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Competition Rules

One World Judging System Philosophy

The system is designed to performance rate all forms, styles and types of Marching Show Bands or Corps at championships, contests, competitions and festivals worldwide. The system is designed to be universally and consistently able to score ensembles in relation to a fixed proficiency scale. “Universally recognized skill sets”, as they are utilized by each performing ensemble determines how the ensemble is to be rated on the fixed scale of proficiency.


The general philosophy of the One World System is based upon:

․What did the designers offer to the program and to the performers?

․ What did the performers add to program?

․ Derived Achievement - How the program is done


They are to be applied over the following three aspects:

․ What is heard         MUSIC

․ What is seen           VISUAL

․ What does it do       EFFECT

․ What is the overall effect of what was seen & heard?


Following the above philosophy three distinct system captions

each having two sub captions each can be utilized:


a. Music (MU)

b. Visual (VI)

c. Overall Effect (GE)

The two sub captions of Music are:

․ Music Repertoire (What is done) (Vocabulary)

This sub caption is to evaluate the quality of the musical arrangement, the needed

training of the performers, demand and suitability in relation to performer ability,

entertainment potential, instrumentation, pulse, variety, blend, idiom etc. What did

the designers offer to the program and the performers?

․ Music Performance (How it is done) (Excellence)

This sub caption is to evaluate the quality of the music performance displayed by the performers. Criteria among others are: Technique, artistry, tone quality, intonation, interpretation, expression, uniformity, stamina, transparency, clarity, balance and Blend articulation, dynamics, phrasing, pulse, feel, style, accuracy, control of Tempo & Rhythmic patterns, audio Phasing and vertical alignment of rhythmic patterns.



The two sub captions of Visual are:

․ Visual Repertoire (what is done) (Vocabulary)

This sub caption is to evaluate the quality of the visual design and the needed

training of the performers. The criteria are among others are: Level, demand, variety, integration, form and style, simultaneous responsibilities, suitability to performers. What did the designers offer to the program and the performers?

․ Visual Performance (How it is done) (Excellence)

This sub caption is to evaluate the quality of the performance displayed by the

performers. Criteria among others are: Interpretation, uniformity, forms, movement proficiency facility and alignment, Element integration including synchronization, continuity, coordination, blend, flow, support, demand, poise, cohesion, clarity, transparency, deportment, presentation, appropriateness, spatial awareness, control of movement, momentum, equipment handling and intensity by the performers.

The two sub captions of General Effect are:

․ Design (What is done) (Design Vocabulary)

This sub caption measures the overall effect and impact of the program, by evaluating the ingredients of the program’s music and visual design. CRITERIA AMONG OTHERS ARE: Unity – Do I see what I hear and hear what I see? Is the Program, both musically and visually, well  coordinated, using continuity, pacing, and audio/visual staging to create a complete experience which can captivate the audience? Contrast and Variety - Do the Design elements both musically and visually, explore extremes in concept and use, while incorporating varying degrees of finesse, nuance, climax and resolution? Creativity - No matter what the style, does the Program’s Design, both musically and visually, consistently incorporate fresh concepts and ideas to generate and maximize effect?


․ Performance (How it is done) (Excellence)

This sub caption measures the performance of the performers, evaluating the performance qualities and communicative abilities of the performers both from a musical and visual perspective. CRITERIA AMONG OTHERS ARE: Training - Do the Performers display the skills and techniques essential to the performance of their roles within the chosen program and its musical and visual challenges? Communication - Do the Performers consistently display the ability to convey to the audience, musically and visually, the written emotion, mood, and spirit throughout? Entertainment - Do the Performers elevate their material while engaging the audience through maximized performance qualities? Professionalism - Do the Performers exhibit confidence, focus and assuredness throughout?



The two sub captions of Music Effect are:

․ Music Design (What is done) (Vocabulary)

This sub caption is to evaluate the ingredients in the design and the training that created effect from a musical perspective. What did the musical designer put in that could create effect? There should be a relationship between the visual design and the musical design.

