Winter Guard International
Winter Guard International (WGI) is a governing body for visual performing arts competitions in the North America. WGI organizes and hosts regional championships for three activities: color guard (known as winter guard), percussion ensembles, and small marching bands (known as winds). The traditional WGI competitive season runs from February to March, with a World Championships in April. Hence "winter" in the association's name.
Black and white logo
|Named after||Winter color guard competitive season|
|Motto||WGI Sport of the Arts|
|Formation||May 15, 1977|
|Founded at||San Francisco|
|Purpose||Color guard, percussion ensemble, and winds competition circuit|
|Expenses (2017)||US$4.7 million|
WGI was founded in 1977 as a response to the inconsistent adjudication and incompatible rules of competition between various regional governing bodies and competition circuits which made it difficult for color guards to compete nationally. Today, WGI regularly publishes and updates an adjudication handbook, with an accompanying "Rules & Regulations", that has been adopted worldwide.
The first WGI World Championship was held in 1978, with championships for percussion ensembles beginning in 1992, and winds in 2015. A series of fall marching band regional competitions, then known as the WGI Friendship Cup, were hosted until 2003. The next World Championship series will be held at UD Arena in Dayton, Ohio on April 1 – April 4, 2020 for color guard; April 15 – April 18, 2020 for percussion ensembles; and April 18 – April 19, 2020 for winds.
- 1 History
- 2 About
- 3 Classification and adjudication
- 3.1 Winter Guard
- 3.2 Percussion
- 3.3 Winds
- 3.4 Divisions and classes
- 3.5 Historic classes and divisions
- 3.6 Adjudication
- 4 Past champions
- 5 See also
- 6 Notes
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Prior to the formation of WGI, national color guard championships, or high-prestige competitions, were often held in conjunction with summer drum corps or marching band national championships, such as: VFW, American Legion, or CYO national championships, or the U.S. Open or World Open Championships. The host for each championship varied, as did as the quality of the venue, rules of competition, adjudication and scoring. As an example, the 1977 championship was held in conjunction with DCI World Championships in Denver. The venue was too small, there was no functional air conditioning, and the performance area required color guards to maneuver around structural columns.
Stanley Knaub, then director of the Seattle Imperials color guard, had secured a sponsor and a potential venue for a new national championships, and he sought input from others in the activity on how to proceed. Knaub invited well known color guard educators from across the country to meet the weekend of May 14, 1977 at the Sheraton Palace Hotel in San Francisco. Those in attendance were: Don Angelica, Shirlee Whitcomb, Bryan Johnston, Marie Czapinski, and Linda Chambers. In addition to needing standardized rules and adjudication, all agreed the color guard championship should be held independent of drum corps or marching band events. Knaub suggested any planned national championship be held sometime during the winter months when most color guards competed locally. The name "winter guard" was chosen to reflect this change, becoming Winter Guard International.
A follow-up meeting at the DCI Rules Congress in October was attended by representatives from thirteen competitive color guard circuits and adjudicator associations. A new adjudication system was adopted, and the organizational structure was agreed too. Four color guard circuits donated $250 each to fund the first competitive season. Lynn Lindstrom, director of the Midwest Color Guard Circuit, was elected the first Executive Director.
WGI's first competitive season, in 1978, included fourteen regional championships and a national championship, then called the WGI Olympics.
WGI is a nonprofit association governed by a board of directors, with an Executive Director responsible for day-to-day operations. The board of directors are chosen from among the directors of competing groups, and at-large members chosen from those who contribute to the color guard, percussion, and winds activities. The board is legally and financially responsible for the conduct of the organization. In 2017, WGI's various programs and activities generated US$4.8.
Mission and purposeEdit
The mission of organization is to provide a venue for young people to achieve the extraordinary through performance and competition. WGI organizes "high-energy and enjoyable" events for color guard, called winter guard, percussion and winds, divisions. The organization also aims to improve quality of the competing groups through leadership development and education. This includes standardized adjudication.
