Analysis of the Sport of Baton Twirling

IT IS PHYSICAL – Baton Twirling requires fantastic coordination of fingers, hands, arms, feet and legs; in addition to extraordinary control of the back, stomach and torso, all of which are called to respond instantly to the sound the ear hears and the sight the eye sees. It requires endurance, agility, strength, and balance.

IT IS PSYCHOLOGICAL – Baton Twirling allows athletes to learn more about confidence and fear, self-esteem and self-image; it gives the chance to realize that attitude is what makes or breaks the competitive spirit, not anyone or anything else. It is a type of mind set with an increased awareness, which challenges an athlete to realize the potential she/he may possess. It requires self-discipline.

IT IS EMOTIONAL – Baton Twirling provides guided social interaction with other athletes. It offers the opportunity to participate and have fun in a healthy, wholesome activity and to develop lasting friendships. It provides the chance to recognize excellence and beauty, to be sensitive, to develop good character, and to have great youthful memories that last a lifetime.

IT IS A SCIENCE – Baton Twirling is exact, and demands precise execution. The baton is always pushing the laws of physics with force and speed, action and reaction, velocity and relativity.

IT IS MATHEMATICAL – Baton Twirling is a show, which can be entertaining and enlightening. It encompasses directing, acting, producing, managing and touring. It has colors, fashion, flair, excitement, pizzazz, sophistication and subtlety.

IT IS AN ARTISTIC SPORT – Baton Twirling requires the courage of a hockey player (without the padding), the concentration of a sprinter, the quick reactions of a boxer, and the stage presence and grace of a figure skater.

IT IS EDUCATIONAL – Baton Twirling allows our youth to learn how to take all of these elements, some dry and technically tiresome, some difficult and challenging, and create emotion, feeling, passion, develop a good work ethic, understand their own inner strengths and weaknesses, learn how to work with others and find a reason to stay focused on a quality life.

What is Baton Twirling?

The Sport of Baton Twirling is a relatively new discipline that has evolved through many dimensions.
The distinguishing fundamental characteristics are:

  • Handling of the baton instrument to create visual images, pictures and patterns, executed with dexterity, smoothness, fluidity, and speed, both close in and around the body and by releasing the baton into the air.
  • Expression of the body through dance and movement to create a demonstration of strength, flexibility, physical fitness, beauty, aesthetics, and harmony in coordination with the manipulation of the baton.
  • The incorporation of gymnastic movements adapted to baton twirling to create additional elements of risk and excitement.

The discipline requires the simultaneous blending of these fundamental characteristics all set to music, utilizing time and space to display both technical merit and artistic expression in creating a total package for the viewer’s eye.

Baton twirling encompasses the physical stamina and agility of gymnastics and dance, the beauty of figure skating and ballet, and the technical skill of all these sports combined. Baton twirling is an entertaining and exciting sport to watch. The intricate timing and precision required to perform these feats is difficult. Baton twirling requires complete concentration and coordination. It demands top physical conditioning.

Routines for competitive sport baton twirling are designed for athletes of novice through elite stages of development, experience and ability. Individual competitive events utilize one-baton, two-baton, or three-baton to standardized music while Group competitive events are performed with members twirling together with precision and unison. Groups utilize their own pre-recorded music. Professionally trained and certified WBTF Judges adjudicate the competitions.

The Training Assistance Program provides funds to book gym time in both the North (Saskatoon) and the South (Regina) so that athletes can practice their skills. This service is available only to SBTA members.

The Badge Program is a Skills Development Program that was created and is administered by the Canadian Baton Twirling Association.

The program was developed to teach baton skills from basic skills to advanced tricks in a logical order, as to facilitate learning.

There are 19 different ribbons/badges/pins that can be earned through the program, these include:

  • White Ribbon
  • Yellow Badge
  • Orange Badge
  • Red Badge
  • Maroon Badge
  • Bronze Rolls Badge
  • Bronze 2-baton Badge
  • Bronze Pin
  • Grey Badge
  • Green Badge
  • Silver Pin
  • Silver Rolls Badge
  • Silver 2-baton Badge
  • Turquoise Badge
  • Pink Badge
  • Gold Pin
  • Gold Rolls Badge
  • Gold 2-baton Badge
  • Diamond Pin

Please talk to your coach for more information of the Badge Program.

There are two membership types for clubs and 9 different types of membership that an individual can have. The type of membership that an individual has, as well as when the membership is applied for determines how much the membership fee will be. The follow is a list of the different types of membership, and their differences.

Type A Competitive - This type of membership is for all competitive athletes (Level C - Level A).

Type B Pre-Events - This type of membership is for all pre-competitive athletes, those that participate in the pre events.

