Welcome to the 2017 WGI winter guard season! I know that we are all in the process of preparing for the season; in advance, I appreciate all the individual work you do to come into the first contests fully up to speed. As you prepare, if there is any clarification you need, please reach out to either me or Curtis and we’ll get back to you. Please review the educational information on the judges only website prior to your first WGI assignment. Curtis will also be sending out a note this week regarding e-Certify. Please read that document carefully, and know that you are not expected to complete the assignment during this season.
To get us started, I wanted to repeat the same note I sent out last year pre-season to remind everyone of some of the important aspects of our captions to pay particular attention to, specifically:
Equipment and Movement are judged based on effort qualities of space, weight, time, flow of energy, technique, training, timing and uniformity. It is our job to do the following:
- Recognize and identify the vocabulary in order to know WHAT the performer is achieving and what skills must be understood in order to achieve said vocabulary
- Measure the degree of achievement demonstrated by the individual(s) – HOW WELL
- Be keenly aware of the range of vocabulary and recognize and reward (orally and via numbers) cumulative aspects of the material
- Your excellence scores will reflect the range of achievement of all qualities inherent in the vocabulary
- Please always be aware of WHAT the performers are being asked to do and HOW WELL it is being achieved; balance your commentary throughout
I also want to remind you about TECHNIQUES IN READING THE WRITTEN WORK. Please remember the following:
- The depth, range and variety within the vocabulary is cumulative. Care should be taken not to arrive at a premature assessment. Don’t jump to judgment.
- Consider each aspect within the context of its presentation.
- Every single count or move does not invite assessment in isolation, but must be considered in the context in which it may be written.
- If multiple events are occurring simultaneously (esp in Open/World), scan the stage to sample the depth/range/variety of the vocabulary and the achievement of the individuals/small groups. Let your observations include the sampling comment that you are “scanning” the multiple events. Understand that this process will invite more of an overview comment, but is necessary in order to encompass ALL that is occurring.
- There is a real difference between training/achievement and a mechanical error.
- This must be taken in context, and not become an “either/or” scenario. Consistent technique issues will certainly be a red flag that will call the judge’s attention to the potential of training problems. They should not, however, be the isolated basis upon which the judge assigns the score.
- Judges must recognize and balance the considerations between the training process, the degree of development and fulfillment of the vocabulary, and the “isolated errors” which are bound to occur with even the most mature of our performers.
- Most importantly, the judge must first recognize fully all the layers of skills within the vocabulary.
- In Vocabulary, read through the phrase, evaluate the skills demonstrated within the phrase, and assess if new skills were presented that may broaden the depth/range/variety of what was previously demonstrated. Make succinct comments that let the listener know that you are “getting it” when this happens.
- Phrase length. All shows will have phrases of varying lengths, so don’t fall into the trap of using phrase length as a basis for reward. It is the content within each phrase and how the skills are combined and expressed that you will evaluate and credit.
Have a great time this season and remember to focus on the full range of tenets of your caption. Give the very best information the units need in order to grow!
Here we go!! Have fun!
All the best,