1. In the following rules, the words ‘Contest Management’ shall relate to the Organising Committee of the British Open Brass Band Championship Limited. Any reference to the masculine shall include the feminine, and the interpretation of the following Rules shall be decided by the Contest Management, such decisions to be final.
2. These Rules will apply to all Contests run under the auspices of the British Open Brass Band Championships.
3. Entries to the British Open, Grand Shield , Senior Cup and Senior Trophy Contests shall be limited to brass bands from the British Isles and countries from Europe by invitation or qualification, the Commonwealth ie. Australia, New Zealand, Canada and other countries as determined from time to time by the Contest Manage-ment.
4. Contests are open to bands composed of standard brass band instruments, with a maximum of 25 brass players plus percussionists as required and a conductor. No player shall play more than one brass instrument during the performance of the test piece. The conductor may not play an instrument with the band they are conducting.
5. All Trophies won at any contest are to be signed for and returned at the end of twelve months, with the
exception of certain Trophies marked clearly in the Contest programme ‘to be retained’.
6. The Contest Management reserves the right to change these Rules, the date or venue (with suitable notice given) and to limit the number of entries when necessary. Interested Bands will be notified of any changes.
7. The Contest Management cannot be held responsible for damage to, or loss of, any band / personal property nor for any personal injuries whilst attending any event. All venues used will carry insurance, to comply with statutory requirements.
8. The Contest Management shall issue invitations to any contest at least three months before the date of the relevant Contest, and acceptance forms must be returned to the Contest Management within three weeks, together with the required fee. Invitations will be issued on the following basis;
a) THE BRITISH OPEN The British Open list shall include all the Bands which competed at the previous year’s competition, excluding the two ‘demoted Bands’. These will be replaced by two ‘promoted Bands’ from the previous Grand Shield Qualifying Contest (Bands placed 1st and 2nd). Demotion from The British Open is defined by adding together the aggregate placing for the last two years. The two Bands with the highest aggregate will be demoted. If after the aggregate has been collated more than one band shares the 2nd demotion place, the band which is placed lowest in the current year’s contest will be deemed the one to be demoted. In the event that a band refuses the invitation or are unable to accept the invitation they will automatically be demoted to the following year’s Grand Shield, but will not necessarily be replaced by a band from the Grand Shield in that year.
In addition to the list stated above, contest management will consider the invitation of the highest placed European band from the previous year’s European Brass Championships. In the event that the invited European Band becomes British Open Champion they will be invited back the following year, and this will result in a second European Band receiving an invitation to that year’s British Open competition. If the same band in that year is also the highest placed band in the previous year’s European Brass Band Championships, then in this situation only one European band would receive the invitation.
b) THE GRAND SHIELD QUALIFYING CONTEST list shall include the two demoted bands from the previous British Open Championship, plus the bands which competed at the previous year’s competition less four demoted bands. These will be replaced by four promoted bands from the previous year’s Senior Cup Qualifying Contest (bands placed 1st 2nd 3rd & 4th). Demotion from The Grand Shield is defined as the last four lowest placed bands in current year’s contest. Bands who refuse the invitation may be replaced by the highest placed demoted band from the previous year’s competition. If this rule is implemented it may result in more than twenty bands competing in the contest, and if this occurs the number of demoted bands will be increased by the total number of bands in that year’s contest over twenty.
c) THE SENIOR CUP QUALIFYING CONTEST list shall include the four demoted bands from the previous year’s Grand Shield Qualifying Contest plus the Bands which competed at the previous year’s competition, less four demoted bands. These will be replaced by four promoted Bands from the previous year’s Senior Trophy Qualifying Contest (Bands placed 1st 2nd 3rd & 4th). Demotion from The Senior Cup is defined as the last four lowest placed bands in current year’s contest. . Bands who refuse the invitation may be replaced by the highest placed demoted band from the previous year’s competition. If this rule is implemented it may result in more than twenty bands competing in the contest, if this occurs the number of demoted bands will be increased by the total number of bands in that year’s contest over twenty.