․ Music Performance (How it is done) (Excellence)

This sub caption is to evaluate the performance of the performers that creates effect. Criteria among others: Professionalism, showmanship, virtuosity, creativity, emotional contour, sensitivity, flow, blend, continuity, spirit, intensity, focus, member communication, and audience Engagement.

 The two sub captions of Visual Effect are:

․ Visual Design (what is done) (Vocabulary)

This sub caption is to evaluate the ingredients in design and training that created effect from a visual perspective. What did the visual designer put in that could create effect. There should be a relationship between the visual design and the musical design.

․ Visual Performance (How it is done) (Excellence)

This sub caption is to evaluate the performance of the performers that creates effect. Criteria are among others: Professionalism, showmanship, virtuosity, creativity, emotional contour, sensitivity, flow, blend, continuity, spirit, intensity, focus, member communication, and audience engagement.



Caption Judgement Objectives are considerations used to arrive at a rating for the

ensembles performance on a "Fixed Scale of Proficiency". As applicable, the objectives

either reference individual performers, the various sections of the ensembles producing

the performance or distinct sections of the programmed performance of the ensemble or

the entire ensemble. The system is designed to performance rate all types of bands and

corps regardless of their form or style.



The One World system utilizes a supervising official, supervising judge, and a jury

panel of three to twelve members in the jury box. In certain circumstances the

supervising judge may make use of Field Judging by selected jury members providing

that it is utilized for all ensembles in the specific captions being judged.

Each panel member is assigned one or more sub captions for judgment and provides a

score between 0 and 100 for each caption assigned. All resulting sub caption scores are

multiplied by a pre-determined factor. The factor includes consideration of the number

of panel members & the number of sub caption assignments involved. The resulting

sum, when the factored caption scores are added together, is designed to provide a

rating for the ensembles performance based on a fixed scale of proficiency out of 100


Outside of the fixed scale of proficiency, as applicable to specific events, either Jury Box

or Field Judging of additional captions, specific sections, sub-ensembles, individuals, or

ensemble categories, may be added to enable additional ratings or awards to be





The caption scoring of the One World Judgment system consists of 5 boxes with appropriate referenced criteria. Every box is divided into three sub categories (high, middle, low). The judges will apply principles of Ranking and Rating per sub category.

A certain score is to be awarded whenever a band complies with a number of criteria within that sub category.

Scores assigned in Boxes 3 & 4 are the normal range of standard achievement for the majority of competitive bands at International events.


Box 1 0 - 64,99

Box 2 65,0 - 74,99

Box 3 75,0 - 84,99

Box 4 85,0 - 94,99

Box 5 95,0 - 100



Honours level ratings:

Gold with Honours – Scores assigned in Box 5

Gold level rating – Scores assigned in Box 4

Silver level rating –  Scores assigned in Box 3.

Bronze level rating – Scores assigned in Box 2.

Participant level rating –  Scores assigned in Box 1


C) The three stages in which a score is derived are:

a) Judges Impression

                  (In which Box is the performance)

b) Judges Analysis

                  (Where in the Box is the performance)

c) Score to be awarded

                  (Within what margin in relation to the other bands)

D) judges will award a correct score within a correct margin that is either above or

below other bands in the category based on the Box criteria. The resulting Ranking: is to place every band that has performed best in their category in the number one slot in that category and so forth.


E) When Judgment is to be based upon field sampling, every judge where applicable,

must be able to adjudicate each band or performance element in the same manner.


A) Box Five:

A cohesive communication of the music & choreography performed is achieved throughout the elements of the ensemble and the program. The performers demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of their role in conveying a unified musical & choreographed presentation. A certain maturity is maintained within the ensemble by exhibiting superior musical tone, timbre, and intonation. Dynamics & effects are appropriately varied and uniform. Evidence of phrasing and design are subtle, sophisticated, present and critically matched to the idiomatic and stylistic goals of the program. Rhythms are cohesive, highly accurate and consistent. Tempi in all segments of the program are appropriate, consistent and well defined. A superior level of visual performance is maintained throughout the program. A great amount of musical & choreographic risk is taken on the part of the performers and is almost always successfully achieved, "A leading Edge Performance".


