Marching Band Championship

Any high school band that is a member of its state band association is invited to compete.

No more than 28 bands will be accepted for the Arkansas Open.  In the event 9 or less bands enter, the contest may cancel.

The entry fee is $225.  Bands are not officially entered until their entry fee is received.

Classification is determined by the total number of musicians performing - this INCLUDES percussion.

Bands may elect to enter a larger classification if they choose, but not a lower one.

Performance order is determined within classifications by placement of the previous year's competition.  Bands who did not compete the previous year will be scheduled ahead of bands that competed, by reverse order of entry.

The classes break down as follows:
Class A:       1-25 musicians
Class AA:     26-50 musicians
Class AAA:   51-74 musicians
Class AAAA: 75-105 musicians
Class AAAAA:  106 or more musicians

There is no minimum or maximum show length.  However, bands have 16 minutes of "stadium time."  This time begins at the scheduled performance time, unless a band has caused the competition to run behind.  Any band who causes the contest to adjust the scheduled times for other bands will be assessed a 2 point “delay of contest” penalty.

• Penalties are extremely rare, and will only be used if a band causes the competition to be unfair for the other bands.
• Musicians MAY NOT warmup outside the designated warm up areas.  This does not apply to colorguards or marching blocks unless an amplifying sound system is used.
• No fire or fireworks will be allowed in the stadium, nor will any prop or effect that could potentially damage the contest field.  Bands who violate this rule will be DISQUALIFIED, and no refund given.  This rule is in place to assure managers of contest sites that their fields will not be damaged.
• Penalties can only be assessed by the contest director, and will be subtracted from the overall band score after judging is complete.  The judges will not be informed of potential penalties.  Penalties can only be assessed for the items listed above, or for unsportsmanlike conduct on the part of any band member, director, staff member, or PARENT.

Ties in scores will not be broken.

The top five scoring bands, regardless of classification, will be considered "Finalists."  In the event a large number of bands have entered, the contest reserves the right to increase the number of these "Finalists."

The contest is run on a caption-judged format.  There are six band judges.  Each judge will be responsible for a portion of the band's total score - no scores will be dropped, and no averages are taken.

Please note that while caption-based judging is in place, the system is designed for bands to be evaluated on a one-time performance.  This differs from BOA-type scoring in that the criteria-based rubrics are less rigorous, making it easier for bands to earn Superior and Excellent ratings.

There are two judges each in the captions of MUSIC, MARCHING, and OVERALL EFFECT.  The Music judges will each be responsible for 20% of the band's score.  Music, therefore, will consitute 40% of the band's score.

Each of the Marching and Effect judges will be responsible for 15% of the band's total score.  EFFECT is defined as the relationship between the musical and visual presentations.  While they may contribute to the band's effect, audience reaction and special effects are not being judged.

There is one judge each for PERCUSSION, and COLORGUARD performance.  These judges determine placement and awards within their captions - they do not affect the band's score.

A numerical score determines the band's rating and ranking, as well as those of the auxiliary units.  Ratings are assigned as follows:
I (Superior)      80.0-100.0
II (Excellent)    60.0 - 79.9
III (Average)     40.0 - 59.9
IV (Below Avg)  0.0 - 39.9

If weather conditions are considered by the contest director to be unsafe, the event will be declared a rainout.  Unsafe conditions include, but are not limited to, extremely heavy rain, the presence of lightning, or the issuance of weather warnings.

If the contest is called a rainout before it begins, the contest will move indoors (if facilities are available), and the competition will become a standstill music competition.  Marching performance will not be judged.

If facilities are not available, the contest will be canceled.  The entry fees will be refunded, minus an amount to cover the judges' travel expenses.  These expenses will be totaled, divided by the number of registered bands, and withheld equally from all bands' entry fees.  The remainder will be returned.  Note:  Refunds will not be made to bands who choose to pull out of the contest before it is officially canceled.

Refunds will not be made for bands who cancel out of the event after the registration deadline.