by Tom Slaughter, FFCC Vice President and Chief Judge
As the days tick by and the Premiere shows get closer to occurring, it is easy for directors to completely focus on getting their “on the floor” presentation ready for its debut. Within this article, let’s remind ourselves about some of the “off the floor” preparations that directors should also dedicate a little bit of time to in advance of their Premiere Show.
#1 – Read the rulebook. Especially the pages that include discussions of what each caption looks for. All FFCC directors can view the entire WGI rulebook (along with FFCC Policy Manuals) by logging into www.ffcc.org , clicking “resources” across the top toolbar and then choosing “member documents”. Refreshing your mind on the specifics of each caption will make the commentary the judges provide at your first show more meaningful and useful to you as your season begins.
#2 – Remind yourself of the timing rules for your class. Specifically, Color Guard Teams in Scholastic AAA, remember you are required to write your show to conform to A class timings, even though the caption judges will be adjudicating your team using the Regional A judging criteria. Timing rules for all classes can be found in the WGI rulebooks. Contact me at email@example.com if you have any questions.
#3 – For premiere, don’t force more on to the floor then your students are ready to do. Remember, timing penalties at all Premiere shows will be assessed at a maximum of 1.0 points. This is a rule the FFCC has followed for years to make sure that we are all thinking of our students’ development over the whole season first and foremost.
#4 – Practice coming on and off the floor a few times during rehearsal. This will help your students to relax in the moments before their show and have a positive premiere experience. Percussion ensembles especially, make sure your cords are untangled and your front ensemble performers are comfortable plugging in what needs to be plugged in.
#5 – And last, but definitely not least, make sure your roster is completely up to date 2 weeks before your show date. If students are absent from a show for whatever reason, make sure to declare at check-in the number of students who are performing THAT DAY. Do NOT take a performer wristband from the check-in table for a student who is not at the show. The performer count by our Timing and Penalties judge will show this discrepancy, causing your team to be subject to penalties, or even disqualification. If a student on your roster is injured, or not performing on that day for whatever reason, you can take a performer wrist band for them. The non-performing member should wear something that makes it clear they are a part of the ensemble (show shirt, jacket, uniform) and be pointed out to the Timing and Penalties judge as you enter the performance area. Students who are not listed on your signed roster, and uploaded to the FFCC website two weeks before the performance day will not be able to perform. Please do not try to sneak them through. This will be caught at check-in, also subjecting your ensemble to penalties and possible disqualification.
We all know the frantic feeling that a premiere show usually creates for all of us. Take notice of these things listed above that can help make your Premiere experience what it is supposed to be about…giving your kids an amazing performance experience to kick off their season.
Feel free to contact myself (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions you may have prior to your Premiere Show day. On the show day itself, here are the Contest Directors and Chief Judges you can find to answer any questions you have at the site:
January 21st, 2017 – Regional A Guard Premiere at Freedom High School (Tampa)
Contest Director – Jim Taylor
Chief Judge – Michael Higbe
January 21st, 2017 – Southeast Percussion Premiere at John I Leonard High School
Contest Director – Brian Fisher
Chief Judge – Tom Slaughter
January 28th, 2017 – National Class Guard Premiere at Dr. Phillips High School
Contest Director – Mike Palau
Chief Judges – Tom Slaughter and Jen Karp
February 4th, 2017 – North Percussion Premiere at Oviedo High School
Contest Director – Jim Taylor
Chief Judge – Ed Argenziano