Iwan Fox- Comments regarding contests

Discussion in 'The Adjudicators' Comments' started by Bbmad, Mar 29, 2015.

  1. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    Just read Iwan Fox's thoughts regarding the contests here http://www.4barsrest.com/articles/2015/1496.asp#.VRiU_4m9LTo
    As always from 4br, some pretty confused and contradictory comments. Such as:

    Great to see bands challenged with more difficult music, but too many bands in the top section that presumably find it too difficult? Maybe we should just stick them all in the "ignored and almost forgotten second section"?
    A pyramid structure for the sections, yes that would certainly maintain the status of bands that cheat at contests but still prevail year in year out. Equalish sections work for football, why should it be different for brass bands?
    Contest organisers should arrange for the events to be held over separate weekends and I quote "for the benefit of all concerned". By which, read "for the benefit of 4 Bars Rest". To be fair there is no need, i should imagine 4BR have already finished the write up for the Yorkshire Areas, Grimethorpe were sublime, Dyke shone out blah blah blah with a Dyke, BR, Grimey, 123.
    Adjudicators- on this 4BR Iwan Fox excels himself, praising them for being "proactive and progressive" with a "streak of individuality" in one paragraph, yet calling them "professionally questionable" in another. Even worse, he goes on to say that they should be paid more! So what is it to be?

    Quite frankly, my cat could have walked across my keyboard and come up with a better review than 4BR.
  2. owain_s

    owain_s Member

    I take it that you'll be cancelling your 4BR subscription, then?
  3. marc71178

    marc71178 Member

    Maybe you could give your cat you login on here then, might actually get something worthwhile from your account then.
  4. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    That 'separate weekends' drivel made me laugh, it's the silliest idea since, well, the last silly idea in banding. If they'd actually implemented that there's have been three areas still to go, presuming one of them was held over Easter weekend. Put your hand up if you're keen to wait until April 17th for your area contest, or spend Easter Saturday in sectionals. No? Thought not. And I agree on the adjudicators thing - Alan Morrison, for example, is singled out for praise as the adjudicators' figurehead (and rightly so, he's a top bloke and has introduced a much needed dose of common sense) but then presumably put in the firing line as he judged three other areas while conducting EYMS in the North. This issue has been raised a lot before, not just by 4BR - the fact is, there are a limited number of people with both the experience required to make them in any way credible to the bands involved AND the will to sit in a box for six hours listening to mostly average performances, unless you happen to be judging Yorkshire.

    I find I read it less these days, particularly the editorials. I just end up shouting at the computer, and that works much the same as when I shout at the refs on Match of the Day. Must be an age thing.
  5. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    We've been settled for some time on a format for when the areas are by slowly evolved consensus, but it's worth remembering that dates have in the past varied widely over the first half of the year. Leaving aside the first ever area year of 1945, when contests were held in the summer as a one-off, area contest dates have ranged all the way from 1st Feb to 4th June. As late as 1982, the West of England area was held in mid-May.

    I am somewhat with you on the editorials. I don't have a lot of natural sympathy with the 'elite section' idea, and there are only so many times one can read an impassioned advocacy for it before losing a bit of appetite to repeat the experience.
  6. ben16

    ben16 Member

    Maybe the adjudicators should get a say in how many bands are good enough for a given section.
  7. Gadgie

    Gadgie New Member

    Can't agree with knocking 4BR - I think they serve brass bands well and they cost us nothing. We're all entitled to an opinion and they put their money where their mouth is.

    Areas are a means to an end. They produce finalists and we jockey to find a section we want to compete in. Many bands struggle from contest to contest but turn out an outfit which is there or thereabouts with the section requirements.

    At the top end, the right bands mostly get to London and the Open format rewards the best in the country. Increasingly, the European is the place for the really stunning stuff and the 2 test piece format (set and own choice) which many European associations now use as standard means many continental bands are well equipped to deal with it. If Iwan is looking for an 'opportunity' then a smaller top section with a 2 test piece format may be an answer.

    I would have responded direct to 4BR but they don't seem to want any comments these days.
  8. DS2014

    DS2014 Active Member

    I have my doubts about the pyramid structure advocated by Iwan, since I am quite wedded to the idea of the five section current format as it stands. And, as mentioned above, the Open is there for the elite bands. other than that, I thought it was a very good article on 4BR.
  9. owain_s

    owain_s Member

    Does his advocacy of a pyramid structure really contradict the five-section area-based system? I read it as a suggestion there needs to be a resizing within the existing system, fewer bands in the top section and larger section sizes as you work down. It would mean three or four Cheltenham places for lower-section bands, but the rules regarding promotion and relegation (other than for a one-off decision for resizing) lie with Kapitol.
  10. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    Maybe I should, my cat is a wise old Tom you know and very clever.

    You know Marc, it would be great to hear your input on Tmp more often, maybe you could manage to share an interesting fact with us, a worthwhile piece of technical advice that might be of use to us, an amusing anecdote that might make someone laugh, or an opinion about banding that might get people thinking?
    Give it a try, I am sure you have it in you.
  11. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    I'm not sure of the exact detail proposed, but quite a few areas have recently levelled out, to a degree the very bottom heavy sections, in my mind any such proposal is counter productive.
  12. owain_s

    owain_s Member

    Counter-productive to what? Why is is bad to have a small top section and big lower sections?
  13. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    Counter productive to the efforts made recently to equal out the section sizes. I think at one point the Midlands area had 30 odd bands in the 4th section, which is virtually impossible to adjudicate.
  14. owain_s

    owain_s Member

    How is thirty so different from 24 (I think that was the L&SC count this year)?
  15. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    By about 6?
  16. owain_s

    owain_s Member

    Ha ha ha. Now, tell us what is the maximum number of bands which should be adjudicated?
  17. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    There is a question of competition. Too many bands would make a section less competitive. Why should the top sections have less competition and lower sections more?
    Surely the Yorkshire areas this year show that the competition amongst the elite is taken for granted.
  18. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    On the spot, 20. At 3 bands an hour with a break, the adjudicator would have half a chance of remembering the band that played 20 and the one that played 1st, six hours earlier.
  19. owain_s

    owain_s Member

    Do you have any adjudicators agreeing with that?
  20. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    I don't presume to know and I confess, I have never adjudicated myself.