Judging Demystified: Understanding the Adjudication Process

Directors, instructors, designers, administrators, parents, fans and marchers benefit from this streamlined version of the Judges Academy coursework, learning how their groups will be assessed, how the judging process works, what judges are looking for, and ways to teach and design for greater success.



Directors and Designers have a unique opportunity to be educated about the assessment process and how it works so they can learn skills to improve their chances for competitive success.

Instructors will find that the training gives them a chance to improve their understanding of what judges look and listen for, enabling them to prepare their performers more effectively for competition.

Parents and Spectators will be able to learn and understand the philosophy and mechanics of the assessment process, increasing their appreciation of both judges and performers.


Still not sure? Take this 30 second quiz:

  • Designers:
    1. Do you see that this information also helps you to design more effective and ”sheet-friendly” shows?
    2. Are you convinced that having a clear understanding the actual judging process will empower you to design more effectively?
    3. Do you want to be able to explain clearly to your clients how they will be assessed by the judges?
    4. Joe says “It’s not about reality, it’s about perception.” Would you like to know how your work will be perceived by judges, through the lens of the judge and system?
  • Directors and Instructors:
    1. Are you aware that this curriculum helps focus your instruction toward efficient, ”sheet-friendly” performances from students?
    2. Are you convinced that having a clear understanding the judge’s assessment process will help you and the students to concentrate on rehearsal behaviors actually perceived and rewarded in competition?
    3. Is it important enough to you to be able to explain clearly and directly to your students how they will be evaluated by the judges?
  • Parents / Spectators:
    1. Do you want to relate to and enjoy the shows you watch more?
    2. Do you want to leave a competition with a better idea of the competitive results, rather than feeling mystified at how the groups ranked?
    3. Is important to you to understand how/why the judges are not evaluating the students or the entire program as individuals or summatively, but rather reacting to the design and performance levels?
    4. Do you want to be able to contribute to the education and enjoyment of your fellow parents and spectators, particularly when they are confused/frustrated about how the groups are judged?

Topics included in the course:

An Awesome Responsibility: Requisite Assets of the Judge / Roles of the Evaluator
Scoresheets: An overview of the typical scoresheets used
Historical Background: Competitive Assessment Scoring Philosophy
The Principle and Process of Achievement: The What and the How
The Process of Assigning Scores: Variables of Scoring / Impression-Analysis-Comparison Model
Recording Commentary: The Power of Delivery / Dialogue

Tuition for the individual is $125, and a director can gain access for themselves and their entire staff for only $495. Methods of payment accepted are credit card, debit card, or school purchase order.  Each person can use the course materials for 6 weeks after registration. Just supply the names and email addresses of your staff when registering. Many directors have had their school or band program pay for the course as discipline-specific professional development. Get your entire team on same page and have your most successful season ever!