Adjudication at the All England Masters

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by iggmeister, Mar 4, 2004.

  1. iggmeister

    iggmeister Member

    I'm surprised that 4barsrest or somebody here on tMP hasn't raised this issue yet.

    There is always a lot of comment about the system of adjudication at the Masters. This year, all competing bands were invited to vote whether they wanted to retain the current system of 3 adjudicators in separate boxes or to revert to the Nationals/ Open format of 3 adjudicators in one box together.

    The result of the vote was that the present system of 3 separate boxes would be retained for this year.

    However, after contacting the proposed adjudicators for the contest, (who, incidentally, were also voted upon by the competing bands), the contest organisers discovered that the adjudicators concerned feel they cannot accept the job whilst the current adjudicating system remains.

    Therefore, all of the competing bands have been told this and have been sent a "second ballot" to see if they would change their votes in light of the selected adjudicators' positions.

    It will be interesting to see what the outcome of the 2nd vote is. It will also be interesting to see if other adjudicators have the same opinion or if ABBA has an official position over this issue?

    Anybody have any comments?

    Anybody care?

  2. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    I seem to recall a general feeling after last year's contest that the adjudicators were not really happy with the separate adjudication. I think one factor is the way in which the system in use spotlights the sometimes considerable differences of opinion, often leading to the one who is perceived as being "out of step" being pilloried to some extent. Whilst I can see the arguments in favour of the current system, it does occasionally result in a band winning overall, without being felt to be "the best" by any of the adjudicators, whereas three conferring would be more likely to take a straight majority verdict.
  3. Steve

    Steve Active Member

    You could have 1 guy in a box or 300 in a perspex box over the thames with a live audio link and people still wouldnt be happy. You will never get a result everyone agrees with so why not just tell the bands who is adjudicating and how they are doing it, then leave it up to the bands to do their best!
  4. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    If the 'chosen three' won't do it under the present conditions, there may well be plenty of people here who'd jump at the chance. I'd do it for nowt!

    But seriously folks.... ;-)

    I think the problem has been not so much a case of one judge necessarily being 'out of step' but they have in the past, chosen two 'brass banders' and pitted an 'orchestral brass' judge with them and this is perhaps where the discrepancies lie. I don't know who's been chosen this year (has this news been released yet?) but I guess that all judges should be of the same 'type', i.e. brass band or orchestral brass (preferably those who've experienced bands too) rather than a 'mix and match', though it looks like the present system isn't going to be used this time by the sounds of it!

    Just a personal take.

  5. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    The interesting thing here is that all three of the chosen seem to be putting up a united front - meaning that they feel that the interaction between the adjudicators is an important part of the process. Having separate boxes prevents the problem of one being overwhelmed by the other two when there is an honest difference of opinion.

    Not being involved much in contesting, let me ask a question: If all three are in the same box, are individual scores released or known outside of the box, or is only the final decision of the group known?
  6. bassinthebathroom

    bassinthebathroom Active Member

    Perhaps they just don't like having to make decisions by themselves? WHY?!? I'm sure all three are competant enough musicians to sort the Good and Bad from the indifferent! Many bands find the seperate system appealing as it means a 'purer' combination of results (i.e. they actually get to know what each judge actually thought of the performance, rather than the one who argued with the other one/two best!)
  7. Aidan

    Aidan Active Member

    theyre just scared of the backlash, which is to be expected i spose given the criticism of adjudicators in recent years. Although I think they should just be men and get on with it, if the banding community has decided on the system they want, it is not up to three pompous men to disagree.. if anything we should be re-voting on adjudicators who will get the job done, not changing the system to suit the (extreme) minority! We all know deep down that adjudicators do a great service to our community however we (don't) choose to show it.
  8. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    here here! (hear hear! ...?...)
  9. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Aren't these "pompous men" the same ones that the bands voted for, presumably because they trusted in their judgement and reliability :?: :shock: :wink:
  10. Darth_Tuba

    Darth_Tuba Active Member

    Well, the bands voted for it first time round and have voted to keep it, so I think the adjudicators should go with it. Would they ask for the Test Piece to be changed if they didn't like it? Would they ask for a change of venue? No. Why? Because they are employed to do a certain job, and if they don't want to do it fine. The Master's has always been about what the bands want, and should stay that way. They are the one's paying good money to go and compete after all! Besides, there are as many complaints about results with any adjudicating system. Not an exact science :D
  11. Darth_Tuba

    Darth_Tuba Active Member

    Phrase "best of a bad bunch" spring to mind? :wink:
  12. Aidan

    Aidan Active Member

    i spose they would also expect them to do their job too!
  13. iggmeister

    iggmeister Member

    What I'm most interested in seeing is how matters turn out if the bands insist upon the current system. Will the organisers approach the bands a third time, will they approach alternative adjudicators, (presumably the next most nominated candidates), or will they simply decide to implement the 3-men-in-a-box system irrespective of the 2nd ballot?

