Scoring FAQ

June 18, 2018

What is the prime directive to judges in applying a score?
– Judges are to rank the color guards.
– Judges are to rate the color guards by the comparative scores earned during the course of the contest.
– Judges are to consider the “Impression, Analysis, Comparison” of each guard to all others.
– Judges are to aid the color guards to improve through caption-specific comments

What are impression, analysis and comparison?
– Impression is the judge’s subjective reaction. Numerically, the function of the impression is to determine a category for any particular sub-caption. The criteria reference system attempts to standardize this process.
– Analysis is the objective aspect of the evaluation that seeks out reasons to support or modify initial impressions. Numerically the analysis converts the impression category to a specific score within each sub-caption.
– Comparison requires the judge to look at the number given and compare it to other marks he/she has given in that category not only in that contest but also in earlier contests. Thus, when a WGI judge assigns a number to an aspect of the color guard’s program, he/she is telling that color guard how it stands on a national level.

How does the criteria reference guide the score?
– The criteria reference system describes five levels (six in the World Classes) of achievement that are applied to Impression, Analysis, and Comparison.
– It is the intent of this system that a number grade is assigned from whichever level of achievement describes the color guard’s qualities most of the time. In the World Class, Box 6 is reserved for groups who are setting new standards and who have achieved ALL criteria in Box 5.

How can scores be so different and change from judge to judge if everyone uses the same criteria?
– A judge’s exposure to other areas and guards will influence each judge’s scoring application.
– In spite of the fact that two judges could agree on which box a guard should be scored from, there is a wide range of scores from which to choose within each of the delineated boxes.
– Where in the box the judge assigns that first score will be influenced by his/her prior scoring to other color guards in other contests.
– From that point, the dynamics of the contest (number of guards, order of appearance and quality of the guards) will influence subsequent scores.
– If Judge “A” has already been to 4 shows and seen dozens of guards, he/she will have a different point of reference from Judge “B” who is judging his/her first show of the season. Judge B likely will be more conservative.
– Guards are wise to consider the ranking (order of placement) as of greater significance than the actual rating (score) for those reasons.
– The 2015 Color Guard Advisory Board has embraced the potential split between the two GE Judges as inherent to the nature and expanse of the General Effect Caption.

How can scores change dramatically between prelims/finals or from regional to regional?
– In a Prelim contest, the judge’s priority is to advance the deserving groups to the finals contest.
– The number of guards in a prelim contest are frequently quite large especially in the A classes. This will produce a wider range of scoring top to bottom in order to rank all of the groups.
– In finals, where the groups are seeded and where there is not the need to apply the spreads required in prelims, scores will tighten up.
– Often the finals performance quality will be dramatically different from the prelim performance thus influencing scores.
– In the case of regional to regional, different panels of judges will bring in different exposures to guards across the country.(reference points in previous question).

Can judges have ties in a sub-caption?
– While judges are encouraged to rank all guards within the sub-caption, there could be times when shows are of such similar nature that the ranking might force the judge to tie in a sub-caption.
– Judges will ALWAYS take the cautious scoring application and tie 2 groups rather than score one lower or higher than is deserved.

Can judges have bottom line ties?
– Judges are discouraged from bottom line ties. Should this occur, the judge must reconsider the qualities in comparison between the two guards in question, and break the tie based on that reconsideration.

What is profiling and why is it important?
– Profiling is the scoring message that is provided via the 2 sub-captions on each sheet. Normally, the “how” sub-caption is based on the score assigned to the “what” sub-caption, so that if the group has a particularly weak performance, the “how” score should be significantly lower than the “what” score (potentially up to a full point). Conversely, should the students have an outstanding performance, they could conceivably score as much as 4 tenths higher in the “how” sub-caption and surpass the score given in the “what” sub-caption.
– Good profiling will tell the guard where their weakness is allowing them to focus on that particular area.
– Ranking color guards within each sub-caption gives the guard a picture of where their strengths and weakness lie relative to their competitors.

What is derived achievement and how does it work?
– “Derived achievement” is a guideline that suggests that the scoring potential of a color guard’s performance/excellence has a direct correlation to the scoring potential of their repertoire/composition/Vocabulary. It is the measurement of the achievement relative to the depth/complexity of the given skills.

Is the application of derived achievement the same in all classes?
– In the Regional A and A Classes there is a greater purity between “what” and “how” in the I.A. captions than there is in the Open and World classes.
– The smaller FACTORED point allocation in the vocabulary sub-caption will invite very close ranking (given in two decimal places), while the greater FACTORED point allocation in the excellence sub-caption is intended to offer greater rating separation/reward for training and achievement. This is the sub-caption that can often determine the bottom line score in those captions.
– As of 2015, sub-caption spread guidelines for judges have shifted, for these classes only, to allow for greater RAW spreads between units in both sub-captions.

Should local judges’ scores be similar to WGI judges’ scores?
– The similarity between the local judge and the WGI judge is found in the guidance offered through the criteria reference.
– The difference in exposure between the local and the WGI judge will impact the range of scores each uses within the sub-caption.
– The WGI judge carries an awareness of the classes Nationally while the Local judge watches the color guards evolve and grow and will reward that growth numerically.
– Each fills a vital role in the development of the guards; each should be respected for that contribution.

Why is there a qualifying score required for Open & World Class guards to advance to finals?
– It will address the issue of those guards who elect to compete in Open & World Class where historically most or all participants are assured advancement to finals regardless of show completion or quality.
– This requirement will assure that a minimum level of quality and achievement exists for finals competition.

What are the benefits of factoring the raw score in the A Classes?
– The 70/130 Split in the A Class has been successful in emphasizing training making the recent finalist in this class more class appropriate, assuring the purity and intent of this class.
– Factoring in the tabulation process allows for these numeric variables to change and grow from year to year as A Class becomes more skilled and the emphasis in training shifts to potentially more equitable percentages. (i.e. 80/120)
– This flexibility in sub-caption emphasis allows for the potential expansion of the Regional A Class or another sub-class to be included in future WGI competitive opportunities.
– Moving to a raw score based on a 100/100 allotment will maintain consistency in judging that will diminish the trickle-up of A Class standards into the Open and World Classes. In the past, this happened at Regionals where many A Class units attended vs. a small representation of Open and World Classes.

Will factoring the Vocabulary by 70 create sub-caption ties?
– Factoring will increase RAW spreads in Excellence and decrease RAW spreads in Vocabulary. This is how training and excellence are emphasized.
– In the A Classes, final sub caption factored scores will be given in 2 decimal places. This will reflect and maintain the judges’ sub caption ranking into the final factored score.
– In the past, tolerance for Sub Caption ties in Vocabulary has been relaxed because of similar performer abilities relative to development and limited numeric availability because of the original 70/130 process. Having the full 100 tenths available, per sub-caption, eliminates the need for this relaxed tolerance and allows the judge to make even minor distinctions in the comparative process knowing that these differences will still be reflected in the final outcome.

Can I expect the score from Regionals to progress the same into WGI Championships?
– This varies in each class but the short answer is NO! Understand that the function of the Regional Season is to qualify each group for Championships and to seed them into their initial preliminary round of competition. The Numeric formula for progression used for standings throughout the Regional Season DOES NOT progress into Championships. Because the primary focus of the Championship Judge is to make sure the correct units progress into the next round of competition, they are asked to focus primarily on Ranking. This consideration, along with the shear volume of groups attending Championships will have the impact of driving most scores down, especially in Prelims. In fact, when comparing Regional and Championship scores during qualifying rounds, more scores will be lower at Championships than Regionals.