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 Post subject: Re: Controversial post - points are a useful lie.
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 11:51 am 
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I would still like to see SCSBOA use a prelim/ finals format for champs. This will reduce these point problems and stress on judges from all the tournaments leading up to champs. Is this even possible? Maybe the grid points can be used for the top 20 bands then hold a top 10 or 12 for each division in finals.


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 Post subject: Re: Controversial post - points are a useful lie.
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 1:02 pm 
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Potentially it could be done. You would have to have six different sites with one division at each site (or 3 sites with 2 divisions). You would have to "convince" the bands that already have a show on the last Saturday to host one of the semifinal events with 15-20 bands (or 3 sites with 30-40 bands). It could work if you have enough judges.

I am working the CSBC semifinals Nov 14th. One division has 22 bands in the semis. It really does help to separate the wheat from the chaff to have all the bands at one show. The top 8 will move on to finals.


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 Post subject: Re: Controversial post - points are a useful lie.
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 4:46 pm 
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If we decide to compete, as part of our program, then I owe it to my students to put them in a position to be as successful as they are capable. If we are being judged against a consistent rubric, this allows me to gauge the student's progress towards a superior performance.

Two weeks ago, my band performed what I thought was a poor show. tempo issues, wrong notes, students out of the form, amongst other faults. depite these faults, we scored in the 80's, and when looking at the judges comments, and listening to the tapes, I understood the scoring through their eyes (for the most part). This weekend, we performed a much better show, in all facets, and recieved an identical score. I haven't heard the tapes yet, but I will.

This is what I tell my students: we can control one thing. Our level of performance. We can't control the judging panel, or predict what the scores might be, we can't control the other bands, or the order of performance. We can do our best show, and that has to be good enough. Placements and awards are external, but you always know whether you performed your best.

When we had our bad show two weeks ago, we placed second in our division, but no one felt good, regardless of score. When we had a good show on Saturday, we also placed second in our division, but we felt very positive about our show.

I guess my point is, that despite the best effort of the judges, numbers aren't consistent, and I don't think they ever will be. What can be consistent is our approach to teaching our students HOW to compete, and WHAT is important. It's not about the trophies, or the numbers, it's about seeing how good you can be for 10 minutes. If they are focused on the right priorities, they will be successful regardless of the score...

My 2 cents. and for what it's worth, every year I have to remind MYSELF that it's not about the numbers, but about the striving for excellence that really matters. When I get my head out of the numbers game, it's much easier to focus on the important things...

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 Post subject: Re: Controversial post - points are a useful lie.
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:09 am 
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On Sunday Nov 8th, the LA Showcase of Bands State Championships were held at University of LA Lafayette, Lafayette, LA. 35 Bands Took part in the contest which had bands being rated in the prelims in Four Areas
Band, Aux Percussion and Drum Major. Bands receiving straight Superior Ratings in all four areas were awarded a LMEA Sweepstakes award. A few thoughts on how this ran.

Ratings vs Rankings. Of the 35 Bands only 10 received Sweepstakes awards. There was no proliferation of these awards.

Bands choosen for the Finals were the top 10 Scoring Bands in the BAND Caption. Raings in the other captions did not advance a Band. The LMEA felt that while it is good to recognize the other areas , the finals should be made up of the Best 10 musical units.
In this case 2 of the Ten Sweepstakes Bands did not make the finals due to their Band Score not being in the top Ten.
Another reason for not including the Aux and Percussion Scores are that Bands that march military Style usually do not have Aux units A Band should not be penalized because of its style of marching

In the Prelims, not only was a Best in Class Band Award Given, but also a Second Place award and Caption awards for Aux, Perc and DM.

In the finals only the Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion were awarded. No caption awards were given. Further scores were listed in the finals.

LMEA which choose out of State Judges from TX, MS and TN for the contest advised that the overwhelming number of Band Directors preferred the Ratings at Contest Prelims.
The Recaps of this contest will be posted in the Southwestern Score Results this week.

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 Post subject: Re: Controversial post - points are a useful lie.
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 8:47 am 
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mredom makes some excellent points. What is most important are the relationships that we as teachers develop with our students through music education. Excellence through performance is such an important lesson especially if the teacher makes the connections to the many life lessons that present themselves through the instruction of a competitive marching band.

The numbers that we receive as a performing marching band are not completely in our control. It is important to understand that and if we use the numbers as part of our teaching strategies to explain to our students how the numbers are fairly flexible.


