USSBA announces A and Open classification at all local events

Extension allows improved placement of all participating bands

After many years of competition at local events between bands based exclusively on size, the US Scholastic Band Association announced recently that competition will be further extended to A and Open classifications at all events beginning with the fall marching band season. 

“The philosophy between A and Open Class bands has been with us since the very beginning of the USSBA,” said George Hopkins, founder of the USSBA and CEO of YEA!, parent organization of the USSBA.   “Our belief is that it is unfair to put some of the best bands in the nation in competition with others who may be in the developmental stages.  This extension from two levels of classification at Regional and Championship events to local events, allows us to correctly place the right bands in the right competitive classification at all events with the USSBA name on them.” 

For more detail on Hopkins’ viewpoint on competition, CLICK HERE.  

“With the expansion of the USSBA to serve and increased number of bands in local events, we determined that the time was right for expansion to include A and Open classes at local events,” said Sean King, Director of the USSBA, in announcing this modification for the coming season. 

 “We believe this move is in line with our competitive philosophies and provides bands with the best possible experience at every USSBA event.  As always our goal is to put our students first by allowing more bands to return home with a sense of accomplishment,” said King. 

“Now, bands who may have felt intimidated by the bands in their class, will have the opportunity for achievement in a class best suited for their level of performance.  This is something educators, band students, parents and school administrators will all be able to understand and embrace.”  

Until 2010, competition between bands in different groups and subsets based on classification was allowed only at USSBA Regional, State and National level Championship competitions. 

A and Open classifications are determined by band’s achievements and accomplishments on and off the field.  Open Class bands are generally more competitive, have significant resources and well-functioning band booster groups when compared to A Class bands.  On the other hand, A Class bands have a less competitive approach to the activity, are less well-funded and are usually in the category of growing or rebuilding.  

Register your band to participate in the 2010 USSBA fall marching band season by CLICKING HERE. 

If you have any questions regarding the 2010 USSBA Season or the new competitive classifications, please contact Courtney Beard at or (610) 821-0345, Ext. 137.


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