Scottish Championship Section?

Are 10 bands enough in the Scottish Championship Section?

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Do you think the current level of 10 bands in the Scottish Championship section is enough :?:
Could we do with a few more :?:
At the moment the promotion and relegation is a bit cutthroat due to the low numbers.
One bad result whether caused by poor performance or poor adjudication :shock: can really put bands in a precarious situation the following year.
Several bands have been relegated only to come straight back in the following year such as Carriden and Kinneil and I fully expect Newtongrange to do the same.
I think everyone knows the Nitten are not a first section band :?:
Would first section bands welcome a larger championship section or are you happy in the first :?:

O.K. I do have a vested interest as I play in the Championship section but I'm really just interested in your opinion and in a bit of healthy discussion.
:D :?:


10 bands seems fine to me at the moment.
I think there is a marked gap between most of the championship section and most of the 1st section.
If you made it any bigger there would be bands in it who would not really be in with a realistic chance of a good placing.
You mention that many bands go down, just to come straight back up again. The same can be said of bands which go up, just to came straight down again! You will always get 'YO-YO' bands.

As for Newtongrange - and I hope they do come up straight away as I have a lot of friends in the band - the fact is they are a 1st section band at the moment. They may have championship standerd players (of course thay do) but under the rules they were demoted, a fact which, to their credit, they have accepted.

At least with the current rules a band that does have a bad performance or adjudication has another chance to redeem themselves the year after. If it was just two up two down each year (like the football) it would be much liklier that strange results would happen.

I would however like another section added! But you can debate that on another thread!

By the way, I think the new 'regime' in Scotland is doing a great job, looking at everything from a fresh and unbiased viewpoint! Lets keep up the good work all round and keep the standard of bands increasing.

Phew! Need a rest now after all that!


New Member
10 Bands are not enough and does not encourage the development of youth players within the Championship section.

My first contest was at the Scottish Championships in the Championship section and there were 15 bands. We need to exted the section to 12 bands or introduce a fairer grading system over several contests in the year.

Whay not have a 4barsrest type ranking system for contest in Scotland only. If the bigger bands don't want to enter every contest then they receive no points for non-attendance while other bands pick up points for atttending the likes of the Carnegie, Troon, Whitburn contests etc.

The Scottish Championships would still determine qualification for London and the European and this contest would carry the most points with the points for the other contests determined by SBBA.

This may stimulate greater attendance at these contests (the contests would have to be open to any band who wanted to enter rather than invitation only)

It does seem unfair that you could win every contest in Scotland and have a bad day at the Scottish and be punished for it.

It's only my opinion and probably never likely to be implemented but I do feel it's worth considering.

ignore me

10 bands is probably the right figure. There are roughly 10 bands in each section in Scotland giving a good range of bands for all players. Lower sections are ideal for younger players anyway, it probably does a young player someone more good sitting in a higher seat in a lower section band instead of sitting 3rd cornet for a top band.


Active Member
In my opinion 10 bands is enough in the Championship section in Scotland. It's the same argument as the football i.e small country equals small population equals less people to support the maintenance of some 50+ bands nationwide. If the size of the section was to be increased then this would have a knock-on effect on the numbers of competing bands in the lower sections. What really needs looking at is a fairer way to determine a bands grading than the present method. What I would like to see is grading determined by performances at three contests in any given year. I would like to see a new Scottish Championship contest and to keep the existing regional qualifier as a separate contest. These two results could be used along with that from the bands own area association contest to determine grading. In this way the bands have three chances with three different adjudicators and a variety of test pieces or an entertainment programme. Doing this might go some way to a fairer system and it would also ensure support for area association contests as bands would know that their grading was at stake. Such a big subject I'm going to start a new thread with it.

As for Newtongrange, all I can say is they knew the rules prior to the contest and given their previous results they must have known they needed a good result. Admittedly Prague was probably not the best piece for a band in this position as results over all the regions have shown that there were a few oddball placings.

I am not that confident that Newtongrange will bounce straight back. There are at least five bands who on their day could get a result. Johnstone are looking good at the moment under Gavin Lindsay and got a great result at Whitburn. Granite City also did well at Whitburn and finished higher than Newtongrange. I heard Newmilns play Connotations at the Carnegie hall earlier this month and they pushed Kingdom Brass very close that day, they are also a band who are on a roll at the moment. Finally the two bands who came down from the Championship section last year, Clackmannan and Newtongrange should be there or thereabouts. In any case it should be an interesting contest.


