Grandview High School
Zebra Guard Handbook
This handbook is designed as a reference document and hopes to address the more common questions and issues related to the color guard program. It cannot possibly cover all situations, nor does it intend to imply that directors and/or administrators are prohibited from exercising professional judgment to address the needs of the unit or its individual members.
a. Color Guard is an extracurricular organization whose primary purpose is to entertain and
enhance the visual performance of the Thundering Herd Band while developing
character, leadership and responsibility and also boosting the moral of the school.
a. The Color Guard will be selected based on highest score at tryouts which includes grades
(particularly academic eligibility), recommendations, and performance on tryout material.
b. The unit may consist of 10-30 guard members. This number is based on the number of
students who tryout and the scores earned during tryouts.
c. Anyone entering grades 9-12 is eligible to audition for the fall semester.
d. Before trying out at least one parent must attend the informational meeting or contact the
director. Students will be expected to attend camp days in order to tryout.
e. By the start of the next school year all necessary and requested paperwork must be on file
Medical Release Form /permission to travel
Photography Release Form
f. Color guard members will not be discriminated against based on race, creed, or handicap.
g. All previous members must audition every year.
h. Because Color Guard is a full year class it is a full year commitment. Anyone wishing to
quit must first initiate a conference with the director and submit a letter of resignation.
The matter may then be taken before the principal, if necessary. When the student is
dismissed from the class, he or she must meet all financial obligations and return all
school property in good, clean condition or pay for the missing or damaged property in
i. Members are expected to be respectful to other members, leadership, directors, and other
organizations at all times. Gossip and disrespectful behavior will not be tolerated. If
there is a problem between members, it is their responsibility to handle the situation
outside of rehearsal, and at no time allow it to affect the performance of any student
within the unit.
j. Members are expected to use manners at all times when speaking to any adult or student.
Mutual respect and politeness among members is expected.
k. Always represent the Thundering Herd and Grandview HS with pride and integrity.
i. Candidates must be students currently enrolled in grades eight through eleven
and anticipate attending Grandview HS next year in order to be eligible to try out.
ii. A color guard member who quits or is dismissed from the unit may not be
eligible to try out the following school year.
iii. A candidate who has an outstanding fine at Grandview ISD may not try out.
i. Tryouts will be held in the spring semester before a panel of judges.
ii. Tryouts will be closed to all persons except directors, administrators, and judges.
iii. Tryout scoring will be based on the candidate’s completion of paperwork,
performance of dance and flag fundamentals, and performance of the tryout
routine. All tryout results are final.
c. Judges will evaluate color guard members based on
ii. Dance ability
iii. Rhythm and coordination
iv. Commitment to excellence
v. Knowledge of the routine
vi. Ability to understand equipment technique in a short amount of time
d. Directors will determine the number of alternates that will be in the unit. Alternates (or
understudies) are a vital part of the guard and may take the place of a member that cannot
perform because of injury, academic ineligibility, or similar circumstances. Alternates,
once chosen, will be expected to attend every rehearsal and performance.
IV. Requirements, Duties, Obligation, and Eligibility
a. A guard member’s year begins when successful candidacy is announced. This is a full
year commitment. When students fail to fulfill their obligation it jeopardizes the rest of
the unit as well as the entire Thundering Herd band.
b. The Color Guard member must make every attempt to attend summer color guard camps.
Failure to attend camp may result in a student being placed in an alternate position or
removal from the unit. Appeals will be reviewed by directors only in extreme
c. A Color Guard member must be willing to abide by rules and follow directions from
directors and captains. See Article XIII.
d. Attendance is required for all rehearsals and performances. See Article XII.
e. A Color Guard member may not attend any athletic contest that the guard is performing
at as a spectator unless that student has been removed from the unit (ie failing a six
f. Color Guard is a UIL activity during marching season and a non-UIL activity during
winter guard. Eligibility for participation will follow the model for academic eligibility
established by the UIL’s Constitution and Contest Rules during both fall and spring
g. A Color Guard member that becomes ineligible due to failing grades will not be allowed
to perform in games, contests, or pep rallies. She/he will still be expected to attend
practices. A second period of academic ineligibility (within one term) may result in the
dismissal of the member from the unit. Students may or may not regain a position on the
field depending on the time of the grading period, performance schedules, and the
availability of positions on the field.
h. Basic duties of members of the color guard include but are not limited to:
i. Rehearsing with the guard and band during all scheduled rehearsals.
ii. Practicing at home.
iii. Performing in football game halftime shows.
iv. Performing in selected pep rally routines.
v. Marching in parades as requested by school administrators and community
vi. Remaining in designated areas in the stadium during games and contests.
vii. Being a leader in school by showing respect to all other organizations.
viii. Being financially responsible for all band fees.
i. The director is in charge of coordinating activities involving the unit. The director will
delegate duties where he/she sees fit. The officers will assist the director in areas that the
director deems appropriate. All members must understand that any decision made by the
director and/or officers is in the best interest of the team.
j. Color guard members are expected to be role models and leaders for the school and
community. Members are expected to demonstrate responsibility at all times.
