalist corps! Make things interesting and not boring! I respect what the lower Div III corps do but aside from family and friends there shows are boring - while shows like AMericanos , Marion andBluestars were all great shows to sit and watch. That is what DCI cares about - Called Marketablity -who will sell sits in the stands to pay for the stadium or the judges or the prize moneis! Be smart and think don't just find the easy excuse!

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Post by bluestarcontra » Fri Sep 06, 2002 12:58 pm

Jay5635 wrote:Well Blue stars and Revo had no problem with GE nor the much smaller Marion - When the instructors and designers know how to program a show there will be no problem with that!
The problem is not GE within the realm of Div. III competition. The problem is that when you match a Div. III corps up against a significantly larger Div. II corps, even if that Div. III corps can execute as well as the Div. II corps, the GE scores will hold them back because the larger corps has more visual and musical impact. That, then, is the problem when you essentially remove divisions between, well, the divisions and match up corps that aren't really competing against each other.

But when you have a show like like the lower div III corps do yeah then it makes a big difference. Quit making excuses for lack of quality staff or directors - the kids are the one that suffer.
I'm not making excuses, I'm talking about the reality of Div. II/III scoring and the fact that smaller corps cannot have the impact of larger corps by the simple fact of their size.

but do not drag Blue stars or other qulaity corps down with them.
Um...I hardly think I'm dragging my own corps down. This activity isn't just about the big corps, and when you give them such a distinct advantage in making finals, you screw the smaller corps that are as good as the larger ones. As I have said several times already: if you are going to have two separate divisions, then lets have two separate divisions. The way finals is set up, you'd think there was just one. And if you're going to argue that "this way it's fairer to the Div. II corps that got higher scores but didn't make finals," then let's not have any guaranteed Div. III finals spots.
Must I remind you of the 5th place AMericanos corps in 1999 that had 61 members in Div II and did some major damage to those other corps much larger - BUt americanos had a quality show and that is what made the difference!
Blue Stars were Div. II in 2000 and got fifth at finals as well. The difference between as recent as 2000 and what we've seen these last couple years is that the average size of a Div. II corps was smaller than now. The smaller the size difference, the less impact it has on the score.

Mandarins always have a quality program - so what are those just flukes? No I think not! Is it just because they have been around so long and have aged staff - not really cause look at Revolution this past year (new corps - new staff).
Experience does make an impact on the quality of the corps. Blue Stars this year had a corps with lots of new members, especially people that had either never done corps before, or whose experience had been with corps with few touring requirements such as Colt Cadets and Emerald Knights. It was a new experience for them, and it made for more challenges for our staff, but we worked hard and came out where we did, with a great show. Mandarins' consistency is what comes from having experience, not just success one year. That's the same thing that's kept Blue Stars successful over the last fifteen or so years, since we reentered competition: having consistent member leaders and at least some staff consistency, as well as a good work ethic instilled in the members. I believe you would get a similar answer were you talking to someone from the Mandarins.

GE is big but when you know how to program then it is not at all that big.
It's 40% of the score. That's pretty big.

If you think your weak then you are! If you think you are strong then no one can beat you!
My friend, you just stated the entire Blue Stars' performance philosophy. It's not an issue of weakness, it's an issue of the natural fact that 50 horns have more musical impact that 15.
Who cares about those that did not make finals and having equal representation - this should just light a fire to those others corps staff to do better to prepare those kids like Bluestars and Revo - or they could take your attitude and just roll over and die out but it would be there choice!!!
You need to read my posts. I'm not telling anyone to give up; quite the opposite. My only point is that Division II/III finals should be for both divisions, and therefore should represent the divisions at least approximately close to the division sizes. And there were lots of quality Div. III corps out there that would have made finals under the old system, some for the first time in their existence--but were kept out of it because they were forced to compete with corps they had never had to compete with before and which have a natural advantage over the smaller Div. III corps.

I think there should be a division for the mediocore corps who just want to come out and play but not be challenging to the members or to drum corps like a Div IV or novice group and then create a div II with the current semi finalist corps!
Who decides who's mediocre? Do you decide by score or placement at finals/semis/whatever? And if so, how do you decide when someone warrants moving up--or down? What if that year was a rough year and the next year they're able to come back and be a contender in that division--but are forced down into the lower division because of the previous year? There are a ton of factors you must consider here, and there's a reason DCI doesn't decide what division a corps is going to be in.
Make things interesting and not boring! I respect what the lower Div III corps do but aside from family and friends there shows are boring - while shows like AMericanos , Marion andBluestars were all great shows to sit and watch. That is what DCI cares about - Called Marketablity -who will sell sits in the stands to pay for the stadium or the judges or the prize moneis! Be smart and think don't just find the easy excuse!
There are quite a few Div. III corps this year that, in my opinion, had taken a real step up in terms of quality from past years. One extremely important tool for those corps to continue recruiting to build a quality program is competitive success. No, a corps isn't really successful because they win/made finals/whatever, but the fact is that new members don't know that before they join. An example: Lehigh Valley Knights would have made finals this past year for the first time in their organization's history under the old system. They could have taken that back to recruit with the magical words "DCI finalist" in their recruitment brochures, on their website, whatever. That kind of stuff is what gets people interested in marching a corps who don't know much about corps. Once you get them there, that's when they learn that what makes a show good isn't about winning or losing. However, they are now somewhat handicapped because they don't have that tool, that attraction for new members. Instead, corps that are already big and relatively successful were in there while corps that are on their way up and trying to build were kept out. To restate what I've said countless times in this thread: that is not good for the future of the activity, the division, or those specific corps that lost that chance. I'm willing to bet there will be a lot of discussion about this when the Div. II/III directors' meeting rolls around.
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Post by top dawg » Fri Sep 06, 2002 5:04 pm