B) Box Four:

A cohesive communication of the music & choreography performed is

achieved throughout the elements of the ensemble and the program. Minor

inconsistencies to perform either music or choreography are rarely evidenced in nearly all individuals. A certain maturity or sophistication is present and exhibited by the performers the majority of the time. A superior level of tone and intonation is displayed throughout the entire program though it may not always be exactly uniform from player to player. An appropriate range of dynamics is displayed throughout the entire program though dynamics may not always be exactly uniform from performer to performer or section to section. Superior control of phrasing is present that makes sense though the degree of subtlety may vary at times. Proper balance and blend is achieved the majority of the time at a superior level. Idiomatic interpretation of style is authentic to the literature but may vary in minor degrees between individuals. Tempo are appropriate and consistent. Rhythms are cohesive and highly accurate. A superior level of visual performance is achieved the majority of the time. A superior level of musical & chorographical demand is placed on the performers and is almost always successfully achieved.

C) Box Three :

A cohesive communication of the musical & chorographical elements is

present in the program that is occasionally mechanical. A high level of performance is frequent and generally uniform. A higher level of performance may occur more often in identifiable individuals rather than the ensemble as a complete whole. Excellence of tone & intonation with proper balance and blend is frequent during the performance. A quality range of dynamic changes is present though it may not occur within the entire called for dynamic continuum. Phrasing comprehension is present though uniformity or subtlety may not always be exhibited. Accurate idiomatic interpretation/style is generally displayed by individuals in the ensemble though consistency and uniformity may not be displayed by all at all times. Tempi are usually appropriate and consistent.

The rhythms are accurate with only very minor cohesive concerns occurring. A high

level of visual performance is achieved the majority of the time. There is a high level of musical & chorographical demand placed on the performers which for the most part is achieved.


D) Box Two:

Cohesive elements of communication occur during the musical & chorographical. The performance is mechanical at times. An excellent level of performance occurs more often in identifiable individuals rather than within the ensemble as a complete whole. A good range of dynamic changes is present though may not occur within the entire called for dynamic continuum. Phrasing comprehension is Present though uniformity or subtlety may not always be exhibited. Proper balance and blend is generally present though not always achieved. Idiomatic interpretation/style is

generally displayed by individuals in the ensemble though consistency and  uniformity may not be displayed by all at all times. Variance of tempo in some segments may occur.

Minor cohesion concerns may occur and rhythmic patterns may not always be precise. A good level of visual performance is achieved the majority of the time. There is a good level of musical & chorographical demand placed on the performers which for the most part is achieved.


E) Box One:

Continuous evidence of a good musical performance or a good visual

performance may not be present at all times. Cohesive elements of communication

occurring during the musical & chorographical performance are more often at a

mechanical level. Dynamics may be infrequent or may be inappropriate. Performers

may exhibit limited development in some areas of expression, idiom or style of

performance. Balance and blend changes are infrequent, or occur only with the addition or subtraction of voices. Rhythms may not be accurate or may lack of cohesiveness. Tempi may not be appropriate or consistent. Either little musical or chorographical demand is asked of the performers or when required it is not regularly achieved.


Each jury member is provided with voice recorder. Prior to the beginning of each bands

performance the jury member is to speak into the recorder a list identifying details that

is to begin by welcoming the band by name to the competition and identifying

themselves and the judged event.


During the performance each judge electronically records comments. After each bands

performance jury members are to translate their critical remarks into sub caption scores

on a preliminary score sheet indicating how they rated the performance.


Prior to the beginning of the next performance the completed sheets are to be handed to the secretariat of the jury. Each Judge is to maintain a separate master record list for

comparison with each band's final score sheet at the time they are signed. If availability

is listed in the event syllabus, separate score sheets or audio recordings as related to

judgment given outside the fixed scale of proficiency will be provided to the applicable

ensemble director.


