Association Rules

Constitution and General Rules

  1. The title of the Association will be the “North of Ireland Bands’ Association”, hereinafter referred to as the “NIBA”.
  2. The objective of the NIBA will be the advancement of the knowledge of music among the members and the Association will be non-sectarian and non-political.
  3. The NIBA will promote the knowledge of music by holding band contests and in such other ways as may be arranged from time to time.
  4. Only amateur bands will be admitted to membership of the NIBA.
  5. The affairs of the NIBA will be under the control of the General Council, which will comprise of up to three delegates from each member band. The band from which the Chairperson of the NIBA is elected will be entitled to one additional delegate. Only one delegate from each band represented may vote at meetings of the General Council. Between meetings of the General Council an Executive Committee will have power to act on any matter.
  6. In January each year bands shall notify the NIBA Membership & Registration Secretary, in writing, of the names of their band’s three delegates. Only those delegates whose names have been thus notified will be entitled to take part in meetings of the General Council. Delegates may be changed during the year by notifying the NIBA Membership and Registration Secretary, in writing.
  7. At General Council meetings, each delegate shall sign the attendance register.
  8. The General Council shall meet for the transaction of NIBA business at least four times per year, or as otherwise determined by the Executive Committee. Each member band will receive at least fourteen days notice of each General Council Meeting. A minimum of seven bands must be represented to form a quorum at General Council Meetings.
  9. The Annual General Meeting of the NIBA, as represented by a General Council Meeting, will be held each year as directed by the Executive Committee. A statement of accounts will be sent to member bands with the notice of the Annual General Meeting. At the Annual General Meeting a report and the statement of accounts will be submitted and any necessary business transacted.
  10. The NIBA financial year will run from the 1st of January to the 31st December, dates inclusive.
  11. The Officers of the NIBA will be: President, Vice-Presidents, Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, General Secretary, Treasurer, Membership & Registration Secretary, Contest Secretary and Parks Secretary who will be elected at the Annual General Meeting. The aforementioned officers will be eligible for re-election. The President and Vice-Presidents will not (as such) be eligible to serve on the General Council or Executive Committee. When a vacancy arises, through an office bearer or member of the Executive Committee resigning, or being unable to serve for any other reason, the Executive Committee will have the power to co-opt a delegate from the General Council.
  12. The President or, alternatively, a Vice-President may preside over the election of officers at the Annual General Meeting.
  13. The Executive Committee shall comprise the Officers of the NIBA plus other General Council delegates to a sum total of twelve. Only delegates having attended at least three of the General Council Meetings (which includes the Annual General Meeting) during the preceding year will be eligible for election to the Executive Committee.
  14. The Chairperson of the NIBA will preside at all business meetings but will only have a casting vote. In the absence of the Chairperson the Vice-Chairperson will preside. The method of voting will be decided by the Chairperson.
  15. The General Council or Executive Committee may call a Special Meeting at any time, as considered necessary or upon receipt of a written request from at least seven bands. Any notice calling a Special Meeting will state the special business for which the meeting has been called.
