The New England Scholastic Band Association

Friday April 03, 2020
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Fall Band


Fall Band Sheets

Finals High Caption Awards Sheets



The following definitions will apply within this Site:


Band Directors, Assistant Band Directors, Instructors and Assistants


Members who assist in the preparation for a Band’s performance but do not participate in the Band’s field performance


Any playing member of the band (brass, woodwind, or percussionist)


Flags, rifles, sabers, batons, pom poms, dancers, etc


Any personnel who direct the musical performance of the Band


All members of the Band that are on the field during a Band’s performance


The Executive Board of NESBA


Show host fee payable at event to NESBA:  (amended 6/13/2013)

There is now a show host fee payable to NESBA that will be a part of your show costs.  This fee will be added to your judge invoice.

This fee is payable to NESBA and must be paid the day of your event.

Fees are as follows:

10 bands or less at a show-  NO SHOW FEE 

11 to 13 bands at show- $250.00 show fee payable to NESBA

14 to 16 bands at a show- $350.00 show fee payable to NESBA

17 to 20 bands at a show- $400.00 show fee payable to NESBA

21 and more bands at a show- $500.00 show fee payable to NESBA

In order to be eligible to host a fall show, a school must be a dues paying member and have participated in last years fall finals. With such a large number of schools requesting to host a show, no school is guaranteed a show date. The Executive Board will try, to the best of its abilities, to make sure all schools get a chance to host a contest.

SATURDAY Contests will begin at 5:00 pm (this is at the discretion of the Fall Activities Director).

SUNDAY Contests will begin at Noon (this is at the discretion of the Fall Activities Director).

Arrangements may be made with the Executive Board for special times other than those stated above. Such requests must be made in writing.

NESBA Member Bands must participate in a minimum of one (1) contest in order to qualify for the NESBA Championship Finals.

Bands participating in the Festival Division will receive Medal Awards only.

If there is only one (1) Band in a Division in any Contest, that Band shall do a judged exhibition. That performance will be counted in the number of required shows needed to qualify for the NESBA Championship Finals, and score will be used for placement purposes only.

The Membership Dues for the calendar year will be $400.00. NESBA will send each school an invoice for dues and all championship event payments. The address or email that will be used will be he one on your member profile on the web. If this information is not correct please log on and up date your information.  The treasurer will hold most invoices until the Sept. or january General Body Meeting and hand them out then as well..  if there is ample time between the start of the season and the meeting. If you need an invoice please contact Cheryl Machado for that information.

There will be a Registration Fee of $125.00 for all Bands for each NESBA Field Competition in addition to dues.

The Registration Fee for the NESBA Championship Finals will be $300.00. In-addition to dues. (amended 6/13/2012)

Eligibility for membership in a NESBA competitions will be enforced by the individual school system.

This will be accomplished when the Band Director submits a list of students who do not exceed secondary grade level (through grade 12)

That list must be signed by the Principal or Superintendent of the school system, before the first performance of your school.

It will then be submitted in writing to the President of NESBA, prior to the first competition of the Fall Band Season and also prior to the first competition Winter Guard / Percussion season.

Changes in the list must be reported in writing to the Executive Board of NESBA as they occur.


Bands will be classified by the Executive Board, namely the Fall and winter activities directors.

On a specified date in early September, all Bands must submit to the NESBA President a total of the number of members in the Band.

Divisions will be determined by the number of total members in each Band, including drum majors,  guard and percussion sections.

It is the policy of NESBA to allow members outside of a specific high school to compete as a member for said high school under the following circumstances:

             1. The student is a resident of the town/city that they will be representing as a marching member.

             2. The school that the student is attending does not offer the activity ( marching band, winds, winter guard) as an activity at their school.

If the above criteria is met, The student shall be allowed to participate in the high school activity representing the town in which they reside.

Festival Class is not restricted by size.

Appeals Process

The Executive Board, by majority vote, must verify and approve any appeals for changes in classification.

