FAQ - Percussion




What is the judging philosophy for WGI Percussion?

The adjudication philosophy is to allow for any choice of music to be successful on any given performance. We encourage the designers to choose whatever type of music they wish for their programs. We expect our judges to judge every performance with no expectations and reward the performers based on the current performance.


Please have the primary contact complete the Group Change Form.

Why do scores vary between WGI regionals?

There are several reasons for fluctuations in scores. There is no way to expect that all of our judges would evaluate an ensemble and agree to the tenth of a point on that performance. Judges have different backgrounds and experiences that make them look at the groups differently. Our emphasis is on making sure the judges evaluate all of the considerations on the sheet and are following the spread guideline. The spread guideline is a defined amount of tenths between groups with similar, different or significant levels of achievement. Contest dynamics also come into play. The judges’ primary objective is to rank and rate. Depending on the rating of the first group in each class, scores can also vary. We also need to consider the venue. Playing indoors, we find several acoustical challenges. Ensembles sound different week to week indoors. Some groups have shows that communicate well in a small venue, only to have that same show not communicate as well in a larger venue. The evaluators judging every performance new, do not consider last week’s performance or last week’s score for any ensemble. Taking all of these factors into consideration, it is possible to see scores fluctuate between WGI events.

Why do scores vary between prelims and finals at WGI events?

The judges treat every show as a new contest. We stress with the judges that a finals contest is not for justifying their prelims scores. This forces the judge to look at the groups with fresh ears and eyes. The performers can have varying levels of performance quality during the course of a day. It is not uncommon to see an ensemble perform differently between prelims and finals at a WGI event. This change in performance achievement changes the entire ranking and rating process of the event. Events that have the same judges for both prelims and finals also need to consider depth of programming. Groups with depth of orchestration tend to offer more to the judge viewing the ensemble for the second time. This can also affect the read from the judge.

Why do scores vary between WGI events and local contests?

Typically WGI judges see more groups over the course of a season and have a broader experience within each class. The local judge does not have this experience week to week. Thus, we can expect the local judge and WGI judge to react differently.

Can you compare scores between groups in different classes?

No. The ensembles are rated on different skill sets for Class A, Open and World classes. While it is possible to have an A Class ensemble have a higher score than a World Class ensemble, they are in no way comparable.

How is classification of the ensembles determined?

It is the responsibility of the instructional staff to classify the ensemble properly. Sometimes it is very difficult for the staffs to decide which class to enter, especially those ensembles with skill sets that fall between classes. We ask those staffs to contact the WGI administration for assistance with correctly classifying their ensemble. Ensembles in class A use a basic skill set, Open class an intermediate skill set and world class an advanced skill set.

How are groups reclassified?

In the event that an ensemble displays skills that are determined to be skills used in the next higher class, the WGI administration will meet with the instructional staff to discuss possible reclassification. After a discussion with the staff, the group could be reclassified. If the ensemble is reclassified, it will occur immediately so the group can receive input based on their current skill set. Ensembles that display skills in the next higher class are forced to move to that class. If a group in a higher class displays skills in a lower class, they are not forced to reclassify to the lower class but are encourage to.

If a percussion ensemble scores in Box 6, do they have to compete in the next class the following year?

No. The classification process for an ensemble is reevaluated each year. In the scholastic classes, graduation can severely impact the skills an ensemble can use the next year. We feel that forcing such groups to compete in a class they are not ready for, can cause the group to have a negative experience. The independent classes typically do not have as many issues with classification. As the Independent ensemble improves, the designers and staff can recruit players to continue the progress of the percussion program.

Do scores count toward anything for World Championship seeding?

No, scores do not count toward World Championship seeding. Some groups attend regionals early in the season and do not attend regional events later in the season. There is no way to accurately compare the ensembles that attend the Word Championship from their scores. The seeding process is determined by the WGI administration from viewings of the groups with input from the judges upon request.

How are ensembles seeded for WC rounds?

The ensembles are seeded at the conclusion of the regional season. From there, the group’s order of appearance is determined by postmark date.

40 PSA Ensembles

  1. Seeded 1 through 40
  2. Seed #1 goes into round 1, seed #2 goes into round 2, seed #3 to round 3, seed #4 to round 4, seed #5 to round 1 and so on
  3. Once the ensembles in a round are determined, the order of appearance in that round is the reverse order of postmark date. The group with the earliest postmark goes on last in that round.

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