Herein lie the bylaws of the Death March. [See Historical Changes]
We the members of the Death March to the Sea, in order to punish our bodies, but also to strengthen and test our friendships, do ordain and establish a yearly trek held in the hottest days of summer from Reseda Boulevard to the Pacific Ocean.
The bylaws are the official rules of the Death March.
Any change to the bylaws must be voted upon and radified with high fives or rapturous tapping upon a table in a room that has beer taps by a triumvirate of Officers.
Bylaws are given a timestamp when radified and expire after 3 years at the Banquet. Bylaw renewal is done of a paragraph by paragraph basis and renewal date is judged by the most recent modification.
An official Death March Year is from Banquet to Banquet.
On the 25th anniversary of the March, all previously expired or repealed bylaws shall be in force for 1 year.
The Death March will be held yearly until someone actually dies on the March.
Each Death March begins with a speech from the Grand Marshal, praise be unto him, and ends at sunset.
The March must be held in the summer.
The Grand Marshal, praise be unto him, is responsible for coordinating with others to plan a date. This date must be agreed upon by a triumvirate of Officers.
If by the Summer Solstice, the Grand Marshal, praise be unto him, has not solidified a date for the Death March, he has 24 hours to schedule and inform the public without a triumvirate. After that time, the next ranking member of the March has 24 hours to schedule and inform the public of the date as acting Grand Marshal, praise be unto him. Acting Grand Marshal, praise be unto him, has all the rights and responsibilities of the Grand Marshal, praise be unto him, until the next rank calculation. If this member does not plan and inform within 24 hours, they lose this opportunity. This process continues every 24 hours with the next ranking member as acting Grand Marshal, praise be unto him, until the Autumnal Equinox, at which the line of succession is broken and these bylaws will cease to be in force.
The current winning team must choose a theme within one month of the Death March. Failure to do so will result in the privilege of choosing the theme passing to the team of the Premiere. The Premiere’s team then has one month to pick a theme. Failure to do so will result in the privilege passing to the Grand Marshal, praise be unto him.
The First to the Sea Challenge only begins once the Grand Marshal, praise be unto him, announces it at Eagle Rock.
Rank is determined by number of rank points a person holds. Points are calculated at the Banquet.
Completed Official Marches
Three (3) rank points are earned for any completed Death March.
Individuals who start but do not complete a March for any reason will only receive one (1) rank point.
One is removed from the ranking members list and does not earn any points for the year if they miss a march.
For any ties in rank points, overall rank shall be determined by rock-paper-scissors.
If someone arrives late to the March, but catches-up with any of the initial marching members before the last one touches the Ocean, this person is fully eligible to finish the march as if they had begun it with the rest of the members.
Anyone who helps shuttle people between the Palisades and Reseda is entitled to one (1) extra rank point for their dedication to the cause.
In an effort to keep interest in the Death March up and to recruit new members, marches shall be held every season. As the Grand Marshal, praise be unto him, is generally in charge of Summer’s Death March, each full Officer must organize a March for each other season. Which officer is in charge of which season shall be determined by the Grand Marshal, praise be unto him, at the end of the Banquet.
This seasonal march must be held in the assigned season and must be at least six and one half (6.5) miles in length. All seasonal marches will count as absentee marches, regardless of length. A seasonal march is only considered official if two or more people attend. The Officer in Charge is the last word for everything involved with this seasonal march. The Officer in Charge is given one (1) extra rank point for every five (5) marchers who complete this particular seasonal march to distribute as they please. The Officer in Charge gains one (1) extra rank point as long as at least one person shows up and there is photographic evidence.
Any season that goes by without an official seasonal march will cause the Officer in charge of said season loses eligibility to hold Office the next year.