WGI frequently partners with companies that provide services and products to competing groups, as well as leading educators in other fields to highlight the activity. The organization is promoted using the tagline: Sport of the Arts.
Each of the three competitive divisions (color guard, percussion and winds) are led by Advisory Boards who are responsible for the "adjudication and competitive attributes" of sanctioned events. Advisory boards are also responsible for nominating and electing members to the board of directors.
The Advisory Board meets annually, usually a few months after World Championships, to discuss changes to rules of competition, adjudication, and policies and procedures, and to make recommendations to the board of directors. The classification and promotion of competing groups is also the responsibility of the Advisory Boards.
Groups that compete at WGI events are required to pay a membership fee, in addition to an attendance fee for each event. Only groups who compete in a regional, beginner, class with limited availability (Regional A Class) are excused from paying a membership fee. The fees support general operations, and provide capital for future events, educational services, and research and development.
WGI awards academic scholarships to members of competing groups, which are announced during awards ceremonies at World Championships. According to the WGI website, over US$20,000 is awarded annually, and over US$750,000 has been awarded since the association's founding. Funds for the scholarships are collected via raffles during regional and World Championships known as “Fifty-fifty”.
Using a competition-based approach for organizing events, WGI "aims to showcase youth activities" by pursuing a "high standard of achievement."
More than sixty regional championships are hosted every year, from mid-January to the late-March. Many are hosted in with the aid of WGI's regional circuit partners. Regional championships attract hundreds of color guards, percussion and winds ensembles, and thousands of participants. To qualify for World Championships, groups must compete in at least one regional championship.
World Championships regularly attracts over 350 color guards, 250 percussion ensembles, and over 40 winds groups. Championships occur over two consecutive weekends in early or mid-April. The 2020 World Championship will be held at UD Arena in Dayton, Ohio from April 1 – April 4, 2020 for color guard, April 15 – April 18, 2020 for percussion, and April 18 – April 19, 2020 for winds. Future championships as far ahead as 2024 have been scheduled at the UD Arena.
Past championship sitesEdit
|1978||Conant High School||Hoffman Estates, Illinois|
|1979||Veterans Memorial Coliseum||Madison, Wisconsin|
|1980||Cape Cod Coliseum||Cape Cod, Massachusetts|
|1981||Onondaga County War Memorial||Syracuse, New York|
|1982||Vanderbilt University Memorial Gymnasium||Nashville, Tennessee|
|1983–1989||UD Arena, University of Dayton||Dayton, Ohio|
|1990||Buffalo Memorial Auditorium||Buffalo, New York|
|1991–1996||UD Arena, University of Dayton||Dayton, OH|
|1997||American West Arena||Phoenix, Arizona|
|1998–2000||UD Arena, University of Dayton||Dayton, OH|
|2001||Bradley Center||Milwaukee, Wisconsin|
|2002–03||UD Arena, University of Dayton||Dayton, OH|
|2004||Cox Arena, San Diego State University||San Diego, California|
|2005–2020||UD Arena, University of Dayton||Dayton, OH|
Classification and adjudicationEdit
WGI fosters and develops events for three activities.
Winter guard is the indoor variant of color guard and is a combination of the use of flags, sabers, mock rifles, and various other equipment and props. Performances include dance and other interpretive movement. Color guards are common among high schools, middle schools, some universities, and also some independent organizations such as drum corps, or they are community organizations. The term "winter guard" is taken from the season most color guards compete as single units, and not part of marching bands or drum corps.
An indoor percussion ensemble or indoor drumline consists of the marching percussion (also called batterie) and front ensemble (also called pit or front line) sections. Many ensembles, like color guards, are attached to a competing marching band or drum corps. Indoor percussion integrates musicality, marching and movement, and theater arts. The activity is referred to as percussion theater by WGI. Most percussion ensembles are affiliated with high schools, but many are independent.
Are small marching music ensembles composed of a variety of instrumentations. Many take advantage of marching horns, as well as woodwinds, rhythm sections, and a pit ensemble, similar to those found in marching bands or drum corps. Unlike their outdoor counterparts, WGI Winds compete indoors on a performance area roughly the size of a standard basketball court.