Once classified, if a Band chooses to move up a Division, the request will be granted without a vote or a meeting of the Executive Board.

Once classified, if a Band wishes to change their classification to a smaller band Division, the Director must submit a written request to the Executive Board within five (5) school days of the announcement and notification of the Band classification.

If a Band has a loss of 15% of the submitted playing membership, the Executive Board will consider it a valid and reasonable reclassification request and the Band will be permitted to move to a smaller band class.

If a Band wishes to a smaller band class, the Executive Board will discuss the request and will then rule on the request. The Director of the  Band requesting new classification will be notified immediately of the decision.

Festival Division

There will be a Festival Class for Bands who wish a taped critique of their program but do not wish to compete for score.

Those Bands will receive Medal Awards (Bronze, Silver, or Gold).

The Festival Class will be included in the Awards Ceremony.

Festival Class can include NESBA members and invited non-member bands.

Festival Class is one classification, regardless of membership.


MBDA Policy for Fall Band:

MBDA bands must be full members and in good standing with MBDA.

1)   Attend one regular season NESBA event (to count for the minimum one show for finals attendance)

2)   Pay all show fees to NESBA or show hosts for event.

3)   If a band wishes to compete in Finals they will be in their competitive class but perform first in that division

4)   If a band decides not to do one regular season show, then an MBDA member band can attend the NESBA Fall Finals as a Festival Class band.  (Finals show fee must be paid to NESBA)

5)   Bands must perform in the NESBA classification they fall into.

6)   MBDA units are affiliated units and can not vote at any NESBA meetings.

MBDA units who decide to be full NESBA dues paying members,  will be required to pay dues and show fees to NESBA and will also be able to  perform later in their class at championships.  A dues paying member also gets the opportunity to attend our General Body Meetings and become a part of the voting body at our June meeting.

***All judging formats will be as required by the circuit you are attending.  Scores for finals placement etc are not to be used at the MBDA show.  This is a Gold, Silver, Bronze event and therefore credit for the show is only earned.  Score is not a part of the process.

***Any changes to this policy will be determined by the presidents of MBDA and NESBA with approval requested from their executive boards.



The Order of Appearance for all NESBA competitions will be determined by time of sign up. Date and time stamp will determine the order, those who sign up first will go on later within the show.

All NESBA member bands will recieve preference in order of appearance over bands who are not  members of the NESBA organization.

Any Band entering a Contest after the above date will appear as the first Band in their Division.

The Fall Activities Director will post  Show Information at specifying the Order of Appearance as well as Step Off Times and Report Times to all competing units and to the Chief Assigning Judge before third week of September .

The Order of Appearance for the Championship Finals in each Division will be determined by the number of  shows a group performs (the unit with the most performances in NESBA will be seeded later within their class) in the event of a tie, we will revert to an average point score of each Band.

Any Bands (not members of NESBA) may be invited to participate; however, the sponsor must seek approval from the Fall Activities Director. The Fall Activities Director may also initiate such invitations in conjunction with the sponsor.

Host Band

The Host Band shall appear last in its Division if it chooses to compete.

Non-Member Bands

All non-member Bands participating in a NESBA Fall Field show shall appear before any NESBA Bands in their Division. Festival Class order will use acceptance dates.

Arrival at Contest

All Bands should plan to arrive at the Contest at least one (1) hour prior to their Report Time.

All Bands should make sure that the NESBA Coordinator is informed of their arrival at all Contests.

A representative of each Band should report to the NESBA Coordinator one (1) hour prior to the Contest to verify Report Times and Step Off Times, as these times are subject to change.

Report Times

Report Times for all Bands will be assigned by the NESBA Fall Activities  Director. Times in the warm-up area and gate times will be assigned by the Sponsor.

All Bands must be at the report gate by the ten (10) minute mark of the preceding band’s performance. Report times will be mailed out two (2) weeks prior to the show by the NESBA Fall Activities Director.

Bands appearing first in a Contest or first after Intermission will be informed by the NESBA Fall Activities Director when to appear at the gate.

