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Saturday, January 23, 2010

As the Jannuals Turn: Rule Changes Part 3

For those unfamiliar with the term "Jannual", it's apparently what DCI informally calls their annual January meeting. Learned that this past week from the DCI FieldPass podcast, which did a special edition since they're going on. Education!

DCI has put the remaining four proposals out in the open since last I posted, so I'm going to go ahead and wrap this up in one fell swoop. Here's what remains:

DCI judge George Oliviero proposed to create a field visual sheet that is parallel in structure to the other visual sheets. It seems to make good sense, but I honestly don't know much about how the visual sheets are structured, so I can't say much beyond that.

Hopkins proposed that the percussion judge be located in the press box instead of on field during the performance. He postulates that percussion judges on the field are a distraction for the corps and the fans. He even drew the following analogy: "For fans, it might be comparable to attending a Broadway production and watching a New York Times theater critic roving throughout the actors on stage, tape recorder in hand, making comments to put in his/her next column." Nice analogy, I"ll admit, but while DCI is both athletic and theatrical in nature, "Marching Music's Major League" has been seeking to more closely align itself with the sports end of things than its theatre side, so I'll counter with the following analogy: football refs are on the field and baseball umpires are immediately behind the plate because it's the best place to get the call right. The official isn't a distraction, they are part of the action, and indeed help decide the currency--in this case, points--upon which the competition is based. A referee or umpire in the stands could come to a "pretty good idea" of the right call, much as we the fans can by watching either live or on TV. But I don't want a "pretty good idea", and I want the person responsible for calling whether those diddles were fair or foul in the best possible position to do so. He mentions how it can potentially be a danger to the judges or the corps members, but judges, like referees, have become quite adept at dodging the action. The occasional collision occurs, certainly, but it's a price I'm willing to pay for the right answer.

Hopkins also proposes replacing the the judges for music effect and visual effect with two judges for general effect. I think this is one I can get behind. He reasons that the two are often so intertwined--necessarily so--that it makes more sense to judge them together to get a sense for how the two complement each other. Both visual and music performance are judged individually on a couple different strata, so keeping general effect, well, general makes sense to me.

The final proposal, also from Hopkins, creates a panel of seven judges, down from eight at most contests and ten at championships. All of the same criteria would be judged, save for the change mentioned in the previous proposal: Brass performance, percussion performance, color guard performance, ensemble music, ensemble visual, and two overall effect. The one impact he mentions in this proposal is reducing the cost of judgest, and since that appears the only real impact, I can get behind that.

And for those of you who hate to wait, I'll actually have the results of the voting--which apparently took place while I was typing this and posted to just now--shortly!
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