Supporting Member
craigyboy1 said:
Several bands have been relegated only to come straight back in the following year such as Carriden and Kinneil and I fully expect Newtongrange to do the same.
This sort of thing happens in L&SC too - there's 5 or 6 bands who seem to yo-yo between 1st and champ constantly, moving up or down every 3 years or so.
Relative to the total no. of bands in your region, 10 seems to be a lot and if you've managed to get the bands evenly spread across the sections I'd say things are going pretty well! Down here we have only 13 out of 98 competing bands in the top section :?


BigD said:
By the way, I think the new 'regime' in Scotland is doing a great job, looking at everything from a fresh and unbiased viewpoint! Lets keep up the good work all round and keep the standard of bands increasing.


I agree David. The Scottish Open for example is IMO the most exciting thing to happen in Scottish banding for years. I'm looking forward to a fantastic day.

Well done at the borders contest by the way.


Thanks Craigyboy1!

I know 'they' have looked at deciding the Scottish Champions over a number of contests but think it was knocked down on the basis of cost to the bands.(Think that's right. Maybe someone in the know could confirm this. :p )
I have for various reasons travelled to the Scottish Championships on a number of occasions and believe that there are only three bands there that would so much as survive in the Yorkshire or North West Championship Sections. I have been witness to some very poor playing from the bands outside the prizelist and there have been some days when there were no performances of note whatsoever.

Admittedly CWS(Glasgow) have had some very good performances in our major contests, with no small measure of success over the years and the recent achievements of Whitburn and Kirkintilloch must give much encouragement to the other bands, but the general standard outside of these three is comparable to the first section at Bradford or Blackpool in my opinion.

I dont suppose anyone in power in Scotland would ever consider a Championship Section of three bands but thoughts of more than ten simply put the bands in the lower sections at an enormous disadvantage when competing at national level.



Totally agree with your view of Scotland having three bands out in front, but you've got to go back to 99 to have them all in the top three places at the Scottish :D

I do think the top section of 10 bands is about right, but there are arguments for and against increasing or reducing it.

Plus point for reducing would be a higher standard of top section (as has been pointed out there are three top bands plus possibly another three or four sitting close behind them) this would in turn create a higher standard of first section etc. and redress the problem of numbers in the 4th section (are there really 50 competing bands in Scotland ?)

The downside to reducing the numbers would be through the relegation/promotion system. You couldn't have two up two down if you wanted to keep your top bands in the top section. Bands would need to earn promotion to the top section (a one off lucky result shouldn't gain promotion) Possibly a first section band should have to be in the top two two years in a row to go up, or win it two in a row ? A band will only be relegated from the top section if there's someone coming up to take their place. Would make the Sunday contest more interesting if one of the first section bands on the Saturday had just won it for the second year and you knew someone had to go down to give them their place ! Alternatively you could make the relegation similar to promotion, bottom two (or last) two years in a row and you're down.

Plus point for increasing the number of bands is, for a start, making the section safer for the top seven or eight bands. More bands means less chance of relegation. It gives bands coming up a chance to establish themselves, would raise the standard of bands at the lower end of the section as they're playing to a higher level, give more players experience of the top section, give more prestige to lesser contests as there would be more top section bands going about, bands could attract more players with the lure of top section banding etc etc.

Down side for increasing is obviously lowering the standard of the first section, which would knock on down the sections.

Me personally i'd prefer a smaller section, but making it harder to be promoted to/relegated from. A band would need to be of a certain standard to be in there, would need to earn their place ... it would have more prestige attached to it. Under the current grading rules, and the new appeals procedure that isn't going to happen, and it wont be long until there's 11, 12, 13 bands in the top section. Scenario of Nitten third in the first section at the Scottish, with (for example) Dalmellington or Bo'ness near the bottom of the top section, two succesful appeals and there's a 12 band top section. That number of bands will never decrease unless a band folds.


Active Member
I can't see where the bands would come from if there were to be more bands in the championship section. There will always be bands who yo- you between sections, it happens in every area, not just the Scottish. If you were to promote more of the 1st section bands into the top section, I think it would actually lower the standard of playing in the championship section rather than strengthen it. It's a better situation to be stronger in the first section than a weak championship section band. If there were less bands in the top section it would improve standards incredibly, as bands would really need to put up a fantastic performance at the scottish to stay up. But as it stands at the minute, there are not enoughbands to put more in the championship section, if you were to realistically have every band playing at championship section standard.

Anyway, I've had my rant! Phew, I'm exhausted now, and ma wee fingers are dead sare!!!!

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