DCE Judges College was 'best college to date'

Press Release by Drum Corps Europe

The annual Judges College took place in Bromley, England (home of the Pacemakers Drum & Bugle Corps) last weekend (10th/11th April) and "was the best college to date", commented Douglas Caldwell, DCE's Adjudication Manager. Over 20 judges attended the event including a few trainees.

The agenda for the two days was very full as the new manual required a lot of discussion and understanding. The Saturday morning session covered generic subjects about DCE board activity, review of 2009, the way forward for 2010 and high level changes to the Judging Manual. The latter part of the morning session was taken up with revisiting the understanding of 'derived achievement', 'principles of scoring', 'numbers management' and 'ethos of judging'. In previous years most of the day was spent covering this material, however the Education Team were keen to focus most of the weekend on caption specific training.

After lunch the trainee judges took their 'knowledge test' - which is the first step to becoming accredited. At the same time a session on 'Effect' commenced. The approach for each of the caption sessions were similar. Firstly reviewing the basic statements, how they linked to Criteria Reference System and how in turn they aligned to the 'placemats'. Following this a few DVDs were watched and then all judges discussed. "The focus was not that we all agreed with each other, but the approach we were taking to get to the decision we were arriving at", Douglas Caldwell commented. All judges were reminded that the Judges Sheets had two sub captions ('Content' and 'Achievement'). A lot of effort was placed on identifying the 'content'. A similar session took place later in the afternoon for 'Field' captions. 

The following day followed the same format with focus being on the 'Ensemble' captions. The session completed at lunch time with some 'housekeeping' rules for judges.

This was a very successful college and Education Director Bob Thomas said "It was the first college where I felt we could have an in depth discussion about captions and I am overjoyed." "The training does not finish here" commented Douglas Caldwell at the end of college. "A lot of time is required reviewing caption terminology and subject matter and also perfecting verbalising the thought processes before the competition season commences."

As the number of competitions requiring DCE panels increases, there is a need to augment the Judging Panel. Douglas asks if there are any interested designers/instructors who would like an additional challenge and to increase their personal skills to contact douglas@drumcorpseurope.org or any of the Judging Team, "as this is a very exciting time for judging."

Drum Corps Europe would like to thank the Pacemakers for their hospitality in hosting the college. 

16th April 2010



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