USSBA Indoor unveils colorguard scoring system

Brahan outlines philosophy that rewards skill, achievement

As the US Scholastic Band Association embarks on its inaugural season, Colorguard Education Director Beverly Brahan took a few moments to share the basics of the new USSBA Indoor Colorguard system. 

The scoring system is student-friendly and scholastic-based, a model schools have become accustomed to during the USSBA fall marching band season. Consistent criteria and feedback throughout the winter will allow teams to improve their performance and overall program week in and week out. 

Here’s more of a brief interview with Beverly: 

Q:  The USSBA is finally taking the wraps off of their new Indoor Colorguard circuit, tell us a little bit about where the project stands. 

Beverly:  We are excited that after months of planning and designing, the scoring system is ready and judges have been trained on a new system of adjudicating indoor guards. We are ready to do something that hasn’t been done in quite a while - launch an entirely new system for indoor colorguard! 

Q:  You mention it is a new system. Can you elaborate? 

Beverly:   This different method of evaluation is designed to ensure a student-centered, equitable method of recognizing and rewarding skill and achievement.  Not to sound too formal, but the USSBA’s new score sheets have a combination of the best methods of established indoor circuits with the USSBA philosophical approach of fairness and a non-punitive atmosphere for all teams. 

Q:  There are also new competitive classifications too? 

Beverly:  We’ve created three competitive scholastic classifications for the USSBA system.  Class A for introductory/basic winterguards, Class AA for a basic/intermediate level of winterguards and Class AAA for winterguard programs that have experience in intermediate/complex challenges. We also have added a Junior subset to Class A in order to best serve the elementary, junior and middle school participants. 

Q:  And the judging panels will be comprised of four panelists? 

Beverly:  There are four captions using one judge for each caption:  Equipment, Movement, Ensemble Analysis and General Effect.  Each caption has two sub-captions which capture what performers are doing, the program being delivered and how well the performers achieve the program.  

Q:  Keeping in mind the importance of the student-performer, the Performance sub-caption has greater value in the new system? 

Beverly:  The Excellence/Performance Sub-caption receives a greater value of scoring significance through increased points.  Excellence/Performance is valued at 150 points while Vocabulary/Composition/Repertoire is 100 points in value. 

Q:  Why was that decision made? 

Beverly:  This approach is designed to encourage and reward training and fulfillment of repertoire/vocabulary/ composition.  It is to discourage unwarranted demands on the performers who many times lack the development to handle these opportunities.  This scoring system is designed to reward the achievement of the students and the program. 

We believe this all-new approach to the art form is the next step for the USSBA and for the activity, where we can bring more students into the arena and award them accordingly based on their performance, allowing for great experiences for young people and the educators and designers who work with them so closely. 

CLICK HERE to see samples of the 2010 USSBA Indoor Colorguard Adjudication Sheets. 

Join the USSBA this indoor season as we work to guide the gaining of knowledge, facilitate personal growth and stimulate the development of personalities and imaginations in our youth through education in the arts. 

Join us for the inaugural 2010 USSBA Indoor Championships to be held April 17th at Sun National Bank Center in Trenton, N.J.  Performance opportunities are limited so we encourage you to register your unit today. 

CLICK HERE to register your group to participate in the USSBA Indoor Championships or any other USSBA Indoor events.


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