We know this time is very strange and trying for all of us. We were just really getting into the season, and now due to the coronavirus precautions, everyone is homebound and understandably uncertain about what the next few weeks, or even months, will bring. We have all the twirlers, in Texas and around the world, in our thoughts and prayers as we all get through this. Stay safe, take care of yourselves, support each other, and let’s continue to remain united.
Check out the World Baton Twirling Federation's #apartbuttogether initiative to stay connected to the rest of the baton world as we all weather this together! Also, make sure to keep World Baton Twirling Day (April 10th) on your calendar and learn the routine. We may not be able to get in our normal facilities, but we can still enjoy our sport!
In the meantime, we hope to bring you new content over the next couple weeks/months to keep you educated and entertained. One series we have been wanting to introduce for awhile is our “The More You Know…” Series. In this series we will be posting about different NBTA, USTA, or UIL related rules that currently exist, but that not everyone may be familiar with or fully understand. We have reached out to prominent Texas judges in these areas to share the rule they wish more people knew about.
To kick things off, I am going to get us started. I don’t normally identify myself on here, but I am going to for this one since it is a rule I am passionate about educating people on. For those that don’t know me, my name is Ashley Wood. On top of being the author of this blog, and the webmaster for texastwirl.com, I am a Co-Director & Coach for Twirl ATX in Austin, TX, and I have been an NBTA certified judge for 7 years now. I am often known in my judging for being a stickler about penalties, and I am a big old rules nerd, thus the inspiration for this series!
For our very first “The More You Know…”, let’s learn more about NBTA Title Terminology!
With NBTA SW Regionals just 1.5 weeks ago, we know there are twirlers all over our region getting jackets, bags, towels, or shirts printed with titles earned in Canyon. However, not everyone is familiar with the guidelines for title wording. It may not seem like a big deal to get one part of a title wrong, but when you are the actual title holder and other people are using your hard-earned title, it becomes very important. It also makes Texas look bad when we show up to AYOP with incorrect terminology printed on our gear. This subject and its importance on the World stage, and to the general public, has also recently been addressed on social media by Twirling Legend Annetta Lucero.
A Twirling Title can get very long. In fact, each title has SIX parts, and yes, it is crucial that you use all six parts when embroidering a jacket or posting on social media. This is a long read, but it will be well worth your time to ensure you are knowledgeable on the subject, and we have even included a handy “title guide” to help you moving forward. Now, let’s learn how to properly word a title!
(1) YEAR – This part is simple. Always start the title with the year it was won - I.E. “2020”
(2) SKILL DIVISION – When putting together a twirling title, you must include the SKILL divisions, unless the winning twirler was competing in the advanced division. A title without a skill division listed automatically implies it was the Advanced title. If your twirler wins a Novice, Beginner, or Intermediate event, the title must include this Skill Division tag. Claiming your beginner two baton winner is the “State Winner” (vs. the “Beginner State Winner”) implies that they are the Advanced title holder, and they just took away the prestige earned by the Advanced twirler who rightfully holds that title. Always state division unless Advanced!
(3) AGE DIVISION – When putting together a twirling title, you must include the AGE divisions. The precursory title tag of Tiny Tot/Little Miss (0-6), Juvenile (7-9), Pre-Teen (10-12), Junior (13-15), Senior (16+), or Collegiate, must be stated in every title. The only exception to this is that Senior winners do not have to include Senior, because if an age division tag is not included, it is implied that this is the Senior title. This implication is always given to the oldest, non-collegiate, division. For example, if you get a jacket for your 14 year old that says “State Three Baton Champion” (vs. the “Junior State Three Baton Champion”), you have just claimed them as the Senior winner and aged them a couple years just by leaving out a single word.
When dealing with single age events, the title must include the single age. For example, the Miss Southwest Model Pageant is done by single age. Saying your twirler is the “Miss Southwest Model Winner” is implying they are the 18+ winner. Make sure your titles always include individual age if that applies, such as “8-year-old Miss Southwest Model Winner”. This is also something to keep in mind at AYOP as most events are single age. Always ensure the proper age is used!
