This Saturday (6 Feb 2016), immediately following the conclusion of the AGM, a members meeting was held to discuss some of the key areas that are a concern to our current member units.
Part of that conversation was around our current Class structure and age restrictions in place and the effect of the overall decline of the activity had on some member bands.
After much discussion, a vote was taken by the members present to increase the maximum of 5 overage members to a maximum of 10 members.
The new age restriction rule will now read:
A maximum of 10 members per band who have reached their 26th Birthday, by the 31st October, in the year in which they compete, will be permitted to compete on any one occasion. The Drum Major can be 1 of the 10 members. The Associate Division and the Traditional Class has no upper age restriction. This rule does not apply to Cadet Division Bands.
Why make the change?
BYBA, through its member bands, recognise that recruitment in some areas of the country sees limited success in bringing a small proportion of new members into bands. This means bands have to look towards older members and instructors to march to help support inexperienced members to ensure an entertaining routine can be achieved.
Alongside this, more people over the age of 25 want to continue to march, or try marching for the first time, and this means some will go over the 5 over 25 members. This means bands can march a further 5 individuals over the age of 25 to a maximum of 10 members.
Is this rule a permanent change?
No, the rule change is in for the 2016 season. BYBA is committed to reviewing this rule at the end of the 2016 season and will present further options to the membership on age restrictions which could help mould future seasons and which will in turn help carve out future class structures.
So what happens next?
An email will be sent out to all bands individually to reiterate the rule change and ensure all bands are in the appropriate classes as we appreciate the change could align some bands into other classes.
Any questions or queries on the above can be directed to Jay Howard, Performance Chair via firstname.lastname@example.org.