A two (2) point penalty will be assessed immediately by the NESBA Coordinator for any Band that disrupts the smooth flow of a NESBA Contest because they are late to the report gate.

Step Off Times

Bands should be assigned to appear once every 15 minutes. All Bands must adhere to their assigned Step Off Times.

Changes in the assigned Step Off times may be made for a variety of circumstances. These changes will be made by the NESBA Fall Activities  Director or the NESBA Coordinator.

Bands may be requested by the Fall Activities Director or the NESBA Coordinator to move up their assigned Step Off Time. The Band Director should make every effort to cooperate and assist with this request in the interest of the smooth flow of any NESBA Contest.


There will be only one (1) Intermission at any NESBA Field Competition. It will be 20 minutes in length.



The Band may enter the field from anywhere except over the front sideline. Percussionists who have helped to place instruments or equipment in the Pit Area may enter the field from the Pit.

Warm Up

A sixty (60) second musical warm-up will be allowed on or in the starting position prior to the start of the Band’s performance.


The Band must exit the field over the goal line to the right of the press box or the General Effect Box.

Free Zone

There shall be a Free-Zone the measurements of which shall be ten (10) feet in depth from all sidelines and shall extend from end zone to end zone. Any Band member may enter the Free-Zone to perform, exchange or pick up equipment, during the show.

Any equipment may be placed or picked up beyond the front Free-Zone, provided the performer does not step out of the 10ft zone.


Each band shall be in competition for not more than eleven (11) minutes nor less than seven (7) minutes. Hence, Minimum Time -- 7:00 minutes

Maximum Time -- 11:00 minutes



The use of fireworks is expressly forbidden. Use of such devices could result in Disqualification.

Code of Conduct

All schools and units must abide by the NESBA "Code of Conduct" as defined herein.

Delay In Contest

A two (2) point penalty shall be assessed for any unit causing a delay in smooth and consistent flow of any contest, unless they have received prior approval from the NESBA Activities Director or Contest Coordinator.

Dropping Out of A Contest

    (a) A penalty will be given to any unit who drops out of any NESBA Contest within (21) days prior to that particular event.

   (b) The penalty for failure to do so will be $200.00 per unit.

   (c) The $200.00 fine must be paid to NESBA before any subsequent appearances will be allowed.

Late To The Gate

"Late to the Gate" means creating or causing a delay in the smooth and consistent flow of the Contest. If a Band is to appear first in a particular Contest or on first after Intermission, the Band Director or his/her representative should check with the NESBA Contest Coordinator for a specific reporting time.


(a) "Coaching" is defined as attempting to provide assistance or direction to a unit in competition. This is only a consideration during a unit’s performance, and does not hinder sportsmanlike support.

(b) Coaching will result in a two (2) point penalty which may be assessed only by the NESBA Coordinator.

Position of Staff

All members of a unit’s Band Staff shall stay outside the 35 yard lines or in the stands during their Band’s performance.

Reserved Area For Staff

(a) A reserved area, usually the first row in front of the Press Box, will be  provided for staff viewing at all Contests. This area will be available for a staff only when their Band is performing, and when it is possible.

(b) In the event that a Press Box is unavailable, the staff viewing area will be to the left or right of the judging panel. It will be the responsibility of the Sponsor to keep this area clear of all other spectators.


All Bands must exit over the end line to the right of the Press Box or Effect Judges. Improper exit will result in a two (2) point penalty.


All units must be in competition for a minimum of seven (7) minutes and a maximum of eleven (11) minutes. Any undertime or overtime will result in a penalty of 1/10th of a point (.10) for every three (3) seconds or fraction thereof.

Once a Band has completed its program, it must be out of the competition area before 13 minutes. Failure to clear the field within this time of all participating members, equipment, and props is considered overtime for which a two (2) point penalty will be assessed.


One staff person of a Band may be designated as a retriever of dropped equipment that may jeopardize a unit’s performance.


