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 Post subject: Napa - facts & opinions
PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2002 10:30 pm 
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This post is in response to a thread on the old message board at http://www.worldofpageantry.com/wwwboar ... 13246.html.
I was asked to post it here to fill some people in on some of the controversy surrounding the Napa show. The opinions are mine, but the numbers are right off the official recaps.

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1. Color Guard judge was Tom Wietrich (spelling?) who has a history of bashing Leigh in whatever category he judges. It has been presumed for a long time that Tom, for reasons known only to him, has some sort of personal bias or vendetta against someone on the Leigh staff and unfortunately chooses to take it out on the kids. Not to take anything away from Saratoga (who won the guard caption with a 92 to Leigh's 90) because they do have an excellent guard, but their performance simply did not match up to Leigh's last night in content, design, or execution. There is just no way Leigh came in second.
2. The Vintage PA announcer was truly pathetic. Not only did he announce the wrong winners for the field show marching and showmanship sweepstakes, but when he was confronted with the error before the end of the ceremony, he refused to correct it. For some strange reason, the announcer read off the winners from a hand-written list when computerized lists, very efficiently sorted by caption and placement, were available. The announcer claimed he had been told to hurry up (why?...there was no fire and it was only 9:30pm) and to see the head judge or tabulator with questions or concerns (they were nowhere to be found and it was later learned that they had already gone home!).

Why were the results transcribed by hand when computerized lists were readily available? Why didn't the tabulator or head judge remain for the ceremony? Why wasn't the error corrected when the PA guy clearly had time to do so? These are some serious questions that the NCBA and Vintage organizers need to address!

In the end, Leigh was told that duplicate trophies would be mailed to them to "make it right." Yet in the mean time, Leigh went home without the recognition it rightfully won and Saratoga has two trophies which they did not earn. Granted, the trophies aren't what it's all about and the Leigh kids went home happy and proud of their performance, but the show's organizers screwed up big time and have done little or nothing to admit or correct their mistakes.
___________________________________________________

These aren't the only question marks surrounding the day's events. In typical NCBA fashion, many bands faced the wrath of NCBA judging inconsistencies. Here's just a sampling of the more blatant discrepancies:

1. Differences in scoring between the two judges of a caption:
Parade
a. Half Moon Bay: 42 points in GE
b. Santa Clara: 40 points in music
c. Will C. Wood: 53 points in marching!
d. Ygnacio Valley: 40 in GE
e. Placer: 44 in music
f. Hogan: 32 GE
g. Dublin: 32 GE
h. John Swett: 50 music, 36 GE
Field
a. Leigh & Saratoga: 20 music
b. Homestead & Lynbrook: 22 music
c. Folsom: 23 music
d. Vallejo: 34 music, 23 marching
e. Milpitas: 30 music
f. Del Oro: 37 music, 48 GE, 24 marching
g. Fremont: 33 music, 31 marching
h. McClatchy: 24 music, 31 GE, 39 marching
i. Santa Clara: 43 GE

2. Independence scored 82.05 overall at Foothill (Oct. 26) and 92.65 at Napa. I haven't seen their show so I don't know which score is closer to realistic, but a 10 point jump in 2 weeks is ridiculous.

3. Leigh scored 43 points higher in music than Del Oro at Napa, yet Del Oro (with 30 or so musicians) beat Leigh (120 musicians) in the brass caption.

4. Leigh scored 379.5 in music on the field at Cupertino (2nd place), 390 at Del Oro (1st), 387.5 at Pacific Grove (1st), and 373 at Napa (5th) in what was easily their best performance of the year. (many schools questioned their music scores at Napa ... note the many discrepancies in field music in #1 above)

5. One field marching judge at Napa had 11 of the 15 competing bands within 7 points of each other (on a 300 point scale), and all 15 within 33 points. The other judge had a 59 point spread.

