National vs. Local Section Status

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by brassneck, Feb 16, 2005.

  1. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    One thing I have never got to grips with is how a band can be in one section locally and another for competing at a national level. Is it because the higher section at national level is seen as above that band's present capability to compete with them? Maybe some of you can give me a clear understanding why this discrepancy exists.
  2. flugelgal

    flugelgal Active Member

    I will be very interested in replies to this as I'm always totally confused by this system!

    I also think it's a bit unfair that this is different to the system in Scotland, so the bands that the Scots are up against in the "Nationals" have (in my opinion) an unfair advantage over the Scots. Mind you, I shouldn't really be surprised about that, should I? ;)
  3. andyp

    andyp Active Member

    It's always been something that's a mystery to me, too. I know how it comes about, the national grading is based on your performance at the last 3 years Areas, the local by your performances in your local association's contests. Problem is this throws up some anomalies, while we're in Third section for both, my brother's band are Second Section locally, but Fourth nationally, which surely can't be logical?
    I think there has to be a single grading system, the problem is how to get it in a way that's percieved to be fair. If you base it on all contests, then there is the potential for a band to get promoted without playing the Area at all, so you'd probably get less bands going and this might "devalue" the Nationals
    Having said that, if the Area is still the only route to the finals, then if you take the "win local contests" route to promotion then you could never go to the finals.
    I don't think there's a simple way to do it, the only one that comes to mind is something like 4BR's or Brass Band World's rating systems, where you get points according to who you beat. Maybe a bigger weighting in such a system for the Areas would redress the balance?
  4. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    I suppose the only point of local gradings is to keep a balance of bands for local contest.
  5. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    I'm slightly confused by this difference stated - are there any bands in the Yorkshire and Midlands regions that play in two different sections? I thought it was something to do with the strength or otherwise of one local area compared with a national standard. It would also suggest that bands can achieve promotion in local contests but only in their area - when are these contests held and what's the point in promoting bands locally if they are not achieving the same standard nationally?
  6. sparkling_quavers

    sparkling_quavers Active Member

    As I believe it to be (in the NW anyway!) Please correct me if I am wrong have only been around in the NW for 2 years:

    Your local grading is based on your performance at the 'local' contests. These are the ones that are organised by the NW committee. I think these contests will be- preston, st helens and fleetwood? The band that has the lowest aggregate score (similar to the regionals but over 1 year) gets promoted to the next section. Not sure about relegation (presume it is the bottom ranked band!)

    I can sort of see the merits in the NW where the local contests are well attended and this system does allow successful bands to climb the sections faster.

    The major flaw in the system is that it can be a disadvantage to those bands who support the system! The NW contests attract bands from other sections (Yorkshire, L&SC, North and Midlands were all represented at Preston). A local band must compete under it;s local grading status at these contests. This means that, for example. some of our 3rd section bands are competing against the best of the 2nd section bands from other regions. It's good for raising the standards in the lower sections in the area but it does seem a tad unfair to me at times.

    We have been demoted to 3rd section nationally this year but still hold the local 2nd section status. The system is a positive one for bands in our situation as it gives us the opportunity to prove ourselves against good bands from the section above. But I can see how disheartening it could be for bands who are perhaps struggling at their current level and, if they enter a local contest, would be forced into the section above as well!
  7. Owen S

    Owen S Member

    SCABA (Southern Counties Amateur Bands Association) has several reasons for bands to have different gradings to the national gradings (with London and Southern Counties Region):

    1. SCABA has no 4th section
    2. A few bands take part in one or two SCABA contests but aren't registered nationally
    3. SCABA promotion and relegation is independent of national results, and as far as I can tell are decided by the association committee. This can lead to complaints from bands when they compete against bands who they think deserve to be in the section above. This happened to us in our last year in the 2nd section, and I understand there were complaints about Panta Rhei Gent being in the 1st section this year.

    With several of the L&SCR Championship section bands located in London or to the north and so kind of out of the area, combined with the lack of a fourth section, many bands are graded a section higher locally than they would be nationally.
  8. sparkling_quavers

    sparkling_quavers Active Member

    In my experience it is often the other way around Francis. The area contest is realistically the only 'LOCAL' contest, that is when you are only competing against the local bands. The 'local' named contests (certainly in the NW) attract bands from a number of different regions.