(a) Equipment may be placed on the field before the program begins by any auxiliary personnel. Auxiliary personnel placing equipment on the field should be kept to a minimum.

(b) All equipment must be removed from the competition area within the 13 minute time limit. 

(c) Equipment may be placed in the Free-Zone by auxiliary personnel or by  playing members. All equipment must be retrieved and removed within the13 minute time limit.

(d) Once a program has started, auxiliary personnel should not move any of  the equipment that has been placed on the field or the sideline. They may NOT hand equipment to any competitor while they are in competition.

(e) Equipment may be handled by any member(s) of the Band or Colorguard/Band Front that are on the field. They may also move equipment from one place to another. These members or personnel must remain within the boundaries of the competition area, unless they act as a  Drum Major.

(f) Auxiliary personnel may not handle props or equipment while the Band is in competition. This refers to auxiliary personnel who are not on the competition field. Auxiliary personnel on the field will be considered as competing personnel.

(g) Once a Program has been completed, auxiliary personnel may go onto the  field to retrieve equipment that has been placed on the field.

(I) Auxiliary personnel will be allowed to hold and secure props during a Bands performance. No movement will be allowed by auxiliary personnel.


(a) Competing members that place equipment in the Pit Area or Free-Zone may enter the field from the Free-Zone. They do not have to go off the   field and go all the way around.

(b) Competing personnel who are needed to help remove equipment from  the Free-Zone may exit the field over the front line of the Free-Zone.

(c) Any member of the competing unit may enter the Free-Zone during the Band’s performance. Only members who are actually carrying equipment   from the Free-Zone may exit over that front line.

 Drum Major Boundaries

(a) There are no boundaries for Drum Majors. Drum Majors may move on or off the field as often as they wish during the Band’s performance.

(b) Once a Drum Major plays an instrument, s/he becomes a playing member and the boundaries are to be enforced until the instrument is out of his/her hands.

(c) Drum Majors or competing members may not play an instrument on the podium unless the podium is completely within the Free-Zone or on the competition field.


(a) Bands not completing their warm-up within the one (1) minute time will be assessed a one (1) point penalty.

(b) Bands warming up in areas other than those set aside as a warm-up area  by the Contest Sponsor will be assessed a two (2) point penalty.

COPYRIGHT    NESBA highy suggests that all units be attentive to copyright policies and requirements when using music, spoken word etc..  WGI and DCI have great resources on their web sites for works that are restricted for use.  NESBA is not a clearing house for copyright issues and we try to give the best information we can to all involved.


Medal Awards

Each band in competition will receive a Medal Award which will be Gold,  Silver or Bronze and will be determined by score as follows:

        Platinum Medal -- Total Score 95.00 and above

        Gold Medal -- Total Score 85.00 - 94.99

        Silver Medal -- Total Score 75.00 - 84.99

        Bronze Medal -- Total Score 45.00 - 74.99


Trophies will be awarded for the three (3) highest scoring Bands in each  Division. All other Bands will receive a participation award.(Amended June 2017)

If there is only one (1) Band in a Division, then there will be only one (1) award in that Division.

Trophies for "Best Awards" are optional at the Contest Sponsor’s discretion.

Best Awards

There will be Best Awards announced in each Division as follows:

High Auxiliary -- Selected By Visual Judges

High Music Score -- Selected by Music Performance and Ensemble Judges

High Percussion Score -- Selected by all Music Judges

The Best Awards will be presented before the scores and announced in each Division. Their tabulation is discussed in the Judging system of this manual.


The cancellation of any show due to inclement weather conditions will be a result of consultation and agreement to cancel by the Activities Director, Chief Assigning Judge, Contest Sponsor, and the President of NESBA.

