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BOA releases updated rulebook

Ties for overall champion titles will no longer be broken, according to the latest iteration of the Bands of America Adjudication Handbook released May 15. Modifications also include changes to the adjudication sheets and the criteria judges use to determine scores.

Avon (IN) performs at the 2016 Grand National Championships Nov. 12,
2016. The band tied Carmel for the highest score, but Carmel won the
tiebreaker and was named national champion. Under new rules that will
take effect this season, both schools would be named national champions.
Beginning this fall, any tie for first place overall will result in two (or more) regional, super regional, or national champions. Ties for class champion titles and overall placements will still be broken using the higher general effect score.

This change comes after Carmel won the 2016 national champion title over Avon because of a tiebreaker. Under this new system, both bands would be named national champions.

Additionally, some changes have been made to how the individual performance judges, those located on field level, will adjudicate their respective captions.

Visual performance individual judges will now assess the challenges and skills of a group in addition to accuracy and definition. This changes the verbiage to reward bands who challenge themselves visually with a variety of skills instead of those who perfect a limited skill set. That variety of skills includes form, body, and equipment challenges, such as advanced rifle or sabre skills; tempo and pulse, such as fast tempi or mixed meters; and handling multiple responsibilities simultaneously.

Music performance individual judges will assess the same skills as in prior years: tone quality, intonation, accuracy, and technique, but will no longer give separate subcaption scores for brass, percussion, and woodwinds.

Several other minor procedural changes were made to the handbook:

— Fall Housing Bureau rule added. Bands competing at super regionals and Grand Nationals have previously been required to make hotel reservations through this housing bureau. This rule has now been added to the adjudication handbook, and bands that violate this rule will not be permitted to perform. A detailed explanation of the importance of the housing bureau can be found on the Music For All website.

— Slight changes made to enrollment maximums. Maximum enrollment at regional events is now "up to 34 bands at select regionals," down one from 35 bands in the 2016 adjudication handbook. Super regional enrollment remains at a maximum of 64 bands for two-day super regionals and 34 bands for one-day super regionals. Grand National enrollment remains at a 100-band maximum.

— Additional credentials available for purchase. Bands are now able to purchase up to 10 additional credentials for directors, staff, and anyone else who will accompany the band through event flow. These 10 additional credentials can include up to four additional director name badges, which grant an individual access to event flow areas and general admission seating for the entire event. This brings the total number of credentials a band may use to 41, up from 36 in 2016.

— Grand Nationals random draw will take place at check-in. Previously the performance time draw takes place during the directors meeting immediately following the prelims awards ceremony. Shifting the pre-draw to check-in will allow directors to better plan for their semifinals performance time.


  1. I can't imagine that Avon or Carmel would have been super happy being named co-National Champions. As heartbreaking as it likely was for Avon, it would have probably felt weird for them to both have been winners.

  2. I disagree. Id rather be co-champions than be 2nd place!Every little bit closer to being the champion makes a difference when a band puts in many hours of hard work!

  3. So BOA is officially pulling a DCI '96, '99, and '00? What happened at nationals was something that will likely never happen again. Looking back on the DCI retreat video from '99, absolutely no one was happy with that tie. Doesn't sound like a "positive life changing experience" to me.

  4. Unpopular opinion but honestly I think ties should be broken at the 12th place mark too making only 12 finalists and then broken again for championship spot so there's one national champion. GE makes up 60% of a total performance score and, even if two bands are neck and neck score wise with one winning 20% in Music, 20% in visual, and the other wins 60% in GE the latter still has a 20% lead on the other and deserves the upper hand.


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