Regional Championships presented by YAMAHA
Frequently Asked Questions

Who can enroll in Bands of America events?
How are performance times scheduled?
How is classification determined?
Why aren't the bands' classifications announced?
What are the Division Ratings?
How are finalist bands selected?
How are performances adjudicated?
Who are the BOA Adjudicators?
What is the policy on electronic recording devices in the stadium?
Camera Policy
Copyright compliance at BOA
Rain Sites

Who can enroll in Bands of America events?

All high school bands are eligible to enroll in BOA Regional, Super Regional and Grand National marching band championships. BOA defines a high school band as one in which all participating members are registered at the same high school, and students from all feeder elementary, junior high and middle schools; or one where members are part of a single band with a recognized joint program and membership in such band is the only high school marching program offered to students. All events are open on a first-come, first-served basis. Bands do not have to enroll in a Regional Championship to enroll in Grand Nationals. Applications must be signed by both the director and the school principal or superintendent and must be accompanied by the Participation Cooperative Fee.

How are performance times scheduled?

Performance times are scheduled based on a random draw. Applications received on or before a designated postmark date each year (Jan. 31 for 2009) are eligible for the initial draw, after which performance times are based on postmark of application, with the earlier postmark receiving the later performance time. If more applications are received by the designated postmark date than spots in a show, a Bands of America point system is used to determine which bands are eligible for the initial draw. Points are allotted based on band participation over the previous four years. The point system does not affect performance times in any other way. A returning previous year's champion band is given its choice of prelim performance time.

How is classification determined?

NEW IN 2009! Based on the acumulation of three years of data and research and consultation with the Music for All Programmatic Advisory Committee, we have expanded to a four class system that will ensure inclusion of representation of bands of all sizes. The new class system labels Class A as 600 students or less, Class AA is 601 - 1220, Class AAA is 1221 - 1750 and the new Class AAAA is 1751 and up. On the advice of the Advisory Committee, Class A has remained the same. To ensure fairness, this system will be re-assessed every three years.

Why aren't the bands' classifications announced?

By nature, appreciation of arts requires subjective reactions. However, BOA tries to keep all participating bands on as level a playing field as possible. We do not announce or publish band classifications before or during events so that no one, including judges, has preconceived expectations of a band's performance based on class. The adjudicators are to judge what they hear and see without regard to classification.

What are the Division Ratings?

A division rating of I, II, III or IV is awarded to each band based on their preliminary performance, with a division rating of "I" falling within the highest scoring range. Division ratings do not play into the selection of finalists, which is based on overall score regardless of class.

How are finalist bands selected?

The top 10 scoring bands regardless of class are invited to perform in the evening's Regional Finals. If there are 45 or more bands participating in a Super Regional, the top fourteen (14) scoring bands regardless of classification will advance to Finals. If there are less than 45 bands, the top twelve (12) scoring bands regardless of classification will advance to finals. If a Class Champion is not among the highest scoring bands advancing to Finals, they will be invited to perform at Finals in exhibition.

How are performances adjudicated?

Bands receive taped evaluations and scoresheets from each judge. Each band also receives a Division Rating based on score. Bands of America utilizes a criteria reference adjudication system. Adjudicators use the criteria reference to assign their rating and ranking of each band.

It is Bands of America's position that the music is the more important aspect of the performance, with marching as the presentation and visual enhancement. Similarly, more emphasis is placed on general effect than on fine-line perfection.

Therefore, the point allotment is as follows:
  1. 20 points Music Performance Individual (on the field)
  2. 20 points Music Performance Ensemble (from a vantage point in the upper stands or box)
  3. 20 points Visual Performance Individual (on the field)
  4. 20 points Visual Performance Ensemble (from a vantage point in the upper stands or box)
  5. 40 points Music General Effect (two judges with 20 points each, added for 40 points total)
  6. 20 points Visual General Effect
The Music Performance scores are averaged, the Visual Performance scores are averaged, then those averages are added to the General Effect total, any penalties subtracted, to arrive at a final score (maximum 100).

Who are the BOA Adjudicators?

Bands of America judges are well-established experts in the music educating, marching and pageantry field, with their educational philosophy and background taken into consideration as much as their career accomplishments. Panel assignments are made by the Chief Judge and reviewed by the President of BOA. Before any assignments are made, each potential judge must complete an "affiliation form" listing all bands with which they have any kind of relationship. This enables BOA to create judging panels whose members are unaffiliated with any of the participating bands.

What is the policy on electronic recording devices in the stadium?

Video or audio recording equipment are not allowed in the stadium.

Camera Policy

Any still type camera may be used. Family, friends and fans may take still photos of BOA events for personal use only. The images may not be sold or otherwise distributed, without the written permission of Bands of America (or Music for All). Any still camera (making film or digital still pictures) is allowed into and may be used from the spectator seating area of any venue. Cameras (of any kind) may not be used on the field. People with field passes or name badges must go into the stands to take digital or film pictures. Tripods or other similar equipment that may obstruct the view or path of travel of others in seating areas are also not allowed.

Copyright compliance at BOA.

As a leader in the music education activity, Music for All takes care to comply with copyright laws. We have heard some say, “BOA’s requirements are too much.” BOA has no copyright requirements. Music for All only insists that its participants show evidence that they have complied with the law by providing written permission from copyright owners to perform musical arrangements. By doing so, we meet our own requirements for compliance. Almost to the very last copyright owner, that permission says an arrangement cannot be duplicated or recorded in any form by the user, without further permission from the copyright owner. Under the copyright laws, the venue where a performance is held is responsible for, and liable for, any copyright violation in its facility. Venues, in turn, pass that obligation on to Music for All. What this means is that almost all stadiums require MFA to guarantee that all copyright laws are in compliance - MFA is held accountable.

All bands in Bands of America Championship events are required to provide written permission from copyright holders for special arrangements. BOA, in turn, secures the necessary live performance rights, and the right to record, duplicate and distribute the contents of performances.

Rain Sites

Whenever an outdoor stadium is scheduled for a BOA Championship, we seek an alternative indoor site in case the field show must be suspended. BOA Championships are "rain or shine," however, if weather poses a danger to participants or spectators, we will make every reasonable attempt to move to an alternative indoor facility. The "worst-case scenario" of cancellation of an event due has only occurred twice in our 35 year history.

Securing alternative sites are a "tricky" process. Most "great" facilities (of the type BOA would use) in this country are in high use and demand and Saturdays are generally in the most demand. In order to reserve a quality (large and well accommodated) indoor facility, a firm commitment is required (at an additional cost - typically including rent, not to mention the planning and commitments needed for parking, catering and event staffing). In most cases, to reserve two facilities for every outdoor event is prohibitive.

We recognized that many school-sponsored events have access to their indoor facilities in case of inclement weather. BOA is in a different situation because we are a national organization, using regional and national venues that we do not own. As such, in most cases, we must seek alternative indoor sites as a separate arrangement.

Some have posed the question of holding a "rain date," for example on the following day or a future weekend. Again, facilities have costs associated with holding dates. Additionally, the regional - even national - draw to BOA regional events would make participation in a rain date difficult from a travel and housing standpoint for most - impossible for some.

Weather is always a risk for outdoor (and indoor) events. Know that BOA does research alternative sites in advance in case a rain site may be needed. In addition, BOA officials monitor the weather long-term and short-term - week of, days leading into, day and night before and day of the event. Based upon actual weather circumstances, the inventory of potential "rainsites" (if any) and the feasibility and practicality of their use, we make on-site decisions that we, with our considerable professional experience - and commitment to mission - feel is in the best interest of the organization and those we serve.