2021 USBands Rules & Policies Release


2021 USBands Rules & Policies Release

Over the past few weeks, USBands has been steadily releasing information on the upcoming 2021 fall marching band season.  

In order to achieve a successful experience for our students, we continue to stay grounded in our guiding principles; specifically, Sustainability, Empathy, and Equity when working on the USBands Rule and Policy Modifications for 2021. We are excited to share with you some of the adjustments that will be taking place for the 2021 Season.


Suggested Rule & Policy Modifications

Group Sizes

After lengthy discussions with directors over time and in response to the anticipated reduction in student participation in the fall of 2021, USBands will be revamping its Group structure from six to five competitive classes. Precise final Group classifications will be announced later this summer as data is accumulated from band registration beginning in March. Group sizes for Texas will remain separate from the USBands classifications in the New England, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, and Mountain West regions.

Registration Fees

Given the unknown challenges of the post-pandemic environment and its effects on school district budgets and booster fundraising, USBands announces a freeze on pricing at 2018 and 2019 fee levels, and fee reductions in a few cases as part of a three-year strategy to align fees to make it as easy, convenient, and economical to access high-quality student experiences with USBands.

Event Host fees will remain at the same level for the third consecutive year, as USBands increases the value by adding a second Overall Effect judge to the panel of every event. USBands has sought to reduce expenses in an effort to better support our Event Hosts and member schools and is doing our best to pass those savings along to our schools.

Ticket pricing will remain at the same level as 2018 and 2019, with bands still receiving Optional Tickets at a discounted price to be used by Boosters as a fundraiser for their program. Required Tickets for events will be phased out by 2022, but are still available upon request for those bands who set their budget with their fees are covered by the Required Ticket model. 

The 2021-2022 Annual Membership fee will be reduced by $50 for those renewing or creating their membership. The USBands Annual Membership will have more benefits targeted specifically to the needs of music educators and their student performers. 

Here is a brief list of benefits for the 2021-2022 School Year.  

  • Unlimited local event participation

  • (1) Complimentary v-USBands submission and evaluation ($85 value)

  • Complimentary e-adjudicate Level 100 Training Program ($75 value)

  • Ultimate Drill Book Complimentary Educator Licenses and Discounted Student Licenses 

  • Tresona copyright concierge services

  • Priority Access to Registration for all USBands events

  • Invitations to Member-Exclusive Special Events online and in-person such as the Monthly Keynote debuting in 2021

  • Discounted and/or Complimentary Access to Educational Training, Workshops & Events

For your convenience, educators can renew their membership at the time of registration in March, although the term and benefits will commence on July 1, 2021. Please be sure to indicate your desire to renew your membership at the time of registering for 2021 fall events. 

Small Band Group Initiatives

Equity and inclusion for music programs are not only defined by the level of proficiency, development, and resources available, but also by the number of participating students per band. USBands rededicates its commitment in this season of emerging opportunities to the smaller bands by committing more resources on our end in developing these programs. 

Three separate initiatives will  debut in the 2021 fall marching band season including:

• Specific USBands local events geared exclusively towards improved experiences for small bands

• Adjudicator and Clinicians with specialty experience in working with developing programs

• Clinics and workshops for directors, staff, and students of bands with fewer than 50 students


We continue with cautious optimism that we will once again be able to take to the field this fall. It is our hope that through the series of releases over the past few weeks directors have seen the steps we are taking to listen, learn and develop while we consistently evaluate and improve each element of our service to the music educators who participate with USBands.  

It is our privilege to be able to serve the educators, students, and parents throughout the entire music education community and in these times of uncertainty and change, we commit ourselves to accessible excellence in all that we do.

As we have learned through the past year, there will always be moments of uncertainty and adjustments to be made. Please know that we encourage you to reach out if you have thoughts, questions, or ideas on how we can work together to make a wonderful and impactful season for the students we serve.

-Team USBands

We are just one week away from the 2021 National Sign-Up Day on March 4! But don’t forget, USBands Member Schools will have priority access to registration beginning on Monday, March 1. Please reach out to any member of the USBands Team at marching@usbands.org with any questions you may have!

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