Thoughts On Judges And Judging

Topics and polls that cover the overall marching band activity

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Thoughts On Judges And Judging

Post by JLGORMAN » Sun Nov 23, 2003 9:39 pm

From my time in High School to the present old age of 56 I have participated in, assisted in judging, formulated criteria, worked with High School Bands and just been a Band Fan. Over these years I have watched Championships conducted by various Judges Associations, Band Directors Associations and School Music Associations. I have observed competitions in Southern CA, Northern CA, Texas, OK, VA, ME, NH, PA, OH, MD , FL, AZ, and NM. In each of the events and competitions certain things are given.

1. THE JUDGES ARE HUMAN. They are not perfect, nor are the Bands they judged perfect. They might have good days and Bad Days, they can be feeling miserable and got out of sick bed to do the competition(I know of that happening often). Their might be family problems, none of us know about. I could go on and on. They are people like the rest of us.

2. All Judges and Fans have favorites. Not one of us is totally unbiased about our lilkes, dislikes, favorite styles of uniforms, shows, drills and music. That is just they way god made us folks.

3. Sometimes the Best Band Does Not Win. As long as we have people judging, this can happen. To be totally honest, the SCSBOA has better quality judging than some judges associations such as the National Judges Assn and the All American Association of Contest Judges who do most of the shows in the Middle Atlantic Region. Fortunately we live in a nation where winning a Band Competition did not mean the difference between eating and not eating. If you think this is sort of strange, study the history of the Rumanian Gymnasts who provided for their families by winning Medals at the Olympic Games(Talk about prejudical and subjective judges)

4. Be thankful that people are willing to take the time to learn how to Judge Bands. It is not easy, and never will be. There will always be less than perfect judges and less than perfect Bands(trust me I have sat in the PressBox and obvserved some of the so-called winners, who were much less than perfect). Wether you list scores or placings like we do in Texas, they will always be subjective, that is the way it is. For those of you in Band, go to College and Become a Director, and lilke a friend of mine, who built a Outstanding Band in CA and is a Judge, do the best you can. Every judges association nationwide needs more good people, and lets look upon this weekends Chaampionships, be they SCSBOA, WBA or NCBA, as something that is positive in this very negative world.
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Post by Mr. Bill » Sun Nov 23, 2003 9:58 pm

I agree that judges have an incredibally hard job. They are human and we all have foibles, however to have favorites and bias for or against a particurlar band is not part of the job description. To judge a show you don't like because you may have a dislike for a director or instructor is a crime against the kids who bust their buns for hours a day to put a show on the field. There needs to be a review procedure to make sure judges are qualified and can put their bias aside during the contest.

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Post by Wildabeast » Sun Nov 23, 2003 10:47 pm

I don't know about all the circuits for CA, but I think there is a sheet where directors can comment on their experience of the show they attended.

Gotta' remember that judges aren't just picked off the street. Their training comes on the heels of putting a lot of time in education/instruction. They've seen and heard much more of the activity than many of us. Perhaps not all, but at least some have been IN marching bands in the past.

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Post by eternalbando » Sun Nov 23, 2003 10:55 pm

Personally, I am glad judges are human, because if they weren't, then they would notice more mistakes and be less likely to give positive comments. I agree that the judges' job is a hard one, and I am very thankful for them and their time. Without them, there wouldn't be competitions, and band would be just plain boring. No matter how much I love band, it honestly would not be as fun without the competitiveness it has. To all the judges out there: Thank you! your hard work does not go unnoticed!!!
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