Is this cheating . . . Band's thoughts?

Phillthrfluter

New Member
I competed with a band last year at Ripon contest and we contacted the contest organisers to lodge a complaint about another competing band. The band in question are "unregistered" but have players from another local band, Otley Brass band (which in contests is adjudicated as 3rd section, despite being unregistered).

Having just looked at this years contest line up, the same band is there again competing, still as an unregistered band but still using players from Otley Band (and other bands from what I have heard). The band inquestion said that the players are "signed up" for their band but how can you effectively count these players as yours when they have a longer established membership with another band.

What are your thoughts folks, I won't mention the bands name, but anyone from the area will probably be able to guess, is this not a problem, bad practice or cheating.
 

Hsop

Member
To clarify what you are saying/asking here:

1.There is an unregistered band using players from another unregistered band (Otley) - How many?
2.Are bands allowed to have guest players at this contest? The rules state that 3 guests can be used.
3, Would you rather this 'unregistered' band didn't use borrowed players at the contest?
4.Did the unregistered band place higher than your own band at the contest last year which prompted a complaint?
5.Would it really be worth it for a band to attempt to cheat? The prize money for 1st place is, after all, £250 - A lot less than the amount a band spends on the build up to a contest.

My own thoughts are - Brass bands in the UK over the last decade (or more) in general have struggled to find new players and maintain interest with existing players and the general public. Of course rules are rules at contests however the scenario you have mentioned does not seem to be an issue unless you have more details and doesn't suggest 'bad practice' or 'cheating'. Two unregistered bands working together so that a band can actually make it to a contest in my view should be encouraged or we risk even more contests being abandoned.

Good luck at the contest. If your band band has put the practice in you will do well regardless of what others do.
 

2nd tenor

Well-Known Member
I competed with a band last year at Ripon contest and we contacted the contest organisers to lodge a complaint about another competing band. The band in question are "unregistered" but have players from another local band, Otley Brass band (which in contests is adjudicated as 3rd section, despite being unregistered).

Having just looked at this years contest line up, the same band is there again competing, still as an unregistered band but still using players from Otley Band (and other bands from what I have heard). The band inquestion said that the players are "signed up" for their band but how can you effectively count these players as yours when they have a longer established membership with another band.

What are your thoughts folks, I won't mention the bands name, but anyone from the area will probably be able to guess, is this not a problem, bad practice or cheating.
Contest results are always going to disappoint some bands whilst others might be elated, that’s the nature of the event. Personally I aim to never enter a competition, race or wager that I’m not prepared to loose; in similar vain I try to avoid others who don’t have a similar mindset towards winning and loosing. I like to avoid cheats too, but that isn’t always possible so I have to work around that as best I can, few things in life are perfect.

Did someone cheat? The rules are there for all to use and for all to seek clarification on; the best thing to do is to talk to the organisers about what is allowable and what is not, and that can be done without reference to any particular Band - the same rules (should) apply to everybody. If you don’t like the answers that you get then you don’t have to enter; if you decide that the rules are not fair to all then a polite conversation with and letter to the organisers explaining your perspective could be constructive. If you find that the competition’s rules have been both clearly and significantly broken then present the facts (facts, not wishes or opinions) complete with proof to the organisers’ designated representative(s) in a pleasant, clear and easy to follow way. Ask the organisers what their complaints procedure is and then use it.

For what it’s worth running any event is very hard work so congratulations to Ripon Band for doing the often thankless task and for trying to put something into Banding. Ripon City Band > Ripon Contest
I note that: “As part of the Ripon Festivals programme, Ripon City Band organises an annual brass band entertainment contest that takes place in Ripon Cathedral. The 2019 contest will take place on 1st June. The contest is open to bands in 3rd section, 4th section and those unregistered including youth bands.”
Even if YHBBA did, for their purposes, class Otley as Third Section then their ‘borrowed’ players would still fall within the notional ability levels allowed.

As far as I know Otley are a non-contesting Band in that they are not in the recognised national sections, OBB | Great Brass Band Music . This year the Yorkshire and Humberside Brass Band Competition at Hardraw has two sections, the B section has National Third and Fourth Section Bands plus ungraded Bands. As such Otley is an ungraded Band and competes with but not as a Third Section Band.
Hardraw contest
Rules for the other YHBBA contests are not on their website (well I didn’t find them). If the YHBBA choose for their purposes to class a Band at a certain level then that is a particular local arrangement and Ripon can quite legitimately choose to ignore it, that (IMHO) is their right and they do make the rules for their competition.
 
