Abolish Gradings ?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by iancwilx, Oct 18, 2008.

  1. iancwilx

    iancwilx Well-Known Member

    Why not abolish all gradings, and just let bands enter contests in any section that they feel they have a chance of winning ?
    I know the system would have flaws with "Serial pot hunting" bands, and I'm not totally convinced myself that it would eliminate banding elitism and restore loyalty and integrity, but it's an idea.
    What do you think.
    - Wilkie
  2. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    mmm, interesting idea.

    If a band had to rigister anually it might get rid of some of the 'pot hunting'.

    Also if you were in a 4th section band that had just spent a year winning everything how stupid would you feel (and be told you were) if you registered once more as a 4th section band.

    This could work !!!
  3. Angoose

    Angoose Member

    Yes, but wouldn't you just get a load of bands from 1st Section entering second section and acing it to swipe the prize money and the trophies. Whats wrong with the grading system as it is anyway? It wouldn't get rid of elitism because it would still come down to which bands were better than others.
  4. steve butler

    steve butler Active Member

    You're back on the lager again then Ian?
  5. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    No formal relegation and promotion are the way the North American contest runs. In addition to bands sometimes staying in a lower section for too long a period of time cleaning up the awards, bands also stay in sections too high coming in the bottom two places year after year.

    Do you want 20 bands in the Championship Section in Yorkshire just so a band can keep that on their resume (even if they are the quality of a lower 1st section or even 2nd section band)?
  6. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    The obvious solutionto that would be of course to do away with prize money all together... (and use it to pay for additional adjudicators, better concert venues...)> I thought contests were in the first place meant to "improve the standard of the band", after all...


    Let s abolish the 1 st Section and go back to what it was before..Championship.2 nd,3 rd. 4 th. A lot of problems have been created for good 1 st section bands trying to compete at championship level,the gap is just too wide.
  8. Hells Bones

    Hells Bones Active Member

    But wouldn't that mean that an already full 2nd section would suffer as a result?
  9. Angoose

    Angoose Member

    It does cost money to go to contests, and it's only fair that you should be able to win some of your expenses back, eliminating prize money wouldn't stop people still wanting to scoop the trophies would it? I still don't see the need for why we even need a change, I think the way the sections are organised is alright.
  10. $hytalk

    $hytalk Member

    The current system is ludicrous. What purpose does the 1st section have?? How many make the leap forward. The "elite" are immovable, then there are a group of bands after that ,that are very,very good. The grading is ridiculous, all based on one performance for 12 or 13 minutes per year. With my last band, Greenall's, we were 3rd in section 2 in 2005 -nearly qualified.This was followed by two poor results and the band were down. Yet in their local area, North west counties, they finished 3rd,3 years running in the local 2nd section.What seems more confusing is what is happening locally. I took my band to Fleetwood contest last week and we came 5th out of 8 - not too bad,it was a good section 2. However, it was won by the 4th section national champions , Lostock Hall, good luck to them. The results were as follows , locally graded 2nd section bands:
    1.Lostock Hall - 4th sec. nationally.
    2. Middleton - 2nd section nationally.
    3.Pemberton B - 3rd se. nationally.
    4. Greenalls - 3rd sec. nationally.
    5.Skelmersdale - 3rd sec. nationally.
    6.Flixton - 3rd sec. nationally.
    7. Pilling jubillee 3rd.sec. nationally
    8. Old Hall - 2nd sec. nationally. Confused??????? AND, most of us will be playing against each other again in the third section at Pontins at the end of the week. Someone said earlier, maybe the 1st section bands will then compete in the 2nd section if you pick your own grade. They used to anyway!

  11. This could be an option. In the North of England we will soon be at the stage where we can not support 5 sections, due to a diminishing number of bands. But I accept that this is not the case throughout the country.
    Abolishing ht e1st section would create fuller and more competitive 2nd and 3rd sections with 10 or 12 bands taking part rather than 7 or 8. Maybe this is a particular problem to this region? Bands will always yo-yo between sections but this could make for a more level playing field?
    But Im yet to convince myself that this is a good idea never mind anyone else........... ;)
  12. WhatSharp?

