Is it cheating to borrow players for contests? 4bars think so

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by tubafran, Jan 25, 2012.


Is borrowing players for contests:

  1. Cheating

    8 vote(s)
  2. Not cheating

    52 vote(s)
  3. Don't care

    9 vote(s)
  1. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    4barsrest have posted the following Editorial on borrowed players for contests here

    Apart from the areas where bands can only use "registered" players most other contests have rules on borrowed players. I would suggest these rules have been brought about to accept the practicallity of most bands having:

    1) shortage of players
    2) illness
    3) holidays and work commitments

    To establish a "no borrows" rule for these contest would in my opinion result in less bands entering and subsequently a demise of some contests.

    For the record at our last contest we borrowed 2 players for Butlins (1 due to illness and the 2nd due to an empty seat), last year we borrowed 2 players at an entertainment contest. Would we have not gone without the borrows? probably but if the rules allow it why not? What I do not consider is that it was in anyway cheating. The restrictions placed on transfers in respect of when you can return to your previous band and how many transfers you are allowed means that you realistic can only play to help another band on a "borrow" ticket.
  2. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    I agree with you completely, Fran. The 4BR editorial seems to me to be written by someone who exists on a completely different banding planet to the one that I inhabit, and the only rational explanation I can conceive is that it was written to be deliberately provocative.
  3. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    ^ what they said :clap:

    Being able to borrow players can be the difference between a band going to a contest or not, its that simple. At a time when everyone seems to be bemoaning declining numbers, why on earth would anyone want to make it harder for bands to turn out?!

    And if the 4br writer really thinks 'cheque book banding' only became an issue when borrowing rules came in, then s/he's an even bigger idiot than the article already makes them seem (imo anyway!). The only thing formal borrowing rules have changed is when and if a player's registration has to change to help other bands out/earn some cash, not whether or not they will do it. Removing the borrowing rules won't hurt the bands that can afford to pay big expenses half as much as it would affect everyone else.
  4. P_S_Price

    P_S_Price Member

    As a person who considers himself available for "Borrowing", and as I am not a regular player with Secular/contesting bands, I dont understand why any other band might consider it cheating to Borrow someone like me.

    Its hardly an advantage for the Borrowing band because as, my experiece is almost exclusively SA music, everything I play with any non-SA band is usually sight reading. Also I tend not to charge expenses, but just ask that the borrowing band make a donation for whatever they feel appropriate to my Corps.

    In general I see my depping as temporarily plugging a gap; it certainly isnt likely to make a big improvement to the band.
  5. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    Sour grapes? The view expressed is certainly very different to the realities of banding. I presume this was written on the back of the Butlin's contest. We borrowed for Butlin's - a soprano player from the 3rd section and a 1st section euphonium player on Eb bass to cover for our regular player's unavailability. Both were as a matter of necessity, not to gain an advantage (as is implied by the editorial, although I suspect they are specifically talking about the championship section), frankly we would've much rather used our own players but the realities meant we couldn't. Simple really. Without a sop we probably wouldn't / couldn't have gone - which is exactly the reason why most bands end up borrowing players I suspect.

    Is it cheating? No - because it says in the rules that you can do it. Its about time people in banding stopped referring to everything that pings their overly sensitive moral compass as 'cheating'.
  6. StellaJohnson

    StellaJohnson Active Member

    I've been on the recieving end of both. I used to play for a 4th section band that put alot of time developing there own players. The MD and many of the experience players grafted extremley hard to make this successful and it has been long tern. It is very easy for them to borrow an experience player to cover one of our lesser experienced players who are probably not ready for it, but they choose not to so I can understand being fustrated and feel cheated as you can go to a fourth section contest with borrowed players who are clearly not at that level and win by a mile only the following week have a rehearsal with a dozen players and sound terrible. You're only cheating yourself

    At this Area, I'm one of the "borrowed players" i.e I'm playing just for the area due to my work committments I have. I'm not enhancing the band, I'm not a 2nd section player, nor have I ever been. I haven't played for months and only just getting my lip back in! But feel as I'm helping someone out and would always be available to do that.
  7. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    Most of the time you can only borrow from your own section, or the one(s) below, so borrowing players to improve the standard of the band as you say, Stella doesn't really stack up. The only other time it does is if you are a middling top section band who borrows deps from the elite, but in all honesty I hardly see this as Banding's Biggest Problem....

    Of course all of this doesn't include bands registering one of the myriad former elite players who are no longer regularly playing, but that does complicate everything slightly...!
  8. StellaJohnson

    StellaJohnson Active Member

    Theres a learner 4th section player and then theres what I regard myself an experience 4th section player who could enhance a result but dosen't really play for the band full time. Then there are experienced players who are just sign up for the area and ****** off. Nothing to stop it of course and as previous posters are quite within the rules. Not complaining but can understand ther are both sides of the argument .
  9. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    Also all of this ignores the fact that one player does not make a band...
  10. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    ...and also ignores the fact that the section a band is in isn't neccessarily a reliable indication of an individual player's standard...
  11. StellaJohnson

    StellaJohnson Active Member

    no put borrowing five which some contests allow which is nearly a 1/4 of your band can make a difference between winning and not
  12. RamasII

    RamasII Member

    HI All,

    Hard one this....I have used borrows to cover for spaces and or people that have to work and its quite welcome...but lets say I was doing a piece which has a huge solo for Cornet,Sop,Euph and I then borrowed, Roger Webster,Kevin Crockford and David Thornton..well, I guess ive been sensible with who ive chosen..but maybe there was a local ish player that might have done it for no £ and would have been around more often..but I would guess that I would have gained a huge advantage in the contest...

