How are contest locations selected?
Every SFWGA member unit is eligible to host
a contest. Host applications are available online
in the summer and fall prior to the start of the
How are scores calculated?
Scoring is a complex process and judges must
train for many years to master this art. The scoring
process is based on learning theory. The highest
scoring units challenge performers to learn, practice,
and finally master new skills by continuously
adding new and more complex work into the show.
For this reason, early in the season a unit that
performs perfectly may not score as high as a
unit that exhibits more complex work that the
performers are being challenged to master. There
are multiple captions to each activity, and each
caption is divided into two parts. Approximately
one half of the total score is awarded on how
well the show is designed relative to the performers'
skills, and the other half is awarded on how well
the performers execute the material.
What causes penalties?
Color Guard performances have minimum and
maximum time limits: interval time, which
is the total amount of time the unit is on the
floor, including set-up and tear-down, and show
time, which is the total time of the actual
performance. Color guard has one additional element,
minimum equipment time, which measures
the elapsed time that equipment is in at least
one performer's hands. The majority of penalties
are due to overages in interval time, or being
short on performance or equipment time. Other
penalties may be assessed for boundary line infractions,
improper use of equipment or props, or performer
eligibility, among others.
What are the different scoring classifications?
The SFWGA uses the WGI Scoring system. Ensembles
are grouped by general skill level with specific
skill criteria defined for each group. The 4A
and 3A classes are entry level classifications
where performers learn basic work and are evaluated
against Regional A score sheets The 2A class is
a hybrid class that is evaluated against "A"
class score sheets and Regional A class timing.
The "A" Class is the largest class nationally,
where performers have mastered the basic skills
and have integrated some intermediate skills into
their performances. Within the SFWGA, we separate
the A class skills into "A" class for
ensembles that compete locally, and National A
class for ensembles that compete at WGI Regionals
and Nationals. Open class participants are usually
National competitors that have mastered intermediate
skills as well as some advanced skills. World
Class is the highest skill level, and is typically
the result of highly advanced programs. Professional
designers, composers, and choreographers work
with performers, who are expected to have mastered
all elements of the activity and are focused on
exhibiting new levels of creativity in performance
How are contests funded?
Admission ticket sales cover slightly less
than half of contest expenses. Membership fees
that units pay to join the SFWGA and contest Host
franchise fees cover the most of the remaining
expenses. See the "About the SFWGA"
tab above for a complete breakdown of revenue
Why aren't contests evenly distributed among
Broward, Dade and Palm Beach counties?
The SFWGA depends on its member schools to
offer their campuses for contests. Since the average
contest can bring 50 or more school groups on
campus, school administrations can be reluctant
to agree to hosting a contest. Band programs and
booster associations may not have adequate volunteers
or resources available. Hosting a contest is a
complex undertaking requiring many months of planning.
The SFWGA works with all new Hosts to help plan
and organize their events. All SFWGA member units
are eligible to apply to host a contest.
Host applications are accepted throughout the
summer and early fall.
Why aren't admission prices the same at all
The SFWGA sets the admission ticket prices for
the Premiere, Championship Prelims and Championship
Finals contests. The hosting band programs and
booster organizations each set the admission prices
for the remaining contests at their particular
schools. Admission prices are usually relative
the expenses incurred at a particular contest.
are my son/daughter's opions for participation
with a winter guard team?
If your son or daughter attends an elementary,
middle, or high school that fields a member unit
with the SFWGA, then they are only eligble to
perform with that team. The SFWGA encourages and
supports independent teams for high school graduates,
college students, and for students whose school
does not field a winter guard team. Please refer
to our Policies and Procedures document (above)
for a complete breakdown of eligibility rules.
can't I make a video recording of my son/daughter's
Copyright laws guarantee that music composers,
artists, and publishers have the right to control
every aspect of the music tracks they create.The
SFWGA has competition and concert music licenses
from ASCAP and BMI for all of our contests. These
licenses specifically prohibit any spectator video
recording that includes the music track. Recording
any aspect of a performance is a violation of
our license terms, and could result in the revocation
of permissions for one or more units.
Why do some performance times change during
the week before a contest?
Preliminary performance times are first posted
following the add/drop membership period in December.
However, units may continue to enter or withdraw
from contests throughout the season. Also, as
performance skills improve, units may be re-classified
into a new competitive classification that is
more appropriate for their skill level. The final
official performance times are available on this
website and the mobile phone site by noon on Friday
before each contest.