Should the Regional boundaries change?

Discussion in 'The Adjudicators' Comments' started by Accidental, Mar 14, 2008.

  1. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    I've noticed more and more posts in the various regional threads expressing dissatisfaction about the make-up of their areas - either beacuse of the total numbers of bands, or geography and travelling distances. (selection of posts to follow if I can figure out how to do it...)

    Is this just general seasonal moaning, or is there a real need for the boundaries to be redressed again? If the feeling is strong enough that the issue should at least be considered again, where's the best place to go with it - regional committees, the Federation, or Kapitol?

  2. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member


    From the Midlands thread:
  3. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member


    From the LSC thread:
  4. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member


    From the Welsh thread:
    *** there was another post about how North Wales bands competed in the NW area once upon a time…. But I can’t find it now! ***
  5. hicks

    hicks Member

    If it means we're in a different area to Polysteel that sounds good to me :)
  6. 4thmandown

    4thmandown Member

    They certainly did. I remember Beaumaris winning 4th Section at Preston Guildhall way back in 1984.
  7. Bayerd

    Bayerd Active Member

    Not an easy answer to this. I agree that the huge disparity between sizes each of the sections isn't good for some of the contests. However I think the problem is not as easy to solve as just moving area boundaries, as this could then cause similar problems in other sections. E.g moving the boundary reduces the 4th section from 23 to 15, but increase the 1st section from 12 to 18 due to band location which would then cause similar problems. What about ( and I think I might need to don my hard hat for this one) looking at each area as a whole, and then reclassifying the bands so that there were the same number in each section in an area?

    For instance, take the league tables as they stand following this year's area, have it look like one long league table starting at Championship working down to 4th, and then divide them up so each section has an equal number in it?
  8. 4thmandown

    4thmandown Member

    A brave man indeed! It would solve a lot of problems, though I can see the bricks and molotov cocktails flying already. The intense snobbery and preciousness over which section certain bands are in would cause so much wailing and gnashing of teeth it would be unbelievable. Also there are also those precious prima-donnas out there who look at which section a band is in before joining them. I play for my band because they're my mates, are a very sociable bunch and play a decent standard of music.
  9. timbloke

    timbloke Member

    What about this for a suggestion: Where a section has more than, say 20 bands. You split it into two sections (separate adjudicators, separate days maybe). It would mean a few more bands attending the nationals, but perhaps limit it to the winning band from each half section. the split could be on a "sub-regional" level.

    Alternatively, how about pre-area qualifiers. there is a vast difference in the abilities of the bands in the fourth section of every region. Why not get all bands to compete in a couple of pre-qualifiers. more cost I know, but a bit more competition is healthy, especially in the lower sections where there are less contesting opportunities.

    or combine both of the above and have a play off system. top two go to nationals, next 8 or 10 have to compete again. Surely it is about time we stole some more ideas from the football world.
  10. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    The current areas were set up (in stone?) when most people rarely travelled out of their town, never mind county (or even country)

    There must be room for some logical adjustments!
  11. 4thmandown

    4thmandown Member

    And also when a lot of old fossils were in charge!
  12. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    You think you need a hard hat? Pah! Try this....

    Bands should get to choose which area they play in. That way anyone who is unhappy with, for instance, a controversial regrading in their section, or the quality of the venue, or the number/standard of adjudicators, or the distance they have to travel can simply vote with their feet and enter a different area. The management costs of this could be offset by doubling the entry fee and removing the frankly irrelevant prize money. The best run areas therefore get more bands and more money.

