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Rock Band League Rules

*updated 10/30/2023

1. Safety

The safety and well-being of our students is a top priority for the program. 

Rock Band League has zero tolerance for bullying and/or hate speech. Bullying is defined as aggressive verbal or physical behavior in which someone intentionally causes another person injury or discomfort. Hate speech is defined as abusive, discriminatory or threatening speech or writing that expresses prejudice against a particular group, especially on the basis of race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or gender.

Bullying or hate speech may take the form of:

  • Threats, insults or name-calling
  • Negative comments about a person’s appearance, lifestyle, family, etc.
  • General comments that are discriminatory in nature
  • Circulating inappropriate or embarrassing photos or content online
  • Interference with the success and enjoyment of other bands including:
    • Boo-ing
    • Expressing (verbally or otherwise) a wish for them to lose in competition
    • Bringing signage, displays or clothing that expresses negativity or sarcasm towards another band or musician.

Bullying and/or hate speech may take place in person or via social media, text messaging or other written communication. All forms of bullying behavior from one member of Rock Band League against another will be addressed as follows: 

1st Occurrence: Written and Verbal Warning. The parents or guardians of participants accused of bullying will be notified along with a written record of the occurrence. The League rules on bullying and hate speech will be reviewed with the participant and the participant will either be suspended or offered a second chance, depending on the severity of the occurrence and the immediate safety of others involved.

2nd Occurrence: Removal from the program. The second occurrence of bullying against another League participant after a warning will be considered grounds for dismissal with no refund.

2. Culture and Values

Confidence – We understand that it takes confidence to play music in a group setting. We believe that growing in confidence will help you both on and off stage; in both musicianship and interpersonal relationships.

Commitment – As a Rock Band League participant, you’re committing to the season, your band, your friends, and to doing your best. Committing to rehearsals and performance schedule and to listening to your coach holds up your end of the deal.

  • Presence at rehearsals is required for the success of each band – any more than 2 absences in a season will result in disciplinary action up to, and including termination in the program.
  • Practice outside of rehearsals is required in order to support the success of each band. Typically, RBL recommends 1-2 hours per week of outside practice but this varies widely depending on how advanced a band is and the difficulty of material being learned. 

Collaboration – Collaboration is built by valuing and considering the input of others in the group. It includes working to make decisions that are in the best interest of the band as a whole.

*Competition – Just as iron sharpens iron, we make each other better. We cheer others on and challenge each other to do our best. Just because there are winners, doesn’t mean there has to be losers. 

The League reserves the right to review the conduct of any participant or parent and supervise, restrict or terminate participation in the program.

3. Registration and Band Draft

Participants can register as individuals or as groups. When registering as an individual, it is the sole discretion of the League to place the participant into a band that best fits placement criteria such as age, skill level, and scheduling preferences. 

The minimum group size for an eligible band is 5 members. The maximum is 7. Each band must be composed of a drummer, instrumentalists, and singer(s). Standard instruments include bass, acoustic/electric guitar, and keyboard. Non-standard instruments such as ukulele, violin, cello, trumpet, flute, etc. will be considered on an as-needed basis and the League will determine if placement will be approved. 

When registering as a group, participants understand the League has the authority to place additional members into the group to reach minimum requirements of eligibility to participate.

4. Outside Performances

Occasional performance opportunities may be offered to bands that are a part of Rock Band League. These are completely voluntary in nature, and are often coordinated by third party event organizers. Mason Music and Rock Band League will provide information and contacts but will not be responsible for equipment, fees, or preparation related to these outside performances unless expressly communicated. 

5. Extra Rehearsals

Bands may request additional rehearsals beyond the standard schedule with their coach. This will be subject to coach and rehearsal space availability. An additional fee will be charged to the band at $100 per rehearsal to cover the cost of the coach and the rehearsal space. 

6. Insurance and Liability

It is the responsibility of the parents or legal guardians of the participants of Rock Band League to provide, keep and maintain health and accident insurance coverage for their children.

7. Competition and Awards

7a. Determination of Divisions

Rock Band League is separated into two divisions known as Openers and Headliners. 

Openers are any band made up of members whose average grade is 8th or below. In other words, elementary or middle school (on average). 

Headliners are any band made up of members whose average grade is 9th or above. In other words, Headliners are High School students (on average). 

From one season to the next, members do not ‘move up’ to the Headliners division as individuals; instead, they stay with their band and when the band’s average age reaches the criteria above, the entire band moves up to a Headliners band. 

Division criteria is evaluated at the beginning of the season and determination will not change if there are any changes of a band’s lineup mid-season that would shift the average grade to a different division. In other words, whichever division is determined at the beginning of the season is the division they will compete in all season long, even if they add an older or younger member and the average changes. 

7b. Competition

It is the intent of Rock Band League to be a moderately competitive program designed to improve the skills of the musicians who participate. The competitive nature of the final performance (the Battle of the Bands) of the season is intended to raise the stakes of the season and focus the students on the work needed to compete with other bands. While there is ranked judging and ‘winners’ at the final event, there are no ‘losers.’ 

Judges are selected who are non-partial. Judges will not have any of the following affiliations to a participant in the program:

  • Relative
  • Teacher (past or present)
  • Family friend

Judging criteria is as follows: 

  • Song Selection
  • Stage Presence
  • Musicianship
  • Execution

Judges will rate each band and compile their results before having a brief discussion and announcing their results. The following awards will be given in each division:

  • Best Song 
  • Runner Up 
  • Best Band 
  • Fan Favorite 

Coaches Awards:

  • Band MVP
  • Overall MVP a.k.a Dewey Finn Award
  • Instrumentalist Awards: The decision to award an instrumentalist rests with the sole discretion of our coaches and program directors. These awards are not necessarily awarded to the most objectively talented musician per instrument. Consideration will be given to musicians who improve throughout the season, have a spectacular performance on stage, and/or otherwise impress our program staff in a meaningful way. 

8. Exceptions

Certain unique circumstances require special exceptions. The League reserves the right to offer exceptions to their rules when the exception is in the best interest of the program in general. An exception offered in a previous season does not guarantee that the exception automatically renews, or that it must be offered to everyone.