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LongTimeBandMan

Is the new system working?

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Now that we're into our fourth week of power rankings - and big thanks to Paradice and all of the volunteer judges - any opinions on the new system for KMEA? Are the competitive groups/classes more...competitive?  Do groupings seem more equalized and balanced?  Any feedback from bands on positives or negatives?

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I was told that if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything all. So I'll stay quiet.

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13 minutes ago, Magnus Carlsen said:

I was told that if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything all. So I'll stay quiet.

Well, there's constructive criticism, and then there's throwing a tantrum. If its the former, then go for it.  If its the latter, then you have chosen...wisely.

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3 hours ago, LongTimeBandMan said:

Well, there's constructive criticism, and then there's throwing a tantrum. If its the former, then go for it.  If its the latter, then you have chosen...wisely.

It's probably a bit of both. I'm not sure who to word what I want to say without making people upset or discrediting anyone.

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Any system we put into action will have growing pains but I do think ultimately it works. There is an issue of bands making finals when bands better than them sit out but unless we just drastically change the smbc system and schedule that will always happen.( is 6finalist next year still a thing?) 

 

i also think this has has been a crazy year with some crazy results but we shouldn’t put that on this system. There are a lot of bands that have really stepped up this year and are doing amazing things and that’s what I give credit to when I see these results that 2 years ago would’ve been completely bogus. 

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24 minutes ago, Magnus Carlsen said:

.... without making people upset or discrediting anyone.

Wait. Can you even be on the forums without doing those things?!?🤣

jk

IMO if your reasoning is sound and you are respectful, then if it hurts people's feelz it is their problem. If you're just venting and whining, then maybe they aren't the problem.

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19 minutes ago, Saxophone2494 said:

Any system we put into action will have growing pains but I do think ultimately it works. There is an issue of bands making finals when bands better than them sit out but unless we just drastically change the smbc system and schedule that will always happen.( is 6finalist next year still a thing?) 

 

i also think this has has been a crazy year with some crazy results but we shouldn’t put that on this system. There are a lot of bands that have really stepped up this year and are doing amazing things and that’s what I give credit to when I see these results that 2 years ago would’ve been completely bogus. 

That's kinda where I'm at, looking at how the year is unfolding. A few bands have really been stepping up their game - but that's not necessarily to the new system's credit. They might have already been on the right path. Overall, though, I really think that (at least in 1A-4A) competition levels are better at this point than in recent memory. 

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5 minutes ago, Papa Smurf said:

I vote we go to EFL promotion and relegation system

Interesting. Weird enough it might work. Never really thought about it. Guess it works when you're talking about hundreds of clubs (bands), not sure about smaller scales - assuming you're serious. 🙃

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19 minutes ago, LongTimeBandMan said:

Interesting. Weird enough it might work. Never really thought about it. Guess it works when you're talking about hundreds of clubs (bands), not sure about smaller scales - assuming you're serious. 🙃

It would for sure promote the most competitive environment known to man haha. Imagine winning the 3a state champ and moving up to 4a the next year and having to prove yourself in a tougher class. Quirky idea but fun to consider nonetheless 

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If you look at the 20 bands who made finals last year, 2 are in 1A, 2 are in 2A, 6 in 3A and 6 in 4A, and 3 in 5A.

So clearly, 3A and 4A are more competitive in one sense of the word.  Arguably, those champions will be more challenged to make repeat finals runs.

You could argue 1A and 2A are less competitive at the top, as many argue Washington Co/Williamstown and Beechwood/Murray will be the top two per class (rather than those 4 battling in 1A. . . AGAIN)  but if more competitive means more opportunity for new faces, then the change accomplished something.

5A is technically less competitive with a smaller number of participants.

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Seeing as how this is the first year of this “Hybrid system” being implemented then, yes I would say it is working. The judging is a little weird in terms of placements or point gaps but I feel that the system is doing very nicely for its first year.

