Grading of bands

Isn't that really the whole issue with the current system? There is no overall authority. There will never be any sort of consistent grading or rules until there is such an authority, or unless all (or most) of the existing authorities agree on a system. Is that likely to happen?

Looking at the issue from the outside, and from the postings in this thread, the two things that I would suggest are:

1. Kapitol should promulgate a rule that no band is eligible for the Nationals unless they have participated in that year's local association contest.

2. For national gradings, keep the three-year rule. But not with equal weighting. Make it current year = 50%, previous year 30%, second previous year 20%. In other words, reward bands somewhat for consistency, but avoids having two-thirds of the grading based on previous year's performances.
As for your last point, that sounds similar to what happened in Scotland's regional this year. This year's result was worth double last year's which in turn was worth double the year's before. The end result was that any band who came last this year immediately got relegated.

Don't know if it's a good thing or bad thing, just making the comment that similar things are currently happening.

Also, in Scotland if you're top two in the regional you are promoted and that has the habit of making a number of bands
yo-yo bands, up one year then back down the next. Don't think that is positive.
 
The current systems allows some bands to attain national grading by doing one contest a year and little else. By having two or three contest per year and using those contests for promotion and relegation bands could move us or down sections by having one good or bad year rather than two or three. .
By "doing little else" do you mean bands that put on regular, well attended, local concerts and support charities rather than spend all their time turning music making into a sport.:frown:

If we are ever going to get a better system firstly we need The Nationls run by a Band Association (BBBF or whoever) rather than by a company that can dictate its own rules as and when it wants to change them.
 

KMJ Recordings

Supporting Member
If we are ever going to get a better system firstly we need The Nationls run by a Band Association (BBBF or whoever) rather than by a company that can dictate its own rules as and when it wants to change them.
Just one thought on this - and it's not aimed at the poster of this, more at the content of the post - who would pay for it? Running a national contest, ok, but the funds have to come from somewhere.....
 

Bayerd

Active Member
By "doing little else" do you mean bands that put on regular, well attended, local concerts and support charities rather than spend all their time turning music making into a sport.:frown:

If we are ever going to get a better system firstly we need The Nationls run by a Band Association (BBBF or whoever) rather than by a company that can dictate its own rules as and when it wants to change them.
Agreed. Maybe the system isn't as broken as some think it is. I for one don't want to have to attend an extra couple of contests a year just to have an outside chance of qualifying for the finals.

I'd much rather spend the time working up concerts. The music is more varied, the audience is higher in numbers and you don't need to give up every night of the week in the run up to the performance.
 
It's not that bad. It works in the main and there will always be sticky bits, where areas don't quite balance up.

There's plenty of opportunities for the elite to compete against the elite already. Why do we need to force out hard working bands from the nationals? Good on them.
 

critic

Member
It's not that bad. It works in the main and there will always be sticky bits, where areas don't quite balance up.

There's plenty of opportunities for the elite to compete against the elite already. Why do we need to force out hard working bands from the nationals? Good on them.
I Dnt think we need to force any band from the nationals the point i am making is that here are bands that or not of championship standard playing in the top flight where as ben proved at recent ist section contests the overall standard has not been very good. the all system needs a shake up and there have been some ecxellent posts on this issue. The problem is the people in charge have have no desire for change.WEneed to move on
 

steve butler

Active Member
I Dnt think we need to force any band from the nationals the point i am making is that here are bands that or not of championship standard playing in the top flight where as ben proved at recent ist section contests the overall standard has not been very good. the all system needs a shake up and there have been some ecxellent posts on this issue. The problem is the people in charge have have no desire for change.WEneed to move on
Excuse me for straying from the topic - but have you been drinking?
Read your post twice and can't make head nor tail of it.
 

Mesmerist

Well-Known Member
Is music really a competitive sport?

Don`t get me wrong - I love the build up and extra rehearsals and the improvements that happen with Contesting and the promotion game.

Maybe we could be radical and extend the judgement away from one single performance under pressure. Why not have a National Body (of unpaid but elected people) who look at each Band, not only their Area result but also examine and take into account the money they earn from Concerts etc..., the numbers of their audiences, their audience numbers, the size of their junior and training bands and judge on the value to the Banding movement as a whole.

And before you all shout and get cross - think about it - it may be a way of improving our Movement if the Bands that give at "grass roots" levels are acknowledged as well as our fabulous Cory, Fodens and Dyke.

Happy days :)
 
By "doing little else" do you mean bands that put on regular, well attended, local concerts and support charities rather than spend all their time turning music making into a sport.:frown:

If we are ever going to get a better system firstly we need The Nationls run by a Band Association (BBBF or whoever) rather than by a company that can dictate its own rules as and when it wants to change them.
I was referring to bands that only get together for the areas and nationals (if they qualify) and very little else and do nothing to promote the future of the movement.

The only way we can regain the initiative is for all bands to join the BFBB and take back control. You can only make change when part of the establishment rather than from the outside looking in.
 

Frontman

Member
I have recently visited the Scottish Brass Band Association who changed there way of grading in February this year to accomodate bands of all levels. There way is very interesting when you use their system against our Association gradings.

Their Grading notice reads as follows:-

As of 1st February 2009 the SBBA have adjusted the grading system as follows:-


1) The points gained by a band two years ago will be halved

2) The points gained by the band one year ago will remain unadjusted

3) Immediately following the most recent Scottish Championship contest the points gained by the band at that contest will be doubled.
 

