in use for the
National High School
Drill Team Championships
Daytona Beach, Florida


For the past 20+ years, the National High School Drill Team Championships has simply used the completely subjective concepts of "Masters" and "Challenge" to denote the two (and only two) competition levels for the event within both the armed & unarmed divisions. These levels allowed most schools to simply self-identify as one or the other and move forward. These levels were completely outcome based meaning the level you competed within had almost solely to do with the finish of your previous year team(s). And while this system worked fairly well for decades, drill is changing and we recognize that. But now the Nationals are changing to better meet the needs of the teams involved in the grand sport of competitive drill.

The NHSDTC are moving to maintain THREE LEVELS of competition in both Armed & Unarmed Drill for teams seeking an overall title as champion. The event will still maintain the Open Level Color Guard event separate as well as the exciting Solo & Dual competition world. Of course, the World Drill Championships will still be in play as well for post-high school drillers. But for the many teams of the Nationals, we see these changes as a major improvement in many areas the instructors, cadets and parents should love.

A few of the highlights will be:

  • All teams will now be eligible for the solo & dual armed & unarmed competition at no addition costs.
  • All teams will be a part of the famed NHSDTC awards ceremony on the final night of competition. All trophies will be distributed at this event
  • All-teams experience a two-day competition to better allow all cadets to fully immerse within the drill weekend RATHER THAN STRETCHING TO 3-DAYS!
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The THREE DIVISIONS have criteria and SNI has listed this in detail below. While the division placements still will maintain a subjectivity for competitive balance and fairness, there are far more items SNI will take into consideration before final placements are made though the primary factor is how well does your team do against other schools in your area and how competitive will you be in most events. The most important criteria is the past performances and the instructor history. Simply saying, "oh, we have a lot of freshman" means very little to SNI. Competitive teams remain competitive teams regardless of the age or seniority of their cadets (history dictates).

Division I / Masters Level: Highest competition division for those teams who have competed with distinction every year in the past. The teams are generally very well prepared to compete against any units in the country, win or lose. Some of these schools often have former cadets or outside trainers who assist in preparation. Regardless of limitations, these teams compete well in most all events and vie for numerous top finishes.

Division II / Advanced Level: Close to DIV1, but generally lower half finishes in any past DIV1 entry. Very competitive division for teams who have a solid history of competing well in their local/area/region meets and can compete well against most all teams. Advanced Level Schools would have historically done well in the Challenge Division (top half) and may have won some trophies there, or lower finishing Masters teams.

Division III / Basic Level: These teams will be somewhat limited in their competition experience. These schools are often from smaller towns and/or have much smaller programs. They do not have a history of winning many/any trophies at regional or national competitions like their service qualifiers/championships or the NHSDTC.

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A few other notes to be aware of include: Schools who bring both an armed team & unarmed team my be rated differently for each as their on-floor past accomplishments stand alone. The "Mixed" division of the competition is formally ending as your team composition and rifle in use will now be just another factor looked at when placing your team into the Armed Division as a Division 1-3 team. Lastly, expanded use of outdoor practice facilities will be used going forward as more of the building will be in use for competition.

Schools will still register to attend the event on the MySchool Website. On this website, schools will select which drill competition they look to attend, enter their own school ID (generally the school email address) and their own password. Schools will then do all the same actions they did previously to grab a coveted competition space. NOW IT IS EASIER THAN EVER FOR SCHOOLS OF ALL SKILL LEVELS TO HAVE A GREAT EXPERIENCE COMPETING AT THE NATIONALS.

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For more detailed information regarding the school/team selection process for "The Nationals",
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