Naval Academy football game pushes event back

A colorguard prepares to perform at USSBA National Championships in 2009. This season will mark the fifth year the USSBA has held its championship at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md.


Sitting at his desk, working on putting the finishing touches on the 2011 USSBA Fall Marching Band schedule, an alert popped up telling Sean King, Director of the USSBA, that official 2011 Naval Academy football schedule was announced. (Yes, there is a network that reports such items to the USSBA.)

navy stadiumImagine the astonishment when King clicked to read that the date originally scheduled for the USSBA Championships was now occupied by a home game for the Midshipmen versus Troy.

Rewind back to early September when the US Naval Academy gave the "green light" on the original date for the Sixth Annual USSBA National Championship. Everything was in order, the stadium facility representatives were on board. All was set. Or so it was thought.

After a few frantic calls and emails, the USSBA team found there were some last minute changes made to accommodate the Navy team, and while the USSBA is a welcomed guest, the stadium's main tenant remains the successful football squad and the game with Troy obviously takes precedence.

Back to the drawing board.

The USSBA rolled up their sleeves and looked at all possible alternatives.

Shortening the season to end the weekend of October 30 would severely impact plans for the fall, including many of the local hosts who make up the backbone of the organization.

Extending to the second full weekend of November is a challenge for many bands that look to end early due to conflicts with student schedules.

Moving to another venue would create too many issues to resolve in such a short period of time.

After all of the analysis, multiple versions of schedule options and a little prayer; it is with excitement and a full commitment from the Naval Academy Athletic Association the USSBA is proud to announce that the National Championship will be held Nov. 11-13 at the Navy- Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md.

"We realize this creates an inconvenience for many of the bands who have already registered for the event, as well as those who have begun building their schedule around the traditional end of the season – the first full weekend of November," said King. "We understand adding another week to the schedule is difficult, but this is hopefully a one-time event and we will be able to resume our original date in 2012 and beyond.  After the schedule changes of 2010, we are thankful that it is January and everyone has time to plan accordingly."

George Hopkins, CEO of YEA! and founder of the USSBA said, "there are two main issues at play in making this decision: weather and scheduling conflicts on behalf of the bands.  Many bands shut down early in November as students move in to other endeavors, we hope that for the 2011 season, we have made this announcement early enough so all bands who intend on attending can make appropriate plans."

"As for the weather," Hopkins, a semi-professional meteorologist added, "the high and low temperatures are only two degrees lower on average for the Nov. 11-13 dates than the previous weekend, and the Chamber of Commerce has guaranteed us perfect conditions so we will move ahead to produce a magnificent event for all involved!"

How does this impact the remainder of the season?

"We are still locking in exact dates and locations for the State Championships, but preliminarily, the States are scheduled now to be held on the weekend of Oct. 29-30 or Nov. 5-6 for bands in the New England and Mid-Atlantic regions," said King. "There could be some minor changes but, realistically it makes the most sense to continue our pattern of Nationals following the States whenever possible."

Major events such as the DeMoulin Challenges and the Yamaha Cup will be announced as schedules for these venues come online in the next few weeks.


The USSBA has scheduled a State of the USSBA webinar for Tuesday, Jan. 18 from 3-4 p.m. to discuss the schedule and other new and exciting developments for the organization in 2011. To register, click on the link below:

For further information on the Webinar, contact Courtney Beard at, or by telephone at (610) 821-0345, Ext. 137.



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