Type BR Recreational - This type of membership is for recreational athletes, or those athletes that are participating in the badge program, and are not competing.

Type C Technical - This type of membership is for coaches, judges and adjudicators.

Type I Instructor - This type of membership is for instructors of recreational baton groups/clubs who has not completed the requirements for a Level 1 coach.

Type D Board/Executive Member - This type of membership is required if you are a member of the SBTA Board of Directors and/or Executive.

Type E Volunteer - This type of membership is for parents and club volunteers that do not fall into on of the other categories.

Type O Official - This type of membership is for a volunteer who works as part of Tabulation committees for competitions.

Type G Group - This type of membership is for athletes who only participate in Group/Pom Pom events.

Type F Full Voting Club - This type of membership is for clubs that have completed the requirements to become a Full-Voting Club. This club type provides recreational, pre-competitive and competitive programming.

Type N Non Voting Club - This type of membership is for clubs/groups which provides pre-competitive and recreational programming.

A member can hold more than one different types of membership. For example, an athlete can have both an athlete membership and a coaches membership (if they have completed the necessary certification to be a coach).

A member can change, or upgrade their membership through out the year by filling out a change of data form.

It is important the office has current information of all members, if you move or have a change in your information, please fill out a change of data form.

Effective January 1, 2019

Beginner – C

An athlete who has never entered a higher category at any open sanctioned competition under any association or received a score of 2.5 or higher within the respective event.

Novice – BN

An athlete who has never entered a higher category at any open sanctioned competition under any association and who has never received a score of 3.5 or higher within the respective event.

Intermediate – BI

An athlete who has never entered a higher category at any open sanctioned competition under any association and who has never received a 5.0 or higher within the respective event.

Intermediate – Advanced – BA

An athlete who has never entered a higher category at any open sanctioned competition under any association and who has never received a 7.0 or higher within the respective event.

Advanced – A

An athlete who has qualified with a score of 7.0 or higher at any sanctioned competition under any association.

***As an athlete’s age classification changes, this does not affect his/her category level as beginner, novice, intermediate, intermediate-advanced or advanced.

The broadest age divisions used are as follows: 4-8 years (Primary); 9-11 years (Juvenile); 12-14 years (Junior); 15-17 years (Senior); and 18 years & older (Collegiate/Adult).

In no case will a division be run with ages combined beyond these limits.  Contest Directors reserve the right to divide or combine age divisions as entries warrant; however, the contest Director must stay with the specified age divisions.  For example: 9-11 can be split, 9, 10, 11; or 9 & 10, 11.

There are several events that can be entered at a competition.  Below are general descriptions of each event.

Pre-Competitive Events

There are five events for the pre-competitive athlete.  These include Basic March, Forward Motion, Pre-Medley, Pre-Solo Dance, Pre-Solo, and Pre-2-Baton.  All routines are “set” or standardized (i.e, everyone does the same thing).  The purpose of these events is to teach the athlete basic movement and timing techniques.

These events will lay the groundwork for movement and timing in competitive events such as Medley, Solo Dance and Solo.  Competitors are graded (A, B, C, or S) and are given a ribbon to indicate their proficiency level.

Major Events

There are six events for the competitive athlete.  These include medley, solo dance, solo (1 baton), 2 baton, 3 baton, and duet.  Competitors are marked on an Olympic scale (0.1 – 10.0) to indicate their proficiency level.

Medley

Medley is an event comprised of three sections with the focus being on body technique.

Section 1 – 32 counts with 5 mandatory required elements in the following order: Turn, Kick, Leap, Lunge, Spin.  Transitional material between these elements is optional, but is typically restricted to full-hand moves such as flourishes, match hand passes, etc.

Section 2 – 64 counts of time-oriented forward motion movement.  Baton handling allowed: pullbacks (with or without spins), deadsticks (with or without spins), maximum of one revolution flips.  Multiple turn combinations with or without baton handling (time oriented) poses and mood interpretations.

Section 3 – 128 counts in length and allows more baton and body work with no restrictions to baton.  Must be time oriented during forward motion.  Baton handling: aerials, travel complex tricks, and form of baton handling allowed.  Body technique: aerial gymnastics or any other gymnastics moves (cartwheels, walkovers).

Solo Dance

Solo Dance twirl is a variety of dance (rhythmical movements of feet and body) and baton which is correlated to the musical phrases, tempo, and rhythm.  All dance movements and baton work must be executed with proper technique.  Competitors are judged on choreography, dance variety, baton variety, technique and showmanship.