Divisions and classesEdit
Groups attending WGI events are organized according to a multi-tier system, placed in one of two divisions, and dozens of classes.
- Independent Color Guard, Percussion, and Winds divisions are reserved for groups composed of performers who are associated with a particular school. Independent groups often draw performers from a large geographic area.
- Scholastic Color Guard, Percussion, and Winds divisions are reserved for groups composed of performers from the same high school, or high school equivalent, or a school within the attendance zone of that particular high School. The Scholastic division was created in 1980. Prior to the division's creation high school groups competed against Independent groups.
Divisions are further grouped into classes based on experience and achievement:
- Regional A is for new and inexperienced groups. This class is not available at World Championships.
- A Class, often referred to as National A or National, is for groups new to national competition.
- Open Class is for groups who consistently perform at an intermediate developmental level.
- World Class is the highest available class and is reserved for groups who are the most advanced. The World classes in both Scholastic and Independent are the most competitive, and the highest prestige.
Historic classes and divisionsEdit
The following are the divisions and classes represented at World Championships. This does not reflect when competitive classes and divisions were defined in the WGI Adjudication Handbook.
Color Guard divisionEdit
|Open Class||Open Class||Open Class (IO)||World Class (IW)||World Class (IW)|
|Open Class (IO)|
|A Class (A)||A Class (IA)||A Class (IA)||A Class (IA)|
|—||Scholastic Class||Open Class (SO)||World Class (SW)||World Class (SW)|
|Open Class (SO)|
|A Class (SA)||A Class (SA)||A Class (SA)|
|—||World Class (PSW)||World Class (PSW)||World Class (PSW)||World Class (PSW)|
|Open Class (PSO)||Open Class (PSO)||Open Class (PSO)||Open Class (PSO)|
|A Class (PSA)||A Class (PSA)||A Class (PSA)||A Class (PSA)||A Class (PSA)||A Class (PSA)|
|AA Class (PSAA)|
|Percussion Concert Scholastic|
|—||World Class (PCSW)||World Class (PCSW)||World Class (PCSW)||World Class (PCSW)||World Class (PCSW)|
|Open Class (PCSO)||Open Class (PCSO)|
|A Class (PCSA)|
|—||World Class (PIW)||World Class (PIW)||World Class (PIW)||World Class (PIW)||World Class (PIW)|
|Open Class (PIO)||Open Class (PIO)||Open Class (PIO)||Open Class (PIO)|
|A Class (PIA)||A Class (PIA)||A Class (PIA)|
|Percussion Concert Independent|
|—||World Class (PCIW)||—|
|World Class (WIW)|
|Open Class (WIO)|
|A Class (WIA)|
|World Class (WSW)|
|Open Class (WSO)|
|A Class (WSA)|
WGI Adjudication Manuals for color guards, percussion and winds divides scoring in set reference criteria known as captions forming a scoring rubric. Each caption is subdivided into elements such as performance analysis, design analysis, and effect evaluation. The adjudication manual is multi-tiered, meaning each competitive class—Regional A, A Class, Open Class, and World Class—has a set of scoring sheets listing differing criteria and descriptions for each caption.
