Become A WGI Color Guard Judge

Become A WGI Color Guard Judge

How do I become a WGI Color Guard Judge?

To become a WGI Color Guard Judge, a judge must qualify, apply, and be accepted to the 2025 WGI Live Performance Trial. Work from the 2025 Live Performance Trial will be reviewed towards membership on the 2026 WGI Judge Roster.

What is the WGI Judge Live Performance Trial?

Once called The WGI Judge Academy, the 2025 Judge Live Performance Trial is a 2-day weekend of intensive study and practice at a large Regional with significant representation of all classes and the likelihood of a live critique. The Live Performance Trial is held every odd-numbered year. The 2025 WGI Judge Live Performance Trial will be held on March 15-16, 2025, at the Mideast Power Regional. The Live Performance Trial is intended for those judges interested in a direct pathway to the WGI Judge Roster. This event does not facilitate those that are curious about the possibilities of an eventual role in the judging community.

What is required to apply?

  • No less than 3 years of indoor color guard judging experience.
  • Commentary files from 2024 contests where the applicant was assigned to judge, along with the recap of the full contest (all classes) from when each sample was recorded.
    • One A Class file and full recap
    • One Open Class file and full recap
    • One World Class file and full recap
  • 3 letters of recommendation from any, all, or a combination of the below sources.
    • Current 2024 WGI Roster Judge
    • 2024 Advisory Board Member (This is determined by 2024 Finish at Championships.)
    • WGI Administrator. If unsure, contact Karl Lowe
    • International candidates must provide a 4th letter from a local judge colleague or administrator.
  • SafeSport Certification that would be valid throughout the 2025 WGI Season.
  • Any WGICertify certificates to indicate levels of completion (if applicable).
  • There will be a $300 application fee to cover the processing of the application and the administrative cost of the Live Performance Trial experience. This fee will be submitted with the application. Half of the fee ($150) will be refunded if the candidate is not accepted to the live trials.
  • Any candidate that participated in the WGICertify process and can provide certificates of completion, will be accommodated on an individual basis. Please contact Karl Lowe,, for more information.

When will applications be accepted?

Applications will be available starting August 1st. The application period will last through November 1, 2024. Please check back here for a link to the 2025 Live Performance Trial application.

Is there any work to be done between the time of application and acceptance?

Most applicants will be asked to answer a short set of questions to illustrate a certain depth of understanding. These questions will be sent to applicants after the November 1st deadline.

What do I do now to prepare for the application process?

  • Immediately express interest by contacting Karl Lowe,  This will get you on an early list of potential candidates and allow for continued conversation as deadlines approach.
  • Collect files, recaps, and letters of recommendation.
  • Get your SafeSport Certification if you do not already have it.
  • It is strongly suggested, but not required, that you have a judge mentor to review your files and recaps.
    • If your mentor is on the WGI Roster, this person could provide one of your letters.

Are there opportunities beyond the Live Performance Trial experience at the Mideast Power Regional?

After the Mideast Power Regional, candidates will have the opportunity to turn in their best work from the samples created at the live trials. This work will be reviewed as the applicant is considered for the WGI Judge Roster. Some candidates, if interested and approved, will be invited to practice and create files at WGI World Championships in Dayton, Ohio. Practice will be available for Prelims and Semi-Finals only (Thursday and Friday, April 3-4). These candidates will then be able to submit their best work from either WGI World Championships or the Mideast Power Regional.

When would I be notified of my possible accepted to the WGI Roster?

All members of the WGI Judge Roster are reviewed individually and collectively, during July and August of each year. Candidates would be included in this review. Candidates are initially compared to an established standard for national level judging and then compared to current roster members.  Compatibility to national standards, roster membership, and caption needs for the coming season will determine how many and who might progress onto the roster. It is important to know that each candidate is competing for a spot in their chosen caption and not for a general place on the roster. September is the target month for each judge to be contacted and informed of their roster status.