A Letter to Students – Band Camp, Part 6

Dear Band Students,

Almost done I swear!

So now we know all this stuff (and yes, congratulations you do now know A LOT of stuff about the marching activity)  about how things are designed, the history, your responsibilities and philosophy but what about the actual location where it all takes place?  How do you know what your coordinate is amongst a 100 yard field of grass?

Learning Drill – Practical Application

Luckily, we now have a lot of information regarding how the field is dividing and what markings are going to be on our fields during football games (go TEAM!) and competitions.  Let’s learn about what these markings are and how to use them to find our coordinates.  We’’ll start with the most important aspect of the dot which is the ..?  LEFT to RIGHT!  Very good!

So here is our ratio:

Steps                                              Yards

8                          =                          5

4                          =                          2.5

2                          =                          1.25

1                          =                          .625

3                          =                          1.875


If we apply that information to the inserts it becomes very easy to find accurate LEFT to RIGHTS:

Remember that whenever you are asked for your left to right the only answer you give are numbers less than 4. So if you start o the 50 and end 4 outside the 50 in 8 counts… your midset is ______?  Yes, 2 off on count 4.  As you execute the move make sure to look for that 2 just inside the 1st insert on count 4.



There are 28 steps between each Hash and Sideline.  We also use the tops of the numbers as 14 and the bottom as 11.  Therefore the tops of the numbers are directly between the sidelines.  When you learn new drill make sure that you are aware how far your FRONT to BACK is in regard to the  numbers.  Ex:  14 is the top of the  numbers, 12 from the Front Hash is 2 behind the numbers, 10 from the Sideline is 1 in front of the bottom of the numbers.

When learning drill use your eyes, scan the field, execute the move and try to hit your dot.  PAUSE!  NOW comes the important part.  After we complete the move you’ll be told to check your dot.  This is the most important part of making the dot system work.  Everyone must do this every single time.  From where you ended mark off TO the yardline and then TO the nearest front to back marking.  THEN mark off from there to where your dot is.  See the 2 step process below:

 Everyone must do this every time.  Seniors do it to take pride in how awesome you are.  Juniors do it to ensure that you are better than the seniors.  Sophomores do it to prove that you aren’t freshman anymore.  Freshman do it because you don’t want to be called out.

What must you do every time?




Mr. Gillespie


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