Page 1

Member Manual 2009

Table of Contents Mission Statement and Goals - Page 2 Current Officers -

Page 3

Code of Ethics

Page 4


By-Laws -

Pages 5-10

Education Plan -

Pages 11-13


Mission Statement and Goals

Mission Statement The Mission of MJA shall be to promote the ongoing education and development of qualified adjudicators for pageantry arts as well as the development and betterment of competing marching and musical units, their instructors and their members. Goals As a service association, MJA will communicate with organizations that govern the drum corps, band and winter color guard and percussion activities in order to educate MJA judges in the proper philosophies and techniques used in those various activities. MJA makes a continual commitment to education through clinics and the discussion of appropriate information to all of its members. MJA also encourages its membership to assume leadership roles in the training and education of all pageantry arts activities.


Officers of the Association Jim Vitagliano, President (2 year term starting 1/09) Kristen O’Melia, Vice President (2 year term starting 1/09) Brian Murphy, Secretary-Treasurer (2 year term starting 1/09)

Diana Anderson, Executive Board (2 year term starting 1/09)

Patty Beggy, Executive Board (2 year term starting 1/09)

Antoine Blalark, Executive Board (2 year term starting 1/08)


Judges Code of Ethics AFFILIATION: A judge may not adjudicate a class in which a competing unit is one with which he/she has a formal affiliation as defined below.

PRIMARY AFFILIATION: Designer, Instructor, or Management of the competing unit.

Any judge who receives a salary from the department that sponsors the competing guard. (i.e. an individual who teaches music in the school where the music department sponsors the winter guard/percussion line or where it is connected to the Band. Note: Individuals will not be eligible to judge if they are still performing in any Winter Guard or Percussion Ensemble.

SECONDARY AFFILIATION: Family, spouse, significant-other relationship with an individual who has a primary affiliation as described above.

CONSULTATIONS: A current MJA Judge is not permitted to give any consultation to

any unit other than their primary affiliation.

CONDUCT: The function of a judge is to assist in making any performance ensemble the best they can be. Judges will accomplish this by using all of their skills related to being a mentor, counselor and critic. Judges will not allow hubris, annoyance or disinterest to interfere. Accordingly, the MJA Executive Board has adopted the following guidelines for judges. 1)

A judge shall be aware that he or she has a tremendous influence, for either good or ill, in the education of the student/performer/instructor, thus, shall never place the value of competition above the demonstration of character.


Judges shall uphold the honor and dignity of the profession. In all personal contact with other judges, instructors, contest officials, and pageantry organizations, judges shall strive to set an example of the highest ethical and moral conduct.


Judges shall avoid the use of alcohol and tobacco products when in a working situation.


Judges shall exert their influence to enhance sportsmanship with other judges, instructors, contest officials, and pageantry organizations, both directly and by working closely with local organizations.


Public criticism of officials, other judges or units is unethical and will not be tolerated.

Note: These standards also apply to those members who do not judge.


By – Laws Massachusetts Judges Association Governing Rules – 2009-2010

I. Name The name of the organization shall be the Massachusetts Judges Association. The abbreviation MJA and in any other documents will be understood to take the place of the full name of the organization. A year in MJA runs from January 1 to December 31.

II. Mission Statement The Mission of MJA shall be to promote the ongoing education and development of qualified adjudicators for pageantry arts as well as the development and betterment of competing marching and musical units, their instructors and their members.

III. Goals As a service association, MJA will communicate with organizations that govern the drum corps, band and winter color guard and percussion activities in order to educate MJA judges in the proper philosophies and techniques used in those various activities. MJA makes a continual commitment to education through clinics and the discussion of appropriate information to all of its members. MJA also encourages its membership to assume leadership roles in the training and education of all pageantry arts activities.

IV. Membership Specifications A.

The minimum age for membership is eighteen (18). In order to be a certified working judge, however, a member must be at least twenty-one years of age, and may not be a marching member of a competitive unit.


Current members renew their membership status by paying their dues by the end of January. New members must pay their dues at the point of application and those dues will cover membership through the end of the current year.


Membership is subject to approval of the Executive Board. Membership will be denied at any time of the year for significant cause by a 2/3 majority of the Executive Board.



To attain certification and a position on the MJA judge lists for any season or caption, a member must: • • • • •


Pay their dues. Complete all formal training as outlined in the Education and Training guidelines. Pass a minimum of two (2) acceptable field trials. Participate in any required symposiums. Attempt to attend other clinics and meetings. To retain certification and position on the MJA Judge lists for any season or caption a member must have:

• • • •

Paid his /her dues. Judged at least one show in any carded caption within two years. Done one Field Trial in any Carded Caption if affiliations or other circumstances prevent his/her judging that caption. Submit oral and written explanations to the President and Executive Board if any of the above cannot be accomplished due to extenuating circumstances.


The responsibility for quality judging rests with the individual member with assistance from the association. MJA does not usually hire judges for contests: therefore, there is an understanding that is it primarily the units and coordinators who must be satisfied as to the quality of judging. MJA will always encourage a fair distribution of work, however, hiring judges for contests is not part of its responsibility.


