WGI defines authorized equipment as a flag, rifle or sabre to satisfy the minimum equipment time (see Page 76 in the 2009 WGI Adjudication Manual and Rulebook). There might be some confusion as defining the Air Blade as a “rifle”. While the “sickle rifle” was grandfathered into the definition of a legal rifle some years back, the Color Guard Steering Committee felt that the Air Blade did not fit the traditional definition of a rifle. Since 2009 is a rule change year, proposals to change that definition could be considered by the Advisory Board at the end of this season should one be submitted.
What does this mean to those guards using the Air Blade this season? Only that the Air Blade will be classified as a prop and not authorized legal equipment. Color guards can choose to use the Air Blade in their program as long as the minimum equipment time is fulfilled using the standard rifle, flag and/or sabre.
To avoid penalties, color guards must make sure a minimum of 3 ½ minutes of the show (or 3 minutes in the case of Regional A groups) includes authorized equipment in hand. If the Air Blade is being used at the same time as an authorized piece of equipment (such as a flag or sabre) that will count toward your equipment time. Just be certain you have at least 3 ½ minutes of flag, sabre or rifle work in your show.
If the Air Blade is the only piece of equipment being used on the floor, you’ll want to go back and verify you have 3 ½ additional minutes of authorized equipment time to avoid a penalty. The time spent with the Air Blade alone on the floor will not count towards your minimum equipment time by the Timing and Penalties (T & P) judge.
Should you have any questions, please contact Dean Payne, SCGC CG Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org