Medley Update

Submitted by: Deardra Leslie and Ron Kopas

As we begin the 2011 competition season, it is always good for coaches and judges to review, update and refresh in all of the events. For the Medley event, it is important that everyone is knowledgeable and completely understands the concept and all changes to the scoresheet. The following MEDLEY event information is for you to peruse, adapt and ask questions if need be.

First, a little HISTORY from Ron and Deardra (who were on the original Medley committee with original notes):

  • this event was developed because the Twirl Canada T-strut was outdated
  • our Association needed a specialized event that could and would encompass all of the requirements necessary to align with the WBTF Freestyle concept
  • it was important to create an event unique for the athlete, to understand the progression of baton twirling demands – basic; limited; no limitations 
  • we wanted a Canadian event with original music!



  • promote correct body technique – will encourage correct body technique for all routines
  • develop movement skills WITH the twirl modes in a progressional format – 3 sections
  • assist in general timing and musicality
  • encourage creativity


Focus Reminders

Primary Focus:

  1. Concept
  2. Correct body technique
  3. Movement with correct baton handling
  4. Section 1 – simply body movement; evaluation is correctness of body technique; baton movement is not judged; difficulty of body movement is not judged
  5. Section 2 – continuation of section 1 with very limited baton movement IN STEP on forward motion; with emphasis on use and correctness of body technique
  6. Section 3 – continuation of sections 1 and 2 with unlimited baton movement with sensitivity to rhythm and musical phrases
  7. Logical use of 4 quadrants

Secondary Focus:

  1. Performance skills


Baton Movement in Medley

SECTION 1 – Baton movements are not required and are not evaluated. Baton movement is very restricted. A variety of ambidexterity, planes, patterns and levels are permitted especially for transitional material but not necessary and not adjudicated. Illegal baton movements are not permitted in this section, and are not in concept.

Legal Baton Movements Illegal Baton Movements
Holding baton Aerials
Pass Rolls
Swing Finger Twirls
Loop Deadstick pulls, drops, obliques
Whip Thumb Flips
Flourish Slides where hand leaves baton
Figure 8 More than 1 revolution in grip
Circle Traps on any part of the body


SECTION 2 – Basic baton handling is allowed. Maximum of one revolution is permitted, when out of grip. At no time may the baton leave the hand more than 360 degrees. Variety and intricacy of baton movement, blended with body movement to the music, will be assessed. Baton movement should be obvious in its intent appearing tight, close to the body, fluid, effortless and creative. Ambidexterity, planes, patterns, levels, agility, risk, and control will be evaluated. All baton movement chosen should be complimented by correct technique of body work that is a continuation of section 1, displaying innovativeness and time oriented.  Baton material that violates these rules will not be considered.

Legal Baton Movements Illegal Baton Movements
Passes Aerials and Flips (more than 1 revolution
Swings, Loops, Circles Stationary Complex (more than 1 revolution)
Whips, Figure 8's, Flourishes Travel Complex (more than 1 revolution)
Deadsticks - with or without spins Multiple spins with aerial
Slides where baton leaves hand Traps on any part of the body
Pullbacks - with or without spins Single and combination pops (more than 1 revolution)
Lofts with deadsticks/pullbacks - with or without spins Continuous pops (more than 1 revolution)
Elbow, 2-elbows, Elbow-Wrist extension (1 revolution) Continuous rolls (elbows, back necks, etc)
Long Arm Roll with 1 revolution Long Arm Roll with more than 1 revolution
Lift off body part with 1 revolution Long Arm Roll with backhand catch
Rolls with 1 revolution Rolls with more than 1 revolution
Finger Twirls with 1 revolution (1 finger only) Continuous Finger Twirls


SECTION 3 – This is an extension of Section 2 with no restrictions to baton.  All baton movement MUST be blended with correct body technique to the music, logically.  Correct baton technique will be adjudicated.  Physical, mental and simultaneous demands, complexity, visual harmony, variety, difficulty, intricacy, clarity, and fluidity are all equally important for this event. Keep in mind that the more demanding the trick, opens the athlete to risk, which results in potential for error.  This section should appear effortless.  Quality vs. Quantity will be assessed in the final score.


Legal Baton Movements Baton Movements Not Recommended
Aerials, Rolls, Contact Aerials with gymnastics - over-used
Stationary Complex Aerials with only multiple spins - over-used
Travel Complex Entire roll section
Deadsticks and Pullbacks Entire Finger Twirl section
  Holding baton while dancing
  Full circle of rolling baton on floor
  Holding baton stationary for more than 4 counts


Special Pointers

Special pointers for coaches and judges for this season are:

  • Creativity of the 5 required body movements THROUGHOUT the routine is important
  • DO WHAT THE ATHLETE CAN DO CORRECTLY – specifically:  illusions, grand jetes, tour jetes – do not include body movements that they are working on, use body movements they can do
  • Timing second section is an important element – we encourage pre-event and Level C athletes to do the BASIC MARCH pre-event to gain a complete understanding of IN STEP
  • Starting position for this event is center back!
  • Acknowledgement to judge/s needed at the end of section 1
  • Complete each section fully until end of drum roll
  • Illegal baton movements in Section 1 and 2 are not in concept.  Final scores will reflect any illegal baton movements
  • IN STEP for section 2 is mandatory for all forward motion
  • Section 3 is to be a continuation of Sections 1 and 2 logically – it is not to be a solo twirl, a freestyle or a solo dance
  • Judges adjudicate all 3 sections of this event for the evaluation!
  • Logicality of floor space – the routine should not be just east and west movement
  • CONCEPT – this event is NOT a solo dance or a freestyle
  • Use the drum section at the end of section 2 completely
  • SPIN – is to be 360 degrees – supporting leg can be stretched OR in demi plie
  • Encourage use of different planes with body and/or baton
  • Ensure that the routine does not have an over abundance of floor work eg. Double straddle rolls
  • Suggest instead of doing just a multiple spin in section 3, add in other variety of stationary and travel complex
  • All spectators and athletes should thoroughly enjoy this event and performance skills should be very evident
  • Gymnastics and acrobatics are NOT permitted in section 2.  In Section 3, acrobatics and gymnastics are NOT requirements!  The importance of this event is to develop dance moves for travel complex.
  • This routine can be executed with body work in turn out or in parallel positions!!!


Final Notes

The Medley scoresheet has been updated and is on the website on the CBTF Competition Score Sheet CD page in the Individual Events section. It has been specifically revised to assist both judges and coaches in achieving the correct concept. Again, please review and if you should have any questions, please direct them to your Provincial and National Coaches and Judges Representatives.

A DVD on body movements will be worked on this season at competitions.  This DVD will be used for coaching and judging courses but, it will also be available for purchase.

Work is underway on the MEDLEY event changes necessary for our coaching and judging manuals.

And finally, enjoy creating and adjudicating this event that is unique to our Canadian Baton Twirling athletes!  Let’s encourage correctness of body technique and baton technique with CREATIVITY!