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Phillthrfluter

New Member
To clarify what you are saying/asking here:

1.There is an unregistered band using players from another unregistered band (Otley) - How many?
2.Are bands allowed to have guest players at this contest? The rules state that 3 guests can be used.
3, Would you rather this 'unregistered' band didn't use borrowed players at the contest?
4.Did the unregistered band place higher than your own band at the contest last year which prompted a complaint?
5.Would it really be worth it for a band to attempt to cheat? The prize money for 1st place is, after all, £250 - A lot less than the amount a band spends on the build up to a contest.

My own thoughts are - Brass bands in the UK over the last decade (or more) in general have struggled to find new players and maintain interest with existing players and the general public. Of course rules are rules at contests however the scenario you have mentioned does not seem to be an issue unless you have more details and doesn't suggest 'bad practice' or 'cheating'. Two unregistered bands working together so that a band can actually make it to a contest in my view should be encouraged or we risk even more contests being abandoned.

Good luck at the contest. If your band band has put the practice in you will do well regardless of what others do.
I understand that, but Otley even though being unregistered have been adjudicated at a third section level at Hardraw and other contests, so to all intense and purposes these are third section players being used by an unregistered band ??

Yorkshire and Humberside took the decision a few years ago to adjudicate otley as a 3rd section band due to their standard. When we contacted Ripon organisers last year they said this wasn't the case . . . BUT IT IS??
 

Hsop

Member
So let's say that Otley band being unregistered are the equivalent playing standard of a 3rd section band. As 2nd tenor mentions in his post above the rules for the Ripon contest state that it is open to 3rd and 4th section bands plus unregistered and youth bands so why are you concerned with 3rd section players?
 

Anno Draconis

Well-Known Member
So to sum up, an 'unregistered' band happens to have a few players who are also members of another unregistered band? No, it's not a problem, or cheating. I've never, ever understood why we insist that brass band players, uniquely amongst any instrumentalists, are only "allowed" to be members of one ensemble. Doesn't happen in orchestras or wind bands.

How are those grapes?
 

Phillthrfluter

New Member
So none of you think there is a problem with playing actively higher section players in lower unregistered bands??? If this is true why bother with the grading system at all?

Where band members are shared between bands they must have a natural first band and second whereby when both bands have an engagement at the same time which is there first choice band to support. So is it fair to consider someone a full time player if they prioritize one band above another?
 

Phillthrfluter

New Member
So to sum up, an 'unregistered' band happens to have a few players who are also members of another unregistered band? No, it's not a problem, or cheating. I've never, ever understood why we insist that brass band players, uniquely amongst any instrumentalists, are only "allowed" to be members of one ensemble. Doesn't happen in orchestras or wind bands.

How are those grapes?
According to YHBBA one of the bands, although unregistred, is adjudicated at a 3rd section level. This is the result of an upheld claim by many bands who competed against them at Hardraw contest. The band in question chooses to not offically contest but it has been considered necessary to give them a adjudication level when contesting due to the level of their playing.
 

Phillthrfluter

New Member
According to YHBBA one of the bands, although unregistred, is adjudicated at a 3rd section level. This is the result of an upheld claim by many bands who competed against them at Hardraw contest. The band in question chooses to not offically contest but it has been considered necessary to give them a adjudication level when contesting due to the level of their playing.
If this practice is allowed why do bands bother registering at all, some championship section bands could choose to not register and just win low level contests, which would completely defeat the object of banding as we know it.
 

2nd tenor

Well-Known Member
Would you be allowed to play higher section players in an area contest??
Interesting thought however it’s not an area contest and area contests have their own rules.

Here is a section of Ripon’s rules:
Eligible players. All players should be registered or bona-fide members of the band. (If in doubt about a player’s eligibility please contact the contest sec). Each band can borrow up to three players to fill vacant seats. Borrowed players should not occupy major seats, must not feature as the stand-up soloist and should not be registered with bands higher than 3rd section.
The maximum limit for players on the stage is 30, plus percussion.
Stand up soloists for unregistered bands should be a regular and bona-fide player with the band. If a soloist is registered with a higher than third section band in addition to playing with the unregistered band, the contest organiser should be notified, and eligibility will be agreed directly with the band.
Please ensure that all soloists comply with contest rules.
Players are not required to show registration cards. However, any band found to be abusing this fact by borrowing players from a higher section than 3rd will be disqualified.
https://www.riponcityband.co.uk/Portals/0/contest-rules 2019.pdf

If you have verifiable proof that specific players from a specific band play in a higher section than third then take it to Ripon’s appointed representative. As in my post above have a reasoned conversation with them and provide evidence, don’t expect them to run around investigating accusations ‘cause they will have more than enough to do already.
 