  16. Each band shall pay an annual subscription that covers NIBA membership, the registration of players and the transfer of players between bands, as appropriate to its category of membership as defined under General Rule 18. The amount of the annual subscription will be as determined by the Executive Committee as detailed in Annex 1 to these Rules. Annual subscriptions will become due on the 1st of January each year. Subscription renewal and General Council delegate nomination notices will be sent to member bands during December each year, in order to facilitate renewal and payment in advance. All subscriptions must be paid by the 31st of January. Any band that has not paid its annual membership and registration fee by the 31st of January will automatically cease to be in membership of the NIBA and, at the discretion of the Executive Committee, may relinquish all voting rights and the eligibility to compete in contests. A formal application to re-join the NIBA may be required, at the discretion of the Executive Committee.
  17. A band desiring admission to membership of the NIBA must be duly proposed for membership at a General Council or Executive Committee Meeting and must have at least two thirds of the bands represented in favour of its admission. Upon admission each band will be supplied with a copy of the NIBA Rules and shall pay the annual membership and registration fee in accordance with General Rule 16.
  18. Bands may be admitted to membership of the NIBA as “Full” Members or “Associate” Members. Associate Member bands will not be entitled to allocation of engagements or performances organised by the NIBA. Representatives of Associate Member bands may attend General Council Meetings but will not be entitled to vote.
  19. Bands changing Secretary (applicable to “General” and “Registration” band secretaries as appropriate) shall notify both the General Secretary and the Membership & Registration Secretary of the NIBA of such changes, providing the new Secretary’s full name, address, telephone number, mobile telephone number and email address, as appropriate and as soon as practicably possible after a change has been made.
  20. Bands failing to answer NIBA correspondence on any matter that explicitly requires a reply will be sent no further communication on the matter in question and will not be permitted to raise it at NIBA meetings.
  21. The NIBA has no rules regarding band engagements. With the exception of engagements organised and allocated by the NIBA, bands shall arrange/agree their own terms and conditions in respect of engagements. For engagements organised and allocated by the NIBA (this includes BBC radio broadcasts allocated according to contest results) bands will not be permitted to change any terms and conditions already agreed by the NIBA.
  22. The General Council shall have the power to make Byelaws provided they are not contrary to these rules.
  23. Any member of the Executive Committee, whose band is implicated in any matter of dispute in NIBA affairs, will not be permitted to participate in Executive Committee meetings at times when items in relation to the matter in question are under discussion. In the event of an adjournment only the Executive Committee members who took part in the first meeting will be permitted to take part in any further meetings on the matter.
  24. A band must be in membership of the NIBA in order to be eligible for membership of the Flute Band Association NI, the Brass Band League NI and the Accordion Band League NI.
  25. The NIBA Constitution and Rules can only be changed at an Annual General Meeting or a Special Meeting. Any desired changes shall be detailed in the notice calling the Annual General Meeting or Special Meeting.
  26. Subsidiary Leagues or Associations may only be established under the principle of Constitution and General Rule 2 and may be disbanded at the discretion of the Executive Committee.
  27. The Executive Committee will have the power to adjudicate or decide in respect of any contingencies or matters not covered by the NIBA Rules per se. Any decision reached by the Executive Committee in respect of any such contingencies or matters will be binding and final.
  28. In the event of the NIBA ceasing to function, all of its monies and belongings shall be held in trust by the Officers of the NIBA for a period of five calendar years from the date of cessation. At the end of that period, should the NIBA be finally wound up, its possessions shall be sold and all proceeds and other monies distributed equally amongst those bands in membership of the NIBA on the date of cessation.

