Is it cheating to borrow players for contests? 4bars think so

Is borrowing players for contests:

  • Cheating

    Votes: 8 11.6%
  • Not cheating

    Votes: 52 75.4%
  • Don't care

    Votes: 9 13.0%

  • Total voters
    69

John_D

Member
By having a larger pool of players in the first place?

Logically to get a group of 28 people together on any given day you need to have more than 28 possibles. Someone is always going to be unavailable for some reason.

Its a possible and logical conclusion which would also give room for those who are happy to do concerts but not contests.

We borrowed a trombone player as 2 of ours were unavailable and 1 cornet player as 2 of those who were going couldn't. Also don't forget that many lower section bands are finding it difficult to recruit players (which is why its common to see bands in 4th section playing with only 3 front row cornets / 3 basses / 1 euph etc).
 

Accidental

Supporting Member
I have always thought bands should consider competing without a full band rather than borrowing people.
Bands obviously can, and do, do that, but missing people means missing parts, which means the music is never going to sound how the composer intended and the band is likely to be at a disadvantage compared with others that have full(er) lineups. If a band takes contesting seriously and the rules help them to compete by allowing them to fill the gaps, surely that has to be a good thing?

we had a couple of borrowed players at Butlins, how else can you cover unexpected illness / enforced changes to players work schedules etc.
By having a larger pool of players in the first place?

Logically to get a group of 28 people together on any given day you need to have more than 28 possibles.
Thats great in theory, and I agree with you.
But, there are two big snags - in some areas there simply aren't enough players to go around (I can count the number of bands in our area who have a full compliment of players on 1 hand. With fingers to spare!), and most players good and committed enough to be regular members of contesting bands would rather not be a spare and face having to miss out some contests.
 

Will the Sec

Active Member
i went to a stage play the other day where the big star who played the lead role wasn't available and the part was played by his understudy. I complained that i was being cheated but didn't get anywhere. But then, the object of the production was only to entertain me and the rest of the audience. It wasn't like it was anything as important as a brass band contest or anything.
lol!
 

JR

Member
moral high ground a bit sticky?

I went to a stage play the other day where the big star who played the lead role wasn't available and the part was played by his understudy. I complained that I was being cheated but didn't get anywhere. But then, the object of the production was only to entertain me and the rest of the audience. It wasn't like it was anything as important as a brass band contest or anything.

hehe - nice one Jim, but you know as well as i do that theres plenty of competition in the Theatre - what about the Critics Circle, Olivier, Evening Standard and Theatregoers Choice awards (of the top of my head) - and there's plenty of banding style rivalry...

John R
 

The Wherryman

Active Member
Bands obviously can, and do, do that, but missing people means missing parts, which means the music is never going to sound how the composer intended and the band is likely to be at a disadvantage compared with others that have full(er) lineups. If a band takes contesting seriously and the rules help them to compete by allowing them to fill the gaps, surely that has to be a good thing?
I must be having a 'thicky' morning, but if a band borrows sufficient quality players for a Sunday contest performance and wins whatever competition it is, and on Monday goes back to having numerous seats vacant and the band being unable to play any music how the composer intended (until the next contest and borrowing session), that is a 'good thing', how?

No doubt the band will be able to boast that they are the Umpteenth Section Champions, but is that what the paying audience will hear at the concerts they perform? Nah!
 

brassneck

Active Member
Reading the 4BR article, it's interesting that no one has mentioned why the rant was published in the first place ... the opportunity to cheat, i.e., improve the band's chances of contest success by filling seats via their bank account, rather than finding the best available through normal recruitment processes.
 

Accidental

Supporting Member
I must be having a 'thicky' morning, but if a band borrows sufficient quality players for a Sunday contest performance and wins whatever competition it is, and on Monday goes back to having numerous seats vacant and the band being unable to play any music how the composer intended (until the next contest and borrowing session), that is a 'good thing', how?
Because if a band takes contesting seriously, then imho any rules which make it easier for them to compete with a full band are good.
In my experience, the same bands do the best they can at rehearsals with holes in, continue to try to recruit to fill those holes, and also 'borrow' deps for concerts to put on the best performances possible. Round here most of the bands help each other out to fill seats for rehearsals and gigs, its only the contests that become difficult because of the registration rules
 

JR

Member
Spring Festival has it about right?

Because if a band takes contesting seriously, then imho any rules which make it easier for them to compete with a full band are good.

Yes - but rules have to be made to create a playing field that everyone can respect. Before the national registry system contests had descended into farce - I can remember my Grandfather telling about incidents before the war especially involving professional players bought in for contests and playing for several bands on the day..

I'm afraid I'm generally against contests where one can borrow from higher sections - I think the Spring Festival principle of allowing 2 borrows but not from British Open qualified bands is a good one and could be adopted by others where top/first section bands compete

This rule can of course be subverted by importing a foreign helper but would rule out one or two well known continentals

John R
 

James Yelland

Active Member
hehe - nice one Jim, but you know as well as i do that theres plenty of competition in the Theatre - what about the Critics Circle, Olivier, Evening Standard and Theatregoers Choice awards (of the top of my head) - and there's plenty of banding style rivalry...

John R

Oh, alright, I admit it, I didn't go to the theatre at all. My last post was just a rhetorical device to highlight the fact that whenever the subject of 'cheating at contests' turns up, priorities, proportion and perspective go out the window.

