In Pursuit of Tenths

Chris Dillon

Competition results often come down to just a matter of tenths. Such a fractional percentage of a score, yet just a few tiny tenths can determine the difference between 1st and 3rd place. For a guard to be on the winning side of the tenth is exhilarating, to be sure! However, to be on its downside can be quite frustrating. So close but yet so far! It was in your grasp and slipped away!

Any Given Show. The good news is that if you are within a few tenths of your competitors, the judge is essentially saying that, in any given show, your placement could possibly be flipped within the ordinal or score.

Relentless Determination. This is why it is so important that guards approach each competitive opportunity with a mindset to be in a relentless pursuit of the tenth. When you think about it, the determination of a tenth could happen rather quickly in the scope of a performance. It’s a small degree, so I would imagine that every moment, every single subdivided count of choreography is considered when the adjudicator looks at the whole of the performance and ranks and rates.

Nowhere to Hide. Being relentless means that guards (all individual members) must be persistent, constant, never-ending, and unrelenting in their drive toward every single moment in the performance. Let’s be honest: Most of the time we find that one spot in the show where we can take a break and rest. In most cases those moments are found in what we believe to be non-events in the show (like equipment changes on the back sideline of the field or gym). Considering this, when changing equipment, waiting for entrances and exits, or simply playing a secondary focus in the show, everyone must perform like a rock star!

Always remember: There is never a moment in our activity when there is a curtain to hide behind and take a break; you are constantly and consistently being evaluated no matter how epic or infinitesimal your moment may be.

Be relentless in the pursuit of every tenth!

About author

Chris Dillon

Chris Dillon has been involved in marching arts activity since 1981 as a performer, instructor, designer and adjudicator.  Currently, she is an adjudicator for Drum Corps International, WGI Sports of the Arts, Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association, Winter Guard Association of Southern California (WGASC), Florida Federation of Colorguards Circuit, Indiana High School Color Guard Association, Texas Color Guard Circuit, and several others. She held the position of education coordinator for the WGASC for the past eight years.

November/December 2010 Digital Edition

Read the November/December 2010 issue of Halftime Magazine via the Digital Edition, an interactive web-based version of the print magazine that includes full layout and ...