I'm not sure I agree with this, although I do agree that contesting may well be the problem. Contesting does not reward bands who take chances. If you have two very old-school adjudicators in the box and have gone for a modern interpretation of an old piece, then however well you play it, expect a verbal kicking. The big problem you have with contesting is the criteria are not laid down beforehand. Whilever there isn't any guidance on what the adjudicators will look for (other than tuning, intonation, ensemble etc.) then the odd strange result will always pop up. Like the first section yesterday. Technically speaking, Beaumaris had the more clips and splits in the solo lines, and a couple of intonation issues. Much as it was obvious from the time it took the adjudicators to come to a conclusion that they were having a difficult time deciding whether they or Skelmanthorpe should go home as champions, they went with the performance which generated the overall picture they like best - so Beaumaris went home the winners. If it just came down to who actually played the piece with the least mistakes, there was a clear winner - but adjudication is never as simple as that. As I've said before, no matter how well you play a piece, if the chaps in the box don't LIKE what you did, then you ain't ever gonna win. So in the main, we get twelve or thirteen safe performances and everyone argues about the split count afterwards. And bands which take a chance and do something different are generally given a metaphorical kicking for it.