JTKBrass

Member
Remember that points system just applies to relegation. The new system was brought in to put more emphasis on the most recent result at the Scottish Championships.

Promotion is a simple 'top two go up', and there's no such thing as 'local gradings' up here. The joys of having a national democratic body representing all the country's bands ;-)
 

Frontman

Member
Remember that points system just applies to relegation. The new system was brought in to put more emphasis on the most recent result at the Scottish Championships.

Promotion is a simple 'top two go up', and there's no such thing as 'local gradings' up here. The joys of having a national democratic body representing all the country's bands ;-)
That is far superior to the system that we have to endure. A no nonsense / no doubt system like this gets everyone away from the bands who can win the lower sections twice before they get promoted. It has always been a nonsensical way of grading. This wat, every year there is no doubt as to who is promoted and a system to very easily work out who is relegated.

Well done to the Scots, I think we should immediately adopt there system and take their lead. Its common sense.

Oh, and by the way, what a load of nonsense this 'Local Grading' thing is. If your band has a National Grading how can Associations in their ultimate judgement decide that you are of a higher or lower grade. Absolute rubbish.
 

IanHeard

Member
I was referring to bands that only get together for the areas and nationals (if they qualify) and very little else and do nothing to promote the future of the movement.

The only way we can regain the initiative is for all bands to join the BFBB and take back control. You can only make change when part of the establishment rather than from the outside looking in.
I don`t want to encourage a counsel of despair, but Kapitol and the Area commtitees will never allow the BFBB anywhere near the Nationals.......why would they?
I really don`t think the average bander realises how fooked up our hobby is, talking specifically about the re-grading of bands and the possible scrapping of Section 1, could someone explain to me the process which would allow for such a major change to take place?
 

FATNBALD

Member
That would ensure the bands that played best on the day of the Areas reached the Albert Hall (not necessarily "the best bands", though),
Isn't that what the Areas is all about, the best two bands on the day? If we just want the "best bands" at the finals why bother with the area's at all:dunno
 
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PeterBale

Moderator
Staff member
Isn't that what the Areas is all about, the best two bands on the day? If we just want the "best bands" at the finals why bother with the area's at all:dunno
It is what the Areas are about, but I still feel that if you only had the top two from each Area, without the additional attraction of including the top bands from the previous year as of right, it would be much less of an attraction to the paying public, without whom such an event would not be commercially viable.
 

brassneck

Active Member
It is what the Areas are about, but I still feel that if you only had the top two from each Area, without the additional attraction of including the top bands from the previous year as of right, it would be much less of an attraction to the paying public, without whom such an event would not be commercially viable.
I totally agree. If a few bands are so dominant and regularly win, the pre-qualification allows other bands the opportunity to progress to the RAH.
 

Paddy Flower

Active Member
Give the grading job to Paddy Flowers
I'm flattered Bessa :). I feel duty bound to throw in my twopenneth..

There is undoubtedly an imbalance in the number of bands competing in each section nationwide. Currently (based on the 2009 regionals) we have…

· 90 Championship Section
· 99 First Section
· 95 Second Section
· 115 Third Section
· 130 - 140 (approx) Fourth Section

We need a transitional period (3 years) where the sections are re-aligned to leave an ‘elite’ 60 bands in the Championship Section and 120 bands in each of the other sections (the 4th Section would act as an overspill and could vary between 100 & 150 bands entry each year).

Promotion and relegation is currently decided entirely on a regional basis and almost exclusively as a result of area qualifying contests. I believe it should be done on a NATIONAL basis, the numbers can then be tightly controlled so that a Yorkshire 3rd section contest is of equal quality to an L&SC 3rd section contest.

If grading is going to be based solely on The National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain (and I don’t see any other way it should be done) then The National Finals should be key to deciding promotions and the Regionals contests the relegations.

Hereafter it would be a straight 16 up, 16 down every year, NATIONWIDE. Each region will be required to relegate TWO bands from each section :hammerand promote ONE :woo. Then at the (lower section) National Finals, promotions go to the top EIGHT bands not already promoted by their regional .

Then, EVERY relegated band in the country should be invited to a special contest (June – July?) :pig to compete on the area test-piece from the lower section (i.e. a band relegated on ‘Salute to Youth’ would play ‘Pentacle’). The top TWO bands would be invited to the national finals where they would have the opportunity to get straight back up. This would be all the proof needed if any band felt there relegation was unjustified :ranting2:. It may also help to stop the Relegated band folding syndrome, if they had a second chance of staying up.

As part of the summer ‘Second Chance Festival’ (no, that name’s not going to catch on), we could reprise the idea rejected a few years ago of a special Championship Section Wild-Card contest. Each region would send TWO bands (i.e. 3rd & 4th) to take part with the top THREE being invited to the Albert Hall. “But that would make 23 finalists” I here you say. No, we should drop the automatic invite for 2nd, 3rd & 4th, they should compete at the area for a place like all the other bands.

It should be a proviso that NO regional section be allowed to drop below 6 competing bands. If this is the case regionals can limit relegation and so promotion places would have to be limited from the finals. This would be done on a case-by-case basis.
 

Paddy Flower

Active Member
How would you slot in any new bands? would they have to start at the bottom?
New band grading could be done as it is now EXCEPT that the official doing the grading should be part of the nationwide body not the area committee. Then to keep each nationwide section the same size adjustments can be made.

I'm not saying that 120 bands a sections should be the same year in year out, it would depend on the overall numbers of competing bands.
 
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