A contest in 4 parts.

Discussion in 'The Adjudicators' Comments' started by midwalesman, Jul 3, 2003.


Do we need a new contesting formula ?

  1. Yes, we need a rethink on contests

  2. No, if its not broke don't fix

  1. midwalesman

    midwalesman Member

    Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
    Its interesting to read all these new ideas about contests and also the realisation that perhaps a change in the contesting structure and formula is needed. At present (ignoring the European, and Spennymoor and Pontins) there is the Area, Masters, Open and National Finals. All these competitions are run by different individuals. Why doesnt all of them get together and have a contesting committee where all the contests become interlinked, then, possibly, we could have 4 major contests a year and the band that has won or had the best results on average throughout the year will become the true National Champions. Surely more there will be more prestige in being Champions that way. Perhaps these contests may also be located in different venues around Britain....for instance having the Scottish Open (like the new one), a Welsh Open, English Open and the National Finals in London (where the top 10 best results from the previous three contests) could play.

    Another point I would like to make is, why couldnt the above work for the lower sections as well. There will be a league basis for all sections and promotion and relegation will continue....and perhaps even a play off ??? Who knows.

    As for another gripe....how about cutting the sections down number wise and creating perhaps another section ? or even levelling the amount of bands in each section out...just look at the size of the Championship section in Yorkshire compared to the first section. A smaller section will allow longer compositions to be played (thinking of pieces such as Devil in the Deep Blue sea and Apocalypse or Concerto Grosso to be used more. Contests would run quicker, and perhaps there may even be a case for some of the contests to be on a 20 to 25 minute concert programme contests ala Spennymoor and formerly the Granada Band of the Year contests ? Those who then complain about audiences not turning up to contests will then have the opportunity to prove their point or not. Audiences might turn up if there is a mini concert contest and then the other contests during the year may stay the same or apply a different formula.

    The formula of contests has fluctuated very little from its origins. Why is that ? Surely its time for a radical rethink because as far as I can see contesting is basically a day for Bandsmen to play to Bandsmen who don't often listen themselves. Its time to try something different.

    What do you think?
  2. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    What would be the qualification for invitation to these? I can't see how this would work without screwing up the area qualifying system.

    Expense. It costs a lot to attend a contest, and I doubt that many lower section - or top section for that matter - bands would be willing or financially able to attend contests far away just for grading purposes. I still don't see how this can feasibly be integrated with the area grading system - you're trying to place too many bands into one pool for any method to be other than very cumbersome.

    But lower Champ section Yorkshire bands couldn't possibly be graded in a lower section than their inferior Southern counterparts. :lol:

    Good ideas... In other areas where the top section hasn't swollen in recent years, longer pieces are viable now.

    Having said that, tDatDBS would benefit from being cut off in some way at the end of the fugue. I think it is one of the best examples of I-don't-know-how-to-finish-this syndrome that I've ever encountered...

  3. DaveK

    DaveK New Member

    I agree with the comments regarding the banding structure being outdated. The only reason the Nationals is viewed as an inferior contest to the Open by some is the fairer way bands qualify for the latter contest.

    Given the strength of some of the outfits in Yorks and the North West, it's really unfortunate that some bands don't see the stage at the Nationals. Take Sellers at this years area, third place was a great result given some of the bands they were placed ahead of but the achievement had no meaning in terms of qualification.

    I've always liked the way things are done at the Europeans, the unfortunate thing is you never quite get all the top outfits together under one roof. What about having the championship section at the RAH hall on the Saturday and an elite section, on Sunday.

    The championship section would throw up a keenly contested day with a number of bands in with a shout and the elite section could maybe have the top 6 or 8 battling things out with an own choice and a set test. This would ensure a contest where everyone would sit in and listen to all the bands and the audience would be treated to a great days contesting.

  4. Straightmute

    Straightmute Active Member

    What we have at the moment gives us an interesting spread of events and methods of qualification.

    For sure, the Nationals is regarded by some of the top bands as being second to the Open, but at least it is accessible to all the country's Championship Section Bands, all of whom have the opportunity to try to qualify.

    Do we need another 'elite' contest? Surely that function is already provided by the Open and the Masters, and whilst one might argue that both contests would benefit from a reduction in the number of bands (and possibly a 'quasi European format') it seems unlikely that the top bands woud want to add another contest to their calender.

    A reduction in the number of bands would not be popular amonst those left out and it would make it harder for 'up and coming' bands to break through, but it would mean that longer pieces or set test/own choice options were possible. We might also get some 'better' results!

  5. WhatSharp?

    WhatSharp? Active Member

    Speaking as a "Lower" section bandsman, the Nationals is the one chance the lower section bands get to compete on an even playing field with (initially) other bands in the region and (hopefully) bands from around the country. In general I think the Nationals are seen with far greater importance to the lower section bands than the championship bands.

    It would be nice though to have maybe two area qualifiers (maybe the set peice and an own choice) with the overall winners going to the finals. This would mean that it would give a better indication of a bands ability.
  6. Tom

    Tom Member

    Dave's idea for the Nationals sounds interesting but for me the attraction of the National Finals at the moment is that anyone can qualify and more or less anyone can win it. Paradoxically, it is the only "open" contest we have.

    An alternative might be to open up the Masters to the whole of the UK and invite the top 15 or 20 bands in the rankings - that would be a very intetresting contest.
  7. neiltwist

    neiltwist Active Member

    erm, i thought the point was that it was the all 'england' masters, as england doesn't have a contest only open to english bands other than this.
  8. wewizrobbed

    wewizrobbed Member

    Very true! Isn't that just making it like the Open as well? I like the contests the way they are at present because they are all different. It'd be boring if it ended up being the same 15 bands at every competition, which could happen if entry was to be based on rankings. Also, whose rankings would you use? Brass band world's or Whitburn's? :p :wink:
  9. iancwilx

    iancwilx Well-Known Member

    Leeds - Yorkshire - UK
    In 1970 they had 2 Competitions at the Albert Hall - The National Championships, and the World Championships. (On the same day)
    This badly thought out idea turned out like this :-
    At the start of the year, about 8 "Elite" bands including a couple of Scandinavian Bands (To give the World title credibility) were invited to compete in the W.Championships.
    The English Bands were given a bye from the Areas (They didn't have to compete)
    The National Championships was debased - the (Alleged) top 6 English bands were not in the National Championships so Grimethorpe (Who won the NC) had only proved they were the "Best of the Rest"
    It virtually relegated the bands that competed and won in the "National Championships" to be "Also rans"
  10. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    West Midlands
    Yes 100%:

    1 contest FIXED/selected TEST PIECE 200 pionts
    1 contest Own Choice 200 points
    1 contest Entertainment 100 points
    1 contest MARCH & Hymn Tune 50 points(25 each)

    All the points added up with the aggreate score.
    These contests to be held over 4 months during the year.
    This would be a better system than we have got at the moment of JUST ONE CONTEST THE AREA.:-D
  11. jo

    jo Member

    South Yorkshire

    4 months? forgive me if I am not committed enough but with a full time job, a busy concert schedule and a very busy life outside the brass band world there is no way I would be available to put in the required rehearsals for 2 testpieces, a contest program and march in 4 months...there is a reason why the major contests (area, open, masters, nationals, spennymoor, along with grand shield, butlins and pontins)are spaced out over 12 months...
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