MJA welcomes judges and non-judges who are members of other associations.


If a former MJA member returns after the passage of two or more years, the Executive Board will discuss which certifications for judging are still appropriate.


Members of MJA need not become certified judges. All members however, are asked to contribute to the betterment of MJA by at least attending the annual reorganization meeting, usually held in January.


V. Government A.

Roberts Rules of Order shall be the governing rules for MJA when a question of order arises. Any member may ask for the formal use of Roberts’ Rules at any time.


Final authority rests with the General Membership. After the reorganization meeting, the Executive Board acts on behalf of the General Membership. (In order to request a full meeting of the general membership, a letter signed by ten (10) members in good standing must be presented to the Executive Board. The Executive Board will then call a special meeting of the Association within sixty (60) days.


The officers of MJA will be President, Vice President, Secretary-Treasurer and three (3) at large Executive Board Members.


The President, Vice-President Secretary-treasurer and two (2) members of the Executive Board will be elected in the odd numbered years and one (1) member of the Executive Board shall be elected in the even numbered years. Vacancies may create the need for special elections, which may be held by mail. Elected positions end on December 31 of any calendar year and newly elected positions begin on January 1 of any calendar year.


The President will appoint an Education Coordinator who serve on the Executive board.


By-Laws are to be reviewed and open for recommendations in the oddnumbered years. A call for review and recommendation will be sent to all current members 60 days prior to the annual meeting. All recommendations should be forwarded to the Executive Board no later than 30 days prior to the annual meeting.

VI. Responsibilities of the Governing Officers A.

The President shall: • • • • • • • • • • • •

Preside over all meetings. Appoint caption chairpersons (liaisons). Appoint any subcommittees. Receive and keep records as necessary. Call Executive Board Meetings at least every two months. Generally enforce the governing rules of the association. Keep officers and members current. Call for nominees for the annual elections. Run any elections or special elections. Maintain a current roster of members. Deliver current rosters to the local associations. Present receipts for any disbursement of funds . 7


The Vice-President shall: • • • •


Perform the duties of the President in his/her absence. Assist the President in any duties listed above. Replace the President, if that office becomes vacant and hold a new election at the next general body meeting for the President and VicePresident if necessary. Present receipts for any disbursement of funds . The Secretary-Treasurer shall:

• • • • • • D.

Maintain receipts for any disbursements. Maintain the checking account of MJA. Maintain any minutes of General Body Meetings. Maintain Minutes of Executive Board Meetings. Have co-responsibility of signing MJA checks. Submit financial reports at meetings. Responsibilities of the Executive Board:

1. The Executive Board Shall : • • • • • • • • • • •

Approve all Appointments. Meet at least every two months during the MJA year. Approve disbursement of funds. Have authority to withhold membership. Approve all lists of Judges of MJA. Oversee application of the Governing Rules. Submit proposals for approval. Hear any member, in person, for any reason. Review Recaps during appropriate seasons. Review judge lists in all captions. Address problems within a caption as needed.

2. The Education Coordinator shall: • •

Develop the education plan each year to be approved by the Executive Board. Execute the education plan as approved.

VII: Nominations and Elections A.

One order of Business at the Annual General Body Meeting will be the nominations for any office indicated above in Part V. - Government.


Only members in good standing are eligible for nomination. Nominations can either be submitted prior to the annual meeting or from the floor of the annual meeting. Nominees not present at the Annual Meeting may 8

stand for election only if a letter of intent and agreement has been submitted by the nominee to the Executive Board prior to the meeting. Nominations from the floor of a member not present are not allowed otherwise. C.

Elections are to be held by secret ballot or by other processes of Roberts Rules. The positions of President, Vice President, and Secretary/Treasurer, will be filled in separate elections. One election will fill all open at-large positions for the Executive Board. Elections will be decided by majority vote of members present at the annual meeting. In uncontested elections, a motion must be made from the floor and then seconded to elect the nominee. Members will then cast a yes or no vote by hand to elect the nominee.


No person shall hold more than one elected office.


The President shall appoint a committee to tally the ballots.


The election of the President shall be conducted by a member of the Executive Board whose position does not expire at the meeting.

VIII. Order of Business for the Annual Meeting A.

Call to Order


Secretary – Treasurer Report


Business of the Previous Year


Election of Officers


By-Law Changes (only in a by-law change year)


New Business


General Discussion for the good of MJA



IX. Meetings A.

There is one scheduled Annual Meeting per year to be determined by the Executive Board.


Other General Meetings may be called as needed.


The Executive Board shall meet at least every two months during the MJA year. 9


To conduct official elections and business at the Annual General Body Meeting, there must be a quorum, defined as at least one-third of the previous year’s membership.


To conduct official Executive Board meetings there must be a quorum, defined to be at least two officers and two other elected members of the Executive Board.


