Oh my gosh. Fairfield's show was INCREDIBLE! At Clover Hill we have a study hall everyday. A few days ago some of the Iri girls were rewatching your show. Our jaws DROPPED watching it live. Absolutely amazing.
I think Brock has the winner comment. The reason there is so much confusion in the topic is not because the group with the captions took second, but because there is no clarity as to what caused another group to take first. Was it "overall effect," best band, purely just a tie with no other outside points having an influence, or what? It's another reason making scores transparent would also be extremely helpful for spectators... I wish competitions would start doing this. But regardless of the methods used, if there is an entire category being judged that is separate from vocals or choreography (and the usefulness of such a category could be debated, but that's a different topic), then they should award a caption for it. Perhaps it was best band and they did - but if not every group is eligible for best band (I don't know the details of this specific competition), then I don't see how you can possibly include that in the overall score. There are just too many unknowns when everything is kept secret and private.
How do you feel about the idea of publicly announcing scores? Maybe not judge by judge, but vocal score/visual score/"overall effect" /total
In the spirit of transparency, I think that it's something to be discussed. But playing devil's advocate on my own point, there's a lot that could be said about the feelings of groups who finish 5th but are out of first by like 100. Tara Tober made a great comment, something to the effect of show choir scoring is as beautiful and imperfect as the shows themselves.
Just because I'm spitballing, I LOVE the way Mass does their scoring with an added category to the overall scores, BV, BC, etc. In the Gold Medal, Silver Medal system. It encourages groups to go after additional incentive rather than GC or Finalists.
I agree! There’s no reason to disclose which judge scored which group, but an overall score would definitely add excitement and intrigue to the whole experience. In college football, if an unranked school was three or seven points behind the top ranked school in the nation, that would be exciting and entice discussion! If all that was shared was who won, it would be fairly anticlimactic. That’s my take on sharing scores at least
Do you know of any other sport/activity that scores participants but doesn't share them? Yes, I'm in favor of making scores public. I understand it puts an additional layer of responsibility on the judges, but that can only be a good thing. If you're a judge at any event, you should stand by the scores you give. The public, then, also needs to be respectful of all judges and accept their decisions. The Olympics are coming up pretty soon... watch a diving or gymnastics match (which, in my opinion, are pretty subjectively scored as well). Not only are the scores completely transparent but the judges are too.
As for the medal thing, I'm actually not so hot on it. I know, unpopular opinion. It feels a little "everyone gets a trophy!" to me, but beyond that I understand that they are awarded for reaching certain point thresholds. Points are by their nature somewhat arbitrary; one judge may score a good bit higher or lower depending on their personal approach. As long as the judges are consistent, that's fine... but how does that affect your ability to earn a medal? Unless the scores are somehow normalized then it doesn't make a lot of sense to me. And maybe they are, I don't know. But unless the overall placements are also being awarded by overall scores (which as a community we've sort of decided is a terrible way to do it), then you've got two separate scoring methods being used at one competition and I'm not fond of that, either. I'm sure there have been medals in the past which have been adjusted to fit with the rankings, which also seems to discredit their purpose. I mean, is anyone getting "gold" that is being left out of finals at those competitions? I'd have to go through and look. If that's the case, then it makes a little more sense... but again it all comes back to transparency and helping everyone understand what on earth is actually going on.
No! There are no other sports that do not post scores, why should show choir be any different?? I know this is a hot-but-very-unrealistic topic, but the advantage sports like diving and gymnastics have(to my knowledge) vs. show choir is a universal scoresheet and a clear criteria of what the competitors have to do in order to achieve say a 9. A national show choir governing body enables that to happen, as well as a true national championship/regional championship circuit and though unlikely I'm shocked that it hasn't been seriously discussed more. In a world where things like GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, and Google Hangout exist, a nationally elected or regionally elected board of directors as well as an annual/semi-annual conference is not only attainable but also practical as far as I'm concerned.
My biggest qualm with the idea of a national scoresheet lies ironically within band scores. Clover Hill's band is one of the exceptions, but the professional bands that the larger california schools have could give them a distinct advantage over most totally high school bands.
I think your point about bands actually answers your first paragraph. I'm all for having a best band award (actually, I'm strongly in favor of it) - and this should only be available to groups who are eligible to win it (i.e., only have students in the band). But unless that's made an overall rule for the whole competition, I cannot see how a band's score could be included in a show choir's overall score.