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 Post subject: Re: Controversial post - points are a useful lie.
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 10:21 am 
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[quote="JLGORMAN"]Bands receiving straight Superior Ratings in all four areas were awarded a LMEA Sweepstakes award.

Another reason for not including the Aux and Percussion Scores are that Bands that march military Style usually do not have Aux units A Band should not be penalized because of its style of marching

[/quote]

But if the Military style bands are ineligible for a Sweepstakes Award due to their "lack" of an Auxiliary, are they not being penalized?


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 Post subject: Re: Controversial post - points are a useful lie.
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 10:57 am 
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Actually military Bands are given a pass in the area of Aux the same as most corps Bands receive when you have a contest with Twirlers as part of the competition(Do not laugh, this still takes place in the South). In these cases they receive a N/A rating which means they only have to meet the standards that apply, ie Drum Major and Percussion.

. In the Contest at Lafayette there was one Band that was given a Not Applicable Standard for Aux because they had no guard. They did have Twirlers and marched military drill performance.

In General Military Style Bands and Show Bands do not advance to State Levels normally. This year White Oak finished 5th in the Class AAA Marching Finals with a precision drill show. Military Bands have an advantage in UIL since judging is 60% music and 40% M&M. Percussion falls under Music and Aux falls under M &M.

Several years ago, one of our Top Small School Bands, Robinson HS entered the BOA San Antonio Contest. Their show was a mixture of Precision Drill and Corps Style Show. I remember Alaln Irons who was at the Show commented in article, " I do not know how to Judge that style of Band". Neither did the judges.

Almost every Director of a Military Style Precision Band and Show Band prefer Ratings because they have to play to a standard of excellence doing what they do well. They are not competing against Corps Style Bands and their shows.

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 Post subject: Re: Controversial post - points are a useful lie.
PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2015 9:17 am 
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Hopefully not an off topic question, but regarding scoring in the field tournaments:

What does the "visual effects score" cover? I'm guessing it's the look of the band/dance guard and the movements of the musicians and dancers but not the actual effectiveness (which I'm guessing is covered under "performance" scores). If I'm right, would that mean if a band constantly didn't do as well in that category as the other bands in their division at the same competitions, then the scores are more of a function of the band director's (and his staff) creative judgement?


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 Post subject: Re: Controversial post - points are a useful lie.
PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2015 9:44 am 
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So we have a good example of a points based system giving a result from last night, at BOA Grand Nationals. The winners were as follows:

1. Broken Arrow
2. Avon
3. Hebron
4. William Mason
5. Carmel
6. Woodlands
7. Round Rock
8. Marian Catholic
9. Harrison
10. Blue Springs
11. Keller
12. Homestead

Going by the ranked-choice voting system I outlined earlier, BOA Grand Championships would have looked like this:

1. Hebron
2. Broken Arrow
3. Avon
4. William Mason
5. Woodlands
6. Round Rock
7. Carmel
8. Marian Catholic
9. Harrison
10. Blue Springs
11. Keller
12. Homestead

Different placements for five of the 12, including a different winner - simply by going with overall committee preference rather than points. This was calculated by ranking the bands according to their caption scores first, and then calculating an overall order or preference from there. At this level there's really not enough difference to split up tenths or hundredths of a point - it's entirely about judges' preferences, and the fine grained thing is just window dressing. I mean, really.

As an aside, I watched the webcast and I have decided that voiceovers are almost always terrible, and any designers who are using them for no other reason than they think they should because it's in vogue right now ought to reconsider their lives immediately. They generally make performances much, much, much worse.

Remember "show, not tell"? If you can't tell a story or set a mood without spelling it out for your audience, then you aren't really capable of telling the story or setting the mood. It's not helpful, it's basically terrible 99% of the time, it's mildly insulting to the audience, and it's hugely distracting.


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 Post subject: Re: Controversial post - points are a useful lie.
PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2015 10:05 am 
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PSM wrote:
...

As an aside, I watched the webcast and I have decided that voiceovers are almost always terrible, and any designers who are using them for no other reason than they think they should because it's in vogue right now ought to reconsider their lives immediately. They generally make performances much, much, much worse.

Remember "show, not tell"? If you can't tell a story or set a mood without spelling it out for your audience, then you aren't really capable of telling the story or setting the mood. It's not helpful, it's basically terrible 99% of the time, it's mildly insulting to the audience, and it's hugely distracting.


This was another question of mine. I've wondered why some bands need to have an voiceover intro to their show. To me, it's akin to television series that feel the need to explain the show before every episode (the one exception I can think of is "Quantum Leap" as it was quarky). I have the same feelings as you PSM, that a well-designed show doesn't need any explanation.