Absentee Marches are marches undertaken to make up for not being able to attend the most recent official Death March. They must be at least as long as the Death March in miles. Absentee Marches are based on trust, but must be approved by the Grand Marshal, praise be unto him. Approved Absentee Marches are worth two (2) rank points, restore one to the list of ranking members, and confer any titles earned for Punishments undertaken on the Absentee March. Anyone who attends an Absentee March for support cannot be stripped of titles for not performing punishments earned on an official March, but it is considered bad form to do so.
Members who earned rank points on the Official March for the year cannot earn any more points for merely attending an absentee march. You may only earn points from an Absentee March if haven’t already earned points from any participation on any march that year, except for members who failed to complete the Official March who may go on an Absentee March that year to receive two (2) points for marching.
Rank points decay exponentially at a rate of -0.25. Decay calculations are calculated by year, so the date during the year at which one does a Death March or Absentee March does not enter into the calculation.
Officers are the leaders of the Death March. No one person can hold more than one officership. One may decline any officership. Marshal positions are then passed on to the next eligible ranking member until the next point evaluation. If the Captain of the largest team declines the Premiere position, that team must elect another team member to be the Premiere. Once declined, a position may not be regained until the next March.
The Grand Marshal of the Death March, praise be unto him, is the leader of the Death March. The Grand Marshal, praise be unto him, has the final say into all matters March related that are not outlined in the bylaws. The Grand Marshal, praise be unto him, is also responsible for clarifying the Bylaws. However, the Grand Marshal, praise be unto him, cannot change existing Bylaws or create new Bylaws without due process.
This title is given to whoever may have the highest rank.
If no one completes the Death March, the Chancellor of Timekeeping becomes the Grand Marshal for the next year.
Lieutenant Marshal is responsible for all the mundane details like recording the bylaws, inviting people, and securing transportation.
This title is given to whoever may have the second highest rank.
Vice Lieutenant Marshal
The Vice Lieutenant Marshal is the manager of the Punishments. They are responsible for the planning and implementation of Punishments.
This title is given to whoever may have the third highest rank.
The Premiere is the leader of the largest team to finish the Death March. If more than one team is tied for most amount of people, the leaders of those teams will agree to a competitive game and the winner of said game will become the Premiere.
The Premiere has full voting and nominating privileges.
Chancellors are the leaders of the various support corps of the Death March. A Chancellor can be nominated by any Officer, including another Chancellor. Upon confirmation by a triumvirate of Officers, the Chancellor gains a title such as “Chancellor of Transportation” or “Chancellor of Banquets.” They will hold this office until they resign, miss a march, or are stripped of their title by a triumvirate of Officers.
Chancellors are not considered full Officers for voting purposes, however a majority vote of two (2) or more present Chancellors can equal the vote of one Officer.
Champion of the Sea
Champion of the Sea is the first man and woman to travel only by foot and touch the ocean after the Grand Marshal, praise be unto him, has given the starting signal at Eagle Rock. Upon touching the ocean, they are immediately made a Chancellor with voting and nominating rights as such. Champion of the Sea earns one (1) extra rank point for the year.
In honor of the Papal History theme, the official title of the Champion of the Sea shall be “Bishop of Malibu, Vicar of Poseidon, Successor of the Champions of the Sea, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal March, Primate of Los Liones, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Los Angeles Province, Sovereign of the Californian State, Servant of the servants of the Sea” for 2014 only.
The Marcher Support Team (MaST) is a group of non-marching members who provide some sort of material support to the March (driving, setting up the banquet, creating schwag, timekeeping, etc.) In return for their service, they earn one (1) rank point. They are allowed to hold Officerships and Rank. All members of the MaST must be nominated and then approved by a triumvirate to earn this one (1) point every year.
The Cavalry are a group of non-marching members who travel along the trail on the day of the March on a vehicle powered by a live organism and perform various support duties such as trail marking, supply delivery, first aid, and morale boosting. In return for their service, they earn one (1) rank point. They are allowed to hold Officerships and Rank. They may participate in Punishments, but may not earn any Achievements nor participate in the Race. They may also be Team Captains/Rangers if they are sufficiently qualified.
