Banner raids, more commonly referred to as “Banner Stealing” are different from Banner Dances. The purpose of banner stealing is to enhance informal visiting between clubs and increase our mutual enjoyment of our great activity. These guidelines are provided as a basis for this activity
Clubs that host an annual banner dance generally do not participate in banner stealing. Call ahead to be sure. Rules on banner dances are contained in the MDSDF Directory.
Otherwise, any club may visit another club with the intent of stealing the host club’s banner. After the banner is stolen, the visiting club should display it at their club dances until it is retrieved.
It is considered polite for the visiting club to give the host club advance notice of the upcoming visit.
Banners may be stolen at any open dance of the host club, excluding special dances (holiday, anniversary) unless approved in advance by the host club.
To steal a banner the visiting club will attend with at least one square (eight dancers), paying the appropriate visitor’s dance fees.
If a dancer is a member of both the host and visiting club, and wishes (or is needed to be part of the eight) to be part of the stealing club, they must sign in as a visitor and pay the appropriate dance fee. The visiting club’s caller and partner, if necessary to bring the count to at least eight, are expected to pay the appropriate dance fee.
If available, the host club may provide a smaller (traveling banner) in lieu of their primary club banner. If all of the host club’s banners have already been stolen, some replacement object should be provided to the stealing club. In the past this has included items such as the one of the club member’s hats (with club badge attached) or some similar item (keep it fun).
If two or more clubs attempt to steal a banner at the same dance, the host club is only required to surrender one banner. Normally it will go to the club with the largest number of paid visiting dancers. If two clubs have the same number of dancers, the banner would go to the visiting club that traveled the farthest to attend. If the host club has sufficient banners, they may award two banners and will need to retrieve both at some point in the future.
The visiting club members’ dance ability should be appropriate to the advertised dance program of the host club. If the visiting club routinely advertises and dances a different (more complex) dance program, the stealing club will need to provide a future dance evening where the dance program will enable the host club to retrieve their banner. This is best coordinated between the two clubs before the banner is stolen.
The visiting club should be allowed to hold the stolen banner for at least one month before it is retrieved. A club must retrieve its own banner before stealing the other club’s banner.
To retrieve a banner, the retrieving club will attend with at least one square (eight dancers) at any open dance of the stealing club, including special dances.
The same sign-in requirements for dancers with dual membership and callers and partners are applicable.
If the club needing to retrieve their banner has a small membership that precludes visiting with a full square, they should be allowed to retrieve their banner with two or more visits of less than a square, as long as the total visitation equals or exceeds eight visiting dancers.
A club may not simultaneously retrieve and steal banners at the same dance, regardless of the number of dancers visiting
If a banner has not been retrieved prior to the end of the dance season (May), the club holding the banner will return it before the Star Spangled Banner Festival so that it can be displayed at the Festival. This may be done by exchange between the two clubs at the May MDSDF delegates meeting