And the band played on.. until they didn't

And the band played on.. until they didn't Photo: MGN

J.P. Murrieta
September 25, 2017 10:04 PM

Recently, I've seen some inconsistent rulings when it comes to the band playing during high school football games.  I've seen some officials ask bands to stop during action on the field while others let it go on.


I asked the NMAA if there was any rule against a band playing during any certain time during a game and I was told the officials usually let them play unless the quarterback or coach says something requesting them to stop.

Typically bands are not allowed to create any noise that prohibits a team from hearing its signals.  Usually the band stops playing from the time the offense breaks the huddle until the ball is snapped.  But you can sometimes find some schools who run right through that stop sign.

In researching how other states handle the issue, I found, for example, the Missouri State High School Activities Association has specific guidelines.  The MSHSAA says "any band that plays or continues to produce sound on instruments would be considered an 'unfair act' under NFHS Football Rule 9-9-1 and could result in a 15-yard penalty being assessed to the head football coach of the offending school for unsportsmanlike conduct." (I've read states like Georgia and Ohio have similar rules).

With no strict guideline in place, some New Mexico schools will continue to play during the course of action on the field.  Some referees will ask them to stop, others will let them play.  I just wish they would be consistent one way or the other.


J.P. Murrieta

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