    [runs for cover.......:oops: ]
  13. Bayerd

    Bayerd Active Member


    Not sure how that would solve the issue of 20+ bands in a section, particularly when many in the north will be given the choice of Bradford and Blackpool. Having played at both, I know which I prefer, and there wouldn't be a stick of rock or a kiss me quick hat in sight!
  14. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    Well, bands that don't want to enter a big section can simply enter an area that has a smaller section. For instance some NW/Yorks 4th section bands could go the North area to play in a smaller section, Midlands bands could go to Swansea. They simply haver to decide which is more important - playing in a specific area/venue, or playing in a smaller section? Also if there is no "regional imperative" - i.e. bands can enter any contest - regional committees would be free to set entry limits like any other contest. So once Blackpool gets, say, 16 bands in a section, they close the entry and bands which enter late have to go elsewhere. Just a thought.....;)

    Let's face it, dividing it by any regional boundary (however you redraw them) is going to throw up bizarre anomalies and force some bands into a contest they're not happy with. The 3rd and 4th sections at Blackpool are notoriously tough contests - on the 4BR retros they noted that the top 6 4th section bands in Blackpool could have won many of the other areas comfortably. So maybe it's time for a non-regional solution - all these contests need to do is reduce the field of competing bands to a manageable size for the finals. There's no particular need for there to be a regional element to it. I played with Middleton when we won the 3rd section National last year and I have to say we weren't celebrating winning it for the North West, we were celebrating winning it for us! In any case, Bradford would have been nearer to Middleton than Blackpool.
  15. Bayerd

    Bayerd Active Member

    To begin with I was thinking 'how do you know which has smaller sections if everyone's free to roam' which then changed to 'great if you're one of the first 16 bands, **** if you're from Carlisle and all that's left is West of England'.
  16. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    Good point; maybe then entry should open 1 month earlier for bands within, say, 100 miles of a contest. If you really don't want to enter your local contest you can then wait for entry to be opened up at one of the other ones. If you don't want to take the chance of ending up travelling from Penzance to Perth, you get your entry in to your local contest in the first month.

    I'm making this up as I go along, so I won't pretend it's been completely thought through, but it seems every year there are people moaning that they are forced to attend a contest that's either miles away (North Wales bands in Swansea), oversubscribed or in a rubbish venue, so maybe it's time for radical suggestions. (or maybe I'm just joining in the current trend for gratuitous trolling ;) )
  17. Pedal That!

    Pedal That! New Member

    Some interesting points raised .....

    Travelling can be a real pain and certainly gives some bands an advantage - if you've been up since stupid o'clock in the morning to get ready and set off to be at the contest in plenty of time allowing for trafic etc and you've been on the go for 6/7 hours before reachng the contest venue the band 5mins away certainly has an advantage. Some Lancashire bands are certainly closer to Bradford than Blackpool!

    On the other hand some of this seems akin to (using another football analogy) Liverpool thinkink "the premiership is tough this year ..... why don't we enter the 2nd division"

    A lot of bands would enter a sction that currently has less bands in than their own as statistically you have more chance of winning (we've all come off stage having played an absolute blinder and having been told by most of the audience we should win to come anwhere but 1st)

    I do think though that each section within an area should have roughly the same number of bands but it is up to the regional comitte to decide how many bands are promoted / relegated to keep an equibrium. In areas with very few bands maybe the regional comite should be providing more support and asistance to those bands that don't enter to try and build up numbers in the contest which can only be good for the future of brass banding.
  18. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    ...thereby reducing the size of the oversubscribed sections, and increasing the entry at smaller ones, and creating a "natural" balance :D
  19. Nigel Hall

    Nigel Hall Supporting Member


    I raised this with a member of the L&SC committee when the 4th section was attracting an entry of 30+ (1999/2000), my idea was to spilt the section into two, run one section on Saturday the other on Sunday using the same adjudicator (to create a level playing field) and as there would be 4 qualifiers with that number of entries then the top 2 from each day would qualify. I was told that Boosey & Hawkes had already ruled our that option and that the section had to be run complete in one day.
  20. marc71178

    marc71178 Member

    I'd be interested in knowing how exactly they would be able to go about saying that sort of think, unless the same person was in more than one (or even 2) places at the same time, there's no way they can compare the performances to make such a comment is there?