Before starting I want to say that this is not in any way a criticism of The Regsitry, any local registration or anyone who does or has worked for any registry. Also, I do realise the historical reasons why a brass band registration system was needed, I do think that times have changed and the current system is an unnecessary expense and achieves very little, if anything.
As I understand it the point of the registration system is to prevent any player playing with more than one band (at the Areas at least as many local contest allow borrowed players and other relaxations of regitration to get bands on stage). I don't believe its the registration that achieves this but the fact that brass banding is such a small pool nearly everyone taking part is known to players in other competeing bands and anyone playing for more than one band would be noticed and run the risk of all the bands they played for being disqualified, and no bands are willing to take that risk, especially at the Areas.
Over 500 bands will take part in the Areas this year, each band paying £60 to The Registry, a total of £30,000 going from bands, most of it to a landlord for rent I guess.
Would a simple system where each band sends the contest organiser a sheet containing the name, photo and signature of their players a week or two before the contest be simpler, cheaper and just as effective? Each player would be checked against this sheet as they go on stage. Anyone attempting to play with more than one band still has the same chance of being spotted and reported as now.
What do you think? Is it time to ditch the Registry and do something easier to manage?