A friend of mine (“R”) and I (“DM”) were having a discussion, sending messages back and forth a short time ago. The questions he asked have been asked me before and I had to take the opportunity to share the information with you.
R: I have a couple questions, I have heard that in high school exhibition it is illegal to lift members into the air or say have them standing on rifles to report out (or at any point of a routine) is this true in regards to collegiate level drill?
Also what is your opinion on having an exhibition competition without difficulty being a factor in the judging?
DM: Good to hear from you! The legality of lifting someone off the floor depends on the competition SOP. Some allow it, some don’t. It is for safety, which I understand, but my take on this is if the school’s instructors are OK with it, then the competition host has nothing to say in the matter. Waiver forms need to be signed by students- armed drill comes with some unfortunate consequences sometimes- and that takes care of the instructors; forms can be signed by the instructors for the competition, and that takes care of the competition host. Restrictions exist in the boundary and timing, which are necessary. Why restrict imagination?
On your judging question: Difficulty is always a factor and so effectiveness. If the difficulty yields poor effectiveness, then it doesn’t matter how difficult the attempted move was. “At least you tried” or “‘A’ for effort” doesn’t work here. Either the routine is effective or not and if difficulty is a part of that, then it should be reflected in the score.
R: A routine that throws triples and OTH doubles would have a difficulty score higher than a routine that is mostly port spins and at most a double. That should be taken into consideration right?
DM: Not necessarily, how effective each routine is in the end must be taken into consideration. If the more difficult routine is not effective, having fumbles and/or timing issues for instance, then the scoring should show it with lower numbers.
R: And if the timing is on point for both routines then the score should reflect the difference in difficulty.
DM: Yes, if the effectiveness is the same, difficulty wins out.
Note: What I am talking about is not fully understood by everyone and this is why I posted our conversation- I get some great questions from cadets all over the country and this is one of the best. Derived achievement means that one can achieve so much with what one presents, the more that is effectively presented the better the achievement. And this is why the World Drill Association has several different performance classes in which teams fall since some Drillers and teams are able to put in hours of practice and thus execute and even create all kinds of amazing moves while other drill teams can practice 2 hours a week and do their best with that time- which is just fine. There are different reasons for having different performance classes and the WDA Adjudication System rewards all teams in all classes. In the end, we need trained and certified judges since the education bar is being raised slowly but surely. The World Drill Association Adjudication Manual and Rule Book explains this and so much more- educate yourself and go out and create more effective routines with that foundational knowledge. This book is all about the theory of visual adjudication and how to put it into practice.