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2023 - 2024  By-Laws

Northeast Color Guard Circuit (NECGC)


**NECGC DISCLAIMER** – NECGC guards/circuit members must comply with the contest rules and regulations of the circuit in which they are competing.


PARTICIPANTS – NECGC exists fundamentally for its participants – The Youth, Staff and supporters. This is always the underlying consideration when NECGC makes decisions.


Thus NECGC contributes to the cultural responsibilities held by all deserving youth activities, devotion to the individual, preservation of society and improvement of mankind.


STANDARDS – NECGC is committed to inspire its participants to achieve ever higher and higher standards. We ascribe to the concept that artistic, aesthetic and creative standards are important, but inspiration must be balanced with the primary need of providing recognition and dignity for all participants. 


Thus NECGC accepts the quest for wholesome experience for all, despite the dilemmas inherent in the conflicting needs to create higher standards yet ensure respect for all.


COMPETITION – NECGC has chosen competition as its method for organizing youth activities in pursuit of high standards of achievement. We maintain that competition is only the means, subject to whatever controls are necessary to serve the true end – the participants.


Thus, NECGC is organized and administered on the principle that its leaders are professionals teaching by example both in and out of the competitive arenas. As mature persons, NECG leaders know that youths learn life attitudes from all the observations of and interactions with those adults who are their models.


NON-DISCRIMINATION – NECGC treats every participant as a unique individual possessing inherent dignity on his/her own. All participants are regarded as worthy human beings, equally deserving of our available time, thoughts and energies.


Thus, the NECGC does not discriminate based on race, gender, creed, sexual orientation, national origin, or cultural background. Its activities are based on the credo that all participants and program styles start with equal opportunity for success.





NECGC discourages independent color guards from utilizing high school students who were previously enrolled in an active winter guard high school program and have not yet graduated.


NECGC also discourages independent color guards from utilizing performers who have outstanding monies owed to a previous color guard.


All performers at every event will be required to wear protective footwear while outside the performance area.



1. Board of Directors

a. Officers will be President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer.


b. Officers will be voted in each year at the annual Fall Meeting. (President and Secretary will be voted on the odd years/seasons. And the Vice President and Treasurer will be voted on the even years/seasons.)


c. The duties will be determined each year by the President of the Board. The Officer’s may create and appoint other positions as necessary to assist in the operation of the circuit.


2. Membership

a. Membership is for fiscal year –October to September.


b. Open to any organization/persons who would like to continue the activity of color guard.


3. Meetings

a. NECGC will hold a minimum of one meeting per year.


b. The September annual meeting is MANDATORY for all membership.  At least one guard director/representative from each organization must be in attendance. Also show sign-ups will be held at the annual meeting in September (see section 13).


c. The NECGC Board of Directors will determine the date for the meeting and its location.


4. Dues

a. Annual dues will be $145 (US Funds) per unit per fiscal year. This includes the fee for CompetitionSuite.


b. Dues must be paid by November 30th. If not paid, guard will be withdrawn from shows. 


5. Voting

a. Each dues paying member (unit) will have one (1) vote and say at all general meetings.


b. Dues for newly formed units must be paid in full at the meeting in order to have a vote at that meeting.


6. Communication

a. The NECGC Board of Directors will send correspondence to each organization and send a membership list to each dues paying member.


b. NECGC will provide on request a show host handbook as a general guideline for running/hosting competitions.  




 7. Contest Rules & Regulations

a. NECGC is governed by the contest rules and regulations as established by Winter Guard International (WGI). The President or Vice President will oversee all shows and act as liaison between the show hosts and the Board.


b. The Novice, Cadet, RA, and A1 class contest rules are established in conjunction with WGI for the Regional A and A Class competitors; however, timing rules are established by the Circuit (see section 11).


c. Exhibition groups are to appear first in the show line up unless a different time is approved by the show host. These groups will not receive any adjudication, or critique time.


8. NECGC Code of conduct

In an effort to promote good sportsmanship, NECGC is committed to developing and maintaining a safe and healthy environment for competition. We believe that membership in the NECGC is a privilege, which is accompanied by the responsibility to act with dignity, integrity, and respect at all times.

While we all agree in principle regarding many behaviors both positive and negative, a comprehensive code of conduct for the entire circuit is impractical. Those involved with academic institutions have codes provided by the school, which they are bound to follow. Additionally, we recognize that not all students, members, and organizations function in the same way and a code of conduct may need to be tailored to fit a particular group.

Therefore, each organization must submit a code of conduct appropriate for their group to the Vice President by December 1. There need not be a required format as the document is created completely at the discretion of the director. Failure to submit this document by December 1st will result in the voiding of your show draw. The spirit of this code promotes sportsmanship in all its forms. In no way should this code ever be used for vindictive or malicious reasons. There is no governing body to sit in judgment of any offenses. NECGC relies rather on the individual character of its directors to honor the code they have created, sort through problems and disagreements, and keep this activity’s role alive for its students and its students’ students.