    WhatSharp? Active Member

    Sorry but I disagree, whilst abolishing the 1st section may be fine for smaller regions it's a downward step for others. For example London and Southern COunties figures for this year :

    Champ 12
    1 15
    2 15
    3 17
    4 23

    remove 1st section and you have 15 bands which need moving. You'll end up back in the bad old days with 40 bands in the 4th section.

    There are other regions other than the north you know.


    In 1991 I was a member of British Steel Dodworth Band We won the then 2 nd section nationals in london on Belmont Variations out of a field of 24 bands... This band went on to hold it s own in the championship section even beating Grimethorpe in the coal board contest, can you imagine any 2 nd section band being able to make a good show of Belmont Variations now ?There are less bands in the Yorkshire region now than ever before and if you look at the number of extinct bands in Yorkshire alone, how did we manage without a section 1... very well .


    Yes point taken about your region..but are all the 40 odd 4 th section bands good enough to even contest ?
  15. WhatSharp?

    WhatSharp? Active Member

    Are you any relation to JonP?

    Given that L&SC 4th section bands have been in the top 10 at the finals each year since 03 with a win in 04 ..... I think so.

  16. Point taken but unfortunately not every region is in such a strong position.
    Maybe what is needed then is a '-re-drawing' of the boundaries for the regions again?

    We have the following bands registered in each section......... and bear in mind that up to 10 of these bands did no attend this years area contest

    Champ 9
    1 8
    2 10
    3 10
    4 19


    No i m not related to jon p,I admit when I m wrong and don t mean to offend anyone,, in fact I made a mistake with my other post.. the year was 1990 when we won section 2 ...must be too much Old Peculiar !
  18. WhatSharp?

    WhatSharp? Active Member

    Thats OK none taken and tongue firmly in cheek ( just sticking up for my region :D ).

    Dangerous stuff that Old Peculiar, makes you go boss eyed ...... after about 6 pints..:)
  19. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    There's certainly an argument (as 4BR put in a recent editorial) for a wholesale regrading. The top section really should be smaller - no more than 4/5 bands in most areas although Yorks should probably get 7/8, and the grading should be decided nationally using placings at the National, Open, Grand Shield and maybe BiC to decide them. A top 6 finish at the National final gives that band's area an extra qualification place. Everyone else would then be spread out over 1st-4th section, with those gradings being decided regionally.

    In addition, each region should have a "5th" section - in US style called "Challenger" or "Venture" section or something. This would be for bands that struggle to field a full complement of players, or that have just converted from non-contesting, or are simply not good enough to play 4th section test-pieces, with no registration required and no limit on borrowed players. These bands wouldn't have a national final, just a regional contest (not neccesarily at the same time as the others) either own-choice or entertainment format, with no prize money, just a trophy for winning. The winners are barred from this section and are required to apply for a grading for the following year - which may mean they go straight in at 3rd or 2nd section rather than 4th, if they're good enough.

    Any upgrades? Or am I mad?:hammer
  20. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    I think getting rid of the first section in the way people are suggesting here would do nothing but create the same problem but the gap would be between section 3 & 2 and 2 & champ, so in effect no different.

    What 4BR proposed the other month was probably the way to do it - keep 5 sections but regrade the whole country. Heaven know the Midlands needs it with a massive 1st section and tiny (relatively speaking) 2nd section.

    I still think you get that problem of the gap though. I think this following idea was mooted when the 5th section was added - I seem to remember it being mentioned, but it was a long time ago...

    You have sections 1,2,3,4 and an elite (or championship) section that competes nationwide only. The bands in the top 21-50 are probably closer to the top 20 in standard than the current jumps between 1st and championship and 2nd and 1st. The 4 lower sections would (most likely) be closer together - or at least the standard would be better spread thoughout them. To gain promotion to the elite league you have to come in the top 3 at the 1st section nationals and 3 bands go down from the elite league as a result. That way you don't end up with relatively low quality championship sections in some parts of the country and a real stronghold in Yorkshire.

    You'll aways get the jump in standard, maybe the above method reduces that as much as is possible? I dunno, there's probably lots of reasons why it wouldn't work - but lets be honest the current system is hardly watertight.

    Oh, and I like one yearly average gradings to be decided over 3 contests in 12 months, rather than the current long-winded 3 year average, but then that's just me...:rolleyes:

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