Independent units welcome in USSBA Indoor 2011

All-Age groups invited to compete as well

Resources are at a premium for all indoor performing ensembles.  The new economic reality has forced budgetary cuts for units, while gym time for rehearsals is a hardship at many schools. 

It is within the context of this “new reality,” that the US Scholastic Band Association is very pleased to announce the opportunity for all high school, middle school and elementary school students to participate in the USSBA Indoor Colorguard and the Zildjian Indoor Percussion Series, no matter their unit’s affiliation with a specific school. Independent guard and percussion units will now be welcome at all local and Championship events, however in a different environment than other programs around the country. 

Eric Kitchenman, Education Director for USSBA Indoor said, “In recent weeks it has become apparent that many scholastic teams have chosen to NOT field units this winter and spring due to serious budget cuts. Many schools have had funding withdrawn for extra- curricular activities.   Indoor colorguard and percussion programs that would like to have an opportunity to perform have been forced to shut their doors.  In this environment there were some that have been searching for an answer to this dilemma and found collaboration to be that answer.” 

Kitchenman added, “Several schools have merged efforts for their students to participate on the gym floor.  Schools that are in the same school district or that are simply neighbors have joined together through cooperation and are now able to support a unit to perform this winter. Sometimes a guard or percussion line is sponsored by the school but other times it is independent of either high school.” 

Sean King, Director of the USSBA Indoor said, “It is in this spirit of support and collaboration that the USSBA will welcome these independent units beginning with the 2011 season.  In fact, these teams will compete in the same environment as the high school sponsored groups. There is really no reason to separate such in our mind.” 

To be clear, all participants must be active students enrolled in an elementary, middle/junior high school or high school, to participate in the USSBA School-based classes. 

As a point of order, to keep the competitive arena fair for all, independent units may be asked to supply background information of participants should there be any questions or concern of validity.

A new All-Age Division has also been introduced for the 2011 season and will provide a place for those groups who have participants consisting of high school-aged students, recent graduates as well as college students and beyond.   

Here is a brief overview of the participation policy for USSBA Indoor Colorguard and the Zildjian Indoor Percussion Series: 

The School-Based Classes: A, AA, AAA 

  • Open to high school and independent groups who have students within the programs who are enrolled in an elementary, middle/junior or high school. College students or high school graduates are NOT allowed to perform in this division

The All-Age Class: Only One Class AAA 

  • Open to groups who do march high school students, high school graduates and college students.  

For more information on participating in the 2011 USSBA Indoor Colorguard and Zildjian Percussion Series, please contact Jonathan Swengler at or Greg Jackson at


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