You're right of course - the luvvies do enjoy their Oscars and Baftas and what have you. The difference is that the whole world, not just the participants and winners, knows the names of the people who win these awards, and so can be rightly said to be of genuine importance. Brass band championships, on the other hand.....
 
Last edited:

Dackdack

New Member
Point one (and a reiteration) No rules were broken, then no cheating took place.

Point two. All we are doing here is highlighting the apparent decline in a. the number of "full" bands and b. the decline in the number of musicians. I am fortunate enough to play with a band who have too many players to choose from to compete AND an affiliated music school which is producing some young musicians of outstanding quality which will, in time, feed into our band maintaining our numbers and strength.

So maybe bands who don't have enough players to compete who feel the need to borrow will most likely need to borrow the next year and the next. Maybe those bands should take a longer look at themselves and their set up, take a year or two out of contesting (oh no, they may drop a section or two) and get their houses in order. If brass banding is in decline, then brass bands have only got themselves to blame.
 

Bungle

Member
I guess what people want is a level playing field. How about a new rule ''When a band is seen to by the organisers to contravene the spirit of an amateur brass band competition, their prize money may be wholly or partly withheld and distributed to the other prize winners". If your band want to bring in professional ringers, you keep your placing but maybe not the prize money ;) Unsporting behaviour rule could also have the same punishment.
 

JimboFB

Active Member
Why on earth would they enquire - it was a new written rule sent to bands in July specifically for the purpose of telling them that borrowed players could not sit in principal seats.

IF you have had sanction from the contest for a different arrangement then that is fine - the contest management on this occasion has not subsequently made the playing field level for all competitors and for those disadvantaged directly i have some sympathy.

Congratulations on your win however, i heard you both days and wasnt surpised one bit at the result!!

Thanks Mike, appreciate your kind words, as it turned out it was a very close run thing in the end.

Question is, IS soprano a principle seat? etc etc etc, the rules (which i'm sure MOST people havent actually seen in black and white) seem really vague. I'm guessing (i wasnt any part of the actual enquiry) that we asked if this was OK, they agreed, no problem from our side.

Its up to the individual bands conscience as to whether they think its OK with what happened. As far as i can tell, we're OK with what happened, we certainly werent bothered this year, or in previous years as to what was going on with other bands.
 

tubafran

Active Member
I think we are having two separate discussions here but in fairness that was also the tack of the original article. I asked the original question and poll from the first line of the article which said

"There comes a time when the borrowing has to stop – ...."

Or do they mean some types of borrowing has to stop? Rather than an outright ban?

The other discussion, which considering the timing of it's publication and the Butlins contest relates more to their current borrowing rules and where you can sit.

"Now we have even come to the point where bands are being allowed to borrow, but only if the those players do not play in ‘principal positions’. How on earth is that going to be implemented then in a closed adjudication contest?"

Well it should have been pretty obvious on the Sunday entertainment contest for Championship but there were borrowed players in all kinds of seats for the closed adjudication.

Perhaps the original rule/notes regarding solos and principals should never have been added but it will have been put there for a reason - some past event or discontent expressed here perhaps. I looked at what I thought were the current rules for Butlins (there is a PDF available on a Google search dated 2008), not a mention of this restriction - we nearly came a cropper in the lowly 3rd section of breaching it.

I personally don't see a problem with who you borrow within the rules or contacting the organisors and asking the question for a relaxation- we did? If you are a Championship Band and you want to do the best you can on an empty seat, why not?
 
Last edited:

MoominDave

Well-Known Member
Most deps I book do not ask for money beyond petrol costs - they are people who appreciate the wider good of the movement first and foremost, and also appreciate the opportunity to play with a new set of playing friends. Sometimes the small red-and-black book of contacts is exhausted on a particular subject, and then one must pay a more commercial rate, but one minimises the number of those occasions.

I suspect things are pretty similar at Friary. So yes, at the same rates...
 

agentorange

Member
I must be having a 'thicky' morning, but if a band borrows sufficient quality players for a Sunday contest performance and wins whatever competition it is, and on Monday goes back to having numerous seats vacant and the band being unable to play any music how the composer intended (until the next contest and borrowing session), that is a 'good thing', how?

Because those borrowed players might just have enjoyed experience enough to want to stay - as i did when i was borrowed by EYMS five years ago.
 

agentorange

Member
Depends who you ask!! Let's say I exercised my right to choose. I certainly didn't feel poached, and didn't sign against my will. :biggrin:
 

Bayerd

Active Member
Reading the 4BR article, it's interesting that no one has mentioned why the rant was published in the first place ... the opportunity to cheat, i.e., improve the band's chances of contest success by filling seats via their bank account, rather than finding the best available through normal recruitment processes.

"There comes a time when the borrowing has to stop – ...."

Or do they mean some types of borrowing has to stop? Rather than an outright ban?

The way I interpreted the article (I could well be wrong), is that 4br believe that the practice of regularly borrowing players/ foreign imports/ paying retired ones rather than recruiting possibly lesser players who would be at the band on a full time basis isn't doing banding in general any good and it's this that they would like to see less of. There are numerous examples of this going on at the top level on a regular basis which often leads to the rent-a-band comments etc.

It's nothing new and I'm not sure how you'd stop it either...
 

Primary

tMP Assistant
Here are some related products that tMP members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to tMP’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to tMP discussions about these products.

 
 
Top