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24 Game Management

Bands and Field Ceremonies

Chapter 24. Game Management
Pg. 101

Bands and Field Ceremonies
Officials must understand the band’s
role and be prepared to deal with the
challenges they may present. Band
members/leaders have a role and they
must be treated with respect. There can
be many pitfalls and if the officials take
the attitude that it’s a football game and
the band has no rights, there is sure to
be ill will generated.
At many games, there is not a
scripted pregame sequence. Even when
there is a plan for a ceremony, no one
with knowledge of it may be available
to inform the officials. Officials must be
flexible and not take a rigid approach. If
the Referee decides he’s going to get the
captains at the five-minute mark and toss
the coin with three minutes and nothing
will get in the way, the game is likely to
begin on the wrong foot.
If the band is in the middle of the field
when it’s time for the coin toss or another
pregame ceremony such as Parents
Night is still in progress, the Referee has
two choices:
• Wait for the band to leave or the
ceremony to end, or
• Do the coin toss ceremony at another
part of the field.
Do not charge through the band or
other ceremony with the captains. Work
with the game administrator to move
things along as quickly as possible.
If the Athletic Director plans 25-minute
homecoming ceremonies, inform the
game administrator that is in violation of
the rule and you are required to assess a
five-yard penalty against the home team
for delay of game. Report the incident to
CHSAA through the Area Director.
If the band is on the field or other half
time activities are still in progress when
the clock starts for the 3-minute warmup,
allow the activities to complete.
The players can warm up elsewhere. If
the start of the second half is delayed,
beyond the control of either coach, the
Referee has the discretionary use of a
five-yard penalty for delay of game on
the second half kickoff against the home
General guidance for officials during
the game:
Do not tolerate the use of a whistle.
When the first whistle is heard, the game
must be stopped and the issue politely
Do not ask a band to stop playing
unless a complaint is made.
If a request is by a head coach, the
Referee must address the issue with
game management. Only in a rare
scenario would a band not be able to
play at all.
If the band is playing while their own
team has the ball, it is strictly an issue
between the coaching staff and game
If, after a reasonable amount of time,
home management does not cooperate
with the Referee’s request, the home
team head coach should be flagged for
unsportsmanlike conduct.