Registration Rules

  1. Bands may register their players with the NIBA through the Membership & Registration Secretary. Registered players will be recorded in the official Registry Database.
  2. Pursuant to Constitution and General Rule 16, each band shall pay an annual subscription, which will include registration of players, as detailed and categorised in Annex 1 to these Rules. All registrations and transfers between bands will be free within each category. Exceeding the number of registered players in any category will require the full difference to be paid for the next category. Any band newly admitted to membership of the NIBA will only be required to pay half of the appropriate subscription for its first year of membership.
  3. The following is required for the registration of each player of each band: (a) full forenames and surname, (b) full postal address, (c) recent passport style photograph, (d) usual signature. This information may be provided to the Membership & Registration Secretary electronically. It will be held electronically by the Membership & Registration Secretary and will also include the player’s date of registration, and any data relating to transfers in preceding years.
  4. A band organisation may consist of one or more bands of similar instrumentation. Bands may be brass, melody flute, concert flute, accordion or concert in type of instrumentation. A player will only be permitted to register with one band of each type. Registration with more than one band type will be termed “multiple registration” for the purposes of the NIBA Rules.
  5. The Membership & Registration Secretary will maintain an electronic registry of players, which will include the players’ information, the dates of registration, and any data relating to transfers in preceding years. The information held in the registry may be inspected at any reasonable time and upon reasonable notice being given to the Membership & Registration Secretary. All information on the registry will be held solely for the purpose of player registration and access to the information will be restricted to specific personnel identified by the NIBA.
  6. The NIBA registration year will run from the 1st of January to the 31st December, dates inclusive.
  7. Each year, in December, the appropriate Secretary of each member band will be sent a membership renewal notification, which will include, where applicable, a list of registered players currently held in the Registry. The list shall be returned to the Membership & Registration Secretary by the 31st of December indicating the desired renewal or cancellation of each player registration together with the appropriate subscription. All player registrations will cease on the 1st of January and, in accordance with Constitution and General Rule 16, the appropriate subscription must paid by the 31st of January.
  8. Any player attending a non-specialised day school will be permitted to register with his or her school band and one other band of the same type as their school band and will be deemed to be in multiple registration. Such players will also be permitted to register with other band types in accordance with Registration Rule 4. The NIBA may require the school principal to certify that the player is attending the school and may request the certification to be renewed in September each year. The term “day school” means an educational establishment where the standard of education is no higher than University Entrance Examination level.
  9. Player registrations can only be cancelled in accordance with Registration Rule 7.
  10. The NIBA reserves the right to request a recent photograph of any registered player. Such requests will be made through the appropriate band Secretary.

Player Transfer Rules

  1. The appropriate Secretary of a band to which a registered player of another band desires to transfer shall obtain an NIBA transfer form from the NIBA Membership and Registration Secretary. In order to initiate the transfer request, this band Secretary shall ensure that Part 1 of the form is fully completed and furnish it to the NIBA Membership & Registration Secretary. At the same time, this band Secretary shall ensure that Part 2 of the form is fully completed and furnish both Parts 2 and 3 of the form to the appropriate Secretary of the band from which the player wishes to transfer.
  2. Upon receipt of Parts 2 and 3 of a transfer form from a band requesting the transfer of a player, the appropriate band Secretary shall ensure that Part 3 of the form is fully completed and furnish it to the NIBA Membership & Registration Secretary. If a band does not agree to a transfer request, this band Secretary shall notify (at the same time in writing and within 10 calendar days of the date entered on Part 1 of the transfer form) the player desiring the transfer, the band requesting the transfer and the NIBA Membership & Registration Secretary of the reasons for disagreement to the transfer.
  3. The player transfer date will be the date on which the NIBA Membership & Registration Secretary receives Part 1 of a transfer form. In the event of Part 1 of a form not being received by the Membership & Registration Secretary, written confirmation of the player’s consent to the transfer, furnished to the NIBA Membership & Registration Secretary, will be required in order for the transfer to be processed. In such circumstances the player transfer will take effect from the date on which NIBA Membership & Registration Secretary receives both Parts 2 and 3 of the form.
  4. A band can disagree to a transfer request if the player desiring the transfer has willfully damaged band property, has retained band property despite being requested to return it, owes band dues or owes any other debt to his or her band within reason. If and when the transfer is processed, the player transfer date will be determined in accordance with Transfer Rule 3.
  5. If, for any of the reasons in Transfer Rule 4, a band disagrees to a transfer request, the player desiring the transfer may lodge an appeal with the NIBA provided the band requesting the transfer sanctions the appeal. The appeal, detailing the reasons why the player desiring the transfer considers the disagreement unjustified, shall be lodged by letter, addressed to the NIBA Membership & Registration Secretary and accompanied by a deposit of £20.00. The Executive Committee will request that the player desiring the transfer, representatives of the band requesting the transfer and the band disagreeing to the transfer attend a meeting of the Executive Committee to discuss the matter. The Executive Committee will decide on the matter, and if the appeal is upheld, the deposit will be returned to the player that desired the transfer. Any band unjustifiably disagreeing to a player transfer shall pay £20.00 to the NIBA where the matter has been decided by the Executive Committee through an appeal as outlined in this rule.
  6. A registered player is permitted to transfer only once in any twelve-month rolling period. This rule will not apply in the case of bands amalgamating.
  7. The Registry database and transfer forms may be inspected by arrangement with the Membership & Registration Secretary and on payment of a fee as specified by the Executive Committee.

