Winter Guard International
|Motto||WGI Sport of the Arts|
|Formation||15 May 1977|
|Founded at||San Francisco|
|Purpose||Color guard, percussion ensemble, and winds competitive circuit|
| United States|
Winter Guard International (WGI) is a governing body for visual performing arts competitions, including color guard (known as winter guard), percussion ensembles, and small marching bands (known as winds). WGI hosts an annual series of regional championships from January to March, and a World Championships in April. A majority of WGI events are in the United States, however regional championships have been hosted in Japan, Malaysia, United Kingdom, Netherlands, and Philippines and Costa Rica in 2018.
WGI was founded in 1977 as a response to the inconsistent adjudication and rules of competition which made it difficult for groups to compete nationally. Today, WGI regularly publishes and updates an adjudication handbook, with an accompanying "Rules & Regulations", that is adopted by competitive circuits who host local or regional color guard, percussion and winds events.
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, known as the "WGI Friendship Cup", were hosted until 2003. The next World Championships will be hosted at the UD Arena in Dayton, Ohio the weekend of 6 April 2019 for color guard, and 13 April 2019 for percussion and winds.
Virtually all events hosted by WGI occur between January and April, hence "winter" in the organization's name.
- 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 References
- 7 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 Colorado. 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 14 May 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 organization 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 activity. The board is legally and financially responsible for the conduct of the organization.
Mission and purpose
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 WGI events, and who are responsible for electing members of 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 Advisory Boards are also responsible for altering the classification of competing groups, often promoting groups from one class to another.
Groups that compete at WGI events are required to pay a membership fee, in addition to the attendance fee for each event. Only groups who compete in a regional, beginner, class with limited availability are excused from paying the membership fee. Membership fees support WGI 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 organization's founding. Funds for the scholarships are collected via raffles during regional events and World Championships known as “Fifty-fifty”.
Using a competition-based approach for organizing events, WGI "aims to showcase youth activities" by pursuing "high standards of achievement."
More than sixty regional championships are hosted every year, from mid-January to the late-March. Many are hosted in conjunction with WGI's regional circuit partners. The competitions attract hundreds of color guards, and percussion and winds ensembles, and thousands of participants. To qualify for World Championships, groups must compete in at least one regional championships.
World Championships regularly attracts over 350 color guards, 250 percussion ensembles, and over 40 winds groups. Championships occur over two weekends in early or mid-April. The 2019 World Championship will be held at UD Arena in Dayton, Ohio the weekends of 6 April 2019 for color guard, and 13 April 2019 for percussion and winds. Future championships as far away as 2024 have been scheduled at the UD Arena.
Past championship sites
|1978||Conant High School||Hoffman Estates, IL|
|1979||Veterans Memorial Coliseum||Madison, WI|
|1980||Cape Cod Coliseum||Cape Cod, MA|
|1983–89||UD Arena, University of Dayton||Dayton, OH|
|1991–96||UD Arena, University of Dayton||Dayton, OH|
|1998–2000||UD Arena, University of Dayton||Dayton, OH|
|2002–03||UD Arena, University of Dayton||Dayton, OH|
|2004||Cox Arena, San Diego State University||San Diego, CA|
|2005–19||UD Arena, University of Dayton||Dayton, OH|
Classification and adjudication
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 battery) 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 classes
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 that feeds to that particular high School. The Scholastic division was created in 1984. Prior to the division's creation high school groups competed against Independent groups.
Divisions are further grouped into classes based on experience and achievement:
- A Class, sometimes called National A, is for groups new to regional or national competition. An additional class for beginning groups is available at some events, Regional A, but not at World Championships.
- 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.
The Percussion division also offers Scholastic Concert classes for units who do not include marching in their programs.
