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Miitary vs Mace Drum Majors
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Author:  bandviewer [ Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:29 am ]
Post subject:  Miitary vs Mace Drum Majors

I have noticed over the years of watching Parades and L-Patterns that the general rule is that the Military Drum Majors outscore the Mace Drum Majors by a couple of Points, After discussions with judges there seams to be a definite difficulty spinning a mace compared to the (lighter and shorter) Military. Parades sometimes put Mace and Military Drum Majors head to head and this causes me some grief as to the scoring. Should there be some differential score added to the Mace Drum Major? Maybe the Military Drum Majors are just better? Obviously it is harder to spin a mace due to the mass and physics involved. What are your thoughts? I am not trying to start a fight between the mace people and the military people just the scores show this differential and would like some input. :shock:

Author:  bigcity [ Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Miitary vs Mace Drum Majors

Difficulty or not, it really comes down to if the routine is clean. Maybe Brian will back me up here, so here is my two cents. First, you should not pay attention to scoring. As a judge myself, I view scores as a way to give the right RANKING. If the placement is correct, numbers will always be different from judge to judge. We try to be in the same ball park, but differences happen. Be thankful you are not a figure skater. No different score should be added to a Mace DM. It is just as easy to spin a mace as it is to spin a military, in my case, I find it easier. With the forces involved, the weight of a mace requires less work on the DM while a military is slightly harder to control, in my opinion. There are plenty of great DM's out there that spin either mace or military or both. I would encourage you to not look at scores as a measuring stick between Drum Majors. I mentioned figure skaters, but the same can be said of Gymnasts or X-Games athletes. Sean White is great at the half pipe, but there are plenty of other great snowboarders as well. It is not always about the numbers. Look at the rankings.

Hopefully Mr. Millares or even Mr. England will add there two cents.

Author:  ZJH [ Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Miitary vs Mace Drum Majors

From my experience, it really comes down to the talent pool you have at the competition. In my neck of the woods (Northern California), the disparity gap between the skill level of advanced military baton DMs and advanced mace DMs is huge. A large majority of the more advanced DMs up here come from schools with a fairly consistent history of spinning the same equipment and holding their successors to a very high standard. Unfortunately, the number of schools that have this tradition with a military baton DM are vastly outnumbered by those that concentrate on mace.

Over the past few years, some of the more consistent military DMs have come from schools like Atwater, Granada, and Encinal. The list of powerhouse mace schools, however, is much greater, encompassing schools like San Mateo, Fairfield, Benicia, Franklin (Elk Grove), Foothill (Pleasanton), among several others. I would really love to see more advanced military DMs up here, but there's really a lack of good instructors up here in the military style. Rick Wilson, Kathleen Jones, Kris Harper, Wendy Tye, Scott Thomsen, and Danielle Battisti come to mind as strong military DM instructors.

Author:  dmcoach [ Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Miitary vs Mace Drum Majors

There shouldn't be any handicaps placed on any particular competitor regardless which style they spin, and which equipment they use. It comes down to the adjudicator's understanding of those particular styles, and to make sure that they are placed properly.

I believe in having one standard that is fair across the board, one set of 100pts that everyone is placed on regardless of equipment, style, and grade level because I understand most of those. I know of some middle schools that can out-do high school DM's, and I know that the day can go to any of those DM's that perform well. There shouldn't be a bias towards any of those said styles and equipments. I learned that when I judge drum majors, I judge them AS drum majors. It doesn't matter what school you're from, doesn't matter which equipment you're using because I am there to judge how well you do your job.

As for the spread of skill levels, you'll always have beginner DM's going up against advanced DM's on the street & L's. I've seen beginners and intermediate skill level DM's out-place more advanced DM's because of their execution and presentation. Also, ZJH, let's not underestimate the schools that don't have an "established" drum major programs or reputations. I actually look forward to watching those groups and DM's more because you'll never know what you're going to see until they perform. Especially nowadays with YouTube, there are self-taught DM's that just watch and learn. 8-)

So, back to Military vs Mace. They're both just as difficult to master, and it really comes down to understanding the different styles. Try not to look at the numbers as much because proper placement is more important.

Author:  ZJH [ Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Miitary vs Mace Drum Majors

Bryan, you're absolutely right. I'm not counting out DMs from schools that don't have well-established drum major "lineages," so to speak, but I'm just saying they tend to be at a disadvantage when it comes to receiving instruction. However, that being said, drum majors are indeed (at least I really hope so) judged on an individual basis rather than on the merit of their school, as you had pointed out.

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