    For example if we take the recent preson contest (2nd sc) and look at their national gradings.

    Full Results

    1.Boarshurst Silver (2nd Section NW, national qualifiers 3rd sc last year)
    2.Flixton (3rd Section NW)
    3.Hebden Bridge (2nd Section Yorks)
    4.Greenalls (2nd Section NW)
    5.Hoover Bolton (2nd Section NW, national champs 3rd sc last year)
    6.Rainford (3rd Section NW)
    7.South Yorkshire Police (2nd Section Yorks)
    8.Blackpool Brass (2nd section NW)
    9.Elland Silver (2nd section, national qualifiers 2nd sc last year?)
    10.Pilling Jubilee Silver (3rd sc NW)
    11.Hesketh Bank (2nd Section Yorks)
    12.Royal Buckley Town (3rd Section NW?)
    13.Flimby Saxhorn Silver (2nd Section yorks)

    I don't think the standard is lower at some of these 'local' contests, infact it can often be higher. IMHO the local grading looks at how a band is performing over 1 year (in a number of different contests) and that just highlights the flaws in the national grading system.
  9. Laserbeam bass

    Laserbeam bass Active Member

    For once I am in a band that is graded the same Locally (SCABBA) and Nationally (L&SC), well done SCABBA :clap:
  10. WhatSharp?

    WhatSharp? Active Member

    But aren't Beacontree in the 1st section this year? how did you manage to play in the 2nd section at the quartets or are you still 2nd section for SCABA ?
  11. vcbjet

    vcbjet Member

    My band are members of two local associations, Wessex and SWBBA. The SWBBA Contest operates with national gradings and Wessex has its own promotion system. We are now 1st Section Wessex (!) and only 4th Section National.

    Wessex has loads of promotions/relagations every year. A few years back we came 3rd in the 3rd/4th Section and were promoted to Section Two. We did not enter the following year, the band wasn't doing well and the test peice was Les Preludes! After the contest they sent out a letter saying we were relegated again but in doing so had left no bands in the 2nd Section, after appealing against this logic the band was reinstated in the 2nd Section in which we came 5th out of 6 the next year and were relegated. in 2003 we came 3rd in Section 3/4 and we promoted again, last year we won section two which was made up of 3 4th Section bands, its barmy and as you can see from my rather jumbled tale it creates all sorts of wierd situations.

    When we go this year we may find ourselves competing against Championship and 1st Section bands which is ridiculous for a 4th Section band as although it may mean the band has to raise its standard may end up being whipped by the bigger bands.

    Another issue this throws up is that the association set test pieces for the Section of bands not the bands that are in the section. This year we played Goff Richards Hollywood! which requires 4 percussionists for some 4th section bands its difficult to get two!

    God help us this year! lol. Bring on the areas!
  12. sparkling_quavers

    sparkling_quavers Active Member

    hmmmm that does seem crazy. I think it only works if you have a good turn out for the sections at a contest.
  13. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    (And there's only 1 B in SCABA)
  14. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    very confusing... I just go along with things.... :lol:

    it's all to do with points.....
  15. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    Points shouldn't be a factor in LOCAL contests...
  16. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    * puts on Humphrey Littleton voice: "And what do points mean? . . . . Points mean prizes" *

    ;) :p :oops:
  17. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    :D indeed :lol:
  18. Laserbeam bass

    Laserbeam bass Active Member

    Because the promotion locally was only advised on the day of the quartet contest with the usual alacrity of SCABA and their ruling body. SCABA only realised the error of their ways, when they accepted the application for the second and first at Hove. It would not be a first for SCABA to have a band 1st section nationally playing in the 2nd locally.
  19. barry toan

    barry toan New Member

    Ahhh..... we were promoted AT sundays contest. ie the committee told our band sec then that we are 1st section from now on.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2005
  20. barry toan

    barry toan New Member

    ...and theres no 'A' in Becontree! ;) :clap:
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2005