World of Pageantry

World of Pageantry

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 81 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: Controversial post - points are a useful lie.
PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2015 1:15 pm 
Offline
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2002 9:29 am
Posts: 420
Location: Ventura, CA
Do I like numbers? Yes, when they are of value because the judges value them. Do I want arbitrary numbers? Not at all. And I think this is where the discussion comes from, and has merit.

In a quality adjudication environment, where a great deal of time and effort goes into finding, securing, training, retraining, and reviewing judges, and where there is an educationally sound and clear criteria reference system, the numbers serve a useful purpose to the recipient. They place us within that "national standard" that Alan refers to. (Not that I believe that such exists...but I digress...). When I am confident in the system, I can realistically approach a festival with the attitude of "I'm shooting for a high box 3 today in [blank] caption."

Unfortunately however, it is much more of a crap-shoot at too many events on where a number will fall. Will the number be based on what we are doing, on what someone else has done, on how large the band is, on how small the guard is, on the presence of a percussion judge, on our performance time, on the style of marching we do, etc.? Those questions easily lead to the format that has been offered up for discussion.

And for myself, I'm not in favor of it, simply because it doesn't offer information I desire. I really don't care who came in first, second, or third. I care about how we did against a standard (as fluid as that may be) and information on how we can improve, whether that be statistically (numbers) or critically (comments written or verbal). In most cases, it's really just an affirmation of what I already know or suspect, but the students need to hear it from another source.

I agree wholeheartedly that points, for the sake of points, is a disservice to everyone involved. And it's bad enough when we are looking at an isolated, single show where the judges are looking at the same groups in the same venue under the same conditions. When we expand that to an overarching season, the flaws are magnified exponentially. Looking specifically at southern CA, the use of scores for Championships placements in various circuits perpetuates this lack of trust in a system. A band receiving a 36 at one show, then a 60 at the next followed by a 52 at a third provides no useful educational information and throws a "race" for Championships into total disarray.

Perhaps a system such as proposed would have a better place in determining seedings for Championships?

Ken


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Controversial post - points are a useful lie.
PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2015 2:21 pm 
Offline
New Recruit
New Recruit

Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 11:47 am
Posts: 33
Ken, I'll just grab a few things from your post:

teacherken wrote:
...Do I want arbitrary numbers? Not at all...

...quality adjudication environment...

...it is much more of a crap-shoot at too many events on where a number will fall...

...I care about how we did against a standard (as fluid as that may be) and information on how we can improve... In most cases, it's really just an affirmation of what I already know or suspect, but the students need to hear it from another source.

...And it's bad enough when we are looking at an isolated, single show where the judges are looking at the same groups in the same venue under the same conditions. When we expand that to an overarching season, the flaws are magnified exponentially...


The point system is completely arbitrary to begin with. Just because people have tried to impose structure with the Box 1-5 thing and other methods doesn't change the fact that points are assigned arbitrarily. I don't think it's reasonable to describe these points as statistical information when the whole thing is just so tenuous to begin with. Really, the only thing a set of judges can do is provide a ranking based on how they felt about the show, and useful comments. The fact that people are attempting to be so fine-grained about it is what causes the chaos you describe on a full-season push to qualify for championships.

Part of the reliability problem is that you do have to have a set of judges that are really well trained to judge against a standard. I'm not sure that there is such a standard, first of all, and I'm not sure that judges can be reliably trained to judge against it in any case, since everyone hears and sees things so differently.

In a previous life, I stumbled on the fact that this is also a major reason that it's really difficult to advance through the first round of any professional orchestra audition. Even if the committee talks about things first, they all hear differently and prioritize differently - and those people have VERY discerning sets of ears.

The only reason for even doing a ranking system is to fairly assess committee preference in a competitive environment. Kids like competition, it helps to motivate them, etc. But really, the point system isn't helping anyone. Publishing the ranked preferences of each judge does enough to show you where you are in various categories relative to the other people who were at your show. The emphasis should be primarily on the judging sheets - and we've all seen plenty of sheets that were worthless. That has to stop.