So here you have different schools of thought - and that's why a "show choir governing board" doesn't exist. There are many different approaches to this activity, and you would have to make some pretty radical changes in order to make every group fit in one box. In some cases, that would be nice. In others, however, I fear you would restrict the things that make show choir a truly unique performing art special.
I really don't think it needs to be all that radical as far as the changes you'd need to make in order to make this idea a reality. Band is obviously one that would need a lot of work, but things like "Set Design" aren't really fair or necessary to see on scoresheets imo. Glenwood Titan Fever would've been extremely competitive at this competition and all they have is a set of 4x4 risers. Why should they be punished for not having a set? Groups who sing and dance beautifully, but maybe have the grossest costumes I've ever seen, their costumes shouldn't be a part of their score. So many things in show choir scoring have next to nothing to do with the kids. The students can't help the material they're given. I think that if you break it down into what do all choirs have in common, you're not forcing anyone into a box.
How are you going to break down the different divisions? What time limits are you going to use? Is everyone going to adopt a finals round or do we eliminate them entirely? There are all kinds of parameters that vary from competition to competition that would have to be established that not everyone would have an easy time with. And yeah, the band one is a big one.
The finals thing is a really good point. My midwestern background eliminated the structural differences in the coastal competitions. I'm in large favor of finals personally, but I'm sure there is a reason why the other states don't do them.
I've grown to love them too, even though the concept was really foreign to me as a California kid in a show choir. That said, we've seen some Midwest competitions eschew them recently; I think mostly due to time-saving reasons. How about the number of finalists? I noticed several events this weekend only took five, while six is the more common number. And then you also have to deal with state regulations that place restrictions on some groups or events that don't exist in other places. There's a lot more to consider when discussing the organization of show choir on a national level than at first it may seem.
So okay, what if the idea of a national organization only happens on a national level? So similarly to the way Indiana sets things up for their state contest, there are national qualifiers where no matter where you're at, you comply by the same scoresheet that a national finals would work on. But instead of placement, your score gets you your place at national finals. I know Fame tried a similar idea, but i believe that circuit ultimately failed due to the way they structured their pricing. This idea allows those groups who can and desire to compete at the national level a standard, but allows local/regional competitions that have differing traditions, needs, standards etc. to still operate as usual.
Organizing a national standard has certainly been attempted in the past. This is not a new problem and the industry will possibly never conform to one way of doing things because of the subjective nature of everything. I’ve had very recent talks with folks who have been judging for decades and admittedly have a very difficult time “removing themselves” from the sheet itself. Beyond the singing and dancing technique, show design has become a higher component and is almost impossible to measure well beyond “I like this” or “I don’t get it”, and more often than not , “I would have done it this way.”
I have wondered what would happen to results if judges were not allowed to rearrange points, compare and keep track throughout the day...just put the number down for the category and submit based on instinct, no going back and making adjustments or controlling numbers. I’ve tried it before on my own accord and my own results were far different than what I wanted them to be - after I “removed myself” from the equation.
Other schools of thought promote the idea of comparison, and in ISSMA’s case- even group consensus.
That's like the Olympics approach. I think we would all like that as spectators, but it would make the current style of judging that Tara mentioned impossible. I was shocked the first time I heard that judges would go back and change scores to bring them in line with what they felt after seeing other groups, but I do understand that it's a massively subjective activity with so many different categories to score in some cases, and that makes the whole process rather complex. It's still a little weird to me, but I understand the thought behind it. Of course I've also heard of judges going back and changing scores to make sure a group doesn't win, etc... I dunno, the whole thing is really fragile. It's a a tough job, and everyone is a critic of what you do!
I'll try and do my best to explain what happened since there is some confusion. After finals, Fairfield and Clover Hill were tied in vocals and choreo. Although we were tied, the captions went to Fairfield because their prelim scores, in those captions, were higher than ours. Finally, our band scores put us ahead by only 2.5 points. Fairfield and Hurricane were amazing, friendly competitors and both had jaw dropping shows. We wish both of them, the best of luck this season!
Just curious...Choraliers got a caption award for “Best Show Design” and New Dimensions got a caption for “Best Set Design.” Can anyone elaborate on the difference? (If anyone knows, of course!) Again, just curious!