I've also have noticed at least one band, Hart, that includes vocals as part of its 2014 and 2015 shows (I remember the essence of its 2013 show that had giant flowers as props, but can't remember the music). I'm guessing that the judges don't mind the vocals (it just got a 90+ score last night) at least for Hart.


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 Post subject: Re: Controversial post - points are a useful lie.
PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2015 11:40 am 
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flutemom wrote:
Hopefully not an off topic question, but regarding scoring in the field tournaments:

What does the "visual effects score" cover? I'm guessing it's the look of the band/dance guard and the movements of the musicians and dancers but not the actual effectiveness (which I'm guessing is covered under "performance" scores). If I'm right, would that mean if a band constantly didn't do as well in that category as the other bands in their division at the same competitions, then the scores are more of a function of the band director's (and his staff) creative judgement?


Depends on which judging circuit you are talking about, but in general visual effect credits how well all the various visual aspects work together to create the show. Are the band and guard working together, coordinated together, or is does it seem like the guard and band are in their own different worlds. Do all the performers project confidence in their ability to perform their show. Do they all seem to "buy in" at the same level....or are they just going through the motions. Is the design creative and appropriate to the music, or is it light flowy music with big filled in blocks for drill? These are the kinds of things that go into effect. For SCSBOA the language used to determine placement in the sub-captions (back of the sheet) can be found online at: http://scsboa.org/marching/2015-field-f ... plications

For PSM's comment about BOA Finals, though I didn't get to watch it (out competing myself) I'd note that just because a judge in 1 caption thought their sub-caption should go a certain way, that doesn't mean they felt the overall placements should have been different. I've had times when I'm out judging where I felt my caption's requirements meant 1 group had to win over another in that caption but I would definitely expect the overall placement to go differently. Sometimes we see a group that marches better than the rest in their division, but doesn't play as well or the visual performance is clean but another has better effect etc.....this is why different captions exist and why judging panels will have a different number of judges in different areas to "weight" the final score more towards the preferences of that particular associations philosophy. Asking all judges to judge all aspects of a show could be done, but I feel it would be very likely that groups would receive mediocre feedback as a result since the judge would have to try to constantly sample and comment on all aspects instead of focusing in on only certain aspects.


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 Post subject: Re: Controversial post - points are a useful lie.
PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2015 12:17 pm 
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magicsax22 wrote:
...
Depends on which judging circuit you are talking about, but in general visual effect credits how well all the various visual aspects work together to create the show. Are the band and guard working together, coordinated together, or is does it seem like the guard and band are in their own different worlds. Do all the performers project confidence in their ability to perform their show. Do they all seem to "buy in" at the same level....or are they just going through the motions. Is the design creative and appropriate to the music, or is it light flowy music with big filled in blocks for drill? These are the kinds of things that go into effect. For SCSBOA the language used to determine placement in the sub-captions (back of the sheet) can be found online at: http://scsboa.org/marching/2015-field-f ... plications

....


Thanks, I was talking about SCSBOA and was looking at the criteria for visual effects and visual performance on the website the other day after some of us "moms" were wondering about this. That's why I was thinking that the first one has to do with the composition of the routine while the second was how well the musicians and dancers performed it. If so, a relatively low score on the first may be due to the director and staff coming up with a show that isn't that pleasing to the judges despite the band members' efforts.


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 Post subject: Re: Controversial post - points are a useful lie.
PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2015 1:32 pm 
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magicsax22 wrote:
For PSM's comment about BOA Finals, though I didn't get to watch it (out competing myself) I'd note that just because a judge in 1 caption thought their sub-caption should go a certain way, that doesn't mean they felt the overall placements should have been different. I've had times when I'm out judging where I felt my caption's requirements meant 1 group had to win over another in that caption but I would definitely expect the overall placement to go differently. Sometimes we see a group that marches better than the rest in their division, but doesn't play as well or the visual performance is clean but another has better effect etc.....this is why different captions exist and why judging panels will have a different number of judges in different areas to "weight" the final score more towards the preferences of that particular associations philosophy. Asking all judges to judge all aspects of a show could be done, but I feel it would be very likely that groups would receive mediocre feedback as a result since the judge would have to try to constantly sample and comment on all aspects instead of focusing in on only certain aspects.