|General Effect[b]||Composition (10)||
|20.00 x 2|
|Timing & Penalties||- 0.00|
|General Effect[b]||Music||Overall (15)||
|Performance Quality (20)||
|Performance Quality (10)||
|Timing & Penalties||- 0.00|
|Performance Quality (30)||
|Timing & Penalties||- 0.00|
|Music Analysis||Composition (15)||
|Visual Analysis||Composition (15)||
|Overall Effect||Repertoire (20)||
|Timing & Penalties||- 0.00|
Independent color guard (1978–present)Edit
|1980||—||Phantom Regiment (2)||West Bridgewater|
|1982||—||Cavaliers (2)||Elizabeth HS|
|1983||—||Cavaliers (3)||Woonsocket HS|
State Street Review
|1986||—||State Street Review (2)||Final Analysis|
|1987||—||State Street Review (3)||Studio One|
|1988||—||State Street Review (4)||Alliance|
|1989||—||State Street Review (5)||Accents|
|1990||—||Blessed Sacrament||Genesis II|
|1991||San José Raiders||—||Sacred Heart|
|1992||San José Raiders (2)||—||South Shore Drill Team|
|1993||San José Raiders (3)||St. Patrick's||Nouveau|
|1994||San José Raiders (4)||Chimeras||Florida Visual|
|1995||Blue Devils||Fantasia||The Company|
|1996||Blue Devils (2)||The Company||St. Ann's|
|1997||Blue Devils (3)||Shadow Danse||St. John's Productions|
|1998||Blue Devils (4)||Patriots||Nolan|
|1999||Emerald Marquis||Nolan||The Lakota|
|2001||Pride of Cincinnati||St. Ann's (2)||Esperanza de Luz|
|2003||San José Raiders (5)||Lealta||Terpsichore|
|2004||Fantasia (3)||Sacred Heart||St. Ann's (2)|
|2005||Pride of Cincinnati (2)||Interplay||St. John's of Beverly|
|2007||Pride of Cincinnati (3)||Code Black||Rhapsody|
|2008||Fantasia (5)||Alter Ego||Cascades|
|2009||Santa Clara Vanguard||Rhapsody||State of Art|
|2011||Santa Clara Vanguard (2)||Pacificaires
|South Shore Drill Team (2)|
|2012||Onyx (2)||O2 (2)||Impact|
|2013||Pride of Cincinnati (4)||Identity||Luminosa|
|2014||Onyx (3)||UCF Pegasus[d]||Georgia State University|
|2015||Santa Clara Vanguard (3)||Interplay (2)||St. Ann's (4)|
|2016||Pride of Cincinnati (4)||Juxtaposition||Paramount "A"[e]|
|2017||Pride of Cincinnati (5)||AMP||FIU|
|2018||Paramount||UCF Pegasus (2)||Pacificaires (2)|
|2019||Pride of Cincinnati (6)||George Mason University||Icon Winter Guard|
Scholastic color guard (1980–present)Edit
|1980||—||Holley Central HS||—|
|1981||—||Holley Central HS (2)||—|
|1982||—||Marcus Whitman HS||—|
|1984||—||Center Grove HS||—|
|1985||—||Union HS||Westerville South HS|
|1986||—||Center Grove HS (2)||Hillwood HS|
|1987||—||Union HS (2)||Andrew HS|
|1988||—||Union HS (3)||Lincoln HS|
|1989||—||Tate HS[g]||North Penn HS|
|1990||—||Center Grove HS (3)||Lincoln-Way Central|
|1991||Miamisburg HS||—||Salisbury HS|
|1992||Miamisburg HS (2)||—||Southport HS|
|1993||Bishop Kearney HS||Centerville HS||Lakeland HS|
|1994||Bishop Kearney HS (2)||Pomona HS||John Overton HS|
|1995||Bishop Kearney HS (3)||John Overton HS||Mt. Carmel HS|
|1996||Bishop Kearney HS (4)||Springboro HS||Lassiter HS|
|1997||Bishop Kearney HS (5)||Lassiter HS||Kings HS|
|1998||James Logan HS||Kings HS||Carroll HS|
|1999||James Logan HS (2)||Pomona HS (2)||Nease HS|
