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Marching Band Frequently Asked Questions

(Clicking a question will reveal the answer)

bulletWhy Join Marching Band?
bulletBecause it will be one of the most rewarding experiences of your lifetime!  CLICK HERE for some thoughts from past and present band members.
bulletWhat are "Student Points"?  What is my student point balance?
bulletWhen Band members are directly involved in soliciting funds, the money they earn is held in trust in a Student Points Account set up in their name. The points they earn can then be disbursed as needed for things such as trips, band merchandise, uniforms, etc. Adobe AcrobatCLICK HERE for more information! (To find out your student point balance please see your team captain.)
bulletWe're a Group VI band...what does that mean and how are the groupings decided?
bulletUS Bands classifies participating bands based on the total number of performers in each ensemble. This includes playing members, auxiliary (color guard, majorettes, etc.), and command personnel (drum majors, color guard captains, etc.). This does not include members of an American Section (or Honor Guard) when these members do not move or otherwise add to the effect of the program during the band's performance.
Group I: up to 38 members
Group II: 39 - 53 members
Group III: 54 - 70 members
Group IV: 71 - 95 members
Group V: 96 - 130 members
Group VI: 131 or more members
Bands may move up in group size at any time. However, after a band has performed in one US Bands-adjudicated show, the band may move into a lower group size only with the approval of the US Bands Director.
Bands are further classified in either Open Class, A Class, or Festival Class.
Open Class Seasoned ensembles that demonstrate expanded skill sets and are adjudicated on a scale supporting intermediate to advanced skills.
Class A Ensembles who demonstrate a basic to intermediate skill set (may be building/rebuilding their program) and are adjudicated on a scale representing fundamental to intermediate skills.
Festival Class Ensembles who prefer a non-competitive experience at any USBands-sanctioned event. Ensembles in this classification may receive commentary by adjudicators, score sheets, and will be awarded ratings of Superior, Excellent, Good, or Fair. The rating will be announced and will appear on recaps.
bullet Some US Bands Shows are designated Silver Star Shows, others are Gold Star Shows... what does that mean?
bulletThis has to do with the size of the show and the number of adjudicators.
Silver Star US Band Shows consist of four adjudicators:
Visual Performance, Individual Music Performance, Ensemble Music Performance and Overall Effect
Gold Star US Bands Shows
consist of the four above adjudicators as well as two additional judges, whose scores do not count towards the band's total score for placement. The two additional adjudicators are Percussion and Color Guard
bulletHow are competitions scored?
bulletUSBands uses a 5-Box criteria system on all adjudication sheets. Each box includes a range of numbers that move upward during the season. Sample sheets are available online at The standard captions that make up the judging systems are as follows:
    Visual Performance: 400 points
    Individual Music Performance: 400 points
    Ensemble Music Performance: 400 points
    Overall Effect: 400 points
At select USBands Regional, State and Championship level competitions, the adjudication system may consist of a five-member panel (double overall effect) and additional adjudicators in the Percussion and Color Guard caption areas.
bulletWhere can I find the US Bands Rule Book?
bulletPlease see for the latest USSBA rule book.