2nd tenor

Well-Known Member
So none of you think there is a problem with playing actively higher section players in lower unregistered bands??? If this is true why bother with the grading system at all?

Where band members are shared between bands they must have a natural first band and second whereby when both bands have an engagement at the same time which is there first choice band to support. So is it fair to consider someone a full time player if they prioritize one band above another?
As far as I know for the purposes of (National Section) Contesting a player can only be registered to one Band. Here are Kapitol’s rules and rule eight is relevant to this discussion:
http://www.nationalbrassbandchampionships.com/download.php?id=1446058392 . I don’t recall anyone saying that it’s OK for players registered to higher than third section Bands to be part of the competition, more importantly that would break Ripon’s rules. Provide them with the evidence.

Yes it is fair to consider someone a full time member of several bands. My own Band has players in other Bands and we both try to avoid clashes in engagements and call in Dep’s when needed. Who plays where and when is a bit of a fudge at times but folk seem to know where the need is greatest and act accordingly. Personally I find one Band to be enough of a commitment but other people do successfully manage two or more.
 
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Tom-King

Well-Known Member
One or two players don't make a band, at any level.

Do a few deps make the rest of the players play:
Tighter in time? No.
Better in tune? No.
There's your two biggest point gains/losses (whichever way you view it) at that level, and most others for that matter.


Ultimately any section with unregistered bands is going to be open to bands pulling in a few friends (whether regulars or not), especially as unregistered sections are clearly intended to encourage participation you'd expect fairly lax rules.

There's no way prize money would be enough for a band to "buy" a win so odds are these are probably regular deps (or members of multiple bands).
 

2nd tenor

Well-Known Member
One or two players don't make a band, at any level.

There's no way prize money would be enough for a band to "buy" a win so odds are these are probably regular deps (or members of multiple bands).
I believe that you’re absolutely right on the above Tom ( ...... and on much else too ;-) ). Though it would be also be true to say that a couple of decent players joining in a few rehearsals and playing for an event does help the rest of the Band raise their game - well that’s my experience in community level bands.

The winning Band gets £250 and a Rosebowl, that’s a nice prize but how does it compare to the costs involved in contesting? I suspect that if you properly count and account for all the costs that each Band incurs you’ll find that even the winner makes a noticeable loss. As well as points from playing what separates the Bands is the size of the overall financial loss that they make by contesting. I don’t contest but it is a part of Banding that some enjoy and they accept the costs for following that hobby.

It would cost, in some form or other , to bring in ‘ringers’ and you still might not win. I’d be happiest to be in the Band that made the smallest overall loss and chuffed if we did well on the score sheet too - I’m not so fussed about relative position it’s quality of performance that matters to me. I know that there is prestige involved but there’s brass (money) involved too, life’s not fair so my suggestion to any Band would be to make certain that you enjoy the event (as an event) and the musical journey too it.

Kudos again to Ripon for running the Contest.
 
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GER

Active Member
I don't think this can be described as cheating, the band are playing within the rules, events such as these tend to be self policed-if enough bands don't like the format they won't turn up and the contest becomes poorly attended so either changes or ceases to exist. Personally I am not keen on entering contests that allow unregistered bands- there is no bench mark for their level of competence, and there are some very good unregistered bands out there, playing at a level above the grading they receive for these competitions.
Does anyone know how unregistered/newly formed bands are graded when registering?. At the moment there is a band in the 4th section that is sweeping clean at every competition they enter, but seemed destined to remain in the 4th section until they have competed at the areas for at least two years, which effectively means three years. Is it really possible to win the national finals and not be promoted? if so that seems very bizarre
 

Tom-King

Well-Known Member
To be a bit more firm than my previous post...


Deps are almost always a disadvantage - relative to regular, committed players... Even if they're slightly better players.

Certainly in the context of a contest where you're usually permitted to borrow from the section above only - the players aren't that much better, but as deps they're unlikely to be at many rehearsals and full (or atleast near full!) rehearsals are the key to success...
The absences (Vs a committed player) mean the dep is less prepared, and the regulars are not used to having them there either.


