Championship Division (Competitive)
To be entered into Championship Division, The Bandmasters Championship's competitive field, marching bands must be affiliated with an accredited K-12 public or private school. The Championship Division is not open to college/university bands, or to ensembles organized by private clubs, civic organizations, churches or non-accredited institutions. All performers must be school-age (K-12) students.
Eligible bands must have received a rating of either Superior (I) or Excellent (II) at a field marching contest in either the same academic year as the contest, or in the previous academic year. For example, a band wishing to compete in The 2017 Bandmasters Championship must have received a I or II rating in either the 2016-2017 or 2017-2018 academic year. Note: Bands needing to earn a I or II rating in 2016 may register on a contingent basis.
Alternatively, any band whose director is a past winner of The Bandmasters Championship is automatically eligible to enroll in Championship Division. A "past winner" is defined as an individual who was the primary (not assistant) director of a Grand Champion band at The Bandmasters Championship, including the years 1963-1999 when the contest was known as the Mid-South Invitational.
Open Division (Exhibition)
Any marching band or performing ensemble comprised of school-age (K-12) students is welcome to perform in exhibition at The Bandmasters Championship, schedule permitting. Exhibition bands receive written and taped comments from the Adjudicators, but do not receive a score and are not eligible to receive any awards (other than a Participation Award).