Contest Rules

  1. Contests shall be open to all amateur bands of the types defined in Registration Rule 4 that are in membership of the NIBA or in membership of another formally constituted similar organisation that operates a similar formal member registration system recognised by the NIBA or as otherwise decided by the Executive Committee. Bands that are not in membership of such a similar organisation will only be permitted to enter discreet “unaffiliated” sections, which may be included in contests at the discretion of the contest organisers, pursuant to Constitution and General Rule 22. Such bands will only be permitted to enter the NIBA Championship of Ireland Bands’ Contest a maximum of two times in any five year rolling period.
  2. There will be no maximum limit on the number of players in any band playing in a contest held under NIBA rules. In Melody Flute sections the minimum number of flautists in any band playing shall be 10 and a piccolo is not permitted. In Melody Accordion sections the minimum number of accordionists in any band playing shall be 10.
  3. Each player must be a registered player of the band for which he or she competes at least four calendar weeks prior to the first day of competition in any contest. A registered player will only be permitted to play for one band of each type in any contest except when holding multiple registration as defined by Registration Rules 4 and 8, playing as a deputy in accordance with Contest Rule 25 or playing as a guest in accordance with Contest Rule 28.
  4. A professional musician will not be permitted to play in any contest held under NIBA Rules, except were the musician has been a player registered with the NIBA prior to becoming a professional. For the purposes of these rules a professional musician is defined as one who earns two thirds, or more, of his or her livelihood through playing music and as all regular bandspersons of Armed Forces and Police Forces. The Executive Committee will have the power to decide on the professional status of any player.
  5. In NIBA Championship of Ireland Contests, bands competing in accordion sections will be permitted to use acoustic and/or electronic accordions with associated amplification, percussion instruments and a maximum of three additional non-accordion instruments.
  6. The Executive Committee, or any sub-committee appointed by it, will have the power to appoint adjudicators and arrange for the selection of test pieces. The Executive Committee will decide contest entry fees for contests run by the NIBA and make any other arrangements as required and appropriate.
  7. The Executive Committee will have the power to refuse entry to any contest run by the NIBA. Any band, band player, coach or conductor guilty of any breach of any Contest Rule, or of unruly conduct towards adjudicators or NIBA officials may be penalised in a manner decided by the Executive Committee.
  8. In the event of only one entry being received for any section the entry fee may be refunded at the discretion of the contest organizers. Any band that fails to compete, after having entered a contest, will forfeit its entry fee.
  9. With the exception of Championship, Melody, Melody Plus Flute, Grade 5/Unaffiliated Brass and School sections, any band winning any particular section for three consecutive years in succession will not be permitted to play in the same or a lower section in the following year in that contest. Any band not in the prize list of any particular contest will be permitted to compete in the next lower section at subsequent contests.   Should such a band desire to compete in any other lower section at subsequent contests it will require the express permission of the Executive Committee in order to do so.
  10. A band will not be permitted to compete in any contest held under NIBA rules if it is in debt to the NIBA, Brass Band League, Flute Band Association of Northern Ireland the Accordion Band League or other Regional Branch for any reason whatsoever.
  11. Band players and conductors will only be admitted to contest venues upon production of an admission ticket or payment of the requisite admission fee. Admission tickets will be issued to competing bands in line with the number of players listed on their entry forms. Bands shall return all unused tickets to the NIBA. Bands will be required to pay for unused tickets not returned. The number of unused tickets will be defined as the difference between the number of players listed on a band’s entry form and the number of players that sign at the registration verification desk.
