Interesting that in 4BR`s October editorial they make a point that we good folks on tMP were discussing about 18 months ago!! http://www.themouthpiece.com/vb/showthread.php?t=20196 tMP leads while others follow! Reproduced from 4br below- mod edit: link to original source: http://www.4barsrest.com/editorial/ed049.asp Quantity not quality? In our retrospective postcard on the Lower Section Finals, 4BR makes the point that perhaps the time has come to bring in certain structural and cosmetic changes to give the event a sense of vibrancy that it is still missing, despite its excellent organisation. Of them all, the process in which the number of bands that can qualify for the Finals is perhaps the one that needs to be looked at most closely. As is the case with contests all over the world, quantity rather than quality has been the historical mantra. Some contests are all the better for accepting large number of entrants – the Nationals, (both at London and Harrogate) much like the British Open, is not one of them. At present 2 bands can qualify from any region if there is up to 16 bands taking part in the contest. This rises to 3 if there are up 17 to 24 bands, and 4 if over 25 bands taking part. This year there was no section anywhere in the country with over 25 bands taking part, just six sections had 17 bands or more, whilst nine had 10 or less. The rest had between 11 and 16 bands. A sign of the time perhaps, but surely it cannot now be right to allow a section of just 6 or 7 bands (as was seen in Scotland, Wales and the North of England) to send two representatives when the West of England and London & Southern Counties can only send one more when they had 23 and 22 bands respectively taking part in some of theirs? Quantity or quality? Perhaps reducing the numbers of bands from a given region might not improve the latter, but it would surely be a better and more accurate refection of the former. 4barsrest Editorial October 2007. Let`s hope that the Nationals organisers listen, and the bigger and in some cases better regions are better represented at the lower section finals!