Solo

Solo is the twirling performance of one person using one baton.  Competitors are judged on the speed, control, smoothness, and gracefulness of the material presented.  A balanced combination of material should be presented from the 3 major twirling modes – rolls, aerial work, and contact material (vertical and horizontal).

2-Baton

2-Baton is the continuous and simultaneous twirling of 2-batons by one person.  One baton techniques and skills are utilized and combined with moves demonstrating a mastery of timing, coordination and control making use of a variety of pattern and planes.

3-Baton

3-Baton is a newer event that is similar to 2-Baton, with the obvious exception being that it is the continuous and simultaneous twirling of 3-Batons by one person.

Duet Twirl

The twirling performance of two athletes each using one baton.  It involves a variety and difficulty of content exhibiting speed, control, smoothness and gracefulness incorporating a variety of exchange material presented in a pleasing manner.  Maintaining unison is of prime importance.

Athlete of the Year

This award recognizes the highest achievement by a Saskatchewan athlete at International Competitions.

For World Championship years: This honour is awarded to the highest placing athlete (any age/gender) at the World Championships in the Individual Freestyle event.

For International Cup years: This honour will be awarded to the athlete (any age) competing in the Elite division, who has achieved the highest point total in all individual events at International Cup. Athletes can receive points for each individual event they compete within the Elite division.

The award is presented annually, at the SBTA awards banquet.

Pair/Duet of the Year

This award recognizes high achievement in all duet/pair events over the course of the competition season. Points will be accumulated from Provincial Championships, Canadian Championships, Grand National Championships and International competition. The award is presented annually at the SBTA awards banquet.

Team of the Year

This award recognizes high achievement in the Team or Group events. Points will be accumulated from Provincial Championships, Canadian Championships, Grand National Winner and International competition -presented annually, at the SBTA awards banquet.

All-Around Award of Excellence - Level A (all ages)

This award recognizes high achievement in all CBTF events over the course of a competition season. It honours those athletes who demonstrate success in all facets of our sport and who maintain this high level of performance throughout a competition season. Points will be accumulated from all SBTA sanctioned open competitions, Provincial Championships, Canadian Championships and Grand Nationals. This award is presented annually, at the SBTA awards banquet.

All-Around Award of Excellence - Level B

This will be awarded to one athlete in each of the following age division:

Level B Juvenile (9-11)

Level B Junior (12-14)

Level B Senior (15-17 and up)

The award recognizes high achievement in all CBTF events over the course of a competition season. It honours those athletes who demonstrate success in all facets of our sport and who maintain this high level of performance throughout a competition season. Points will be accumulated from all SBTA sanctioned open competitions, Provincial Championships and Canadian Championships. In order to accumulate points for the B level awards, the majority of an athlete's events must be in the BI division. The award is presented annually, at the SBTA awards banquet.

Pre-determined points formula

Volunteer of the Year Award

This award is presented to the volunteer, as nominated by the clubs and/or board of directors who has made an exceptional contribution to Saskatchewan baton twirling in the previous year. This award is presented annually at the SBTA banquet.

Elva Taylor Award

This honorary membership award is bestowed upon those, whom the SBTA board of directors wishes to honour for long term service to Saskatchewan baton twirling. This award may not be awarded every year.

We, the athletes, promise to maintain a positive and friendly attitude on and off the competition floor. We will adhere to the rules and regulations at all time and demonstrate respect for judges, coaches, parents, volunteers, competitors and, most of all, ourselves.

Nous, les athlètes, promettons de conserver une attitude positive et amicale dans le cadre et a l'extérieur des compétitions. Nous observerons les règlements en tout temps et aurons du respect pour les juges, les entraîneurs, les parents, les bénévoles, les concurrents et, surtout, nous-mêmes.

We, the coaches, will display professionalism, integrity and respect for the letter and spirit of the sport by adhering to the rules and regulations of the CBTF. We will provide a supportive and informative foundation by striving to seek knowledge and gain experience expressing the highest regard for all members of the community.

Nous, les entraîneurs, ferons preuve de professionnalisme, d’intégrité et de respect pour la lettre et l’esprit du sport en adhérant aux règlements de la CBTF. Nous offrirons information et soutien en nous efforçant d’acquérir les connaissances et l’expérience reflétant le plus grand respect pour tous les membres de la communauté.

I will always conduct myself in a professional manner, adhering to the rules and regulations of the CBTF. I will strive to make fair and unbiased decisions based on knowledge and objectivity, keeping in mind the spirit of the sport.

Je ferai toujours preuve de professionnalisme et respecterai les règlements de la CBTF. Je m’efforcerai de prendre des décisions justes et impartiales fondées sur la connaissance et l'objectivité, sans oublier l’esprit du sport.

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