Point Spreads and What They Mean

Currently, military drill competition scores are not associated with a standard so the point spreads (the amount of numbers between scores given to teams) do not have any meaning- but they should. I’ll explain.

Current scoring methods look like this (or are very similar): several categories with a score range of 1 – 10. The total points for that score sheet can range widely, but let’s say that 50 is the max points with five categories to judge and then that means 5 is the lowest score. We could chart it like this:

Score Range 1-10

That’s it. This scoring is highly limited and, as shown in this article and others, there is a better way.┬áIf you are adjudicating more than 10 units, that means constant ties. A tie is not a good thing when it is forced like in this case with a teeny scoring margin. Also, even if only ten teams are competing- what does a score of “1” or “10” mean? And, judges currently do not keep track of their scores, so they have no idea what score they gave 5 teams ago and how all 5 of those teams compare with the current team. That comparison matters!

Now let’s look at the World Drill Association (WDA) Adjudication point spreads

WDA Scoring Spreads: Sub-Caption Spreads (tenths of a point), Caption Spreads (full point)

Point spreads are supposed to have meaning.

Sub-caption point spreads means the spread of points between each sub-caption. Sub-caption point differences are highly significant; the difference between scores of each sub-caption (Repertoire and Excellence; Repertoire and Performance, depending on the caption: Overall Effect, Composition Analysis, Movements and Equipment).

Caption spreads means the difference in points between captions of each performer (Driller, team, etc.). These point spreads also have great meaning. If Team A has a total Overall Effect score of 59 and Team B has 75- there is a difference there and that difference has meaning.

All scoring has meaning in the distance from one score to another because it first begins at the sub-caption level.

It is charted like this and is on every WDA score sheet:

WDA Point Spreads

Click here for more information on the WDA Adjudication System.

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