(4) CONTEST ATTENDED – Next you must include the identifier for the contest attended. This would be like “Texas State” or “Southwest Regional”. It is important that you include the location (Southwest or Texas) and not just the type of contest (Regional or State), because there are 18 NBTA Regionals and 50 States that could be represented in a title, and you want to make sure to identify as the correct one.
(5) CONTEST WON – Next you must include the event that was won in order to earn the title. This one is easy. Solo, X-Strut, Basic Strut, 2-Baton, 3-Baton, Pageant, etc.
(6) PREFIX/SUFFIX – This is the hardest part of the title and what gets messed up most frequently.
CHAMPION vs WINNER for Non-Pageant Events: The ONLY competitors that can be listed as CHAMPIONS are the Advanced, or highest level, winners. The Regional, State, or National CHAMPIONS are those that won an Advanced division. If your twirler won a lower division (Novice, Beginner, or Intermediate) event, they are the WINNER. Utilizing the term CHAMPION for a non-advanced division takes away the prestige of the advanced title.
This also applies to TEAMS. At the 2020 NBTA Southwest Regionals, for example, there were no ADVANCED Dance Twirl Teams. All Dance Twirl Teams competed in the Beginner classification, which means the groups that won the Dance Twirl events are classified as Regional WINNERS and need to ensure they do not state that they were Regional Champions, even though there were no advanced teams.
However, there are sometimes events that do not have Skill Divisions. For example, there is no division separation for Half Time Show Teams or Pom Pon teams, so the winners of these events are CHAMPIONS because they competed in the highest level of this event. This also applies to Show Twirls.
Here are some examples of similar titles being differentiated by CHAMPION vs. WINNER
• Advanced Senior Solo CHAMPION vs. Intermediate Senior Solo WINNER
• Advanced Junior X-Strut CHAMPION vs. Beginner Junior X-Strut WINNER
• Advanced Pre-Teen Basic Strut CHAMPION vs. Novice Pre-Teen Basic Strut WINNER
• Advanced Senior Dance Twirl CHAMPIONS vs. Beginner Senior Dance Twirl WINNERS
• Half-Time Collegiate Show Twirl Team CHAMPIONS
• Tiny Tot SW Regional Show Twirl CHAMPION
PAGEANT WINNER vs. MISS MAJORETTE for Twirling Pageants – In a pageant, only the ADVANCED title holder can be referred to as “MISS MAJORETTE”. This applies to State, Regional, and National Advanced Pageant Winners. If your twirler wins a pageant, but it is not Advanced, they must utilize the title of “Pageant Winner”. Examples of this are the Senior Beginner Regional Pageant Winner, Pre-Teen Regional Basic Skills Pageant Winner, or Junior Intermediate Regional Pageant Winner.
Now that we have reviewed the six parts of a title, we want to offer a handy tool to help you when determining your twirler’s proper title wording. Presenting, the (unofficial) NBTA Title Terminology Guide!
How to use this guide… Go down each column and circle the correct classification. Then in the blanks on the bottom right hand side, fill in the lines with the circled items. This will reveal to you the proper six-part title that should be utilized when stating titles! Below we have included two examples.
Please note that while this information was all gathered from the NBTA Rules, this blog post was not made or approved by NBTA Headquarters. To find the information in this blog post you can check out the “RESPONSIBILITIES OF ATHLETES AND SPECTATORS Part E” in the NBTA Solo Rules.
If you ever have any questions on a title, please consult your twirling coach first, but you can also feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or NBTA Headquarters at email@example.com if you need anything clarified. If you email us and we do not know the answer, we will reach out to NBTA Headquarters to make sure we have the right response for you!
Thank you all for reading! We hope everyone has learned something and that we have helped! Stay Strong Texas Twirlers! We will make it through this stronger on the other side.
We hope you have enjoyed this blog post. We are always looking for great new stories about Texas twirlers. Do you have an idea or some information we could use to help highlight our sport? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would love to hear more about it.