    By asking the bands for their opinions, the organisers have created a rod for their backs and it would seem very difficult for them to go against the 2nd ballot. In all fairness, their contest ethos is to their credit and is why the Masters is such a popular contest with competing bands. For that they should be congratulated. However, I dont envy their position and it seems that a very hard (and possibly controversial) decision may have to be made.

    As for the objectors, it seems easy to say that they are looking to cover their own backs. I'm sure that there is some (hefty) element of that but to suggest that the 3-men-in-a-box system is more appropriate and should be used seems very backward thinking to me. Yes perhaps the current system isn't ideal, but without experimental adjudication systems it seems we are doomed to always have the 3 man concensus approach.

    The organisers have suggested in their correspondence that a meeting should be arranged in the future to discuss and agree future adjudication systems. That would seems sensible and surely members of ABBA should attend and put forward their view at such a meeting, (Benny & Bjorn need not attend :p ).


    PS Dave Payn- you never know, you may yet get a telephone call... :wink:
  14. Cantonian

    Cantonian Active Member

    I am not a 'contest attender' but are all current adjudicators men?
  15. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    Pretty much!

    Just as a matter of interest, which 3 are we talking about here? Can you not say, or is everyone just being polite? :?
  16. iggmeister

    iggmeister Member

    3 adjudicators adjudicate on the day.

    2 are voted upon by the competing bands. 1 is chosen by the contest organisers.

    Therefore, I am only aware of 2 adjudicators who should have been approached although it is possible that the organisers have selected their 3rd adjudicator and contacted him/her also.

    The 2 who this year received the most votes by the competing bands are male. Not sure whether their name should be put on here, (likely to be moddededed). If Mods approve it, I will reveal all, (unless someone beats me to it)

  17. bassinthebathroom

    bassinthebathroom Active Member

    The three who received the most votes were
    Dr Roy Newsome
    David Read
    William Relton
    at least we now know that these three are at least popular - though, yes, best of a bad bunch does come to mind

    Whether or not they are the three in question, I do not know, though you could safely assume at least one, or maybe two, are
  18. bassinthebathroom

    bassinthebathroom Active Member

    Yea beat you too it, but personally I can't see an issue with these three names being released, as the All England Masters themselves sent this information to the competing bands! :D
  19. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    from BBW:

    Top adjudicators put their feet down - and their pens!

    A group of four or five top adjudicators invited to officiate at the All England Masters championships in Cambridge on Sunday May 30 have declined to accept the invitation if required to sit in three separate boxes.

    In recent years the competing bands have favoured this system and organisers Philip Biggs and Richard Franklin have adopted the method even though one or two adjudicators in the past have objected.

    This year, it appears that a group of top officials, preferred by the bands, has informed the organisers that they would only act if sat together.

    Philip Biggs has confirmed to BBW that the promoters have now gone back to the bands seeking their opinions on a solution to the problem. "We want to help everyone as much as possible, especially the bands, so we are seeking a way through this problem," said Philip.

    The three box system, though selected by bands, has not been without its critics, as a few rogue, isolated judgements in recent years have slewed some results and it has been known for some time that it is increasingly unpopular with adjudicators.

    Philip is hoping bands will get back to him with their views as soon as possible.
  20. Tack7

    Tack7 Member


    I think it is terrible that the adjudicators dont feel confident enough to stand by their Own personal opinions on the playin. The fact that they want to be in the same box reminds me of people in an exam, lookin over the persons paper next to them. I dont mind the placings bein a little spread out, it shows that the guys have their own preferences.
    When u all went to the Area contests, u may have agreed with the top 6 placings, but maybe to your own view not in the same order. The results shouldnt have to be debated in the box, the fact that the placings are added together & thats what u get should be the end of it.
    I think they should tell those adjudicators to find another contest & get ones in who just want to adjudicate!


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