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I debated whether chiming in on this one or not, but decided to do so.  I'll try to keep it "constructive".  I'm not a fan of the new classification system for several reasons.  First, the changes have immediately made 1A, 2A and 5A drastically less competitive, virtually giving  a small select group of bands in those classes a cake walk to finals.  Secondly, it immediately made class 3A and 4A significantly harder.  Third, due to the changes, there are less than 12 bands state wide in class 5A, and as such those bands do not have to compete in a quarter finals competition to earn the right to advance to semifinals.  This is not fair to the other classes who have to compete to earn the right to advance.  Fourth, when and if the change comes about regarding 6 bands in each class advancing to finals instead of the current 4, that means that half the bands in class 5A will advance in finals.  Again, not fair to the other band classes that have a tremendous amount of competition in comparison. Fifth, if they were going to change the classification system, they should have also make the change to include 6 bands in each class going into finals at the same time.  Because for classes 3A and 4A, due to the extreme competition levels, there is a greater chance in not making the cut.  And  last but certainly not least, I think it is totally unfair that the "committee" that made the decisions regarding implementing the classification changes are the only ones that know the details of how it is calculated.   Last I heard, they are the only ones that know the exact formula/calculations on how the classifications are assigned, whereas the remainder of the band directors in the state are not given the exact details of the calculations (I assume this is still the case unless something has changed).  This opens up the opportunity for those band directors on the committee to "game" the system regarding which class their band falls into by limiting their band size if it's close to the cut off.  Not saying that is happening, but I just don't think it's right for a handful of participating band directors to have that info and it be kept from the majority of the rest.  I also wonder what the reasoning was for those on the committee to suggest/implement these changes.  Was it truly to try to make things better, or were there hidden motives?  When I heard about the ones that were pushing for these changes, it made me wonder if the motives were to help make the path to finals a bit easier for those pushing for the changes.  I really struggle to see any real benefit as a whole to Kentucky Marching band programs with all these changes.  Matter of fact, I see many negatives.   

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First off the bat. 5A is not less competitive because of the class change. It is less competitive because North Hardin, Central Hardin, and Henry Clay decided to dip. So we will not be blaming the changes for that one. 

Secondly. I do think 1A and 2A are still somewhat competitive. Is it as high of a caliber? No. but there is still a huge question mark in those classes as to who will be in finals outside of  Washington/Williamstown and Murray /Beechwood and still having a leading top 2 is no different than the old 1A, 2A, 3A, and 5A. And the bands in 1A and 2A competing for 3rd and 4th are close in caliber. 

Third off. 6 finalist would be more than ENOUGH for 3A and 4A. You can’t take every band and I’m sorry that’s such a hard hard pill for us to swallow. Every state has classifications, nationals has classifications and bands in every circuit have bands advance when bands better than them do not. (Look at BOA’s class advancement system for semis. Many 1A bands get a Saturday performance above 2A, 3A, and 4A bands far better than them). 

 

This new system makes the competition more fair in each class. We have seen a beechwood band of almost 100 in 1A against bands such as hazard.  Adair pushed down to 2A where the closest band only ever got to 3 points behind them on finals night. Bands bigger than a 5A finalist dominate 3A all in the old system and now we cry because these bands are forced to compete with their own caliber while the bands below them have a fighting chance to compete with theirs. 

 

Fourthly. This new change I believe has pushed many bands to go harder and be better. I’m seeing many many bands in 1A and 2A push and improve tremendously because they have a shot. And the bands in the other classes stay at the same caliber or better to secure their spot. It really isn’t a bad system right now. My opinion might change come the next couple of years but right now I’m not hating it. 

Edited by Saxophone2494
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8 minutes ago, Saxophone2494 said:

First off the bat. 5A is not less competitive because of the class change. It is less competitive because North Hardin, Central Hardin, and Henry Clay decided to dip. So we will not be blaming the changes for that one. 

Secondly. I do think 1A and 2A are still somewhat competitive. Is it as high of a caliber? No. but there is still a huge question mark in those classes as to who will be in finals outside of  Washington/Williamstown and Murray /Beechwood and still having a leading top 2 is no different than the old 1A, 2A, 3A, and 5A. And the bands in 1A and 2A competing for 3rd and 4th are close in caliber. 

Third off. 6 finalist would be more than ENOUGH for 3A and 4A. You can’t take every band and I’m sorry that’s such a hard hard pill for us to swallow. Every state has classifications, nationals has classifications and bands in every circuit have bands advance when bands better than them do not. (Look at BOA’s class advancement system for semis. Many 1A bands get a Saturday performance above 2A, 3A, and 4A bands far better than them). 

 

This new system makes the competition more fair in each class. We have seen a beechwood band of almost 100 in 1A against bands such as hazard.  Adair pushed down to 2A where the closest band only ever got to 3 points behind them on finals night. Bands bigger than a 5A finalist dominate 3A all in the old system and now we cry because these bands are forced to compete with their own caliber while the bands below them have a fighting chance to compete with theirs. 

