It's that time of the year when there will be music, synchronized performances, teamwork, celebrations, practices, and much more. If they are not a part of the Indoor Color Guard, they miss out on the activities.
The 2024 Winter Guard season is just heating up, with competitions already underway in some regions and others kicking off soon! This guide will give you a quick overview of what you can expect:
The Winter Guard Competition
When the season does not allow outdoor sports, Winter Guard competitions step ahead to add to the joy as they're held indoors. Students join the Indoor Color Guard and practice their hearts out to perform at the respective events. This boosts their morale and confidence on the stage.
One of the best things about Winter Guard is that they have secured a good rank on the activity board. As many countries, like Canada, the UK, Japan, and the Netherlands, have also jumped on the bandwagon, where the students set the stage on fire with their energetic performances.
The competitions are held within and out of the station, allowing the candidates to compete with other Indoor Color Guard teams on a regional and international level.
Winter Guard International
When we say international, we mean Winter Guard International (WGI). Each year, the World Championship is held in Dayton, Ohio. The event attracts over 60,000 eyes, who pay to witness the teams performing live.
The international version of Winter Guard consists of three classes:
Regional A or Junior Class- The class is virtual, and for those who are inexperienced, it's going to be their first show in the field.
A Class- The ones who have recently started taking part in the color guard competitions.
Open Class- The intermediate-level performers fit here, who, after rigorous training, enter the next class.
World Class- The name gives a hint of the level of seriousness here. The category involves advanced programs, where expert performers amaze everyone with their collaborated routines.
Independent and Scholastic Membership- Furthermore, candidates can apply for independent and scholastic membership to qualify for the Winter Guard International competition.
In independent, the candidates are not linked with any specific school but with a university.
Let’s talk about scholastic now. Then, in scholastic, the application comes from the same school or the educational institution that funds that particular school. The WGI committee rarely approves cases of combined school groups, looking at the criteria.
New Year, New Season
With 2024 approaching in a few days, the doors for the Winter Guard have also opened. The candidates eagerly wait for these events to show their best on the stage, and the practices are in full bloom right now.
This year’s Indoor color guard events will commence in February and bid farewell in April. The participants must be ready to travel to different states for minor and significant competitions. They will represent their respective educational institutions and their country's history through their vibrant musical performances.
The candidates look forward to the following:
Attending Winter Guard Camps
Are they a social butterfly and have no issue in communicating with others? The Winter Guard is their calling. They will get the platform to interact with other team members. Exchange ideas and share opinions regarding the event and how they are eager to do their best. They also hear from those who have been doing it for many years.
Learn to Handle The Equipment
Indoor Color Guard consists of spinning the flags and tossing wooden rifles and sabers that charge the environment. It brings enthusiastic artistic and athletic performances to the floor. This is not a piece of cake and needs proper learning to manage the equipment. Therefore, students regularly attend practice classes to polish their spinning and tossing skills according to the instructions of their coach.
It is not healthy to assume that just paying a few visits to the sessions will assist them in mastering the routine. They have to practice daily because equipment management cannot afford to go wrong on the primary day. Judges evaluate their performance on how they handled the flags and rifles.
Their school has a dress code to enter the premises and be part of the crowd. In the same way, the Winter Guard sport requires them to wear vibrant colored attire to distinguish their group from others. Hence, the costume serves another purpose for the students to participate in the show.
Networking With Members
Winter Guard caters to them with an outlet where they can network and connect with the current and former members of the Indoor Color Guard. This helps to gain more knowledge regarding the activity. They can provide in-depth insights and strategies around the game, how they can perform well, and what mistakes they should avoid.
Another reason that performers are motivated to join the Winter Guard sports is that no prior experience is necessary. If they are fond of dancing, believe in listening to the coach, and want to excel in these areas, let them join the journey. This will furnish them with experience and enhance their confidence to do better in life later. Their happiness reaches the next level when they discuss their performance at the events and how they did not forget any steps.
Everywhere, teamwork plays a vital role in achieving their goals. Be it their corporate or academic life. The better the unity amongst their members, the better performance is delivered. Multiple members are involved in the Indoor Color Guard sport, from the team leader to the last candidate. All of them must abide by whatever instructions are given by the coach and keep their conflicts aside. So many people are looking at them and judges will assess their performance by looking at the group's teamwork. Hence, the students realize the importance of teamwork.
Winter Guard involves a lot of traveling. So students grab their sports essentials and pack suitcases as the performances take them to places. It is fun exploring new cities, meeting new people, staying at sponsored hotels, and impressing local and foreign audiences. While captivating the audience’s attention with their spellbinding performances.
Giving Gifts to Your Members
Once the event is successfully pulled off, you have an excellent chance to gift color guard flag charm to your Winter Guard members.
The Winter Guard activity spreads smiles as life is not limited to doing well in studies. However, extracurricular activities are equally necessary for the mental development of the student as well. Indoor color guard is a sport and an art!