Now I fully admit that I am a Leigh supporter and don't deny that my views are biased towards them, but I think the numbers above speak for themselves about the notoriously controversial NCBA judging. Far too many of it's judges are ancient, old-school ex-teachers who are out of touch with today's marching bands. They are woefully incompetent and unable to adjudicate modern, complex shows. All to often they either try (and fail) to pacify everyone with overboard political correctness, or attempt to make a statement about what they think marching band "should" or "should not" be.
Leigh has remained in the NCBA over the years mainly out of tradition, but also because of an effort to keep its performances reasonably close to its base of fans and supporters. Unless the NCBA wises up and makes some drastic changes, Leigh will likely jump ship to the WBA. The NCBA will lose one of its few remaining stars and its reputation as the "second-rate" circuit will only be enhanced.

To end on a more positive note, I would like to commend all the bands at the Vintage field show, many of which put on their best shows of the season in some pretty nasty weather, but especially Saratoga, Bella Vista (their winds are hella tight!), and Leigh. They were the real shining stars on an otherwise stormy night! (yes, that was meant both literally and figuratively)


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2002 11:38 pm 
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1. Those scoring discrepancies are ridiculous.
2. It should also be noted that Bella Vista only went up a point in that span. They were 9.75 ahead of Independence two weeks ago, and then almost lose to them at Napa? Knowing Independence's recent history, I don't think EITHER of the scores are very accurate. To me they're an 88-89 range band. Although they always seem to score high at Vintage (they beat a very good Vallejo last year).
3. That is simply preposterous and inexcusable in my opinion. Del Oro is simply not on Leigh's level.

Overall, I'd have to agree with you: this show appears to be a perfect example of the judging inconsistancies in the NCBA. Falling short of your strong anathemas, I'll say that the NCBA has judges on either end of the spectrum: they have some really, really good judges and then some absolutely terrible ones. There seems to be no middle ground.

I believe the powers that be in the NCBA are working at a much-overdo revision of the field judging sheets. This is a good start, but they also need to implement MANDATORY judging clinics, because too many judges in the NCBA are set in their ways and refuse to adapt or adjust to new things. This is how you get some of the ridiculous scenarios and outcomes the NCBA is infamous for.

Many of your frustrations are the same ones I've been voicing for years. Originally I was going to do more WBA competitions this year, but I ended up doing PCJA and SCSBOA competitions instead! We'll see what's in store for the future. Personally, I've though Leigh should jump to WBA for about two years now. The problem that presents is that they're so big they'd be in AAAA, and they simply aren't on the same level as the Logans, Beyers, and Clovis Wests of the WBA. I think they can be, though. With that director and that staff, Leigh should succeed wherever they go.


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 Post subject: Broken Unbeaten Streak
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2002 12:25 am 
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Hi, I am a member of Leigh's Band, and I can say that we were not so bummed to lose all the captions, the thing that bummed us the most was probably losing the Auxilary Caption. Losing Brass and Woodwind and Music, and according the the announcer, Marching and GE wasn't as bad as losing Auxiilary. Our guard works so hard, they even have to work an extra day that we don't. It really stung the whole band to hear them place second, because they really did preform their hearts out. Saratoga's guard wasn't bad, but their work seemed easier (from what I could see), and less clean. Not being a colorguard judge (apparentely the Napa judge wasn't one either), I can't really say who should have won, but it felt like we should have.

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 Post subject: congrats!
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2002 10:04 am 
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I'm a member of the Leigh band, and I'd just like to say that regardless of all this stuff, I'd like to congratulate Saratoga and Bella Vista on some well-done shows! I especially liked the clarinets in Saratoga's band - sweet!!! :D
~LHSgal

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 Post subject: ...
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2002 11:36 am 
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Tom Wietrich is awesome. He's been judging me and my guards for the past five years. Yes, he's tough ... but he's honest and HELPFUL, not like many other judges that give us tapes that sound like this --> "Good. Nice toss. That wasn't clean. Okay, uh-huh, good. *loud & obscene breathing* I don't like that. *long silence*" :evil: Keep in mind that WGI/DCI judges are way different from NCBA judges. They are more strict and tougher to please. Difficulty + excellence + effect + continuity are big. Leigh's effect and excellence was obviously there, but maybe he didn't agree with the difficulty and continiuty. Only way to know is to listen to the tapes, right?

