Guidelines for Band Performing at Regular Season Football Contests

 NOTE: Please consult with your local or state health department amd school administration regarding the current restrictions/allowances relative to allowable group size and social distancing recommendations.


     The participation of bands at a school football contest is an exciting aspect of the event.  The band contributes to the event by increasing the level of excitement and adding a ‘touch of class’ to the contest.  In order to maintain a proper perspective and to insure equity in competition for the participating teams, a few guidelines must be followed.  It is suggested that the band director work closely with the cheer coach and administration to create a schedule so everyone can support the team.

     During the contest, bands are to play ONLY during pregame, halftime, postgame, the time between quarters, timeouts (except injury time-outs) and between plays (stopping prior to the referee’s whistle for ‘ready for play’).  Bands that are seated near the end zone should not play if the line of scrimmage is inside the 10-yard line on the end close to the band.

     After a touchdown, field goal, extra point, or safety, the band may play the school fight song, etc.; however, the director must be sure the band stops playing when the official blows the 'ready for play' whistle to start the next play.  Any band that plays or continues to produce sound on instruments would be considered an 'unfair act' under NFHS Football Rule 9-9-1 and could result in a 15-yard penalty being assessed to the head football coach of the offending school for unsportsmanlike conduct.  

    When bands want to warm-up prior to half-time, directors should arrange this so that it is done in an area that is not a distraction to the contest.  NOTE:  No whistles may be used while the game is in progress.

     Because the band acts as a spirit group, members should always act in a positive manner and must not do anything to distract or negatively affect the opposing team.  It is the director’s responsibility to prevent his/her band from playing at inappropriate times, playing inappropriate music, or taunting the opposing team and/or contest officials.

    The band must display courtesy and respect toward the players, cheerleaders, and fans.  To do anything else is not only a distraction from the contest but also reflects negatively on the band, the director, and the school.  Support your school and team in a positive manner.