 

Fourthly. This new change I believe has pushed many bands to go harder and be better. I’m seeing many many bands in 1A and 2A push and improve tremendously because they have a shot. And the bands in the other classes stay at the same caliber or better to secure their spot. It really isn’t a bad system right now. My opinion might change come the next couple of years but right now I’m not hating it. 

Sax2494, sorry, but I have to respectfully disagree with you on a few points.  Regarding your comment that 5A is not less competitive,  not sure I understand that logic when 37% of the field in that class will be going into finals this year (compared to other classes where only an estimated 17~20% of the field will advance).  The fewer numbers of bands in that class alone will make it easier.

And to say for example that 2A is as competitive as compared to last year, not sure how you can view it like that when bands like Adair and Glasgow for example are now in 3A.  Just removing Adair alone from that class immediately changes the playing field, let alone two of the finalists bands from the previous year. 

Granted, I agree with you in the example of Beechwood, but the positive changes that have come about in my opinion are far outweighed by the negatives.  

As far as the subject of taking 6 bands in each class into finals, I wasn't saying that I think that's not enough.  My argument was that if they were going to make the classification changes this year making 3A and 4A harder for those bands falling into that class,  it would have made sense to have also implemented the 6 bands for finals at the same time.

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18 hours ago, Saxophone2494 said:

First off the bat. 5A is not less competitive because of the class change. It is less competitive because North Hardin, Central Hardin, and Henry Clay decided to dip. So we will not be blaming the changes for that one. 

Which would bring the question of why did those groups "dip" as you put it? Particularly when the directors of each of those programs were very vocal for the classification change.

18 hours ago, Saxophone2494 said:

This new system makes the competition more fair in each class. We have seen a beechwood band of almost 100 in 1A against bands such as hazard.

To make sure I am understanding your point, you are saying that the directors at Beechwood should be punished by having to move a class up from other schools with the same enrollment because they recruited well and got a bunch of kids in their band? A quick Google search just turned up an enrollment of 650 for Beechwood and 323 for Hazard. Now, before you cry, "see, I told you Beechwood was bigger!", consider this fact. The enrollment numbers I found has Beechwood listed as "7-12" for the high school and Hazard listed as "9-12" for the high school. It stands to reason when you take the 7th & 8th grades out, the total enrollment numbers would be much more similar between the two schools.

I imagine the next thought would be something like, "well, Beechwood is in an affluent area close to Cincinnati and Hazard is a small coal town in the mountains of eastern Kentucky. The socio-economics of the two towns are such that Beechwood would be able to get a large band as well so that is not fair either!" Ok, where in this new classification system is the financial situation of the town (socio-economics if you will) taken into account? You guessed it, it is not. My main issue with the new system of classification is there are now no incentives for bands to grow. Period.

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7 minutes ago, Mike Honcho said:

Which would bring the question of why did those groups "dip" as you put it? Particularly when the directors of each of those programs were very vocal for the classification change.

To make sure I am understanding your point, you are saying that the directors at Beechwood should be punished by having to move a class up from other schools with the same enrollment because they recruited well and got a bunch of kids in their band? A quick Google search just turned up an enrollment of 650 for Beechwood and 323 for Hazard. Now, before you cry, "see, I told you Beechwood was bigger!", consider this fact. The enrollment numbers I found has Beechwood listed as "7-12" for the high school and Hazard listed as "9-12" for the high school. It stands to reason when you take the 7th & 8th grades out, the total enrollment numbers would be much more similar between the two schools.

I imagine the next thought would be something like, "well, Beechwood is in an affluent area close to Cincinnati and Hazard is a small coal town in the mountains of eastern Kentucky. The socio-economics of the two towns are such that Beechwood would be able to get a large band as well so that is not fair either!" Ok, where in this new classification system is the financial situation of the town (socio-economics if you will) taken into account? You guessed it, it is not. My main issue with the new system of classification is there are now no incentives for bands to grow. Period.

Yet already in the first year we see a number of bands growing and getting better. Beechwood being one of those. And if you think in some narrow minded way that socio economics don’t have any affect on a program and their ability to grow then you have a lot to learn.  You’re right it’s not taken into account when they classify the classes but it speaks for itself. Also o don’t see where I was saying that those schools were bigger so now it’s more fair. I think the competition is more fair in caliber. Beechwood is competing closer to their own level for once. 

 

I feel like you're misunderstanding me bud.  

