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University of Texas at Austin
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Director of Music
Dr. Bradley Kent

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Eight Hour Marching Band Rule Q&A

Since 1997 the UIL has limited practice outside the academic school day for marching band and auxiliary components to eight hours per calendar week. The Student/Parent Acknowledgement Form came from a recommendation made by the UIL/TMEA Marching Band Study Committee after many months of research and deliberation. The form was created to enlighten students and parents regarding the specifies of the 8-hour rule as it applies to marching band. The form can be found on the Marching Band Contest page of the UIL web site.

Q: To whom do I send the signed form?

A: The local school district is expected to keep these form on file.

Q: What is the deadline for having the form signed?

A: The director should have the forms signed and on file by the first day of school.

Q: When does the 8-hour rule begin?

A: The first day of school. 

Q: Does the 8 hour rule apply "per student" or is it inclusive of all marching band rehearsals of all components? For example, if the woodwinds were to rehearse three hours on Monday, do all components of the marching band only have five hours remaining OR do just the students attending the three hour woodwind rehearsal have five hours remaining?

A: As stated in the Parent/Student Acknowledgement Form, "No student may be required to attend practice for marching band for more than eight hours of rehearsal outside the academic school day per calendar week (Sunday through Saturday)." Therefore, the eight hour limit for rehearsal is "per student" and in the above scenario where only the woodwinds rehearsed three hours on Monday, only those students would have five hours remaining.  However, any marching band student NOT participating in this woodwind rehearsal would have eight hours remaining.  

Q: Does meeting, warming-up or doing a "run through" prior to a performance count towards the eight hours?

A: On performance days (football games, competitions and other public performances) bands may hold up to one additional hour warm-up, run-through or dress rehearsal beyond the eight hour limitation.

Q: Does the drum line, color guard,  or other auxiliary unit have any additional rehearsal time beyond the eight hours?

A: No. The eight hours is cumulative per student for all components of the marching band, including its auxiliaries units (drumline, color guard, twirlers, etc.). 

Q: Does the drum line, color guard or other auxiliary have additional rehearsal time beyond the eight hours if they are preparing for competition other than marching contest?

A: No. The eight hour rule is inclusive of all marching related activities during the marching season.

Q: If a band does not use all of its eight hours in one week can the unused hours be "carried over" into the next calendar week?

A: No.

Q: Do parades or other kinds of public performances count towards the eight hours?

A: No.

Q: If the drum major or section leader calls an extra rehearsal for individuals or sections of the band will the extra rehearsal count towards the eight hours?

A: Yes.

Q: Does voluntary practice for activities such as all district, all region or all state tryouts count towards the eight hour limitation on marching band rehearsals?

A: No.

Q: Does set-up time, movement to and from the field, etc. count as part of the eight hours?

A: No.

Q: How does the eight hour marching rehearsal rule affect students who are in more than one extracurricular activity?

A: A student who is in more than one activity such as marching band and cross country, marching band and drama or marching band and jazz ensemble is permitted eight hours per activity. For example a student could rehearse eight hours during the calendar week with marching band and still be able to attend rehearsals or practices for another activity.