7. Basis of Musical Judgment Rating Objectives


The instrumentation requirements of the music repertoire are appropriate to the band. The demands of the repertoire match the development of the musicians. The pitch range of the repertoire is appropriate for the level of the band. Technical & Artistic requirements of the repertoire match the abilities of the performers. The music is scored to allow for important musical lines to predominate.


Entertainment Potential

The repertoire is varied. Differing musical styles, tempos, emotions, dynamics, and rhythmic feels provide this variance. The repertoire allows for expression and effect. Potential for communication between performer and audience is present.


The musicians demonstrate an awareness of accurate intonation. Performers

demonstrate intonation control in all performed dynamic ranges and instrument

registers. When applicable, members demonstrate an awareness that allows them to tune to fixed-pitch percussion instruments. Recovery from inaccuracies is immediate.



The musicians demonstrate a maturity of quality sound and timbre. Tone quality

remains consistent in all performed dynamic ranges and instrument registers. A

beautiful and characteristic sound comes from each instrument section. Members are able to maintain a quality tone, while responding to other performance demands.


Balance and Blend

A transparency of sound is present. The musicians demonstrate sensitivity, balance and blend in all performed dynamic levels and instrument registers. A consistent awareness and compensation occurs as instrumentalists move from foreground and background positions. Important musical lines predominate with clarity.



The musicians demonstrate dynamic control and contrast. Dynamic changes

are executed with purpose. Dynamic changes do not affect other judged items, such as tone, intonation or balance/blend. Members demonstrate control and maturity within a varied dynamic range. Recovery from inaccuracies is immediate.



The musicians’ interpretations of the phrases are appropriate to the chosen repertoire. Members have a common understanding of the phrasing, providing a convincing artistic interpretation of the repertoire.



The musicians demonstrate uniformity of articulation, with accurate attacks and releases.


Rhythm & Tempo

There is intensity to the performance as members perform a common

artistic interpretation, contributing to a convincing, accurate performance. The

musicians’ interpretations of the rhythms and tempi are appropriate to the repertoire. Tempo and Rhythmic Accuracy: The musicians demonstrate consistent tempi. Tempo changes are clearly intended. Musicians are “locked in” to the main pulse of the music as care is taken to achieve a uniform vertically aligned pulse. The performance of rhythmic patterns is precise, together and has consistent clarity of vertical alignment. Potential Phasing concerns have been given careful consideration, Recovery from inaccuracies is immediate.

Feel and Style:

Communication and idiomatic “feel” is created by the musicians’ interpretation. The artistic style chosen is appropriate to the repertoire. Members communicate and perform within a common interpretation, contributing to a convincing and accurate performance.


Technical & Artistic Facility

The musicians demonstrate appropriate motor skills. The repertoire is performed with artistic control and technical accuracy.


8. Basis of Visual Judgment Rating Objectives


Performance - Technique, Proficiency:

Members are to have a common understanding of the form and style and its relation to

the music, giving a convincing presentation. The performance within the form and style

demonstrates the concept and emotion required by the music chosen. The performance

demonstrates a uniformity of quality, technique, facility and development by the

employed elements. The form and style has a presence, is transparent and keeps the

audience engaged. Members show body awareness, resulting in efficient, well-balanced

movement, and exhibit well-defined, confident motor control. As applicable, equipment

use is well-defined and the performers demonstrate a coordination of body movement

with equipment use. All movement and/or equipment use is confidently executed. All

members perform with a conviction that assists in the intensity and communication of

the presentation. Recovery from inaccuracies by members is immediate.


Performance - Showmanship, Awareness, Sensitivity, & Poise:

Band members demonstrate a uniform knowledge of the marching style, dancing and or

show movements that are included in the choreography. Uniform posture, body control

and physical awareness allow members to execute the visual design in a fluid and

controlled way. The members perform a diversity of maneuvers with equal ability.

