By-Laws 2019-2020


Note: at the annual meeting in January of 2021, we will vote on any proposed by-law changes for 2021-2022.

According to the by-laws, a call for review and recommendation will be sent to all current  members at least 60 days prior to the annual meeting. All recommendations from the general body should be forwarded to the Executive Board no later than 30 days prior to the annual meeting.


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 performing 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, 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

  1. The minimum age for membership is eighteen (18).  In order to be a certified working judge, however, a member must be at least twenty- two years of age, and may not be a marching member of a competitive unit.
  2. Membership options are as follows and will be determined on an individual basis by the Executive Board:
    1. Associate Level:  Associate Level members pay reduced dues and can attend any education sessions that are provided and can vote at the annual meeting.
    2. Apprentice Level: Apprentice level members are members in their training phase.  Apprentice members pay a higher membership fee in their first year of membership to cover training costs.  Standard membership fee will apply after the first full year of membership. Apprentice Level members must participate in educations sessions, participate in coordinated Field Trials, and work one on one with an assigned mentor.  Apprentice Level members will work in tandem with their mentor and the Director of Education towards caption certification.  Apprentice Level members can only be working on one caption for certification.
    3. Journeyman Level:  Journeyman Level members are recently certified members who show continued growth of skills.  Journeymen Level members pay the standard yearly dues. Journeymen Level members are expected to continue work with a mentor and the Director of Education to show continued skill growth in an effort to attain Master Level status in their caption(s).
    4. Master Level: Master Level members are members who are determined by the Board of Directors in conjunction with the Director of Education to be at the highest level of proficiency as a judge in a specific caption(s).  Master Level members pay the standard yearly dues.  It is also expected that a Master Level member will work with our Director of Education to provide training and education to other members of the Association in their Mastered caption(s).  Master Level membership can be reduced to Journeyman Level in specific caption(s) should a judge fail to participate in required trainings, clinics, and education sessions for that caption(s) and is determined by the Board to no longer be current or proficient in a specific caption(s).
    5. It is important to note that Master Level judges may be considered Master Level for specific caption(s) only.  The same applies to Journeyman Level.  Should a Master or Journeyman Level judge want to pursue another caption for certification, they will move through the leveling process for that specific caption.  So, it is possible that a member may be at the Master level in 1 or more captions and Apprentice or Journeyman level in other caption(s) based on level of training, certification, and experience.
    6. All membership levels require active participation within the organization.  This includes the annual meeting and fundraising efforts for the scholarship fund.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. To attain certification and a position on the MJA judge lists for any season or caption, a member must:
    1. Pay their dues.
    2. Complete all formal training as outlined in the Education and Training guidelines.
    3. Pass a minimum of two (2) acceptable field trials.
    4. Participate in any required clinics or trainings.
    5. Attempt to attend other clinics and meetings.
  6. 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.
  7. The responsibility for quality judging rests with the individual member with assistance from the association.  MJA does not 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.
  8. MJA welcomes judges and non-judges who are members of other associations.
  9. 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.
  10. 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

  1. Roberts Rules of Order shall be the governing rules for MJA when a question of order arises.  Any mem​ber may ask for the formal use of Roberts’ Rules at any time.
  2. 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.
  3. The officers of MJA will be President, President Elect, Immediate Past President, Vice President, Secretary-Treasurer and three (3) at large Executive Board Members.
  4. Elections for President Elect, and (2) members of the Executive Board will be held at the annual meeting on odd numbered years. Elections for the Vice-President, Secretary-Treasurer, and (1) member of the Executive Board will be held at the annual meeting on even numbered years. The newly elected president will serve as “President Elect” for one year before assuming the duties of President and will therefore serve on the Board for 3 years. Vacancies may create the need for special elections, which may be held by mail. All other elected positions end at the annual meeting of any calendar year after a two-year term and newly elected two-year positions begin the day following the annual meeting.
  5. The President can appoint the following positions which all serve on the Executive Board: Education Coordinator, Music Caption Head, Visual Caption Head, Director of Communications. Each position would carry one vote.
  6. By-Laws are to be reviewed and open for recommendations in the odd-numbered 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.
  7. Past-Presidents are automatic Executive Board Members, carry one Board vote, and are invited to participate in any and all Board meetings. Past-Presidents do not pay membership dues.