|2000||James Logan HS (3)||Franklin Central HS||Lake Mary HS|
|2001||James Logan HS (4)||Avon HS||Walton HS|
|2002||James Logan HS (5)||Irondale HS||Fletcher HS|
|2003||James Logan HS (6)||Centerville HS (2)||Santaluces HS|
|2004||James Logan HS (7)||The Woodlands HS||Kennesaw Mt. HS|
|2005||James Logan HS (8)||Kennesaw Mt. HS||Freedom HS|
|2006||James Logan HS (9)||Cheshire HS||Gates Chili HS|
|2007||James Logan HS (10)||Carmel HS||Taravella HS|
|2008||Flanagan HS||Northmont HS||Colonial HS|
|2009||Avon HS||Marian Catholic HS||North Syracuse Central HS|
|2010||James Logan HS (11)||West Johnston HS||Little Elm HS|
|2011||Carmel HS||Oak Ridge HS||O'Fallon Township HS|
|2012||Flanagan HS||Freedom HS||Somerville HS|
|2013||Carmel HS (2)||Mechanicsburg HS||Bellbrook HS|
|2014||Tarpon Springs HS||Spring HS||Lyman HS|
|2015||Carmel HS (3)||Somerville HS||Marvin Ridge HS|
|2016||Tarpon Springs HS (2)||Shenendehowa HS||Bellevue West HS|
|2017||Carmel HS (4)||Stockdale HS||Klein Oak HS|
|2018||Avon HS (2)||Park Vista HS||Leander HS|
|2019||Avon HS (3)||Fishers HS||Fleming Island HS|
Scholastic marching percussion (1993–present)Edit
|1993||—||—||Clovis West HS||—|
|1995||—||—||Father Ryan HS||Hatboro-Horsham HS|
Father Ryan HS
|John Overton HS|
|1997||Northglenn HS||Avon HS||Clayton Valley HS||—|
|1998||Dartmouth HS||Arvada HS||Johansen HS||—|
|1999||Dartmouth HS (2)||Centerville HS||Ayala HS||—|
|2000||King Philip HS||Father Ryan HS||Loara HS||—|
|2001||Mission Viejo HS||Avon HS (2)||Springboro HS||—|
|2002||Avon HS||Choctawhatchee HS||New Palestine HS||—|
|2003||Winston Churchill HS||Thomas Worthington HS||Clovis East HS||—|
|2004||Centerville HS||Rancho Cucamonga HS||Loara HS (2)||—|
|2005||Center Grove HS||Clear Brook HS||Page HS||—|
|2006||Center Grove HS (2)||Pacifica HS||Mariner HS||—|
|2007||Mission Viejo HS||Pacifica HS (2)||Greenfield-Central HS||—|
|2008||Dartmouth HS (3)||Pacifica HS (3)||South Hills HS||—|
|2009||Dartmouth HS (4)||Pacifica HS (4)||Los Alamitos HS||—|
|2010||Ayala HS||South Hills HS||Timber Creek HS||—|
|2011||Arcadia HS||Pacifica HS (5)||Chantilly HS||—|
|2012||Chino Hills HS||South Hills HS (2)||Lebanon HS||—|
|2013||Chino Hills HS (2)||Upper Darby HS||Hilton HS||—|
|2014||Dartmouth HS (5)||Clinton HS||Victor J. Andrew HS||—|
|2015||Chino Hills HS (3)||Lebanon HS||Lake Orion HS||—|
|2016||Ayala HS (2)||Sparkman HS||Victor J. Andrew HS (2)||—|
|2017||Chino Hills HS (4)||Burleson Centennial HS||Fair Lawn HS||—|
|2018||Chino Hills HS (5)||Clear Brook HS||Plainfield HS||—|
|2019||Chino Hills HS (6)||Sparkman HS (2)||Grand Blanc HS||—|
Scholastic concert percussion (1994–present)Edit
|1995||Baldwinsville HS (2)||—||—|
|1997||Gateway HS (2)||—||—|
|1998||Franklin Central HS||—||—|
|1999||Franklin Central HS (2)||—||—|
|2000||Franklin Central HS (3)||—||—|
|2001||Franklin Central HS (4)||Union HS||—|
|2002||Franklin Central HS (5)||New Albany HS||—|
|2003||Fort Mill HS||Portsmouth HS||—|
|2004||Franklin Central HS (6)||Mission Viejo HS||—|
|2005||Fort Mill HS (2)||Goshen HS||—|
|2006||Ayala HS||Heritage HS||—|
