Color Guards can be found in most American colleges, universities, high schools, middle schools, and independent drum corps. They are typically made up of girls but may include boys as well. They use a variety of equipment, including flags, rifles, and sabres, along with dance, to enhance the music of the marching band show. Usually, marching bands and color guards perform during football games at halftime. During marching band competitions, the guard adds to the overall score of the band and is also judged in an auxiliary category.
Winter Guard is similar to outdoor color guard, except the performances are indoors on gymnasium floors through the winter season. The traditional marching band music heard during fall season is replaced with a recording of various musical genres. A common theme in many shows is loss or something that conveys great emotion. The gymnasium floor typically is covered by an individually designed floor mat that generally reflects the show being performed on it. Occasionally the floor only acts as a backdrop so that the audience is drawn towards what the members are doing. The members may perform barefoot, but wearing jazz shoes or modern dance shoes is also common. There are several winter guard circuits for participating in competitions during indoor season including TIA (Tournament Indoor Association), MAIN (Mid-Atlantic Indoor Network), AIA (Atlantic Indoor Association), WGI (Winter Guard International), and many more.