You've shown that points aren't a good way to assign seed groups into championships, since they're so unevenly awarded. Instead, take bands who placed in the top 50% in at least two or maybe three shows, then set up a bracket system based on win/loss ratio or how many times you won first place, second, third, whatever. Then run them through an elimination-style (single or double, whatever you want) tournament. Easy, fair, everyone understands how it works. No problem.

You've all heard the old saw about every problem looking like a nail when all you've got is a hammer. It's the same thing here - we've got a points system so let's use it for everything - tournament seeding, results, adjudicating by the numbers... and it depends entirely on how good your judges are at giving out numbers impartially. Which is impossible - not because anyone is playing favorites, but because you are always influenced by whatever happened just a minute ago with that other group. Which means that, realistically, we already do scoring and rankings by local comparison rather than by rubric or standard. Which is fine - and totally understandable, and pretty much preferable anyway.

We should stop pretending that we're not doing something that we're totally doing all the time.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Controversial post - points are a useful lie.
PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2015 11:06 pm 
Offline
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2005 11:13 am
Posts: 462
Location: Chino, CA
I have been working every Saturday judging field bands in SoCal this fall.
I can tell you it isn't easy assigning meaningful numbers to all of the bands. All associations have criteria to judge the bands against. As a judge you do your best to assign a number each group that falls into the range of the criteria you hear/see.
Lets say the first band gets 75 out of 100 points in your area. The next band is quite a bit better but not significantly better. You assign band 2 an 80. The next band is better than the first but not as good as the second. Their number has to be between 75 and 80. The way a judge manages their numbers can greatly effect a number that a band receives later in a show. No associations like ties. In big shows if a number range is taken, 75-80 are all used then the seventh band on assuming they are in the same performance range and possibly a little better, will get an 81. That same performance earlier or at a different show may get an 77.

As a judge we are trained to rank first, assign a number (rate) second. The numbers a very relative. The nature of the beast allows a 77 from one show to be better than a 81 from another. To be honest, you can have two very experienced, well respected judges, watching two bands that are close in all aspects and rank them differently.

Remember marching band is an art form and it will never be completely objectively evaluated.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Controversial post - points are a useful lie.
PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2015 11:15 pm 
Offline
Support Staff
Support Staff
User avatar

Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 3:51 am
Posts: 554
Location: Tustin
Bandmaster wrote:
wjs05 wrote:
Anyways, I hope you stick around this forum. It's been a while since anybody attempted to bring some form of deep thought about the activity without the old school moderation police that reduced this place to what it is now.


Hey... I take exception with that! :shock: :wink: :lol:

We used to get many great discussions here, and for the most part the moderators only jumped in when things got too emotional and feelings were getting bruised. The biggest thing to hurt our traffic has been Facebook... But there you only get to read what your "friends" post, here you can see what everybody writes. 8-)

BTW, the site stats show that we still getting about the same number of visits as we did 5 to 7 years ago or more. Only people just don't post as much. But the readership is still strong, so don't be shy... post away!


You know, if you want traffic, I can always announce the site to all of my students. :rotf:

Just like the main post, I doubt Bandmaster is about numbers. I actually enjoy this more mature forum. 8-)

_________________
Bryan Ray
Drum Major Instructor, Parade Advisor
Too many to list


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Controversial post - points are a useful lie.
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 8:06 am 
Offline
New Recruit
New Recruit

Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2010 4:55 pm
Posts: 44
I'm not sure if numbers are the real issue, in the sense that you are measuring a performance with it. The issue is what the points are representing a placement and a way to determine who wins, by how much, and is the band good enough to compete in champs on a subjective level. I personally never really understood why current judges are also the same band directors that are competing for champs where points are the main focus to make it in. A current director/judge can help or hurt another band in the process of being selected. The "I'll scratch your back you'll scratch mine" or "you scored me that low, I'll get you next time" are possibilities. I understand there should be a high level of integrity and I'm sure there is. I am not saying this is happening but just pointing out that it can be, which is why judges should be non current band directors in my opinion.
We can look at the following:
1. is your band director a judge?
2. do you host a tournament?
3. do you make champs on a regular bases?
I know what you are going to say, that they know what they are looking for because they judge so their band scores well, but you have room to play with numbers without changing placements. If they know what they are looking for, as a judge, then numbers wouldn't be so high or fluctuate so much. If you eliminate champs or if outside judges are involved you will see a better point system. Again I hope this is not coming out as that I'm implying that it is, I'm just trying to point that such a possibility can misrepresent numbers which is the topic here.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Controversial post - points are a useful lie.
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:07 am 
Offline
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2005 11:13 am
Posts: 462
Location: Chino, CA
Band directors make the best judges. (not in the colorguard caption)
Human nature is what it is. Individual ethics vary from person to person.
My experience for the most part (almost exclusively) is that judges do their absolute best to rank and give the appropriate number to every group regardless if they know the band director, used to teach at that school or whatever.

Are we influenced by outside factors other than the performance on the field?, yes we are. One that comes to mind is judging a band who is playing music that you know, maybe having performed the same show in a previous year.

I think all of the decision makers in the various judging associations are always looking for ways to improve the process. These forums can sometimes illuminate ways to make this happen.

Keep the ideas coming.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Controversial post - points are a useful lie.
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 1:25 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2014 7:23 am
Posts: 8
NAdrian7 wrote:
...I feel this whole field show era is sort of eliminating the musical mindset, rather than wanting to become better musicians, bands are trying to go for better scores. In SoCal we have a new show writing phenomenon that I like to call "Percussion and Chords" in which bands to very little playing and instead march their drill to heavy percussion.


Truth


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Controversial post - points are a useful lie.
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 1:33 pm 
Offline
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2005 11:13 am
Posts: 462
Location: Chino, CA
This "percussion and chords" style of show detracts from traditional musicality (melody, phrases, even harmonic progression). It is difficult for a show of this type to score well on the music sheets.

I am aware of the book "Where's Waldo?" I sometime find myself thinking "Where's the Melody" when judging some shows.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Controversial post - points are a useful lie.
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 2:54 pm 
Offline
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2003 6:35 pm
Posts: 725
Location: Killeen, TX
After reading about the use of heavy percussion sounds an chords to fill in a field show, I looked on you tube and saw the BOA San Antonio performances of Marcus, Flower Mound, Ronald Reagan and others and also the performance of Immortal done by LD Bell and I have to say, music can and should be done well on the field. The viewing of these Bands performance show that good music and sound should be expected on the field and not gimmicks to try and hide musical weakness.

_________________
Deep in the Heart of Texas. Home of the III Mobile Armored Corps and the 1st Cavalry Division, serving America in Iraq


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Controversial post - points are a useful lie.
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 2:57 pm 
Offline
New Recruit
New Recruit

Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 11:47 am
Posts: 33
Jim Bunselmeier wrote:
Lets say the first band gets 75 out of 100 points in your area. The next band is quite a bit better but not significantly better. You assign band 2 an 80. The next band is better than the first but not as good as the second. Their number has to be between 75 and 80. The way a judge manages their numbers can greatly effect a number that a band receives later in a show. No associations like ties. In big shows if a number range is taken, 75-80 are all used then the seventh band on assuming they are in the same performance range and possibly a little better, will get an 81. That same performance earlier or at a different show may get an 77.



1. You're being trained to do ranking first and points second, and
2. you've just shown that "points management" is a real concern, and that
3. point inflation happens as a result of other bands' placement, which then
4. breaks any possible comparative value those points may have had (ahem- Championships Grid).

So if you're already doing ranking, and points aren't useful for comparison, then why are we bothering with assigning points at all?