9. Classifications

a. Classification Definitions - Classes should be based on the potential success of the guard.


  1. Novice - Beginner or young performers, students in 6th grade or lower, ages 12 years and younger.


  1. Cadet - Middle School age students or younger up to 8th grade.


  1. Regional A - Middle School age students with more experience and experienced staff. Feeder JV guards in a program with multiple guards. High School guards with little color guard experience and relatively inexperienced staff.



  1. A1 - High School age members, primary guard of any program. (if not the next class up) College age members with very limited programs.


  1. SA / IA - Guards who choose to compete in this class at WGI. Also guards who due to their program and staff, could be competitive at WGI in A Class, but choose not to be involved with WGI. Schools with a major field band program and experienced staff.


  1. Senior - Guards with at least 1 member over the WGI age limit for A or Open Class.


  1. SO / IO - Guards who choose to compete in this class at WGI. Also guards who due to their program and staff, could be competitive at WGI in Open Class, but choose not to be involved with WGI. Schools with a major field band program and experienced staff. Guards who have been promoted by WGI or self-promoted.


  1. SW / IW - Guards who choose to compete in this class at WGI. Also guards who due to their program and staff, could be competitive at WGI in World Class, but choose not to be involved with WGI. Schools with a major field band program and experienced staff. Guards that have been promoted by WGI or self-promoted.


b. The intent of the higher classes is a higher level of competition. Guards who fit into another class will not be allowed to enter these classes just because they are smaller classes and would guarantee a win in some shows.


c. With the adoption of these definitions, all classes are allowed to complete at WGI events in a class offered by WGI that best matches the NECGC classifications, and in accordance with WGI contest rules and regulations.    


**PROMOTION – The winning guard competing at the NECGC Championships in the RA Class or A1 Class will be promoted to the next classification level the following season. Guard may stay in same class as year before if approved by the Board of Directors.


d. The Guard Classifications and Judges Sheets used will be:

Classification                      Judging Sheets

Novice                                    Regional A

Cadet                                     Regional A
Regional A                            Regional A
A1                                           WGI A
Independent A                      WGI A
Scholastic A                          WGI A

Senior                                    WGI A
Independent Open               WGI Open
Scholastic Open                   WGI Open
Independent World             WGI World
Scholastic World                  WGI World





10. Age Limitations/Eligibility

a. All NECGC guards will adhere to the WGI age rules of classification or compete in World or Senior Class. International independent color guards are not bound by any age limit except for U.S. citizens performing with that group. U.S. citizens performing with an international group may not exceed the age allowed for that classification.


11. Timing
Class             Max Perf. Time         Min. Perf. Time         Min. Interval         Equip. Time

Novice                        4                                  3                                  7                           2.5

Cadet                         4                                  3                                  7                           2.5
Regional A                4.5                              3                                  7                           3
A1                               5.5                             4                                  8                           3.5
A                                 5.5                              4                                  8                           3.5

Senior                        5.5                              4                                  8                           3.5
Open                          6.5                              5                                  9                           3.5
World                          7.5                              6                                  10                         3.5

12. Judging

a. The NY Federation of Contest Judges (NYSFCJ) will assign a panel each week. The minimum will be 6 judges/panel (2 General Effect, 1 Design Analysis, 1 Movement, 1 EQ, and 1Timing and Penalty).

b. Each sponsor must obtain a contract for judges from the NYSFCJ and return the contract to the NYSFCJ.

c. Per the NYSFCJ Color Guard Contest Agreement, the agreed cost for a full panel of 6 judges for the season is (Expires after the 2024 season):

  • Shows with 9 guards or less = $250 per judge/$1500.00

  • Shows with 10 guards or more = $275 per judge/$1650.00 


d. All persons adjudicating within NECGC must have attended at least one clinic sponsored by the NYSFCJ.


e. No guard director or instructor is to contact or confront any judge. Issues should be brought to NECGC Board of Directors to address. 


13. Show Sign-Ups and Draw

**If Annual Meeting is done via Zoom, President will send out a show sign up communication.  Please contact the circuit President with show selections** 


a. Show sign-ups will be held at the annual meeting in September. A guard may not enter a contest unless the President has certified them as in that show.


b. Show sign-ups received after the annual meeting will go on first in their respective class. If multiple representatives, in the same class, do not attend the annual meeting, then a draw would take place between those guards to see who will go on 1st, 2nd, etc. Late show sign-ups must be submitted via email to the Board of Directors.



c. Show draw will take place the 1st week of December by the President. Guards that signed up for shows at annual meeting can make changes prior to the show draw. Any changes must be submitted via email to the Board of Directors.

d. In order for show selections to be granted, membership dues must be paid in full (see section 4).


e. NECGC Secretary must be notified of guard’s classification, so show draws can take place. If no classification update is received, your guard will remain in the class they competed in at the previous year’s championships (exception: RA and A1 champions from previous year are automatically promoted to next classification, unless appeal submitted to NECGC Board of Directors).


f. If during the season your guard moves up a class, your position will stay the same. A coin toss between you and other spot will take place to determine order between those two guards.