    What about this 'idea' you can borrow, BUT you can only borrow from a band which is below you in the rankings.... then the bands that are doing the best will always have the upper hand..which I think is sort of fair..? but i guess also means that those 3 might never be asked to play as a borrow then everyone doesnt get to hear them play!
  13. JimboFB

    JimboFB Active Member

    I have a feeling that this article was written directly in response to lots of moaning before the Butlins contest about bands borrowing players.

    The rules are set before and surely if any band flouted the rules then they would subsequently be disqualified or punished accordingly.

    Seeing as this doesnt appear to have happened (yet?) then i'm guessing no rules have been broken.

    The other problem is that a lot of players (good & bad) dont want to necessarily commit to a better band but are happy to 'help out' / 'dep' for bands at certain contests if required.

    As for Flowers at Butlins, we borrowed a Sop from a lower section band (as we currently have a vacancy) and flugel as our Flugel players wife was due to give birth over the Butlins weekend.
  14. P_S_Price

    P_S_Price Member

    Presumably this means that you will need to Register with the band Borrowing you (as its the Areas)?
  15. StellaJohnson

    StellaJohnson Active Member

    I'm registared with them, just not a regualar player of the band.
  16. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Good to see a post swimming against the tide of opinion! Thanks Phil.

    I think the idea of using rankings for this is significantly flawed - firstly, whose rankings? There are several different sets, and none are perfect, given the subjectivity of the material. Most are very far from perfect... Secondly, that imperfection is important - there's an inherent regional bias in all ranking systems, given the relative infrequency of contests, and thus a slightly better band from a less fancied region would often be ineligible to borrow potentially quite a large set of players that a slightly less good band from a more fancied region would be eligible to borrow. That would even out a little, as one doesn't tend to borrow players from far afield, but bands in the vicinity of regional boundaries would be ill-served by it.

    All of this makes no account of the fact that by simply parting with a bit of hard cash (or pulling in favours if well-connected), a band can field pretty much any professional player that they choose. I'm amazed we haven't yet seen a top band fly in someone like Allen Vizzutti to sign in order to pick up the soloist prize at an entertainment contest. I personally think that we care far too much about registration, particularly in this era of great personal mobility - any set of rules that isn't ridiculously draconian is circumventable.

    This particular example illustrates very neatly one other problem with the system, mentioned above - Paul Richards plays with Brunel Brass (a hardworking band rapidly rising), but he is ex-Sun Life and properly good... Any 1st section band could have also potentially borrowed him - and 4 years ago, he could have been borrowed for 4th section contests (I think he's been with Brunel since then?). Lower section player doesn't necessarily equal weaker player, as we all well know.
  17. Daisy Duck

    Daisy Duck Member

    Most contests have rules about how many borrowed players you can use, and from what sections you can borrow them from. That limits the amount of borrowed players you can use. It would be a different matter if there were no limits on how many people you could borrow or from what sections etc. But the rules mean it makes it possible for some bands to enter a contest when it might otherwise have been impossible.
    I am about to do my third contest in four months for Horsham Borough Band as a borrowed player. I love playing with them and doing the contests, which my own band haven't entered.
  18. Andy_Euph

    Andy_Euph Active Member

    I'm in 100% agreement Fran. My band competed for the first time at the weekend and we went on stage with 4 borrowed players (1 of which was on the day due to other players letting us down at short notice). If 4barsrest had their way then my band would have had no chance of attending Butlins, as a couple of our own players were unable to attend. Surely its a positive thing that a band like my own can borrow and enter our first ever contest! and set us up for future contesting. Or would certain members of the banding "elite" rather see less bands turn out at contests?

    Personally I rather have one more band than one less!
  19. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    I honestly think any focus on gradings, rankings and perceived standard of a band is a total red herring when we're talking about borrowing individual players.
    The superstars aside, there is absolutely no guarantee that an individual player from a top-100 ranked Championship section band is actually any better than half the players in the 4th section band 5 miles down the road. I've known terrible players in excellent bands, and excellent players in terrible bands..... Paul Richards example above being a very good case in point.

    Imho the whole registration system needs overhauling anyway - but until that changes, I think ANY route to make it easier for bands to field a full compliment at contests (or to compete at all) should be encouraged and the bands that use it are most definitely NOT cheating.... and if they use the best players possible within the rules, good for them.
  20. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    ... not that I'm saying Brunel are/were terrible btw! :)

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