If these players were regulars then for all intents and purposes they're members and it's in the spirit of competition to use them...
And if they're not regulars, that's a disadvantage so congratulations for playing well regardless.
 

2nd tenor

Well-Known Member
Deps are almost always a disadvantage - relative to regular, committed players... Even if they're slightly better players.

Certainly in the context of a contest where you're usually permitted to borrow from the section above only - the players aren't that much better, but as deps they're unlikely to be at many rehearsals and full (or atleast near full!) rehearsals are the key to success...
The absences (Vs a committed player) mean the dep is less prepared, and the regulars are not used to having them there either.


If these players were regulars then for all intents and purposes they're members and it's in the spirit of competition to use them...
And if they're not regulars, that's a disadvantage so congratulations for playing well regardless.
I see your logic Tom and don’t dispute it but I wonder how well it applies to the original post where the circumstances are a bit different - threads drift and we are all part of that.

It seems to me that rather than say a couple of Dep’s being brought in a large number are being brought in as cohesive groups and that they play to a standard that is much more than say one section up - that’s the claim as I read it. As such the situation is or is perceived to be different from what you describe.

I can imagine a situation where several groups of very able pals, from different local bands, grouped together in a separate Band (or the shell of a separate Band) for the purpose of competing in a local contest. Such an arrangement could well suit many long established players who have long term friends in and social links to other local Bands. It might not be within the spirit of fair competition, as viewed by other Bands, but to the ‘guilty party’ it might all be about playing with old pals and enjoying the Contest.

Conversely I can also imagine a situation where a Band sets aside some of its own regular players and, for the purposes of a Contest, imports blocks of ‘friends’ from other Bands. From the perspective of other competitors such situations might seem to go against natural justice ........

Additionally there is the concept that an unregistered or non-contesting Band is one that plays to a low / lower section level (within National third and fourth section in this case), whilst that might generally be thought a reasonable assumption it does not always prove to be the case. Perhaps that perceived assumption is something that Ripon could be asked to review - I feel sure that they want a popular and fair competition - and consider how the rules could be tweaked to give a level ‘playing field’ for all. Nothing is ever completely fair, but maybe a simple points handicap system applied to particularly successful non-registered Bands would help to make the competition fairer?

Just some other angles, so speculation perhaps, and maybe I’m playing Devil’s Advocate.

Perhaps our friend from Barnoldswick might comment, please.
 
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Anno Draconis

Well-Known Member
According to YHBBA one of the bands, although unregistred, is adjudicated at a 3rd section level. This is the result of an upheld claim by many bands who competed against them at Hardraw contest. The band in question chooses to not offically contest but it has been considered necessary to give them a adjudication level when contesting due to the level of their playing.
Nonetheless, as you point out, they're still unregistered. They choose not to contest. Or more to the point, they choose not to register, which given that it's both a ball-ache and an expense, seems perfectly sensible to me.

Them's the rules. Your issue seems to be that they're somehow "too good" to be unregistered? I'm afraid that's not how it works.
 

Anno Draconis

Well-Known Member
If this practice is allowed why do bands bother registering at all, some championship section bands could choose to not register and just win low level contests, which would completely defeat the object of banding as we know it.
Are you being serious? Do you really think top section bands are remotely interested in this, when they could do a much more lucrative concert with less effort or risk? Or prepared to forego championship status which has often been hard won over the course of a decade or more's hard graft?

If it's that much of an issue (and it obviously is, because you've joined the forum solely to post about this matter), don't enter the contest. Put a quality concert on instead. You'll make more money, it'll be more musically satisfying and your blood pressure will come down a bit. Seems a shame that the first seven posts made by an anonymous new member are simply running down a contest, its organisers and a fellow band for either "cheating" or "facilitating cheating".

On a slightly side topic, registration is a complete and utter nonsense, certainly below the 2nd section. I'd scrap it altogether. Why on earth can't someone play with Black Dyke but also help out their local 4th section band when they have the time? Isn't that part of the egalitarianism and spirit that makes banding a joyful pastime? I conducted one band many years ago that didn't have a soprano player, but we were regularly helped out at rehearsals and gigs by a long-standing friend of the band, to whom we were in many ways their "2nd band". Said player was banned from taking the stage with their "2nd band" because of arcane rules designed in the 1890s when contest prize money was actually worth cheating for. Explain to me how that makes banding better? If an outstanding player legitimately signs for a lower section band and then deps in the top section, how is that different in reality?
 
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