Historic classes and divisions
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 division
|Open Class||Open Class||Open Class||Open Class (IO)||World Class (IW)||World Class (IW)|
|Open Class (IO)|
|A Class (A)||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)|
|A Class (PSA)||A Class (PSA)||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)|
|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)|
|College / University Class|
|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.
|Individual Equipment||Vocabulary (10)||+||Excellence (10)||=||20.00|
|Individual Movement||Vocabulary (10)||+||Excellence (10)||=||20.00|
|Design||Vocabulary (10)||+||Excellence (10)||=||20.00|
|General Effect||Composition (10)||+||Excellence (10)||=||20.00 x 2|
|Timing & Penalties :||- 0.00|
|Effect—Music||Overall (15)||+||Music (15)||=||30.00|
|Effect—Visual||Overall (10)||+||Visual (10)||=||20.00|
|Music||Composition (10)||+||Performance Quality (20)||=||30.00|
|Visual||Composition (10)||+||Performance Quality (10)||=||20.00|
|Timing & Penalties :||- 0.00|
|Music||Composition (20)||+||Performance Quality (30)||=||50.00|
|Artistry||Program (20)||+||Fulfillment (30)||=||50.00|
|Timing & Penalties :||- 0.00|
|Music Analysis||Composition (15)||+||Achievement (15)||=||30.00|
|Visual Analysis||Composition (15)||+||Achievement (15)||=||30.00|
|Overall Effect||Repertoire (20)||+||Communication (20)||=||40.00|
|Timing & Penalties :||- 0.00|
Independent Color Guard (1978–present)
|1980||—||Phantom Regiment (2)||West Bridgewater|
|1982||—||Cavaliers (2)||Elizabeth HS|
|1983||—||Cavaliers (3)||Woonsocket HS|
|1986||—||State Street Review||Final Analysis|
|1987||—||State Street Review (2)||Studio One|
|1988||—||State Street Review (3)||Alliance|
|1989||—||State Street Review (4)||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 (3)|
|2012||Onyx (2)||O2 (2)||Impact|
|2013||Pride of Cincinnati (4)||Identity||Luminosa|
|2014||Onyx (3)||UCF "Pegasus"||Georgia State University|
|2015||Santa Clara Vanguard (3)||Interplay (2)||St. Ann's (4)|
|2016||Pride of Cincinnati (4)||Juxtaposition||Paramount "A" [B]|
|2017||Pride of Cincinnati (5)||AMP||FIU|
|2018||Paramount||UCF "Pegasus" (2)||Pacificaires (2)|
Scholastic Color Guard (1984–present)
|1984||—||Center Grove HS||—|
|1985||—||Union HS||"Esprit de Corps" [C]|
|1986||—||Center Grove HS (2)||Hillwood HS "Pizazz"|
|1987||—||Union HS (2)||Andrew HS "Tempest"|
|1988||—||Union HS (3)||Lincoln HS|
|1989||—||Tate HS "Chaparrals" [D]||"North Penn" [E]|
|1990||—||Center Grove HS (3)||"Lincoln-Way" [F]|
|1991||Miamisburg HS||—||"Falcons" [C]|
|1992||Miamisburg HS (2)||—||Southport HS|
|1993||Bishop Kearney HS||Centerville HS||"Epiphany" [C]|
|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|
Scholastic Percussion (1993–present)
|Concert World Class
|Concert Open Class
|Concert A Class|
|1993||—||—||Clovis West HS||—||—||—|
|1994||—||—||"Lincoln-Way" [F]||Baldwinsville HS||—||—|
|1995||—||—||Hatboro Horsham HS||Baldwinsville HS (2)||—||—|
|1996||—||—||Avon HS [G]
John Overton HS [H]
|1997||Northglenn HS||Avon HS||Clayton Valley HS||Gateway HS (2)||—||—|
|1998||Dartmouth HS||Arvada HS||Johansen HS||Franklin Central HS||—||—|
|1999||Dartmouth HS (2)||Centerville HS||Ayala HS||Franklin Central HS (2)||—||—|
|2000||King Philip HS||Father Ryan HS||Loara HS||Franklin Central HS (3)||—||—|