In order to increase group spirit in an ever growing event, teams are a group of Marchers who share a common goal of finishing the Death March together.
Anyone who can provide transportation at the end of a March from the Palisades back to the start is eligible to be a team captain. Each team member must swear or affirm loyalty to the team in a manner decided by the team captain.
A team may only be as big as the transportation the captain can provide. If more than one driver wants to form a common team, they must choose amongst themselves who will be the captain. Anyone who drives but does not become a captain will be known as a ranger. A team must consist of 2 or more people.
All teams may choose a name, team colors, motto, and a mascot.
A team completes the March when the last member of the team touches the ocean. The first complete team to finish the March will be responsible for assigning a theme and/or subtitle to the next year’s March. A team will only be recognized for the year if no members are left stranded at any point.
Lack of a Team
Any one who voluntarily Marches without team affiliation takes full personal responsibility for getting back to from the ocean on their own.
Punishments are things one does to make the Death March more deadly. By participating in a punishment, you are conferred a title. The titles and specifics are listed below. It should be noted that no one has to participate in the punishments, but they will not receive the corresponding title. Unless specifically noted below, one can be stripped of their title if one fails to (1) properly participate in the punishment before touching the ocean, or (2) attend the most recent march at all.
Members may elect to take on personal punishments to show their devotion to the cause. They may also create one title of reasonable length to show that they performed this punishment.
At the end of each March, the Officers may approve up to two personal punishments carried out and make them Supplemental Official Punishments, giving them equal status to already existing punishments. The title of the punishment will then be put up for debate. If a triumvirate of Officers is unable to agree upon a title, the title originally used when a personal punishment will remain.
Creativity is encouraged in personal punishment title choice, but no word used in an official officer’s title may be used in such title.
Alcohol Consumption Punishment
The Protectorship of a country is the title received by consuming alcohol at some point on the march. A member of a team may alternately choose a municipality of their team captain’s country. A municipality may only be protected by one marcher. If one loses this title, the now unprotected municipality may then be assumed by another attendee. If two people choose the same unprotected municipality in the same year, it goes to the person who has the most rank points.
Tommy’s Chili Punishment
Honorifics such as Sir, Doctor, Captain, Sama, Lady, and Master, among others, are applied based on the consumption of a chili-topped food product from Tommy’s.
Creativity is encouraged in honorific choice, but no word used in an official officer’s title may be used as an honorific.
Anyone who brings a large flag approved by the Grand Marshal, praise be unto him, and carries it for the duration of the March shall earn the Flagbearer, Bannerman, Bannerwoman, or Bannerperson title.
Anyone who consumes vegetarian chili in lieu of the Tommy’s Chili Punishment and does not eat meat for the entirety of the March shall earn membership into the Fraternity or Sorority of an animal of their choice. The word used in the title for that animal should be a noble word rather than a common word. For example, rather than “pig” one could use “boar” or “Sus Scrofa.”
Anyone who brings a noise maker approved by the Grand Marshal, praise be unto him, and uses it often for the duration of the March shall earn the Troubadour, Bard, or Herald title.
Marching in Drag Punishment
Any man who dresses in clothing traditionally worn by women, or any woman who dresses in clothing traditionally worn by men and sports facial hair, for the duration of the March shall earn a title with the word drag in it.
Marching in Long Sleeves and Pants Punishment
Anyone who dresses in long sleeves and pants and does not roll them up for the duration of the March shall earn the title Longfellow.
Rear Guard is an elite team who know the path and have vowed verbally prior to the start of the March to stay in the back of the group. Rear Guard earn the privilege of adding this to their official title. If the Rear Guard misses a turn, leaves anyone behind without prior consent, or otherwise fails in their duties, they shall not earn the title.
Achievements can be completed for fun. They serve no purpose other than to provide bragging rights for having completed Achievements. An Achievement is a minor feat, defined henceforth in the Bylaws, that is completed by a Marcher during the course of any annual main-event Death March.