Well Esperanza can now put the word FINALIST on their recruitment literature..and it is well deserved. They were the 6th best corps in Div 2/3 yet under the old system.....................

Look we can debate the relative merits until we are blue in the face. The honest to goodness truth is that for years corps of dubious quality have achieved finalist status (6th & 7th of Div 3 ) and some very good drum corps have been in stands on Wednesday night. In an attempt to make sure the 12 best drum corps are rewarded the Div 2/3 directors put the current system in place. It was proposed by Joe Kuerzi a director of a Div 3 corps, and one who was bumped from Finals by this system. yet we hear not a peep from the Americanos people. They, more than any other Div 2/3 understand that quality is rewarded, regardless of size. 94 & 99 Americanos are great examples of this.
Do you honestly believe that if we stayed with the old rule of 5 & 7 that corps like the Patriots & East Coast Jazz, both who were very close to 60 members, would have stayed in 2 or would they have moved down to 3? Would that be conducive for growing their organizations? No, but it would be the right move to insure finalist status. It would be the right move for them, just like Blue Stars and Revolution say it was right for them to limit membership to 60 (either this year or years past). The financial issue is a cop out. You need 2 buses either way. Div 2 corps have been succesful with 60-70 members......99 Americanos, 98 East Coast Jazz (World Champions), 2000 Mandarins....

Yes it is very important for a corps to make the Wednesday show for a multitude of reasons. It is wrong to penalize corps because they have done a better job with recruiting. Yet we feel it's OK to reward Div 3 corps because they happen to be in a classification that includes corps who either barely break the 30 member minimum, are first or second year corps who are competing in Championships for nothing more than the experience (nothing wrong with that, just they should be in Division 4) and corps who are forever mediocre to poor. Add 10 or those corps to Div 2 and you'd have 7 D2 finalists and 5 Div 3s.

Maybe the true misnomer is Division 2/3. Perhaps it is time the two groups recognize they have inherent differences and separate.
Monday morning Div 3 prelims
Monday night Div 4 prelims/championships
Tuesday morning Div 2 prelims
Tuesday night Div 3 finals
Wednesday night Div 2 finals

The remark I made earlier about lack of attendance at finals by Div 3 non-finalists speaks to the issue of why corps participate in championship week. They do not emphasize the competitive nature of the activity (just as well with a young corps anyways). It would be nice to see all the D2 corps (and maybe some 3s) attend the D4 show to show support for the activity. Make the small corps feel important. Right now they get crap upon by the entire activity from Magic all the way down. Was anyone in the stands at 8am on Monday? No. These corps played to no crowd, placed at the bottom of the pack and went home> Wouldn't it be nicer if the Racine Scouts were dubbed DIVSION 4 CHAMPS?

Wouldn't the Lehigh Valley Knights, a 2nd year corps that's still trying to master a lot of drum corps skills, be even prouder if they were DIV 3 CHAMPIONS?

Div 2/3 really needs top look at the classification nomenclature. Bands certainly have this down cold. go to BOA and see 300 piece bands compete with groups 1/3 their size and lose to them. If you concede the larger groups have an advantage in effect then you should concede the performance advantage to the smaller (especially more experienced) corps. It is all about quality. Quality design and achievement.

There are loads of corps who beat corps MUCH bigger than them. I stand by my remark about Impulse and Allegiance. Neither had a solidly designed program and both lacked what BlueStarContra would anachcronistically call EXECUTION. They both were beaten by corps that were a fraction of their size. The adjudication sysem does have flaws, but in this case it worked to a T.

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Post by AlbersDCI » Fri Sep 06, 2002 5:27 pm

top dawg wrote:It was proposed by Joe Kuerzi a director of a Div 3 corps, and one who was bumped from Finals by this system. yet we hear not a peep from the Americanos people.
I'm not taking a stand either way on this issue, but Top Dawg needs to check his facts. The new format was not proposed by the Americanos. It was proposed by an east coast corps and was passed by the yes votes from the the east and west coast corps. I believe that all DCM Div. III corps voted against the proposal, and know for certain that Blue Stars and Americanos voted no.