Performers execute the visual program cohesively with confidence and poise. Recovery

from inaccuracies is immediate. The concept and emotion of the music is evoked

through the choreography. A high level of demand on the performers is present. All

performers have a common understanding of the choreographic design and its relation

to the music, contributing to a convincing interpretation. Choreographic  interpretation

is performed with emotion and commitment.

Design Suitability - Music Interpretation & Music Reinforcement:

The design is a natural outgrowth of the music repertoire, with a structure and

characteristic flow of all elements. The choreography is organized musically, and evokes

the emotion present in the music repertoire. The demands of the design are appropriate

to the development and ability of the performers. The design provides variety and

opportunity to create effect. The design provides potential for a varied emotional

contour. The design allows for production elements to move fluidly between foreground

and background roles. Visual elements, including equipment if utilized, are designed to

enhance the show by reinforcing the music repertoire and its emotional contour.


Synchronization, Coordination & Integration:

All production elements are combined to create an entertaining, interrelated package.

All production elements are coordinated and complimentary. The show provides each

element utilized within the exhibited form and style the opportunity to perform in a

variety of background and foreground roles. The show creates specific focuses of

attention as new and varying production elements perform in foreground roles.


Continuity, Flow and Blend:

All production activities are connected to form a continuous flow of entertainment and

audience engagement. The performance of each element is important to the success of

the other performing elements. The design/repertoire of each element blends as an

integral part of the total production. The technical and artistic quality of the production

elements and their flow of activities add to the total entertainment value.


Overall General effect:

Based upon an overall audio/visual perspective taking into account both design and

performance. Beauty, clarity, transparency and intensity of production elements are

evident in their various roles by being presented in an uncluttered production. The

show provides a varied emotional contour, keeping the audience engaged and

interested for the duration of the show. The performers communicate, through their

conviction and poise, a high level of expression, showmanship and professionalism. The

imaginative and creative presentation of dramatic or spectacular artistry enhances the

climax and depth of the performance. The technical and artistic development of the

musical and visual elements is important to the general effect produced. The performers

affect the audience aesthetically and emotionally through their intensity, focus and



Venue size will very between different events as organized by the host sponsoring

organizations. Some venues may consist of covered domes with a reduced performance

area. When utilizing an open air stadium the norm is 100 yards x 53 yards = 91,94 x 49,03 metres of performance area. Each event is to outline in their event prospectus the size of the performance area and the provided field markings. Five yard lines including hash marks or a metre grid system is the norm. Participants may use their own field markers and are responsible to place and remove them within the same permitted field time allotted to all performing ensembles. Field markings provided for street circuit, marching and marching parade contests if required and different from the standard field show markings provided are to be clearly recognizable from the field show markings. Consult the venue diagrams supplied by the host organizer of the specific event entered.



 The space allocated during the performance in the performance area for pit percussion

& electronic equipment is to be clearly identified in the event documentation.


**The use of electronic devices for musical elements or to replace instruments belonging to the standard instrumentation of the band is not allowed. The use of electronic devices to amplify instruments in the pit space or for sound effects and/or previously recorded voice sound is permitted. Electronic equipment to be used should be battery powered.

Gas driven generators are not allowed. The power supply of the stadium may not be

available. If it is made available, the use is at the band’s own risk and responsibility.


11. Time Limits

Entry and exit are not judged. The adjudicated part of the show should last at least 10 and at most 15 minutes. The time keeping starts when the first music notes sound or the first movements are made after the speaker has given the ”start the show” - sign. Time keeping stops when the drum major has given a clear sign that the adjudicated

part of the show has ended.


a. March on, with or without music not adjudicated

b. The Show, with adjudication

c. Signing off from the jury

d. March off, with or without music not adjudicated.