Tom is a hard judge. At first, I used to think he just didn't like us. But as our show progressed and got better, so did his score. I can't tell you if he judged Leigh based on his personal bias and feelings with the staff, but I can tell you that he only goes with the majority if he truly feels they deserve it. I loved Leigh's show, but I'm not a judge and I didn't see everything that the judges could see.

It just bothers me when people start going on how the only reason they lost was because the judge didn't like the work or show. That may be the case, and if it is, well hon ... that's life. Try as you might, you can't please everyone. :?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2002 6:00 pm 
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:o Hi, I am in the Leigh marching band and I just wanted to say that on Saturday night, I performed the best show of the entire year and no matter what any judge says, I had fun and did my best. So what! The judge didn't judge us the way we wanted to be judged, I don't care because there is no way that any person or any thing can take away the feeling that I had on the field and right after I got off that field. It will be with me always. But I do want to say congrats to Saratoga (your show was pretty sweet) and Bella Vista (hella tight music). I had fun and don't think that there will be any way to match what we did out there. To our colorguard, you put your heart into that entire performance, if you feel good about what you did, don't let numbers bring you down. Just rememeber that you gave your best and you brought it!!

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2002 6:34 pm 
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Sorry, Nikki, but I've received a couple of emails from "noted sources" (heh) who were there, and they're unanimous in the opinion that Tom W. "f'd up big time." True, we are still on opinions here, but having seen BOTH Leigh and Saratoga this year, albeit a month ago... well, I'm just surprised Leigh was beat, and I question the judge's judgment.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2002 7:09 pm 
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Ok, I'm another member of the Leigh Marching Band, but I have to say the scores are just scores. The only thing I'll remember of this competition ten years from now is how my wish was granted and how I performed the best show I've ever performed since I entered marching band. I have to admit I wished for rain that night and I know some people felt bad because it rained during our show. But, I'm glad it did it because what would be a horror show without rain :?: Besides the rain really made me get into my part (as a band memeber). I know there's tons of talk about the scoring, and I admit I hoped for better then what we got, but it was just hope. We got what we got and we can't change that. I don't care or worry about the scores for two reasons: 1) I performed my absolute best and gave the show my all and 2) the audiance loved us and gave us a standing ovation in all that rain. As long as the audiance likes the show I will be proud and very happy of my performance. After all we do our shows for the audiance, the awards that any band gets is just a plus. At least that's what I believe, It's all for the audiance. 8-)


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2002 7:22 pm 
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Yes, I know of your 'noted sources', and you know how I feel about one of them. Hehe :wink:


I don't know who deserved to win, I don't care who won. The kids felt great about their show, good for them. If they're happy, that's what matters (or so I've been told over and over again).
I'm just saying I support Tom W. "Tom is God." There's a reason Leigh got second, and he's the only one knows it. Unless your 'noted sources' is Tom or another judge judging that caption (which I don't think is so), it doesn't matter. What's done is done, he's got the final say. 8-)


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 Post subject: to be honest
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2002 9:44 pm 
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im a member of LHS cologuard and to be honest im disapointed with myself for crying over a stupid deffeated issue. i ruined my night over a record and i feel bad for not realzing their are more important things then first. congrads saratoga!


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 Post subject: Old Topic
PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2003 11:05 pm 
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Was this for the field show or something? I remember the announcer saying that they gave the wrong trophy or something and they would send them their's in the mail. I was just seeing if someone could help me...

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 Post subject: Re: Old Topic
PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2003 4:17 pm 
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ILL~BE~BACH wrote:
Was this for the field show or something? I remember the announcer saying that they gave the wrong trophy or something and they would send them their's in the mail. I was just seeing if someone could help me...


This post referred to last year's field show at Napa


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