East Corps Bias

This year, Carolina Crown started the DCI season in the western US, going head to head with the corps out that way, including Santa Clara Vanguard and the Blue Devils. It was much lauded, as is the annual trip from an eastern corps our west each year.

The thing is, the western corps come east every year.

Why do we make such a big deal of eastern corps going west, and why don't they do it more often? While I understand that there are increased budget implications, it doesn't stop the west's heavy hitters from having to be in at least Atlanta and Allentown each year. In fact, not only are perennial finalist Santa Clara and 15-time World Champion Blue Devils expected to budget for the trip, but so are first-year-in-World-Class Oregon Crusaders and never-made-finals Pacific Crest. I'll readily admit my own east coast bias, but why should the entire west coast always play on the road?

I'm not claiming that this creates a competitive disadvantage for the western corps; indeed, over half of the world championships have featured a west coast champion. Nor am I claiming that this touring schedule puts these corps in a financial bind. In fact, that most of the recently inactive and defunct corps hail from the east may be evidence that it takes a more financially solvent corps to survive the wild wild west. But the real loser here is the western fans. They've gotten the short end of the stick, with one Finals held west of the Rockies (and an additional three in Denver), one to two eastern corps making the trip a year, and always catching the heavy hitters in the early part of the season, not at their competitive peak.

DCI - do right by the west and give them more drum corps!