Winter guard is both a performance and a competition sport. Similar to the color guard, which performs with the marching band in the fall, the winter guard utilizes aspects of dance, theater, and equipment work to portray a piece of music. The winter guard, however, performs their show indoors typically in a basketball arena to recorded music, without the presence of a band.
Winter guards often use decorated, possibly elaborate props and backdrops as well as a large floor covering that is usually painted to further enhance their show. The winter guard practices from November through April with competitions beginning in January.