Drum Corps International's 2013 Tour of Champions Series will kick off with its first of seven events this Thursday, featuring the competitive performances of the Blue Devils, Carolina Crown, Phantom Regiment, Cadets, Santa Clara Vanguard, Bluecoats and Cavaliers.

Debuted in 2011, the Tour of Champions (TOC) brings an exciting, nontraditional and experimental event format to the DCI Tour. With special pre-show entertainment and combined corps performances, the TOC series is an engaging and interactive experience for the audience and participating corps members alike.

One of the highlights of this year's TOC will be the use of a new cumulative scoring system that will aggregate the scores of all seven events to determine which corps will take home the first-ever Tour of Champions Cup.

This cumulative score will be calculated by taking each corps' average score across the first six TOC competitions (dividing the sum of the scores by six), then adding that corps' score from the final event in Buffalo, N.Y. to the calculated average.

Cumulative Scoring Formula

T = The total number of shows prior to the final show.

S = The total accumulated score for any given corps from all of the shows prior to the final show.

F = The score for any given corps at the final show.

CSS = Championship Series Score

Formula: (S / T) + F = CSS

Drum corps fans will be able to check out this year's Tour of Champions in a number of new and familiar venues. The seven-event series will kick off Thursday, July 11 in Warrensburg, Mo., and wrap up Monday, Aug. 5 in Buffalo, N.Y.

New stops on this year's schedule include Central Missouri, Austin, Northern Illinois and Eastern New York at Ralph Wilson Stadium, the familiar site of the 1990, 1995 and 2001 DCI World Championships.

2013 Tour of Champions Series Schedule

Thursday, July 11 – Warrensburg, MO

Tour of Champions – Central Missouri

Walton Stadium at the University of Central Missouri

Sunday, July 14 – DeKalb, IL

Tour of Champions – Northern Illinois

Huskie Stadium at Northern Illinois University

Sunday, July 21 – Round Rock, TX

Tour of Champions – Texas

Round Rock ISD Stadium

Friday, July 26 – Murfreesboro, TN

Tour of Champions – The Masters of the Summer Music Games presented by Jupiter Mapex & Majestic

Johnny "Red" Floyd Stadium at Middle Tennessee State University

Saturday, July 27 – Charlotte, NC

Tour of Champions – NightBEAT

American Legion Memorial Stadium

Sunday, Aug. 4 – Allentown, PA

Tour of Champions – Allentown

J. Birney Crum Stadium

Monday, Aug. 5 – Buffalo, NY

Tour of Champions – Drums Along the Waterfront

Ralph Wilson Stadium