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"The Answers to Many Questions Surrounding the Spirit Award"

01. What is the Spirit Award?
The Spirit Banner award is an annual, rotating award that recognized the single Masters Level school that best glorifies their unit, their service, JROTC in general, and most especially, the National High School Drill Team Championships. This positive reflection on so many entities comes both on and especially off the drill floor through their conduct, words and deeds. The actual award itself consists of the physical 3'x5' spirit flag with award logo, as well as the staff, the base, and the streamers containing the names of all past winners. The winning school will be sent their school streamer to include on the banner display presentation in the weeks immediately following the event.

02. What are the Criteria that SNI uses to choose the Spirit Award winner?
Schools presented with the Spirit Banner have a positive appreciation and understanding of what the Nationals are all about. They glorify the event by their sterling conduct both while competing and while not competing. They understand that drill is a part of a well-rounded program and work hard to ensure the program is always conducted in a first-class manner at all times. They speak well of the event during the year, provide ideas for improvement, and are constant positive ambassadors to the Nationals year-round. They conduct themselves at all times as honored partners of the event.

The school selected often can faces obstacles and obstructions that lesser schools may allow to derail their unit. They are supportive of other drillers, hard-working and approachable by other schools for the betterment of the sport of drill. Their organization and in general "the way they do business" is something that makes Sports Network International proud of their inclusion and association with the National High School Drill Team Championships.

03. Are Schools Nominated to Win the Spirit Award?
No, every school that attends the NHSDTC and participates within the Master Level competition is eligible for the Spirit Banner award. Their is no "entry" or other mention needed. Schools are looked at year-round for this award. This review starts with their entry paperwork into the event and it doesn't end until the competition ends! Every year, a strong case can be made for over a dozen schools but only one can be selected.

04. Exactly When Is the School Chosen?
Usually, about a dozen schools are mentally "in the running" every year. After the schools register to attend the event, SNI begins the process of mentally sifting through the programs to whittle this number of exceptional schools down to a just a single designee. This choice is narrowed down to 2-3 schools just days prior to the event. During the event, discussions take place with instructors, parents, district and headquarters personnel to get background information on the programs "in the running". A single school is finally chosen usually duning the day by the 2nd competition day, allowing time for a plaque to be made and available to present during the Masters Level awards ceremony.

05. Who Chooses the Spirit Award Winner?
The choice remains a group decision where several people have strong input. The SNI registration staff and often hotel staff are consulted to get details on the demeanor and conduct of the schools off the drill area. Other event watchers such as Spirit Award founder Abdul Al-Romaizan and other key event judges and long-time spectators opinions are highly sought after during the event. However, the final decision rests with the entire executive staff of SNI.

06. Do Schools Have to Finish as the National Champion or Runner-up to Win the Spirit Award?
No, this is not the case. The overall finish and/or team placements really have no bearing on who receives this award. In fact, it has more to do with a positive display of both your unit and the NHSDTC in general off the drill floor than any placements or awards won on the drill floor. HOWEVER, to dispell a common myth, just because you are a strong finisher, it does not HINDER you from winning the award (see Rahway, 2006, Flour Bluff 2007!).

07. Do Schools Have to Be a Masters Level School to Win the Award?
There are no specific requirements that a Masters Level school be the recipient, but to maintain a very strong drill program at the highest levels of competition plays such a strong part in the initial selection process, only a small number of Challenge Level schools have ever been considered for the award. One did reach the final selection process several years ago so it is not out of the question that the award could one day be presented to a Challenge Level school.

08. What does a School Receive when they are Selected as the Spirit Award winner?
Recipient schools will be notified only at the Masters Level Awards Ceremony and not in advance. They will be called to the stage where the Unit Commander is presented with their Spirit Award Banner. This banner is taken home and posted at the school for one year. It is then returned to SNI the following year to be awarded to another deserving school. Their picture is posted on the official SNI Spirit Award homepage for one year as well.

09. Can a School Be Selected for the Spirit Award Two or More Times?
Currently, the rules for this award allow the recipient school to be selected only once.

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