Clinics, educational seminars, dance, theater and other such presentations may be scheduled during the year. There must be at least two weeks prior notification to allow for attendance. Such meetings are not considered mandatory, unless dates are discussed at the General Body Meeting and the membership is informed of the content of the mandatory nature of the meeting.


Absence from the above mandatory meetings carries the responsibility to the member to obtain and use pertinent information received and distributed.

X. Protests A.

Protests are to be handled by the Executive Board, who will work with and be assisted by the President or his/her designee. A full report of any protest must be delivered in either written or oral form at the next scheduled Executive Board Meeting.


Any protest must be resolved within two weeks of its receipt by the Executive Board. A protest must be accompanied, when submitted, by documentation and the cassette tape of the judge under protest. The Executive Board or the President must request such documentation. At the end of the two week period, either the Executive Board or the President will inform all parties of his/her resolution. This response must be in writing.


A Protest without documentation will not be considered official in MJA. Requests for information or discussions with any Executive Board member which are informal do not require a response, though it may be delivered in either oral or written form if the liaison chooses.

XI. Fees A.

The dues of MJA are $50.00 annually, though this figure may be adjusted upon recommendation of the President to the Executive Board at the Annual General Body Meeting.


The dues of the officers and the Executive Board and the Education Coordinator will be waived for the current year(s) of service. 10

Education Plan I. Process for New Adjudicators Any person who is a member in good standing of MJA wishing to fulfill the responsibilities of an adjudicator will be provided the opportunity to do so. Field trials to become certified to adjudicate must be prearranged through the director of education or E-board of MJA, who will contact the circuits for approval. Under the direction of the director of education, (or other person appointed by the Eboard) a member will be provided with the following as needed: • • • •

• • • II.

All educational materials provided to the working judges. The opportunity to listen and learn from active judges in the caption. Be provided a mentor Sample audiotapes from adjudicators within the same caption (not necessarily MJA) When applicable or available, videotapes or DVD’s of sample educational materials to assist in gaining knowledge. (when available) Feedback on a pre-determined schedule of review Participation in a cohort of training judges to discuss expectations, concerns, issues etc. (this may be as small as one or as large as 10) The opportunity to complete “field trials” at shows where MJA adjudicators are working.

Process for Judges Transferring from another Association

When adjudicators join MJA from another judge’s circuit, they must provide the director of education and or the E-board with two references (either written or verbal) to verify their training and status as a working judge. Individuals may be required to provide sample tapes or be asked to field trial in a caption before being granted a “reciprocal” card in a caption(s). New members to the association will be offered a mentor, approved by the director of education, from the judge’s roster, to help them as they judge their first season with MJA. They will also be required to follow all rules and regulations set forth in the MJA bylaws in order to maintain their membership and be listed on the active judging roster. III. The process for completing field trials to become certified in a caption will be as follows: 1.

You must be a member in good standing with MJA; dues paid and no issues of poor conduct as a member.


Your interest in beginning the process must be identified to any officer of the association.



You must concentrate on one caption at a time.


You must participate in trial work under the instruction of the director of education for MJA and or your assigned mentor.


In all trial situations you must arrive at your designated time, sit in an area that does not interfere with the working judges but gives you a good vantage point, and come professionally dressed.


You must have your tape recorder and at minimum a 45 minute tape to use when you are trialing.


Fresh or well charged batteries must be used in all situations.


You must be open to discussion and actively participate about your performance in all trial situations.


Participate in parlor sessions as they are scheduled.


Trial work will not follow a specified pattern; rather will flow as it relates to your level of comfort and skill development.


Attempting to relate your progress in the trial process to another student can negatively interfere with your growth and development.


You will be considered “passed” in your specific caption upon the notification of the director of education.


All tapes and numbers must be passed into the director of education or your mentor within 5 days of your trial experience.


A “passed” status will require you to show competence in the areas of numbers management, tape dialogue and critique etiquette.

IV. 1.

Requirements and recommendations: It is the responsibility of the judge in training to read any and all educational materials provided or requested by the caption head, mentor or director of education.


Prior to and/or during the trialing process, it may be required of the trailing judge to meet with their mentor or the director of education for discussions and dialogue concerning caption specifics or judging in general. 12


In order to facilitate feedback in a timely fashion, the trialing judge needs to get the information (tapes/sheets) to the mentor as soon as possible after completing the trial.

V. Experienced adjudicators certifying in another caption: 1.

Judges certified in one caption may request certification in another caption by contacting the director of education prior to beginning a new caption.


They must be a member in good standing in MJA.


They will be given a mentor to work with from within the caption that they are wishing to train in.


Must complete two acceptable field trials that are approved by the director of education or the E-board.

VI. Requirements for adjudicators to remain on the active judges roster in each caption: 1.

Be a member in good standing in MJA.


Must attend a minimum of one (1) clinic or parlor session within the certified caption yearly.


Must abide by the governing rules of the MJA bylaws and meet any requirements for training in a caption as required by the education plan and approved by the E-board.


Must have actively judged or have run tapes and/or numbers in each caption that they wish to remain active in every two years.


MJA Member Manual  

This is the member manual for MJA members.

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