Am I right to assume that the purpose of the British Open is to identify that year's best band? If so I'd like to propose some ideas for debate. Every year there is a discussion about the rights and wrongs of the adjudication at the Open (and most other contests) and I feel there will never be 100% agreement about how to classify around 20 bands into the correct order. Age of judges/ experience / number / in a box / in the open / marking to a technical template / whatever, some bands will be placed low and not like the fact. With the Open a poor placing is made worse with the prospect of relegation to the Grand Shield, and being subjected to the vagueries of adjudication even to re-qualify. I'd like to see the adjudicators tasked with identifying only the top few bands, perhaps 8 or 9, and picking the overall winners. Those bands automatically come back next year. Every other band has to go to the Grand Shield whether 10th or 20th. Next year the top 10 or so in the Grand Shield join the automatically qualified bands in the Open. Same process for the Cup / Trophy. Remarks will still be required. Advantages: Relegation is not such a big deal, if you are good enough you come straight back. Judges concentrate on winners, not splitting hairs over 16th / 17th place. Grand Shield will contain a better class of bands and there will be more to play for. A fast improving band gets a crack at the open more quickly. Against: The queue of bands wishing to join the Open process will need to be considered. Fewer bands will know for sure whether they will be in the Open until after the Grand Shield, and will be unable to plan for the Open weekend (perhaps losing a paid job). Discuss / develop (in a positive manner, hopefully)!