If the show is moved inside (at the request of the sponsor) there will not be any scores announced but medal ratings only. The music judges will still be used for the event and if the show hosts requests, a guard judge will be a part of the panel as well.  (update 9/14/10)

 Sunday Noon Shows

-- Decision made between 8:00 - 9:00 am

-- Cancellation made official at 9:00 am

-- Participating Bands call Central Number for information about cancellation

-- For information, each Band and Judge will gp to the NESBA web, cell between 9:00 - 10:00 am

 Saturday 5:00 pm Shows

-- Decision made morning of event

-- Cancellation made official by Noon

-- Participating Bands call Central Number for information about cancellation

-- For information, each Band and Judge will go to the NESBA web, cell between 1:00 - 2:00 pm

 Number of Bands

If there are not at least eight (8) NESBA Bands and a total of at least ten (10) Bands scheduled into a Contest, the host shall have the option to cancel the Contest.

Cancellation shall be made at least two (2) weeks prior to the Contest and the Sponsor will notify all scheduled Bands of such cancellation by telephone and mail.

Band Directors are encouraged to invite non-NESBA Bands to participate either in the Festival Class, or for score in a NESBA Division.

Cancellation while Bands / Judges Are At A Contest

(a) If a show has already started or is about to start with all Bands on site, the  show may be canceled by a cooperative decision made by the NESBA   Contest Coordinator, Sponsor and the Executive Board Representative.

(b) If a show is canceled at this point, all Registration Fees are forfeited by the participating Bands.

(c) If a show continues despite inclement weather, a Director may, in the best interests of his students, decide not to perform. That Band will receive Championship Finals performance credit without penalty. The Band must appear on site for this credit to be given. This Band will use its other  Contest scores to determine its order of appearance at Championships.

(d) All judges in attendance must be paid in full.


 Host Eligibility

(a) In order to qualify to host a NESBA Field Contest, potential Sponsors must have a co-sponsor.

(b) Both potential Sponsors must have performed in the previous year’s NESBA Fall Championship Finals.

(c) Both potential Sponsors must be active performing members in NESBA during the hosting season.

(d) Ticket prices for regular shows are; $10.00 Adults and $8.00 students


(a) NESBA Members who wish to sponsor a NESBA Field Competition   must submit three (3) dates to the President of NESBA as requested by the President (usually in May).

(b) The President of NESBA and the Executive Board will assign dates and report to the General Body at the June meeting.

(c) Members will tentatively sign up for contests at the June General Body Meeting.

(d) If a Contest has a minimum of ten (10) bands, including the Sponsors, the Contest will be held.

(e) If a Contest does not have at least eight (8) NESBA bands and a total of ten (10) Bands including the Sponsors, the Sponsor may choose to cancel the Contest or may choose to have the Contest.

(i) If the Sponsor chooses to cancel the Contest, they must do so two (2)  weeks before the scheduled date.

(ii) In the event that the Contest is canceled, all Bands must be contacted by telephone.


The Contest Fee Policy for both the Fall and Winter seasons is as follows:

(a) At the conclusion of any Contest, any host that has not received a check,  cash, or a copy of the Purchase Order (PO) from a competing unit should consider that Band and or winter unit delinquent.

(b) The Sponsor should report delinquent units to the Treasurer of NESBA  within 48 hours of the show.

(c) The units will be notified by the Treasurer of their violation. If the unit does not resolve its delinquency before the Championship Finals, the unit will be considered ineligible for Finals participation.

(d) The Contest Sponsor shall inform the Treasurer immediately once the delinquent bill has been paid.

(e) Units with outstanding balances will be ineligible for participation in any NESBA activity unless all past balances are paid and advance payment of fees is made for the upcoming season.

(f)    The receipt of a copy of a Purchase order (PO) is considered payment.

(g)   The Contest Sponsor shall provide an invoice which will be mailed to the performing unit at least one (1) week prior to the event.


Trophies and Awards

Remember that you may need "Best Awards" for each Division, well as "Medal Awards" and first, second and third in each Division.  If you need to order your "Trophies and Medal Awards" 

Trophy Sizes

The following is a list of Trophy Sizes as approved by NESBA members:

1st Place 24"  2nd Place 20"  3rd Place 18"  Best Awards 12" (Percussion, Guard, and Music)


Two (2) weeks prior to the Contest, the NESBA Activities Director will send out Information Sheets to all competing units and the Chief Assigning Judge including Report Times and Step Off times. This will all be on line and done via the web site.