|2001||Mission Viejo HS||Avon HS (2)||Springboro HS||Franklin Central HS (4)||Union HS||—|
|2002||Avon HS||Choctawhatchee HS||New Palestine HS||Franklin Central HS (5)||New Albany HS||—|
|2003||Winston Churchill HS||Thomas Worthington HS||Clovis East HS||Fort Mill HS||Portsmouth HS||—|
|2004||Centerville HS||Rancho Cucamonga HS||Loara HS (2)||Franklin Central HS (6)||Mission Viejo HS||—|
|2005||Center Grove HS||Clear Brook HS||Page HS||Fort Mill HS (2)||Goshen HS||—|
|2006||Center Grove HS (2)||Pacifica HS||Mariner HS||Ayala HS||Heritage HS||—|
|2007||Mission Viejo HS||Pacifica HS (2)||Greenfield-Central HS||Ayala HS (2)||Mansfield HS||—|
|2008||Dartmouth HS (3)||Pacifica HS (3)||South Hills HS||Claremont HS||Mansfield HS (2)||—|
|2009||Dartmouth HS (4)||Pacifica HS (4)||Los Alamitos HS||Ayala HS (3)||Muscle Shoals HS||—|
|2010||Ayala HS||South Hills HS||Timber Creek HS||Ayala HS (4)||Golden HS||—|
|2011||Arcadia HS||Pacifica HS (5)||Chantilly HS||Muscle Shoals HS||Portsmouth HS (2)||—|
|2012||Chino Hills HS||South Hills HS (2)||Lebanon HS||Woodbridge HS||Hickory HS||—|
|2013||Chino Hills HS (2)||Upper Darby HS||Hilton HS||James Logan HS||Clayton HS||—|
|2014||Dartmouth HS (5)||Clinton HS||Victor J. Andrew HS||Ayala HS (5)||Goshen HS||—|
|2015||Chino Hills HS (3)||Lebanon HS||Lake Orion HS||Ayala HS (6)||Mansfield HS (3)||—|
|2016||Ayala HS (2)||Sparkman HS||Victor J. Andrew HS (2)||Ayala HS (7)||Dakota Ridge HS||—|
|2017||Chino Hills HS (4)||Burleson Centennial HS||Fair Lawn HS||Ayala HS (8)||Tomball HS||—|
|2018||Chino Hills HS (5)||Clear Brook HS||Plainfield HS||Fishers HS||Clayton HS||Decatur Central HS|
Independent Percussion (1994–present)
|University [I]||A Class
|Concert World Class|
|1995||Atlanta Rhythm Machine||—||—||—||—|
|1996||Music City Mystique||—||—||—||—|
|1997||Music City Mystique (2)||South Mountain CC||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 CC||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 CC (2)||Surround Sound||—||Elements||—|
|2006||Music City Mystique (6)||1st Degree||—||Walled Lake||—|
|2007||Riverside CC (3)||United||—||Pioneer||—|
|2008||Rhythm X||Tyler Junior College||—||Pioneer (2)||—|
|2009||Rhythm X (2)||Pariah||—||OC Indoor||—|
|2011||Music City Mystique (7)||Vanguard||—||Madison||—|
|2012||Riverside CC (4)||George Mason University||—||Spirit of America||—|
|2013||Rhythm X (3)||Capital City||—||Brookwood||—|
|2014||Pulse (2)||Cadets||—||Lone Star||—|
|2015||Riverside CC (5)||Spirit of America||—||PureFusion||—|
|2016||Pulse (3)||Vigilantes||—||STRYKE 2||—|
|2017||Music City Mystique (8)||Infinity 2||—||Modulation Z||—|
|2018||Riverside CC (6)||Matrix Open||—||IMPACT||—|
Independent Winds (2015–present)
|STRYKE Wynds||FIU "A"|
|2017||Rhythm X (2)||Chromium||Inertia (2)|
|2018||Rhythm X (3)||Chromium (2)||Valley Christian|
Scholastic Winds (2015–present)
|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|
- Affiliated with Onyx (IW).
- Affiliated with Paramount (IW).
- It is unclear which high school or school district this group represented.
- Listed as Chaparrals on WGI's score archive.
- It is unclear if this group represented North Penn High School.
- It is unclear which of the Lincoln-Way community high schools this group represented.
- Percussion Scholastic A Class champion.
- Percussion Scholastic AA Class champion.
- Also known as Collegiate or College Class
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