Achievements are set apart from Punishments in that no title, prize, office, or power are bestowed upon having completed any or all Achievements; they are only made for fun and bragging rights. While Punishments must be completed annually, any given Achievement must only be completed once for any given Marcher to permanently earn credit for it. If a bylaw governing an achievement expires, anyone having already earned that achievement retains the badge of achievement. Every year one earns an Achievement, they gain a level in said Achievement.
Since there is nothing to be gained from completing Achievements, an unlimited number of them can be published to the Bylaws each year. That being said, note that Achievements, being published into the Bylaws, must be Rad-ified to be valid.
Bullet points collectively count as a paragraph for all bylaws except achievements.
- Gracious Bounty – Share food or drinks with at least 6 people.
- Great Bounty – Share food or drinks with at least 15 people.
- Ridiculous Bounty – Share food or drinks with everyone on the March.
- Rock Star – Perform a musical piece of at least 1 minute length at Opening Ceremonies or Eagle Rock.
- Greenfriend – Pick up every single piece of trash you see over the course of the Death March. Leave no trash of your own behind.
- Alcoholics Unanimous – Drink five servings of alcohol during the course of the March.
- Photogenic – Have your picture taken standing on top of the highest point of Eagle Rock.
- Patriot – Have your picture taken at the Altar of Freedom.
- MacGyver – Fashion some sort of device to assist a fellow Marcher in their time of need.
- Early to Rise – Walk from the Sea to the top of Reseda before the Opening Ceremonies on the day of the March.
- Absolute Twit – Tweet your location at least 10 times during the March.
- Head in the Clouds – Visit the Parker Mesa Overlook.
- Speedster – Complete the Death March in under 7 hours.
- SpeedSTAR – Complete the Death March in under 6 hours.
- Speed Demon – Complete the Death March in under 5 hours.
- Champion of the Sea – Finish the Death March first.
- Waterlogged – Completely submerge yourself in the ocean upon completion of the Death March.
- Voice of the People – Propose a bylaw that is radified by the end of the March. May not be earned by Officers.
- Paparazzi – Take 50 pictures of the Officers on the March.
- Are you guys a club or something? – Dress to the theme of the March.
- Lose Your Keys? – Catch up to the March after starting late.
- Treasure Hunter – Find a geocache during the March.
- Stromatolite (previously Paleontologist) – Take your picture with the stromatolites.
- Ball and Chain – Bring your significant other to the Death March.
- Indelible – Get a Death March related tattoo.
- Michael Phelps – Earn ten (10) or more achievements in a single March.
- McConaughey – Perform a Death March start to finish without a shirt. Women may cover up as is appropriate.
- Capital Zero – Finish your first Death March.
- Speed of Light – Complete the Death March in under 4 hours.
- Somnambulist – Get no sleep the night previous to the Death March.
- Metrosexual – Take public transit to and from the Death March.
- Fancy Pants – Wear formal attire for the entirety of the March.
- Triathlete – Ride a bicycle to the beginning of the Death March, finish the Death March, and then dunk yourself in the Ocean at the end.
- Lone Wolf – Complete the Death March without a team.
- How I Met Your Mother – Bring your parent or child on the Death March.
- Space Monkey – Shave your head for the Death March.
- The Fantastic Four – A team will earn four (4) rank points to distribute as they please among four (4) different successful Death March participants for that year for completing all of the following four (4) conditions. There must be four (4) witnesses outside the team who can corroborate this story. This bylaw expires after four (4) years if no team has successfully completed it.
- The team must be four (4) or more people
- Four (4) of the team members must finish the march together, as in no one may register a finishing time between these four (4) members
- All team members must complete the same four (4) punishments
- Four (4) members of the team must complete four (4) unique achievements that are new to that member
- Dr. Scholl – Share medication with 6 other marchers.
- Great Balls – take pictures of 6 Pokemon on the Death March.
- Million Dollar Mom – complete the death march with some professionally installed artificial implant for medical necessity.