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 season.
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 and design.
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. Contest
Host applications are accepted throughout the summer and
Why aren't admission prices the same at all contests?
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
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 performance?
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