As Covid-19 continues to spread across the United States and football programs try to figure out how to hold football games this fall, college marching bands have been waiting patiently to hear how they will be impacted.
According to sources the American Athletic Conference (AAC) has passed a mandate for the 2020 football season regarding bands and spirit squads making them the first conference to have sweeping guidelines for all schools.
The guidelines create a difficult situation for band directors, but prioritize safety over everything else:
1) No visiting team bands or spirit squads
2) No on-field performance for the home team’s band
3) No spirit squads on the field to start the season
4) Home team band and spirit squad limits to be re-evaluated as stadium restrictions are lifted
These restrictions will impact Memphis, Navy, SMU, Tulane, Houston, Tulsa, Cincinnati, UCF, Temple, USF, and East Carolina. These are some of the
biggest and best bands in the country.
The UConn Band, which is no longer a member of the AAC, has already announced that they will not march this fall adding them to the list of bands that we will not see perform at halftime this year.
These guidelines mean no bands will perform their traditional pregame, halftime or post game shows. While sitting in the stands the bands will also plan for social distancing guidelines and potentially smaller bands depending on state guidelines for group sizes based on Covid-19 cases.
This is an unfortunate situation for marchers of the AAC in 2020, but the focus of these guidelines is to keep as many people safe as possible. The AAC will not be the only conference to set guidelines like these.
CollegeMarching.com has learned that other conferences are deep into the process of preparing guidelines for the fall and some may be even more restrictive.
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Temple Band Photo Credit: @Jeremy.shoots