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Post by GWFrog » Fri Sep 06, 2002 5:44 pm

Howdy! (once more)
bluestarcontra wrote:Do you hear that? That's the clue phone...and it's ringing for you.
They don't hear the phone...
...and they'll never have a clue.

Point 1:
28 Div.III corps with (guestimated average) 45 members per corps= 1,260 marching members (approx.)
12 Div.II corps with (guestimated average) 98 members per corps= 1,176 marching members (approx.)
Does one division deserve to have three times (3x) as many corps in Finals as the other?
(Guestimated averages = minimum marching members + maximum marching members divided by 2)

Point 2:
In general, size does make a difference in scoring, and anyone who denies it, really doesn't have a clue.
Yes, some Div.III corps can beat some Div.II corps... can even beat some Div.I corps whose numbers are down and/or are otherwise having an off year...
Differences in organizational commitment, members' experience, show exposure (as in number of shows performed---tied in to commitment), instructional staff, show design, et cetera, etcetera, and so forth can vault some Div.III corps upward while leaving other corps behind, but it will never lift them to the level of the top Div.I corps and their 120-135 members.

Point 3:
This horse was dead before we started beating on it, so can't we just let the poor beast be?
Unless the participants in this thread are directors of II/III corps, what we say here is essentially meaningless...
In all likelihood, the real corps directors will reexamine this issue in the light of the past season...
And we will likely see another format change in some regard, probably allowing more Div.III corps to advance to Semis and Finals...
But, we won't know what will happen until we see it...
So, we might as well just sit and wait and see...

Point 4:
Isn't it strange the way some folks can be so vehement about things over which they really and truly have absolutely no control? :roll:


'Til later... 8-)
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Post by bluestarsfco » Fri Sep 06, 2002 8:19 pm

top dawg wrote:It was proposed by Joe Kuerzi a director of a Div 3 corps, and one who was bumped from Finals by this system. yet we hear not a peep from the Americanos people. They, more than any other Div 2/3 understand that quality is rewarded, regardless of size. 94 & 99 Americanos are great examples of this.
First of all, it was not proposed by Joe Keurzi, it was proposed by Bob Jacobs of Jersey Surf, and another prime mover was Peter LeFlamme from the Spartans. Both are of course, east coast division II corps. From what I understand Jacobs was rather ticked off that he didn't make finals in 2001, and had to watch as "undeserving" division III corps went on intead. Imagine that. I garauntee you the Division III directors will be fighting it at the next board meeting.

However, as Dave said, under the old system they were knocked out by limit, not other corps. Now, it's basically a Division II finals that allows Division III to take part. You people talk as though it's easy for Div III corps to beat Div II corps and that it's a very common occurence. It's not and oftentimes when they do, it's by very slim margins. I'm not just talking about finals week either.

In reality - size DOES matter. The system isn't the utopia you make it out to be where anyone can beat anyone at any time. Visual execution for instance. This is a caption that could be judged equally regardless of size. However, often times it is not. There are a few Div III corps that march better than Div II corps and I daresay some Div I corps. But do they score higher? In reality, no.

IMHO, the only fair system is an equal one...a top 12 with 6 Div II corps and 6 Div III corps. You may not get the very best shows, but it would be fair to everyone. As someone said, opinions are like a**holes, so I guess that makes me an a**hole.

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Post by top dawg » Sat Sep 07, 2002 4:03 am

The original proposal (different that what was enacted in 2002) failed and the revised proposal, the one that was used this season, came from Joe Kuerzi of The Americanos.

My, my your director certainly likes to tell stories to the children of his drum corps....................

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Post by Wiggity » Sat Sep 07, 2002 11:52 am

ok... one last scenario...


take the top 60 of the cavaliers with a perfectly designed show

take the cavaliers (from this past year)


let the two compete... i highly doubt that the 60 would come within 7 or 8 points of each other on the same sheet.

does anyone think differently?

*** have i made my point or do i need to use another example? ***

(apparently ben harloff wasn't enough)
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Post by bfhdznr » Sat Sep 07, 2002 12:37 pm

bluestarcontra wrote:That wouldn't alleviate the situation of an unequal representation of Div. III in finals.
so you want an equal representation of the quantity of D II/III rather than an equal representaion of QUALITY in D II/III.

but ya know what with this whole size matters deal that you guys keep throwing around? Its a lot harder to dress a form with 40 horns than 20 horns. getting 60 kids to march in uniform style is a snap campared to 128 or 135. tuning 19 sorpanos is quite a bit more challanging than tuning 8. getting 20 some odd flags or rifles to spin in unison is undeniably more difficult than getting 10 to do it. Take the time to work these issues rather than blame it on your size.
BRRRRRRT

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