Ticket prices are standard for all regular NESBA contests as follows: Adults are $10 and students are $8. Championship Ticket Prices are   $15/person and $10/student.


Field Preparations

The field should be clearly marked every five (5) yards. Hash marks should be clearly defined and visible. The Pit Area should be clearly marked ten (10) feet from the front sideline. End zone to end zone.  Yard markers should be placed on the yard lines.

Electrical Current

The Sponsor of every NESBA Contest is responsible for providing electrical current at the fifty (50) yard line. Electrical current should be available in the pit area. There should also be electricity to the judges’ table for the copy machine and/or computer.


NESBA Fees should be given to the Coordinator immediately following the Intermission. The total will be $2400.00. 5 Judges, 1 Tab, 2 Coordinator(s).   For any Events that have over 15 bands, there will be an additional charge of $5.00 per judge. The hosting unit will also receive $125.00 per Band for registration to each event payable to the host band NOT NESBA. (Judge fee change amended June 2016.  $300.00 per judge.)  NESBA will send each show host an invoice prior to  your event confirming  the judges and fees.  Out of state judges (those that fly in or come from a great distance) will receive $350.00 for pay to compensate for the extra travel and to be in line with  the national average for out of area judges.

Sound System

You should have a good sound system with a microphone that may be used on the field for the announcement of scores and awards.

List of Trophy Presenters

If you will be having people presenting the trophies, please present a list of presenters to the NESBA Coordinator or have someone introduce your presenters prior to the start of the awards’ ceremony. You should make sure that there is a photographer to take pictures of the awards. Good publicity is good for everyone.

Air Grams

Will not be permitted for the Fall Band Season.

Police and First Aid

Please make sure that you have obtained the necessary police coverage and First Aid services to be available during the entire show.

Staff Badges

All Staff, Chaperones, Judges, Executive Board, and Directors will be provided with Staff Passes. These are the only passes you should accept at your show. Each Band will receive 18 staff passes.  An addiitional 7 passes may be purchased for a total of 25. Please speak to the NESBA coordinator for any badge information. (amended 6/11/13)

Badges are not valid at any championship events.  Wrist bands will be used and distributed at the event.  Each band will only receive 18 wrist band for staff/adults.

Pit Area

The Pit area should be clearly marked from End Zone to End Zone ten (10) feet from the front sideline.

Judge Parking

A separate area should be set aside for the Judges to park.

Parking Passes

Judges and Executive Board Members will have NESBA Parking Passes which should be displayed in their front window. Each Band will receive five (5) parking passes for trucks and busses.

Accommodations For Judges

All Contest Sponsors should provide a separate, somewhat secluded area for the Judges to utilize prior to the show and during the Intermission if desired. Contest Sponsors should also provide beverages and refreshments for the Judges at least 10 minutes prior to the Intermission.

NESBA Merchandise

As the sanctioning body of the show circuit, NESBA reserves the right to sell NESBA related apparel and merchandise at each show.

Contest Announcer

The Fall Activities Director will supply the Contest Announcer with an Announcement Sheet for each Band in the Competition, a list of the judges, an Order of Appearance and a sheet with a full list of Directions. A sample of these sheets may be found in Appendix of this Manual.  


DATE:    Sunday, November 3, 2019

SITE:     Lawrence Memorial Stadium

Time:    TBD  

Ticket Prices:  $15.00 adult   $10.00 HS Student and Senior Citizens

REQUIREMENTS -- Championship Registration Fee Paid ($300.00)

-- All Fees up to date

-- Participate in Number of Contests Required (one for competing bands - n/a for festival class)

-- Provide at least two (2) workers for Finals


-- All Bands will appear in reverse order of the most number of contest.