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Controversial post - points are a useful lie.
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 3:25 pm 
Offline
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2005 11:13 am
Posts: 462
Location: Chino, CA
This is a good question.

Points are still a relatively good way of comparing bands. A 90 is unmistakably better than an 80. When the numbers get closer the comparisons are not as clear cut.

After three shows is a band with 240 points always better than the band with 239 points? Of course not. That is the way the game is played. Everyone know the rules from the start. You do not have to play.

Good luck to all competing bands. May your numbers be representative of your performance.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Controversial post - points are a useful lie.
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 4:16 pm 
Offline
New Recruit
New Recruit

Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 11:47 am
Posts: 33
A couple of things -

1. Glad to see this topic take off the way it did. I'll post some more unpopular opinions later to stir things up, this is fun - and hopefully useful.
2. Just to be clear, the program I currently work for is remarkably successful in competition, so none of this stems from any complaints about getting smoked at a bunch of shows because of some quirk of the rules or the point system or whatever.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Controversial post - points are a useful lie.
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 3:25 pm 
Offline
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2003 11:03 pm
Posts: 367
Criteria, criteria, criteria. When I am a director, I want to look at each caption and [1] know what grade we received (A, B, C, etc...). [2] I want to know (in relation to this grade) what that means as far as being rewarded. Were we consistent, did we always portray the emotion of the music, etc. [3] Where we ranked against our competitors. Spreads are big indicators.

As a judge, I do my very best to put each group in the correct box for criteria and in relation to their "grade." I do my best to manage spreads appropriately so groups can know if they are comparable or not. I do my best to put them in the correct order.

If you are using a system where each number is relative to certain criteria and has a relationship to a passing or failing grade, I don't understand why this rant would take place. (this is assuming all adjudicators are trained and held accountable on said system)

I love to see how the numbers look. An 81 tells me we are starting to frequently understand and display our skill set (both design and performance). An 85 tells me we are solidly doing that. An 89 tells me we are on the verge of a breakthrough to consistently apply our skill set.

Just my $0.02 - take it for what it's worth. :wink:


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Controversial post - points are a useful lie.
PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:58 pm 
Offline
New Recruit
New Recruit

Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:54 pm
Posts: 42
Jumping in as a parent and not a band director.

I do have some memories of getting on a bus, going to some far off school, performing our music, returning with superiors. Don't remember where we went. But my memories of high school music was performing in front of students and parents. That was what the rehearsing was all about. My favorite memory is my father. who was in his high school and college band and choir groups, coming up to me after the one concert he was able to attend (he often worked evenings) and saying how impressed he was. And he wasn't the type to idly throw out compliments.

Personally, I feel high school music -- band, orchestra, vocal -- should be about performing. Not competing for trophies that will end up being stored someplace on the school. But maybe I'm in the minority. But my child feels the same way and has no interest in competing in the DCI circuit. It's all about putting on the show and doing one's best while entertaining.

My concern is really about the need to throw on some expensive show. Unless you have a school that's willing to put up money for the expenses, it ends up falling on the parents to fund raise and write checks (that come out of the college fund or family vacation fund). In essence, many talented musicians may find themselves not able to take part because of the costs to his or her family.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Controversial post - points are a useful lie.
PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 1:37 pm 
Offline
New Recruit
New Recruit

Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 11:47 am
Posts: 33
flutemom wrote:
Jumping in as a parent and not a band director.

Personally, I feel high school music -- band, orchestra, vocal -- should be about performing.


This, I ABSOLUTELY agree with!

flutemom wrote:
My concern is really about the need to throw on some expensive show...


This activity keeps getting more and more complicated and therefore more and more expensive. But it doesn't have to be in order for bands to present astonishing performances: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iN-qyqq7ns
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGYUfYL3RoI


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 81 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: FTSK, Google [Bot] and 8 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group
  http://www.worldofpageantry.com Copyright © 1996 - 2006 Email:  admin@worldofpageantry.com  

Site design and maintenance by Dave Schaafsma at Dave's Web Dynamics