k. Members should understand that it is a privilege, not a right, to be in color guard. He/she
must want to be a member and must be willing to accept criticism that will help him/her
attain perfection, and make the work enjoyable.
a. In order to tryout out for the leadership team, students must meet the following
i. The student must have performed at least one full year in color guard.
ii. The student must fill out a leadership application and interview with the head
iii. The student must attend all leadership camps and workshops prior to tryouts and
if he or she is selected must attend any summer leadership activities.
iv. Demonstrate responsibility and leadership qualities at all times including
attendance at all activities and events, passing grades, and positive attitudes.
v. Assist in the audition process for the new competition year.
b. Officers will be selected based on all parts of the application, the interview, attendance
and attitude during leadership training days, and knowledge of the activity.
c. Officers will be responsible for their section. They are to help ensure that each member
in the guard brings supplies to practice and knows all necessary information. When
necessary, they are responsible for assisting directors in planning activities, running
d. Attend every practice and designated school function. They are expected to arrive early
and be the last to leave. They should make sure that their squad members have a way
home before leaving late rehearsals or activities and check to be sure that the rehearsal
area is clean.
e. In the event that a director or staff member is not available, the officer(s) are in full
charge. It will be expected that they proceed with warm-ups and rehearsal maintaining
order and continuing to perfect the show.
f. Officers are expected to work closely together as a leadership team, with directors and
with all other members of the unit. Officers will at all times set a good example for other
students to follow.
g. The number of officers as well as the names of each position will be decided upon by
staff at the time as tryouts.
h. The term of an officer shall be recognized as the time immediately following auditions
through the entire year. In the case of an officer being dismissed the staff will determine
any change in leadership assignments.
a. Barring significantly unusual circumstances, all members of the unit will travel with the
director on school transportation to all away activities.
b. Students are allowed to leave from performance venues only with a parent unless
previously approved by the principal and head band director. Parents must sign out with
a band director.
VII. Uniforms and Equipment
a. Band and color guard directors will select all uniforms.
b. Members will be responsible for Band Dues which go towards the purchase or rental fees
of uniforms and equipment. This money is non-refundable if a student fails, is
dismissed, or quits. Equipment purchased by the school will remain school property.
c. All members of the unit must perform in the correct uniform wearing both hair and
makeup in the correct manner, as instructed by the guard director.
d. Members may be prohibited from participating if not in uniform. Forgetting any part of
the uniform may also result in disciplinary action.
e. Uniforms will be clean, in good condition, and fit properly before each performance. Do
not cut or alter any uniform without prior approval from the director. Guard/Band moms usually
volunteer to assist with hemming. Any other necessary alteration must be approved by
the director. If it is taken to a professional, the parent will be responsible for the cost of
f. Uniforms are to be worn only when assigned.
g. In rehearsals students are expected to dress in school appropriate attire and in clothing
that does not inhibit movement or learning. All students must have hair pulled back out
of the face, and jewelry such as rings and large earrings must be removed. No denim
(even stretch denim) is allowed.
i. Leggings – not appropriate for rehearsal – leggings that have denim material,
studs, or pockets
ii. Leggings – appropriate for rehearsal – have no studs or pockets
h. Each member will be issued various pieces of equipment for use throughout the year.
The member assumes full responsibility for the care of these items.
i. Prior to the end of the season, all equipment issued must be returned in good condition of
the member will be charged.
j. Members must put their name or number inside each uniform piece, shoes, and gloves.
VIII. Letter Jacket Policy
a. The Head Band Director will determine eligibility requirements for letter jackets and will
give students information regarding them. Points are awarded toward a jacket by team success and individual success.
b. Regardless of the number of activities or organizations in which a student participates, no
more than one letter jacket will be awarded to a student during her/his high school years.
IX. Duties of the Director
a. The director is responsible for the safety of the unit and may sideline a member for any
activity considered by the director to involve a safety risk.
b. The directors may disallow any choreography that he/she deems dangerous or
c. The director will determine the validity of excuses.
d. The directors or designee chosen by the director will attend all school functions.
e. The director has the final decision on who makes the performances. That decision may
not be argued or appealed. Factors such as attitude, manners, effort, attendance, and
ability will be taken into consideration when selecting performers for the show.
X. Parental Responsibilities
a. Parents must give their permission for their child to fulfill all the responsibilities of being
a color guard member (or officer if applicable) before the student is officially accepted.
b. Parents must be willing to meet all financial obligations involved in having their child as
a color guard member. The band staff can work on a payment plan if necessary.
c. Parents are encouraged to participate in various booster club activities and fundraisers.
These fundraisers help defray the cost for each member of the guard and band.
d. Parents are responsible for arranging transportation to and from all activities, except
when transportation is provided by the school district.
e. Parents must be willing to cooperate with directors and keep the directors informed of
any dates that might conflict with color guard activity commitments.