|2007||Ayala HS (2)||Mansfield HS||—|
|2008||Claremont HS||Mansfield HS (2)||—|
|2009||Ayala HS (3)||Muscle Shoals HS||—|
|2010||Ayala HS (4)||Golden HS||—|
|2011||Muscle Shoals HS||Portsmouth HS (2)||—|
|2012||Woodbridge HS||Hickory HS||—|
|2013||James Logan HS||Clayton HS||—|
|2014||Ayala HS (5)||Goshen HS||—|
|2015||Ayala HS (6)||Mansfield HS (3)||—|
|2016||Ayala HS (7)||Dakota Ridge HS||—|
|2017||Ayala HS (8)||Tomball HS||—|
|2018||Fishers HS||Clayton HS||Decatur Central HS|
|2019||Fishers HS (2)||Campbell County HS||Price Charter School|
Independent percussion (1994–present)Edit
|University Class[a]||Concert Class||A Class|
|1995||Atlanta Rhythm Machine||—||—||—||—|
|1996||Music City Mystique||—||—||—||—|
|1997||Music City Mystique (2)||South Mountain||UNLV||Patriots||—|
|1998||Music City Mystique (3)||Freelancers||—||Patriots (2)||—|
|1999||Blue Knights (2)||South Maine||Georgia Tech||Cynosure||—|
|2000||Blue Knights (3)||Penn State||—||—||Eastside Fury|
|2001||Music City Mystique (4)||Eklipse||—||—||Arthur Hill|
|2002||Riverside||Rhythm X||—||—||Plan B|
|2003||Blue Knights (4)||North Coast Academy||—||—||L.E.A.P.|
|2004||Music City Mystique (5)||Eastside Fury||—||—||L.E.A.P. (2)|
|2005||Riverside (2)||Surround Sound||—||—||Elements|
|2006||Music City Mystique (6)||First Degree||—||—||Walled Lake|
|2008||Rhythm X||Tyler Junior College||—||—||Pioneer (2)|
|2009||Rhythm X (2)||Pariah||—||—||OCI|
|2011||Music City Mystique (7)||Vanguard||—||—||Madison|
|2012||Riverside (4)||George Mason University||—||—||Spirit of America|
|2013||Rhythm X (3)||Capital City||—||—||Brookwood|
|2014||Pulse (2)||Cadets||—||—||Lone Star|
|2015||Riverside (5)||Spirit of America||—||—||PureFusion|
|2016||Pulse (3)||Vigilantes||—||—||STRYKE 2|
|2017||Music City Mystique (8)||Infinity 2||—||—||Modulation Z|
|2019||Broken City||Bakersfield College||—||—||Unity|
Independent winds (2015–present)Edit
|STRYKE Wynds||FIU "A"[i]|
|2017||Rhythm X (2)||Chromium||Inertia (2)|
|2018||Rhythm X (3)||Chromium (2)||Valley Christian|
|2019||Rhythm X (4)||Chromium (3)||Daviess County HS|
Scholastic winds (2015–present)Edit
|2015||Father Ryan HS||Ola HS||Nova HS|
|2016||Avon HS||Cleveland||Jackson County HS|
|2017||Avon HS (2)||Central Lafourche HS||Valley Christian HS|
|2018||Flanagan HS||Azle HS||Lake Hamilton HS|
|2019||Cleveland HS||South Jones HS||Valley Christian HS (2)|
- The Percussion University class was often referred to as Collegiate and College Class.
- Now referred to as Effect.
- O2 (IO) was affiliated with Onyx (IW).
- The Pegasus color guard was previously sponsored by the University of Central Florida.
- Paramount "A" was affiliated with Paramount (IW).
- From 1980 to 1984, Scholastic Open Class, and later World Class, was previously known as Scholastic Class.
- Tate High School is listed as Chaparrals on WGI's score archive.
- The Matrix percussion ensemble is also known as Matrix Open.
- FIU "A" winds ensemble was affiliated with FIU world class winds ensemble.
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