Two rule proposals were presented prior to the January 22-24 meeting of the DCI member corps. The directors dealt with these and two other considerations prior to concluding their weekend meetings. Gene Monterastelli, head of the DCI Rules Committee, helped to explain the results of the voting.
Overall Effect judges The proposal to utilize two overall General Effect judges in place of the current Visual and Music Effect judges was voted down. However, after the vote, it was agreed upon to have the Judges Advisory Committee explore and trial the system during the coming season. Committee members will report back to the member corps with their findings.
DCI judging systems. This rule proposal was passed in a unanimous vote. Eight judges will be used for all regular season shows and 10 judges for Premier Events (such as those in San Antonio, Atlanta, Allentown and the World Championships). Monterastelli added, "A motion was passed by the membership for the flexibility to use a five-judge panel for all events up to July 10, and at the discretion of the DCI Executive Director."
Ties This rule change was not expected, but when introduced by the Cadets' George Hopkins, passed unanimously. Since 2001, a rule has been in place that any ties for first place would be resolved at all shows based on the placement of the corps within individual captions (ordinals). The membership voted to eliminate this rule. Now, if there is a tie for first place at any DCI contest, both corps will be awarded first place. Monterastelli explained the new rule noting, "The judges make their decision when they give the corps their scores. Under the old rule, it would be artificially decided – after the scores are presented – that only one of those corps that tied should be awarded first place. We accept that the judges did their job and made the final decision regarding the score."
Electronics There was a clarification made regarding the use of electronics, a rule passed in 2008 for implementation in 2009. The following is the entire new section in the rule book:. 4.8 Use of Electronic Equipment 4.8.1 Terminology: • "Music" (or "Musical") shall be defined as the organization of melodic, harmonic and/or rhythmic sound through time. • An "Electronic Instrument shall be defined as any pieces of electronic equipment that produces "Musical" sound. • A "Sequence" or "Loop" shall be defined as "Music" that is pre-recorded or programmed during a performance. • "Human Voice" shall be defined as spoken word. 4.8.2 Music from Electronic Instruments is allowed given that the Music is being performed live, in real time during the performance. 4.8.3 Sequenced Music will not be allowed. 4.8.4 Musical Loops will not be allowed. 4.8.5 Pre-recorded Sound Effects and Human Voice can be used without penalty. Permission must be obtained for all copyrighted material. Monterastelli explains, "The Judges Advisory Committee and the instructors decided clarification of the electronics rules was necessary. We are allowing for electronic musical instruments and pre-recorded sounds. We are allowing for pre-recorded voice as well, but not for singing. For example, a corps could use the Martin Luther King Jr. 'I Have a Dream' speech, or bird sounds, or the sounds of a waterfall. "However, a corps can't have someone on a recording sing by just hitting a key. One single keystroke can only result in a single event. A single keystroke can't result in multiple musical tones." "For further clarification, corps staff members have been instructed to send their questions to judge administrator John Phillips between now and the beginning of the season," said Monterastelli. "He will publish the answers for everybody after discussing with the Judges Advisory Committee if necessary."