I’m not asking all judges to judge all aspects of a show. I agree that this is why we have captions split up this way. What I’m saying is that the fine-grained numbers thing isn’t so good, and that the decisions of the panel should be made by a single transferable vote (STV) rather than (essentially) giving each caption 20 shares to allocate per band.
BOA gives out 20 points to each of the following captions: Music performance, Music GE 1, Music GE 2, Visual performance, Visual GE. 60% of the captions went to Hebron for first – a majority of the panel voted that way. If you were to look at how the judges actually ranked the bands, meaning, without averaging the performance judges, just giving all seven judges equal weight, you have 57% of the judges giving Hebron first place – still a majority.

In the case of seven unaveraged judges, you wind up with more weight on the visual side than you’d have otherwise, but a majority vote is still a win. I think the BOA judging panel is too small. You should have your seven existing judges plus four more - one each for visual, music, percussion, and aux. With each judge having an equal vote, the rankings would have an approximate 54.5-45.5 weight of music to visual. This would make winning a majority of votes a more difficult task, it would make the visual side even more important than it is now, it would do a better job of recognizing the contributions of guard and percussion specifically, and most importantly, it would completely eliminate the need for a point system. It would also eliminate the possibility of a tie.

Say that a band got perfect scores in 4 of the 5 captions – 20s across the board, but one of the judges decided, for whatever reason, to only award that band 5 points. Last night, that would drop a band to last place overall. Would you still think that’s a legitimate placement? Of course not! More importantly, what it means is that in a point system, a single judge has far too much influence on the overall ranking at the end. Now, I’m not saying that this is likely to happen, but the fact that it’s possible at all means that the points system is broken. It’s called the “spoiler effect” (sometimes called the “Ross Perot Effect”) and a preference system prevents it by accurately calculating overall committee preference. It also forces the judging circuit to take a truly decisive position on where it stands in terms of what it feels is important.

To be clear, I’m not complaining about the outcome here, I have no horses in this race and honestly it doesn’t matter to me who wins any given competition. What I’m saying is that the process for determining outcomes as it currently stands is unreliable. IMO, an overall committee preference calculation, weighted by numbers of judges in particular categories, is a much stronger approach.


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 Post subject: Re: Controversial post - points are a useful lie.
PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2015 4:07 pm 
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Quote:

Thanks, I was talking about SCSBOA and was looking at the criteria for visual effects and visual performance on the website the other day after some of us "moms" were wondering about this. That's why I was thinking that the first one has to do with the composition of the routine while the second was how well the musicians and dancers performed it. If so, a relatively low score on the first may be due to the director and staff coming up with a show that isn't that pleasing to the judges despite the band members' efforts.


You are not totally off base, but both visual captions have some aspects that have to do with "what" is in the show (top of the sheet) and "how well" the kids do it (bottom of the sheet). While this can be frustrating sometimes because it is often outside of the kids control, we also have to remember those times when we watch a show that is very well executed (its really clean) but is also very simple requiring much fewer skills from the kids to perform it well. Then we come to the question of how to reward the performers who are pretty good doing something really difficult versus those who are really clean doing something that is pretty easy and the variations in between.

The other thing to note is that it really isn't about "do I like it" for judges, but more about "does it work, does it make sense with the music" and "do the kids do it well." (or at least it should be) I've seen plenty of shows as a spectator where I didn't really "get it" as far as the theme or concept, but everything worked well and took me on a journey so I still found it effective (Crown's 2013 show comes to mind...). Just some thoughts. I think where it often gets difficult for parents is that they often spend a lot of time watching their own kids perform but not necessarily spending all day at the band comps watching everyone else and trying to just enjoy the art of it all....which is part of the reason I encourage my students' parents to not follow us around and try to help unload etc and instead go watch the rest of the show...they are paying to see it after all.


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 Post subject: Re: Controversial post - points are a useful lie.
PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2015 1:55 pm 
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PSM wrote:
As an aside, I watched the webcast and I have decided that voiceovers are almost always terrible, and any designers who are using them for no other reason than they think they should because it's in vogue right now ought to reconsider their lives immediately. They generally make performances much, much, much worse.

Remember "show, not tell"? If you can't tell a story or set a mood without spelling it out for your audience, then you aren't really capable of telling the story or setting the mood. It's not helpful, it's basically terrible 99% of the time, it's mildly insulting to the audience, and it's hugely distracting.


1. If you would like, I will personally provide you with the contacts for all these amazing designers and you can send them all your personal message to "reconsider their lives immediately."

Wow...

2. If you don't like what is being rewarded, then contact someone about it. Try to create change. They're obviously not being discouraged from using it.


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