14. Contests

a. $100 Fee to host a contest. (Checks made payable to: Northeast Color Guard Circuit).  This fee is due by December 31st.

b. NECGC will provide show host with 7 wristbands for guard staff competing at show.


c. The local shows should be finished with all performing units by 10:30 pm on Saturdays. Shows should start at 7pm or earlier in order to be finished by 10:30 pm.

d. Circuit guidelines recommend that post contest meetings will be one hour in length and start during awards ceremonies. IE approx. 10:30pm – 11:30pm. Meeting should be done by 11:30pm.

e. Each show host is responsible to appoint a contest director (should not be a guard director) to assist the circuit and the judging association in providing a well-run show for all competitors.

f. On a dual show weekend, a show is considered full when it has 12 competing units. The next show on that date will take the other units. The units with the earliest postmark dates will get their show choices first.

g. General show information/packet must be sent out 4 weeks before the contest.


h. All show information sent to participants should also be sent to the NECGC President and Vice President.


i. Critique rotation schedule should also be included in the documents sent to unit directors.

j. Specific warm-up, performance times, etc., must be sent out two weeks prior to contest date.


k. Show host is responsible to provide working WIFI (or hot spots) in facility, capable of supporting CompetitionSuite for judges, guard directors, and tabulator. 

l. Show host is responsible to provide a professional sound system (which includes pitch and speed controls) and announcer.  The music formats the sound system is capable of providing (CD, Phones, MP3, etc.) must be noted in the Show Packets that are sent out prior to the show.


m. Show host can determine the cost of spectator admission.  Must not exceed $10.00. 


15. Practice Times

a. Each local contest will allow practice for a show.

b. Individual units must contact sponsor for time and location.


16. Equipment / Props

a. All equipment (flags, rifles, sabers, or any other equipment that a marching member can spin/toss) and props must be properly padded as to not damage the competition floor.


b. All props must be safe and structurally sturdy as to not place participants (and others) in potential danger during assembly or use.


17. Critique

a. All units requesting to attend critique are required to listen to their commentary and should be prepared with questions.

b. Order for Critique is based on distance traveled to show site from home base.

c. Units not desiring to attend critique should let their chief judge know this immediately after the last guard’s performance.

d. If you are not in the immediate area when your unit’s name is called, you will not be permitted in critique until after everyone is done.


17. Championships

a. NECGC will host the championship show either at a school of their choice (facility must be large enough to handle the event) or at an outside arena.


b. A contract must be written up between the NECGC Board of Directors and the guard/facility hosting championships.

c. A unit must compete in at least 3 NECGC shows to be eligible for championships.


18. Trophies/Awards/Honors

a. Show Sponsors are required to present trophies to the Novice, Cadet and Regional A Classes.  Any other classes are at the discretion of the show host. 




b. NECGC will provide patches and trophies to all performing guards who compete at Championships.


c. NECGC will provide medals to the performing members of the top 3 guards in each class who compete at Championships.


d. Awards/Honors listed below will be presented and scholarships will be paid to recipients at the Championship Show:

    Hall of Fame 

  • Each unit may nominate current or past members to the Hall of Fame. Once a nomination is received it will be forwarded to the NECGC Hall of Fame selection committee who will select recipients from those nominated.

  • All Hall of Fame members will be invited as NECGC guests to the 

championship show.


    Fred Reidy Memorial Volunteer of the Year Award

  • Guard Directors submit nominations.

  • Winner is determined by an independent committee.


    Esprit De Corps – in memory of George Cowburn

  • The Judging community determines the winner of this award.


    The Bruce McCready Sportsmanship Award

  • Each Guard Director will have one voted for this award.

    The Brady Rouse Showmanship Effectiveness Award

  • The active Hall of Fame members will be asked to select the award winner. 

  • Senior Class guards are NOT eligible for this award.

  • Trophy plate will be made and sent to winner after championships. 


  • NECGC will award two scholarships annually to a graduating senior who intends on attending an institution of higher learning.

  • The applications will be sent to paid members/units in January.

  • Only one application can be received per unit. If you have more than one senior, it is up to the unit manager to determine who will be selected to apply for the scholarship.

  • James Allen Scholarship — $500 one-time award

  • NECGC Scholarship — $500 one-time award

  • John Anderson Memorial Scholarship – $500.00 one-time award








19. Withdraw from a Contest

a. Fines are assessed as follows for pulling out of a show (under certain circumstances, an appeal can be made to the NECGC Board of Directors):

  • 60 to 45 days prior to contest date = $100

  • 30 to 44 days prior to contest date = $150

  • 15 to 29 days prior to contest date = $200

  • 00 to 14 days prior to contest date = $250

b. If the President must re-assign a guard to fill another show, then no fine will be imposed.

c. Any fines go directly to the show sponsor.

d. It is the sponsor’s responsibility to report to the President of any unit that does not show up for the contest.

e. Further penalty or sanction maybe issued at discretion of the NECGC Board of Directors.

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