A deduction of 0.1 point on the final results for every three seconds or part thereof

under the minimum limit of 8 minutes or over the maximum limit of 12 minutes is to be

assessed by the supervising judge. An additional penalty may be assessed when a band

delays events proceedings during the bands entry/exit for setup or take down

procedures including removal of materials left on the field. Such delay is deemed to

occur when a band’s total time on the field exceeds 20 minutes not including event

related delays. Amount of the penalty assessed will be determined by the supervising

judge in consultation with the Jury members.


12. Band definitions

The One World Judging System is utilized for all band definitions at WAMSB Championship events. Equal consideration is given regardless of the form or style of the band being judged. Scores assigned to the bands are based upon the product as a whole while taking into consideration the performances of the various elements and members of the band. All definitions are given equal consideration when arriving at a score.


In addition to overall placement awards & rating awards, separate awards for

different band definitions may be awarded. Consult the specifict event prospectus for

awards that are to be offered.


13. Parade Contests

Public Street Parade Competitions held during WASMB sanctioned events are the

responsibility of the host sponsoring organization to operate within the procedures

required by the civic authorities who grant parade permits. Such procedures, as a

condition of WAMSB sanction, is to be published by the host organizers of the event.


Separate from Public Street Parade Competitions, additional Parade Contests within an

advertised venue may be offered as a competitive part of any WAMSB sanctioned event.

Consult the specific event prospectus for the particular parade contest procedures,

diagrams and routing requirements that will be in effect. Each form of parade contest

offered will utilize a subset of the "One World Judgment three caption System".


Listed by level of complexity parade contests can take the form of:


"Location moving street parade", "Location stop and play parade ", "Free style defined

track circuit parade", "Field marching intersection parade", Field marching parallel

streets parade, or a ""Free style field marching intersection parade ".

14. Outline of Standard event rules and procedures

COPYRIGHTS - Applicable at all WAMSB sanctioned events: In case any form of copyright applies to the music or drill being performed, as well as effects or voices used, the band is responsible for attaining the necessary permission documents for presentation to the event organizers a minimum of two weeks in advance of the event. Rules and procedures are applicable to the operation of each WAMSB sanctioned event as a condition of Sanction Contract agreement. Participants are to consult the rules and procedures published in the event prospectus distributed by each event host sponsor organizer.


15. Expectations of Jury members

Members of the WAMSB Judges Bureau are selected based on their proven knowledge

and experience. Assignments are based upon their ability to give a solid assessment that is as objective as possible. They must be able to work closely together as a team

following the instructions of the supervising judge who operates within the guidance

and direction of a WAMSB Event Official.


As a condition of membership in the WAMSB Judges Bureau the Code of Conduct of

jury members at all events is to be of the very highest standards.


Judgment of Show & Parade contests at WAMSB sanctioned Marching show band

events is to be based upon modules of the WAMSB One World Judging System.


16. Event Official

Tasks will include:

․ Acts as spokesperson for WAMSB with the host/sponsoring organization;

․ Liaisons with event operational members of the host/sponsoring organization;

․ Assists in the briefing and training of assigned operational and jury panel members;

․ Oversees keeping of agreements as described in this manual; · Attends Jury meetings;

․ Overviews jury operations while in progress; 

․ Overviews consistency of jury evaluations and their relationship between the critical

remarks and number of points awarded;

․ Responsibility for event evaluation and reporting of same at scheduled WAMSB

Delegate meetings.

17. Supervising Judge

Tasks will include:

․ Independent member of the jury panel;

․ Responsibility for briefing and training of assigned jury panel members;

․ Chairs jury meetings during the contest sessions;

․ Tests on an ongoing basis the consistency of the various evaluations during the whole

contest period;

․ Responsible for jury review of the relationship between critical remarks and the

awarded number of points of individual judges;

․ Responsibility for overview of the time keeping;

․ Responsibility for the awarding of penalty points;

․ Acts as spokesperson for the jury to the WAMSB Event Advisor and the Event

host/sponsoring organization;

․ Responsibility to provide an event evaluation to the WAMSB Event Official.

Download 2018 WAMSB World Championships Application Form

Download 2018 WAMSB World Championships Rules and Participation Information

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