XI. Absences and Tardies
a. Color Guard members must attend and/or perform at the activities noted below unless
excused by the director in advance. The parent must notify the director if a member is
unable to attend/perform. Written notification must be presented if a student is unable to
participate. In the case of illness lasting three or more days or occurring on the day of a
contest, a doctor’s note is required. Examples of excusable absences might include: other
school business, personal illness, serious illness or death in the family, or an emergency
doctor’s appointment. While it is not always avoidable, please work to avoid scheduling
routine doctor’s appointments during rehearsals, especially during winter guard season
when there are fewer opportunities to rehearse during the week. After school
employment and transportation issues (ie not having a ride, car problems, etc.) are not
excused absences. Specific times and dates will be announced as athletic and school
calendars are received by the band staff.
i. All scheduled summer practices
ii. All Monday night practices
iii. All morning rehearsals
iv. Any game/contest attended by the Thundering herd Band
v. All scheduled sectionals
vi. All other performances announced by the director such as parades, pep rallies,
b. Failure to notify a director in writing or by email at least one day prior to missing a
rehearsal and failure to bring a doctor’s note after an illness can result in removal from
c. If a member misses a drill learning or choreography learning session for any reason, he or
she may be assigned as an alternate for that portion of the show. It is the student’s
responsibility to catch up on missed drill and choreography.
d. As a rule of thumb, if you are well enough to attend school, you are well enough to
attend rehearsals. Students that skip morning rehearsals and attend the rest of the day
will be given unexcused absences and may be taken out of all or part of the field show..
g. Morning rehearsals are considered a “zero hour” course from which students receive their
PE credit. Attendance credit rules apply to this part of the class. Multiple tardies and
absences can cause students to lose their credit for this class.
h. Members will arrive on time to practice and stay until dismissed by the director.
Members may not leave early for work, club meetings, etc.
i. It is the responsibility of each member to notify the director first and then their guard
officer of an absence before a practice they know they will miss. If the director does
not receive this notice it will be considered unexcused.
j. Any student suffering from an illness or injury will be excused from workouts or
performances only by a written note from a parent. After sitting out for two days, a
doctor’s note is required. Even if a student is unable to perform, the student is still
required to be at rehearsal unless he or she is contagious and/or his/her presence
endangers the other students.
k. Any member who fails a grading period and becomes ineligible will be removed from
performances, but will still be required to attend all rehearsals. See Article IV.
l. Any member or alternate who is not performing, but is eligible must be present, dressed
out, and continue to work with and travel with the guard and uphold all responsibilities.
m. An excessive amount of absences and/or tardies – even those that have been designated
as excused - may result in a student being placed on alternate status or, in severe cases,
being removed from the guard. This policy is in place because color guard is a group
participatory activity. Excessive number of absences, even those that are considered
excused, still impact the guard as a whole and can hurt the unit.
a. Grades will be derived from supply checks, pass-offs, attitude towards the team,
participation, effort level, and minor performances.
b. Test grades will be assigned for major performances. Football games count as a test grade, contests count as a major test (ie. Six weeks test, semester test…)
c. Practice records may be assigned as deemed necessary by the instructor.
d. The director may also choose to create lessons and projects relating to design and
a. Automatic dismissal from the color guard unit and forfeiture of the right to tryout again
may occur due to any of the following:
i. Appearing to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
ii. Smoking cigarettes or other substances.
iii. Drinking alcoholic beverages
iv. Committing any other serious offenses as outlined in the Grandview High
School Students Handbook.
v. Committing at any time any act punishable by expulsion under the Texas
Education Code 21.3011.
vi. Being place in In-School-Suspension for a second time in any one performing
vii. Being placed in DAEP or ISS II at any time as a color guard member at
Grandview High School.
ix. Conduct considered seriously inappropriate by both the directors and the
b. Less serious offenses may result in a member being required to run laps, clean the guard
room after rehearsal, or being removed from the field and/or replaced at director
discretion. Such offenses include, but are not limited to:
i. Using profane or unbecoming language.
ii. Refusing to follow the instructions of the directors.
iii. Appearing late to practices or performances.
iv. Any other action that brings discredit to the Thundering Herd Band.
v. Dressing improperly for rehearsals or for performances.
c. Using the internet for bullying or to make disparaging remarks about members, staff, the color guard program, or any other organization is strictly prohibited.
d. Directors reserve the right to instate merit or Demerit systems in order to hold students
accountable for their actions if it becomes apparent that students will not hold themselves
XIV. Solo and Ensemble
a. Solo and Ensemble contest is held by the North Texas Colorguard Association (NTCA)
each spring, usually in late April
b. Student solos and ensembles must follow the rules and guidelines established by NTCA
(duration, ensemble size, etc.)
c. In order to participate in Solo and Ensemble, each participating member or ensemble
must “pass off” their performance with the guard director. This pass off is to show that
sufficient preparation and effort has been put into writing and executing the performance.
After a member or ensemble has “passed off” a performance they may be entered in the
d. Students are responsible for providing their own uniforms and flag silks for solo
competition. Flag silks may be borrowed from the band with director permission, and
must be returned in the same condition they were checked out in.
Sign and return the handbook acknowledgment page (below) on or before the first day of summer camp (august 3 2015)
I have received a copy of the Zebra Handbook and I will do my best to maintain the standards and guidelines as defined in THE Zebra Guard Handbook.
Student’s Signature: ___________________________________________________Parent’s Signature: _______________