Drum Corps International
Recaps in limited release: The scoop
Photo by: Drum Corps International

Recaps in limited release: The scoop

by Michael Boo

Following a vote of Drum Corps International member corps representatives this winter, a new procedure has been put in place that will withhold the release of scoring recaps during the summer season.

In place of the customary detailed scoring run-down, a summary showing total score, placement, and results in overall General Effect, Visual and Music captions will be posted online immediately following the completion of each event.

According to DCI Artistic Director Michael Cesario, “The voting membership wanted to see if we could generate a freer response from the judges to each corps’ competitive performances. We all want to make sure that each corps is judged on the performances of the night, and what each judge hears and sees at that specific show under those specific conditions.

“The corps directors initiated this practice to better allow the judges to respond to each presentation, with no holdover from previous viewings or scores. It also allows each corps a ‘fresh start’ with every performance, with less concern about being slotted into a specific placement during the season. Fans might find slightly larger swings in scoring differences from one corps to another from show to show, locale to locale. It should remove the predictability from the nightly contest scores.”

In essence, every contest has the potential to be the start of a new season for each corps.

What will the corps know and when will they know it?

At the end of each contest, each competing group will receive a full paper recap of all the corps that performed in that particular event. The recap will include all the scores from each caption for each corps in the show, just as it always has. This is so the staff members can have an appropriate dialogue with the judges in the post-show critiques.

What’s different this year will be what is presented to the public.

Fans will be informed how each corps scored in each total caption, but those scores won’t be broken down any further. What will be presented is the score for each corps in General Effect, Music, and Visual, much the same as the combined caption awards are determined during the DCI World Championships.

For example, what each corps scored in Percussion or Brass wont’ be seen. Only the total Music score, the combination of Music Analysis, Percussion Ensemble and Brass, will be released. Likewise, the total Visual score will include the score from the Visual Analysis, Color Guard, and Visual Proficiency captions, and the total General Effect score will be the combination of both General Effect judges’ marks.

“We are asking the corps and judges not to share the recaps with other corps and judges, to avoid second-guessing the entire season based on the results of several separate contests,” Cesario said. “We are excited to try out this new mandate in how we score, and how we share the scores. It’s been a great motivating factor, much as the directors intended.”