Indoor Classifications for Percussion & Color Guard

USBands uses a classification system that is designed to ensure ensembles of like size, style, and experiences are grouped together. A criteria-based adjudication system is utilized, each competitive class is adjusted on a separate scale that reflects its skill set and its anticipated level of proficiency.

USBands provides proficiency classifications to ensure that ensembles are competing with ensembles at or about the same relative skill level, thus providing a progressive educational experience for performers at any level.

Exhibition - Exhibition ensembles will not receive adjudicator feedback or scores and will not be included in the critique schedule. This is a performance opportunity only.

Elementary - Reserved for ensembles ranging from Kindergarten to 5th grade level.

Middle School - Reserved for ensembles ranging from 6th to 8th grade level.

Novice - An introductory class for new ensembles to provide entry level experience. This class is reserved for ensembles that are in their first two years of existence.

Regional A - Display basic to intermediate skill sets, show design, and performance expectations. These ensembles likely do not have competitive experiene on a national level.

A Class - Display a broad range of intermediate skill sets, show design, and performance expectations. These ensembles may or may not have competitive experience on a national level. 

Open Class - Display advanced skill sets, show design, and performance expectations. These ensembles also have significant competitive experience on a national level. 

World Class - Display complex skill sets, show designs, and performance expectations. These ensembles historically set performance standards on a national level. 

Criteria for classification will include, but not be limited to:

  • Competitive results
  • History
  • Ensemble-to-Ensemble Comparison
  • Other Circumstances (Ensemble Director Status, etc.)

Additionally for USBands' percussion groups, classification can also be broken into three categories:

Marching Percussion – Do you play and move? This is you.
Standstill Percussion – This is for groups that utilize both pit percussion and a battery, but the battery does not march.
Concert Percussion – Pit percussion only

New ensembles will be classified in collaboration with USBands and the Ensembles Director's selection in the online database. USBands may review and make changes to a new ensemble's classification after the first performance in an event.

USbands reserves the right to reclassify ensembles based on the data collected at our events. If it is determined that an ensemble is in need of reclassification, a written notice will be generated by the USBands office.

Top finishers in each Class will be evaluated and may be promoted to the next class, if appropriate, as a reward for excellence and high achievement.


About Us

Our Mission is to support the development of young people into magnificent human beings through participation in the performing arts.


For general information about YEA! and our programs please contact us at:

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 P.O. Box 1998      
     Allentown, PA 18105