  12. Each band shall provide, no later than one week before the first day of competition in any contest, details of guest players – comprising their names and the bands they are registered with – that will play on the contest platform. The Membership & Registration Secretary will produce a registry report based on the submitted lists containing names, signatures and photographs that shall be signed by each player and checked and verified by the contest scrutineers prior to being given permission to compete. A list of players that competed will be retained in the Registry database.
  13. Each competing band shall play the test piece prescribed for its section. Specially arranged test pieces will only be issued upon payment of the cost of the music etc. All bands competing in sections in which a specially arranged test piece is prescribed shall purchase the music from the NIBA, League, Association or Branch as appropriate.
  14. Any player will be permitted to perform on more than one instrument as required by his or her band.
  15. In the case of the NIBA Championship of Ireland Bands’ Contest, a draw for the order of play will be made at least two weeks prior to the advertised first day of competition to enable member bands to organize necessary travel arrangements and pre-contest rehearsals in advance. The timing of the draw for the order of play in all other contests will be at the discretion of the contest organizers. Any band may request to play first in any section. If more than one band requests to play first a draw will take place to determine which band plays first. The band or bands not drawn to play first will be put into the main draw for the order of play.
  16. Each band must be ready, when called upon, to present each player for registration verification by the contest scrutineers. Exception will be made in the case of a band drawn to play first in any section. Such a band will be allowed a maximum of ten minutes after the indicated starting time of the section, after which the band drawn second will be called to registration verification. The band drawn first will be disqualified in these circumstances.
  17. Each band will be permitted to tune up on the contest platform prior to commencing its performance. Total setting up and tuning time allowed will be 10 minutes. Timing will commence when the first player steps on to the contest platform. Bands exceeding the time limit may be penalised in a manner decided by the Executive Committee or, otherwise, the contest organisers.
  18. The method of adjudication will be at the discretion of the contest organisers and the adjudicator’s decision will be final.
  19. Any band that is disqualified in any particular section will not be entitled to any prizes or other awards for that section.
  20. Where medals or certificates are awarded these will only be presented in line with the number of players that signed in at registration verification, plus the conductor, for each band achieving first place.
  21. Awards will be handed over to bands at a time determined by the Executive Committee. Trophies shall be held by the winning bands until fourteen days prior to the next contest or, in the event of there being no similar contest in any year, they must be returned to the NIBA after the expiration of eleven months from the date of the last contest. Failure to observe this rule may result in a fine as determined by the Executive Committee.
  22. Any bands contravening Contest Rules may be penalised in a manner decided by the Executive Committee.
  23. If, for any reason, any band wishes to protest due to an alleged breach of contest rules it must notify the NIBA. The band making the protest shall lodge the notification, detailing the reasons for the protest by letter, sent by registered post, addressed to the NIBA General Secretary and accompanied by a deposit of £20.00, within fourteen calendar days of the date of the alleged breach. At the same time, the band making the protest shall send an exact copy of the notification, by registered post, to the Secretary of the band against which the allegation has been lodged.  The Executive Committee will decide on the matter and notify both bands of its decision in writing. The deposit will be refunded if the allegation is upheld. If such is the case, then the band against which the allegation was upheld shall pay £20.00 to the NIBA. Should a band be dissatisfied with the decision of the Executive Committee it may appeal the decision to an Appeals Committee.   The band making the appeal request shall lodge it by letter, sent by registered post, addressed to the NIBA General Secretary and accompanied by a deposit of £20.00. At the same time, the band making the appeal shall send an exact copy of the appeal request, by registered post, to the Secretary of the band against which the original allegation was lodged. The Appeals Committee will be composed of five members from the General Council and will be appointed by the Executive Committee as soon as possible after the appeal has been received. The Appeals Committee will decide on the matter and its decision will be notified to both bands in writing. The Appeals Committee’s decision will be full and final. The deposit will be refunded if the appeal is upheld.
