Color Guard is the auxiliary that accompanies the marching band in a field performance and adds to the overall visual effect. The Color Guard interprets the music that the marching band is playing via the synchronized spinning of flags, sabres, rifles, or other pieces of equipment, and through dance. The color guard uses different colors and styles of flags to enhance the visual effect of the marching band as a whole. Together the marching band and color guard perform a field show which is roughly ten minutes long. They also compete together in Western Band Associations (WBA) field shows and travel to Fresno for the WBA Championships each year.
When the field season ends, the Color Guard competes indoors and is known as Winter Guard. It is similar to outdoor color guard, except the performances are indoors on gymnasium floors through the winter season. The traditional marching band music is replaced with a recording of music. The gymnasium floor typically is covered by an individually designed tarp (called a floor by performers). The performers often compete barefoot, but wearing jazz shoes or modern dance shoes is also common practice. Guards compete against one another based on skill level.
Mission Viejo has two competing groups. The Scholastic Open Guard competes in West Coast Winter Guard circuit at various local contests as well as Circuit Championships. The Open Guard also travels to numerous regional WGI competitions and the WGI World Championships in Dayton, OH, where they compete against schools who have all attained a high level of achievement in regional contests to compete in the national and world championships.
The A Guard competes on a smaller scale in WCWG competition. The A Guard members work to hone their basic skills and learn weaponry. The A Guard competes in various local WCWG contests and Circuit Championships.