First and foremost, Morgantown! Congratulations on a well fought Grand Championship! I was in warm-ups with our girls group and didn't get a chance to watch your winning performance.
Second, Morgantown and PR were tied overall. The way that Grafton broke the tie is a first a judicial vote; secondly, overall vocals; then, overall choreography; lastly, any point deductions. The 4 judges were split 2-2, both tied for vocals*, but Morgantown edged out PR in choreography.
Lastly, PR did obtain a time penalty (we went over by 60 seconds - which resulted in 10 points deducted). However, this wasn't entirely our fault. Once we started setting up, the risers were not clamped together sufficiently, and once we discovered that we made the quick decision to allow them to reclamp them, and stop our students from continuing to set up in the name of safety. However, where we took issue was (per the rules), deductions were to be taken from the overall score and not from vocals. This tie would have been broken once it came time to analyze overall vocal scores. However, the competition chose to deduct it from the vocal score, which wasn't specified in the rules. Who's call was it to take from the vocal score? Why wasn't it taken from choreography? instrumental? Overall Score? The competition director only apologized profusely and didn't answer any of our questions.
Once again, this was an intense competition, and I wish the Grafton competitors good luck in the rest of their season
One of the judges was from Morgantown. That was listed in the program. So that is not a rumor. That alone should not be acceptable to anyone competing at this competition. If we're going to talk integrity, then this is where it was lost.
If you consider the rest of this information, then that is even worse. Competitions have a responsibility to present a fair and unbiased competitive experience for all students. It doesn't sound like that was the case here. It's unfortunate for everyone involved, including the groups who won the competition, their division, etc.
As a current high school show choir director, I understand your frustration. I have walked away from plenty of competitions feeling like there was an unfair advantage or not-so-thoughtful planning.
This isn't the place to air your laundry. You're not gaining anything but a sour reputation. I don't know who you are, but if you were a parent or student of my program, that student would be benched the next week for bad sportsmanship.
Get mad, but stand tall and handle it with class. Discuss it directly with the competition director, perhaps decide to not return to that competition next year to see if they improve their panel. I can honestly say I've never met Grafton's director, but he's going to make decisions that people are not fond of, and he will make plenty of mistakes. He's human.
These kids work so hard each week, and it's our job to set an example for them. Set the right one.
For the sake of adding a positive spin to the conversation here -
Congratulations first off to Morgantown - you guys really did put on a solid show. Top notch vocals and super clean choreography, I can't say enough good things about your show.
My biggest surprise of the day was South Harrison - they finished off strong last season but WOW, they've come a long way - this is no question the best I've ever seen them. I think a lot of people were sleeping on Hawks in Harmony, and were surprised to see them beat Teays GE, I absolutely loved their show design as well. I was also impressed in the growth of Doddridge County from last year.
I don't know a whole lot about the controversy from scoring other than from what I've heard, Prominent Rendition was well over their time and was assessed a pretty heavy penalty for it - I do want to say I really enjoyed their show, they deserved the best show design and best band awards, no question. I wish all of these groups the best of luck moving forward.
Rumor also has it that the 10 penalty points because of timing that Teays took were applied to their vocal score instead of the overall score. Since vocal score was the tie breaker, it caused them to go to the choreography score which (amazingly enough, based on a biased judge) Morgantown won. I have never heard of a competition applying penalty points to a division of the score before. If they had applied it to the overall score, then Teays, having the higher vocal score, would have won the competition. Why take penalty points from vocals? Why not choreography or show concept? Makes no sense to me and sounds like a group got screwed.
Rumor has it that one of the judges is from Morgantown and is a Morgantown show choir alum. It is my understanding that this is not allowed. I was then informed that it is director's discretion. Let me be the first to say, since no one else is, how about next year you find judges that are only affiliated with your choir or none of the choirs in attendance. This eliminates the doubt induced by the appearance of your/their impropriety.