Flags Rifles Sabers
Teams are divided into two divisions: scholastic and independent. Within each division, teams are broken up into several classes to ensure teams compete against other teams of the same level of skill and resource. Before competitions, standard scores for each class are determined by Winter Guard International. Teams can move up in class by scoring above that standard score.
Winter Guard is an indoor version of color guard. Unlike color guard, which performs on a football field (and is part of a marching band or drum corps), Winter Guard has no band involvement, and is performed in a gym or arena during the winter season. Winter guard is an indoor activity derived from color guard. Unlike color guard, winter guard is not performed with a band or on a football field; instead performances are held indoor. Winter guard performances are choreographed routines done to music of various genres using dance, acrobatic features, and props like flags, rifles, or sabers.
Winter Guard International was founded in 1977 as a non-profit organization functioning as the governing body of winter guard. Each year, Winter Guard International, now in its 31st year, holds national competitions in Dayton, Ohio.