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49 minutes ago, Saxophone2494 said:

Yet already in the first year we see a number of bands growing and getting better. Beechwood being one of those. And if you think in some narrow minded way that socio economics don’t have any affect on a program and their ability to grow then you have a lot to learn.  You’re right it’s not taken into account when they classify the classes but it speaks for itself. Also o don’t see where I was saying that those schools were bigger so now it’s more fair. I think the competition is more fair in caliber. Beechwood is competing closer to their own level for once. 

 

I feel like you're misunderstanding me bud.  

I think it's a far stretch to associate/attribute any improvements seen this year as a result of the class changes.  The improvements seen in many band programs this year were going to happen regardless of the class changes that were made and I don't think it has anything to do with the class changes.  Also, I do think Mike Honcho's question  is a good one regarding why the band directors who were big proponents of the new system are now not participating.  That's pretty crappy if you ask me.  

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We’ve discussed this before. I’ve already ranted about this during the off-season so I’ll keep it short. 

It is true that the biggest proponents of this new system were directors of programs not even participating in KMEA this year. They all backed out when the 6 finalist proposal was tabled until next season (aside from NH). Which, to me, shows the real reason for the unrest.....

Edited by Brass33
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Socioeconomic factors will play a part in any band's success, but aren't really a major factor. Adair and Estill and Russell...all members of Appalachia and not near the top of the socioeconomic pyramid. 

I can't really disagree with much that saxophone2494 originally posted. Long story short, each class now seems to be much better balanced overall. Members of each individual class are more alike (size and quality) than previously. The real outlier - as it was under the old system - is 5A. 

How do you fix 5A? Heck if I know. The Big Three, not through their fault, kinda wreck this class. Before the new system or after, they are still averaging close to double the members of the class average. Under the new system, some people think that it is not fair that 5A gets to skip an elimination round. And they're probably right. But how do you fix it? Push even more small bands up into 5A? Is that 'fair' to them? Previously, the only people that had an issue with 5A were the small 5A bands. Everyone else was either part of the Big Three (with the exception of NH leadership), or not in 5A and 'not my problem' camp. Why, those small 5As just aren't trying hard enough, or recruiting well enough, etc,etc. If you feel like it's a 'punishment' to be in a class where you are outsized 50-150%, welcome to 5A before or after the new system. 

As far as the main players for this new system leaving - this bugs me, too. They got almost everything they asked for, but still blew off KMEA. My only guesses are 1.) there's more behind the scenes that the general public isn't aware of, or 2.) the directors feared that the bitterness many in KMEA have towards them would bleed over onto their students at KMEA events. 

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1 hour ago, Brass33 said:

We’ve discussed this before. I’ve already ranted about this during the off-season so I’ll keep it short. 

It is true that the biggest proponents of this new system were directors of programs not even participating in KMEA this year. They all backed out when the 6 finalist proposal was tabled until next season (aside from NH). Which, to me, shows the real reason for the unrest.....

Yep, I think you are correct in regards to real reason for the unrest and the reasons for the ones who were pushing hard for the changes backing out.  I believe the real reason behind pushing for these changes was to water down the system with hopes of making a finals berth more easily obtainable for those that were pushing for the change.  Either because 1) they were too lazy to make the effort to improve their bands to make them competitive, or 2) they did not have the ability or knowledge of how to get their bands to the next level.  So when they didn't totally get what they wanted with the 6 finalist piece, they packed up their toys and decided not to participate.  The problem with that is, they screwed everything up with the changes for everyone else.  It feels like they stirred the pot and created a mess, then left the scene for everyone else to deal with it.  I'm guessing that as soon as the 6 finalist piece gets implemented, those bands will want to participate again in KMEA.  I for one think that when a band decides not to participate in KMEA, and then later decides they want to participate, there should be a waiting period of say a couple of years before allowed to participate again.  I also think that changes of this magnitude should require that all band directors in the state cast a vote before they are implemented, with the majority vote ruling.  

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9 minutes ago, Optimist said:

Yep, I think you are correct in regards to real reason for the unrest and the reasons for the ones who were pushing hard for the changes backing out.  I believe the real reason behind pushing for these changes was to water down the system with hopes of making a finals berth more easily obtainable for those that were pushing for the change.  Either because 1) they were too lazy to make the effort to improve their bands to make them competitive, or 2) they did not have the ability or knowledge of how to get their bands to the next level.  So when they didn't totally get what they wanted with the 6 finalist piece, they packed up their toys and decided not to participate.  The problem with that is, they screwed everything up with the changes for everyone else.  It feels like they stirred the pot and created a mess, then left the scene for everyone else to deal with it.  I'm guessing that as soon as the 6 finalist piece gets implemented, those bands will want to participate again in KMEA.  I for one think that when a band decides not to participate in KMEA, and then later decides they want to participate, there should be a waiting period of say a couple of years before allowed to participate again.  I also think that changes of this magnitude should require that all band directors in the state cast a vote before they are implemented, with the majority vote ruling.  

