The affect of draw position on placing

Discussion in 'The Adjudicators' Comments' started by NeilW, Mar 22, 2004.

  1. NeilW

    NeilW Member

    Simple question:

    How much affect does a band's drawn number have on the ultimate position?

    Do the bands drawn at the beginning have a harder time?

    (Still feeling a bit "battered" this morning, having played first yesterday, put in what we felt was a reasonable performance, soloists played just about all the right notes on the right instruments and come... well, you can look it up...)

  2. MRSH

    MRSH Supporting Member

    I think it is true to a certain extent that adjudicators use Band Number 1's performance as a benchmark for the rest of the section - but that can only be expected, really.

    The bottom line is if you put in a performance that catches the adjudicators attention and is worthy of a place - you will get a place. IMHO.
  3. neiltwist

    neiltwist Active Member

    don't forget that the bands either side of you make a difference too! (although you can never be sure how the adjudicator will react to that)
  4. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    Time of day might be a factor also. It might not be good to be the last band before or the first band after a meal break, for example.
  5. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    Derek Broadbent addressed this issue in his "10 questions about adjudicating" article at

    in which he says

    Bands in (the lower) sections should have no fears about an early draw, as a perusal of results from a spread of these proves.

    In these days when we have statisticians capable of compiling complicated rankings tables, I don't think a mere 'perusal' is good enough. Let's have some proper statistical analysis.
  6. bassinthebathroom

    bassinthebathroom Active Member

    I feel that we certainly suffered from our late draw yesterday, as the performance was very nervy and everyone was feeling more than a little tired. Mind you, there's no solution, so not much point me opining and further....
  7. michellegarbutt

    michellegarbutt Supporting Member

    If your band is good enough you will win. Also I am pleased to say in 18 years of contesting everytime my band has played number 1 they have won
  8. Dave1

    Dave1 Member

    To echo some of the above, I don't feel that it matters at all. In 30 years of banding I have played of no. 1 and off last and both won and lost. As a conductor it has been the same. Last year early draws proved good for us but it is purely down to how you play. Whether a set test or entertainment it is the same.
  9. bigcol

    bigcol Member

    Someone has done a study - apparently the winners in higher section contests tend towards early draws, and in lower section it tends to be later draws.

    I'm sure we have enough people on here who will download the archive and provide us with a full statistical analysis :)
  10. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    Let's have the evidence in the public domain, please. 'Someone', and 'apparently' donn't cut much ice, I'm afraid.
  11. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    Psychologically, its been proven that people best remember the first and last things in a given set, so in terms of sticking in the adjudicator's head the best draws should be 1, 2 and the last couple of bands. That means a duff performance will also be remembered better though! :(

    I personally think drawing 1 is an advantage because (unless you play completely pants) you're the winners until a stand-out performance comes along to beat you!

    L&SC results proved both theories wrong yesterday though - the top 3 in the top section were all right in the middle of the pack.... I guess that just shows how much better than the rest of us they all were! :lol:
  12. Tuba Miriam

    Tuba Miriam Member

    The following article from 4BarsRest contains an analysis of the draw at the British Open and correlates this with the number of top six placings each draw has had:

    In summary, a draw in the first six bands is the least successful, whereas being drawn 16 - 18 is best.

    Of course, there are lies, damned lies and statistics, and how far this analysis is applicable to other contests is open to debate (this is an analysis of the Open only and doesn't claim to have any general attributions).

    In the end, a fantastic performance is likely to be rewarded irrespective of the draw, maybe the above analysis only becomes a factor in sorting out more mediocre performances.
  13. Andy_Euph

    Andy_Euph Active Member

    I don't think the draw is all that important as long as the band plays well, although having an early draw is a bit more difficult as you have to set the standard.

    Interesting that alot of bands that qualifed from this years areas have done so of early draws!
  14. cornetgirl

    cornetgirl Active Member

    We seem to have an uncanny knack of getting a placing that is the same as our draw! Over the last few contests we've done the following:
    • Malton - drawn 1, won
      St Helen's - drawn 10, came 10th!
      Preston - drawn 12, came 12th
      Areas - drawn 6, came 6th

    Not quite sure what that says!

    Rach x
  15. Aardvark

    Aardvark Member

    You need to request an early draw at the next contest :wink:

  16. RondoRotundo

    RondoRotundo Member

    I did the draw for our performance in the 3rd. Section Finals at Torquay. I drew last. Went back to the hotel and everyone was over the moon. They weren't quite as fired up in registration at 11.30pm and when we walked out on stage at 11.50pm. Unfortunately, we'd gone to win and came 5th., but it's all history and it's all relative.
  17. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    Not really true in all cases - it depends on the adjudicator. Since the scoring is supposed to be relative to a standard that doesn't change, it really shouldn't matter. But in many types of human-judged contests, the earlier performers are at a slight disadvantage because the judges may (consciously or unconsciously) leave "room" in the grading for a possibly better performance that may or may not come. In a deductive grading situation, this is even more pronounced.
  18. midwalesman

    midwalesman Member

    Studies on contests!

    Lets be fair, in the plain light of day, you get drawn number 1 at the Albert Hall, play a blinder on Masquarade and come 4th or 5th (cant remember!) and then hear from a unnamed source that the adjudicators loved the performance and said it set a fantastic level for the contest and didnt think any other band really played better, yet, we came where we did ? Purely scared to make a controvesial yet easy decision, just look at the situation in the Masters! If we don't sit in the box together then we wont do the contest ? Doesnt that sorta point out that they dont want to put their nether regions on the knife like the players do on stage!

    Back to the topic, there have been a few minor studies of contesting draws and their effects, the most significant of these appeared in BBW or BB in the early 1990's. The study itself was made by Dr Sven Svebak then of the Psychology department of Bergen University, Norway. I have tried to get more information from Dr Sven but nothing has been forthcoming as yet. But the preliminary results were published ias I said in the BBW or BB. The article was written by Arne Amland and he was kind enough to put me in contact with Dr Svebak. I think it was based on the results of the Norwegian brass band championship section results. The same adjudicators were made to listen to the recordings from the day again, this time with the winning performance being played 3 times, at number 1, 9 and 17, something like that. The results showed that the winning performance played at number one came 6 or 7 places lower whilst the others came in the first 4. Something like that, can't remember fully what the results were!
  19. Straightmute

    Straightmute Active Member

    I know that Gavin (Brasspenguin) has analysed the data of our contest draws against results over a number of years and it makes interesting reading.

    My most dramatic momnet in this respect came after one of our National Finals appearances when we had drawn first and finished last, in spite of a very solid performance which I thought might get us into the prizes. I later spoke to one of the adjudicators who was (and remains!) a personal friend. Having rehearsed for weeks and travelled to the other end of the country for a fifteen minute performance, I was told: "yes, but what can you expect from a number one draw?"


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