To read a marching band drill chart, you have know three
the vocabulary, the layout, and how coordinates work.
drill vocabulary terms.
terms aren't listed alphabetically.
It's more of a hierarchy.
moving away from the director’s
(home side) viewpoint.
moving toward the director’s (home
and Side 2
– from the director’s (home side) viewpoint, side 1 is on
the left. Side 2 is on the
right. Side 1 is sometimes
A” and Side
2 “Side B.”
There are 21 yard lines on an American football field. The center line is the 50 yard
line. Yard lines count down
in 5 yard increments to
the goal line, also called the 0 yard line.
band performance area includes the end zones
which extend 10 yards
past the goal lines.
toward the 50 yard line.
toward either end zone, away from the 50 yard line.
measured toward the director’s (home) viewpoint.
away from the director’s (home) viewpoint.
sidelines are the front and back boundaries of the
football field. The front
sideline is nearest the
director’s viewpoint. The
sideline is on the opposite side of
the field. In marching band
performance area extends 12 feet in front of the front
(home) sideline. It extends
behind the back (visitor)
sideline, all the way to the backfield stands.
marching band we measure distance in “steps.”
There are 8 steps in 5 yards.
“8 to 5” step is 22˝ inches.
Marks – The
hash marks intersect the yard lines 28 steps away from the
side lines. The front hash is
nearest to the
director’s viewpoint. The
is nearest to the back
sideline. College hash marks
are 4 steps
further away from the sidelines. Competitions
college fields will have both sets
of hash marks.
– The vertical hash marks are not always marked, but when
are, they show
one yard increments. When
appear at the sidelines and lined up with the hash marks. At competitions on college
vertical hash marks will be 4 steps behind the regulation
– The Yard line Numbers are placed so that the top of the
is 9 yards
away from the front side line. The
are 6 feet high. IF
the numbers are regulation measurements,
the top of the number will be one yard in front of a
from the sideline. The cross hatch on the number 4 is
steps away from the front sideline.
– Not all fields are marked according to
regulation. Most NCAA
stadiums are. Many high
school stadiums are not. Most
often the discrepancy is in the location
of the hashes and numbers. Placing
hashes and numbers closer to the sideline changes the
nature of the
playing area. If the hash
wrong, they’re usually 4 steps (2.5 yards) too close to
markings your teacher tells you to trust.
Regulation marching band field show layout.
Marching Band Coordinate
To find a
coordinate on a drill chart
or field, a student MUST know their position number, and
is located on the print symbol in the drill.
this information, the position is located
using a system similar
to the x/y system in math. A
located by its horizontal and vertical position, relative
the field. For example: “4
side 1 45, 3 in front of the front hash” means this
LEARN YOUR COORDINATES
the student receives the drill chart, they
should mark their coordinate on the corresponding count
in the music,
should memorize their coordinate on every page as
quickly as possible.