2002 - UIL Marching Band Historical Note

UIL Leaguer
Richard Floyd
December, 2002

On Nov. 4 the UIL monitored the weather closely. Officials knew that conditions could be less than ideal and were in constant communication with a meteorologist at Channel 10 in Waco. At 8 a.m. Monday, several music supervisors, participating school principals and band directors were consulted regarding available options. Not a single person suggested canceling unless lightning became an issue. Meteorologist reports assured that there was no lightning within 150 miles of Waco. The general consensus was we either march or cancel. The cost and logistics of rescheduling an event involving 49 schools, thousands of students and approximately 200 charter buses was simply not viewed to be an option. Based on all input, the decision was made to march. The surface at Baylor was a gravel and sand base over a synthetic overlay that wass seeded with natural grass. It was viewed to be an all-weather surface. It was supposed to combine the advantages of natural grass with the all-weather features of an artificial surface. Thus field conditions were not anticipated to deteriorate to the degree that they did. By the time this became apparent in the early afternoon, it seemed best to press forward and hopefully complete prelims. Also, Channel 10 was telling us the rain would gradually slacken and conditions would improve. On the other hand the Waco ISD Athletic Complex had an artificial surface and the AAA bands were experiencing only the frustration of dampness and cold. At the conclusion of AAAAA prelims, all directors reported to the press box. The names of the seven bands selected to advance to finals were announced in alphabetical order. Directors of these bands met with the me to discuss the most recent weather report, the condition ofthe field and the wisdom of continuing with the finals. This discussion was held without anyone knowing the order bands were ranked in the prelims. It was the unanimous decision of all directors that it was in the best interest of their students and their programs to cancel finals and let the results of the prelims stand as the final rankings. The UIL Constitution and Contest Rules provides for this option.