I'd be careful about wanting waiting periods to return to KMEA; a number of bands already choose not to participate in KMEA both before and after the changes. KMEA already has competitions that struggle to find a good number of participants, and KY band participation at MSBA and BOA seems to be increasing over the years. Prolly don't want to encourage less participation. 

I don’t see how things are "screwed up for everybody else". Again, other than the forever unsolved '5A Problem', competition among individual classes seems more equal than previous years. Now, if you feel 'screwed' because you are facing stiffer but more equal competitors:

"Either because 1) they were too lazy to make the effort to improve their bands to make them competitive, or 2) they did not have the ability or knowledge of how to get their bands to the next level" 

See what I did there? That's not me trying to be a word we're not supposed to use on the forums. I am simply pointing out that the arguments previously and currently used against the 'other bands' are either invalid, or they fly right back into the faces of those who propose them. 

Also, what did NH have to gain by being one of the biggest backers of the new system? From what I understand, they were on the front lines of the changes, yet would otherwise have nothing to gain. 

Changes were coming, whether 5 directors voted, or 500 directors voted. It's hard to find many people who didn't think that some changes - maybe not these specific changes - were coming soon. 

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12 minutes ago, LongTimeBandMan said:

I'd be careful about wanting waiting periods to return to KMEA; a number of bands already choose not to participate in KMEA both before and after the changes. KMEA already has competitions that struggle to find a good number of participants, and KY band participation at MSBA and BOA seems to be increasing over the years. Prolly don't want to encourage less participation. 

I don’t see how things are "screwed up for everybody else". Again, other than the forever unsolved '5A Problem', competition among individual classes seems more equal than previous years. Now, if you feel 'screwed' because you are facing stiffer but more equal competitors:

"Either because 1) they were too lazy to make the effort to improve their bands to make them competitive, or 2) they did not have the ability or knowledge of how to get their bands to the next level" 

See what I did there? That's not me trying to be a word we're not supposed to use on the forums. I am simply pointing out that the arguments previously and currently used against the 'other bands' are either invalid, or they fly right back into the faces of those who propose them. 

Also, what did NH have to gain by being one of the biggest backers of the new system? From what I understand, they were on the front lines of the changes, yet would otherwise have nothing to gain. 

Changes were coming, whether 5 directors voted, or 500 directors voted. It's hard to find many people who didn't think that some changes - maybe not these specific changes - were coming soon. 

If I were a band director (which I'm not), I would have opted NOT to participate in KMEA,  because I don't feel that these changes were supported by the majority of the band directors in the state, and because I suspect they were spawned out of selfish, hidden agendas by those pushing it.  I also view it as a conflict of interest that the hand full of directors in the "committee" know the details of the classification methodology, where the rest of the directors in the state do not.  That in my opinion is a conflict of interest.  But that's just my opinion.   To address your other comments relating to my comment about the rest being screwed, I support and have affiliations with several participating bands, all of which are bands who have a proven, successful track record in KMEA.  Bands that even in spite of these changes continue to succeed, so it's not that I feel the bands I support won't continue to succeed in the current environment.  My comments were more directed in how it will affect the general population negatively.  You have a point regarding NH.  I'm not sure what NH's reasoning was for supporting the changes other than the fact that they will be able to spend the Saturday practicing when quater finals are taking place, and possibly wanting to see the BOA scoring sheets come into play.   

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I don't know know if the selections are all behind closed doors. If they are, I agree with you 100%. :) The selection process should be open to all band directors and not behind closed doors. IMO, that should apply to any system, old or new. 

My home band, the one I literally grew up in, will face tougher competition with the new system. But so far at least, I think it's better overall for the majority of bands. Honestly, and I said this before, I think KMEA should give it 3 years. Then, sit down with all of the band directors who will, hopefully, come to the table with honest and thoughtful input. At that point, keep what works and dump what doesn't. No one will be able to say "we didn't give it enough time", although they may not end up agreeing with what's decided. Those who are happy with the final decision will stay. Those who aren't will probably stick with BOA and MSBA. 

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