  24. Any member of the Executive Committee whose band is implicated in a matter of a protest will not be permitted to participate in Executive Committee meetings at times when items in relation to the matter in question are under discussion. In the event of an adjournment only the Executive Committee members who took part in the first meeting will be permitted to take part in any further meetings on the matter.
  25. If, due to personal illness or accident, or the death or illness of or accident to an immediate relative or dependent, a player is unable to play in a contest and the officials of the competing band so affected desire a deputy, application to use a deputy may be made to the contest organisers.  A doctor’s certificate in respect of incapacity due to personal illness or accident must be presented with the application, if practicable. Self-completed certificates will not be accepted. Deputies must be registered players of the NIBA or another formally constituted similar organisation that operates a similar formal player registration system recognised by the NIBA. On the day of competition, deputies may be played from bands of any type in the same grade as, or a lower grade than, the band desiring to use them. Bands competing in Grade 4 or 5 may also play deputies from bands no more than one grade higher than that in which they are competing. For the purposes of this rule Melody Accordion, Melody Flute, and Melody Plus Flute Bands will be regarded as Grade 4. The grade of any band from which a deputy is played will be regarded as that in which it last competed in a contest held under NIBA rules. Deputies may not be requested from a band that has never competed in a contest held under NIBA rules.  Professional musicians, as defined under Contest Rule 4, will not be permitted to play as deputies.
  26. Any band, NIBA Branch, League or Association running a contest under NIBA Rules (including solo and small ensemble contests) will be responsible for any expenses that may be incurred through any protest etc. that the NIBA may be called upon to deal with. Any other organisation desiring to hold a contest under any part or all of the NIBA rules must seek permission from the NIBA and pay a contest fee of £10.00 to the NIBA if permission is granted. They will be responsible for any other expenses that may be incurred through any protest etc. that the NIBA may be called upon to deal with
  27. Solo, small ensemble and other contests may be organised by any band, NIBA Branch, League or Association. The organisers of such events shall make their own arrangements to verify player registrations. Organisers shall seek permission from the NIBA to use the NIBA Registry Database in this respect.
  28. Any band will be permitted to play a maximum of two guest players at a contest. A player may only play as a guest player with one band in any contest. Guest players must be registered players of the NIBA or another formally constituted similar organisation that operates a similar formal player registration system recognised by the NIBA. On the day of competition, guest players may be played from bands of any type in the same grade as, or a lower grade than, the band desiring to use them. Bands competing in Grade 4 or 5 may also play guest players from bands no more than one grade higher than that in which they are competing. For the purposes of this rule Melody Accordion, Melody Flute, and Melody Plus Flute Bands will be regarded as Grade 4. The grade of any band from which a guest player is played will be regarded as that in which it last competed in a contest held under NIBA rules. Guest players may not be requested from a band that has never competed in a contest held under NIBA rules.  Professional musicians, as defined under Contest Rule 4, will not be permitted to play as guest players.
  29. Any band, NIBA Branch, League or Association running contests under NIBA Rules may, if desired, omit Contest Rules 2 and/or 12 at its discretion and shall advise competing bands accordingly.

Schedule of Annual Subscription

Membership – including Affiliation and Player Registrations

Annual Subscription
and Up to 25 Players
£60.00
Annual Subscription
and Up to 30 Players
£70.00
Annual Subscription
and Up to 35 Players
£80.00
Annual Subscription
and Up to 40 Players
£90.00
Annual Subscription
and Up to 45 Players
£100.00
Annual Subscription
and Over 45 Players
£150.00

Membership – Affiliation Only

£30.00 per year
Annual Membership

Membership fee, not including the registration of any players.

£15.00 per year
Associate Membership

Registration as an associated organisation.