VI. Responsibilities of the Governing Officers

  1. The President shall :
    1. preside over all meetings
    2. appoint caption chairpersons (liaisons)
    3. appoint any subcommittees
    4. receive and keep records as necessary
    5. call Executive Board Meetings at least every two months
    6. generally enforce the governing rules of the association
    7. keep officers and members current
    8. call for nominees for the annual elections
    9. run any elections or special elections
    10. maintain a current roster of members
    11. deliver current rosters to the local associations
    12. present receipts for any disbursement of funds
  2. The President Elect shall:

    a. Attend all Executive Board Meetings
    b. Record and distribute the minutes of all Executive Board Meetings
    c. Meet with the President Regularly to be trained on the duties/responsibilities of the President
    d. Assist the President and Vice-President in any of the duties listed within those roles.

  3. The Vice-President shall:
    1. Perform the duties of the President in his/her absence
    2. Assist the President in any duties listed above
    3. Replace the President, if that office becomes vacant and hold a new election at the next general body meeting for the President and Vice-President if necessary.
    4. Present receipts for any disbursement of funds
  4. The Secretary-Treasurer shall:
    1. Maintain receipts for any disbursements
    2. Maintain the checking account of MJA
    3. Maintain any minutes of General Body Meetings
    4. Maintain Minutes of Executive Board Meetings
    5. Have co-responsibility of signing MJA checks
    6. Submit financial reports at meetings

Responsibilities of the Executive Board:

  1. The Executive Board Shall :
    1. Approve all Appointments
    2. Meet at least every two months during the MJA year
    3. Approve disbursement of funds
    4. Have authority to withhold membership
    5. Approve all lists of Judges of MJA
    6. Oversee application of the Governing Rules
    7. Submit proposals for approval
    8. Hear any member, in person, for any reason
    9. Review Recaps during appropriate seasons
    10. Review judge lists in all captions.
    11. Address problems within a caption as needed.
  2. The Education Coordinator shall:
    1. Develop the education plan each year to be approved by the Executive Board.
    2. Execute the education plan as approved. 
  3. The Music, Percussion, and Visual Captions Heads shall:

    a. Actively recruit new members for the caption.
    b. Coordinate with the Education Coordinator on the training of new and current judges within their caption.
    c. Work with judges in training to set up training experiences through the Education Coordinator.
    d. Provide status reports at all Executive Board meetings.

  4. The Director of Communications shall:
    a. Maintain the Association Website and all printed communications
    b. Send regular communications, at least quarterly, to the membership as approved by the Executive Board
    c. Work with the Executive Board to maintain standard branding of the Association
    d. Provide suggestions for branding updates/improvements and other communications as necessary. 
    e. DEvelop and maintain electronic delivery options for communications, meetings, training, and development.

Executive Board Status:

  1. Executive Board membership can be revoked at any time for significant cause by a 2/3 majority of the Executive Board members.
  2. To maintain membership standing on the board, a member must:
    1. Attend all Executive Board meetings either in person or via phone unless excused by the President.
    2. Participate in all MJA sponsored fundraisers.
    3. Assist in preparation and presentation of annual meeting.
    4. Participate in any MJA sponsored clinics and other meetings.


VII: Nominations and Elections

  1. One Order of Business at the Annual General Body Meeting will be the nominations for any office indicated above in Part V. Government.
  2. 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 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.
  3. 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.
  4. No person shall hold more than one elected office.
  5. The President shall appoint a committee to tally the ballots.
  6. 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

  1. Call to Order
  2. Secretary – Treasurer Report
  3. Business of the Previous Year
  4. Election of Officers
  5. By-Law Changes (only in a by-law change year)
  6. New Business
  7. General Discussion for the good of MJA
  8. Adjournment

IX. Meetings

  1. There is one scheduled Annual Meeting per year to be determined by the Executive Board.
  2. Other General Meetings may be called as needed.
  3. The Executive Board shall meet at least every two months during the calendar year.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Absence from the above mandatory meetings carries the responsibility to the member to obtain and use pertinent information received and distributed.

X. Protests

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

  1. The dues of MJA are specified below, though these figures may be adjusted upon recommendation of the President to the Executive Board at the Annual General Body Meeting.
    1. Associate Level: $25.00 annually
    2. Apprentice Level: $100.00 for first year then $50.00 per year going forward.
    3. Journeyman Member: $50.00 annually
    4. Master Member: $50.00 annually
  2. The dues of the officers and the Executive Board, the Education Coordinator, and the 2 appointed caption heads, Music and Visual, will be waived for the current year(s) of service. Past-Presidents dues will always be waived for past years of service.


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