d) THE SENIOR TROPHY QUALIFYING CONTEST list shall include the four demoted bands from the previous Senior Cup Qualifying Contest plus the bands which competed at the previous year’s competition, less six demoted bands. These will be replaced by five bands from the current qualifying contests listed below plus one other invited band. Demotion from The Senior Trophy is defined as the last six lowest placed bands. The six relegated bands will be excluded from invitation for a period of 12 months, unless they re-qualify by entering one of the qualifying competitions. Bands who refuse the invitation may be replaced by the highest placed demoted band from the previous year’s competition. If this rule is implemented it may result in more than twenty bands competing in the contest, when this occurs the number of demoted bands will be increased by the total number of bands in that year’s contest over twenty.
Current Qualifying Contests.
Brass in the Wire, Bolsover Festival of Brass Contest, Fife Charities, Welsh Open, and Wychavon Festival of Brass Contest.
e) The Contest Management reserves the right to increase or decrease the numbers in each section as and when required. The Contest Management’s decision is final
9. Registration. Your band is automatically registered when an invitation to the British Open series is accepted. We will provide your private online registry access details upon your acceptance of the invitation. The Open Registry guidance and tutorials, together with the Administrators contact details can be accessed from our web site www.thebritishopen.net. The Administrator will answer queries and offer assistance whenever required.
9a. All competing players must be registered with your band in the British Open Online Registry. Full name, date of birth and a recent photograph must be included in the register.
9b. Players having competed in the British Open with band (a) and subsequently competed with band (b) at the following Spring Festival will be prohibited from competing with band (a) at the following British Open,
9c. If a substitution is required the Contest Management must be informed as soon as possible.
10. The ‘Order of Play’ for the Contest shall be by ballot to be held at least one hour before the published starting time. Each band shall be invited to send a representative to attend the Draw who will act on its behalf in all matters arising during the Draw. If a band is not represented at the Draw an official shall be empowered to draw for them
10a. Split Draw (Spring Festival only)
Newly promoted and demoted bands adopt a place within the split draw previously occupied by the band that they replace in the relevant contest. The first and second half bands rotate annually.
The two bands demoted from the British Open will take the allocated draw for the bands that they replace in order of merit in the Grand Shield.
Bands drawn 1 to 10 in that year’s draw will be allocated a draw in the second half of the following year’s Spring Festival for the contest for which the draw takes place.
Bands drawn 11 up to 20 will be allocated a draw in the first half of the following years Spring Festival for the contest for which the draw takes place.
Promoted and relegated bands will take the allocated draw for the bands that they replace in order of merit in the relevant contest.
Newly invited bands into the Senior Trophy will take the place of the 6 demoted bands placed 15,16,17,.18,19,20 in the alphabetical order of the invited bands A = 15 etc.
For example, where 17, 18, 19 relegated and 1, 2, 3 promoted. Promoted 1 placed band placed band replaces relegated 17 placed band Promoted 2 placed band replaces relegated 18 placed band Promoted 3 placed band replaces relegated 19 placed band
11. In the event of a Bandsman being unable to compete owing to family bereavement or illness or any other unforeseeable reason, a medical certificate or documentation as requested by the Contest Management must be produced covering these eventualities as soon as possible prior to the commencement of the contest. Providing that in the opinion of the Contest Management there is a bona – fide reason for the request, an application may be made for a deputy Bandsman (same instrument) from the band Drawn to play immediately before the Band whose player is unable to appear. The band playing before shall agree to provide this player, the instrument and music.
12. If the band making application is drawn No.1 in the first half of the draw then the relevant player from the band Drawn to play last shall in that half of the draw provide this substitute. If the band making application is drawn first in the second half of the draw then the relevant player from the band Drawn to play last shall in that half of the draw provide this substitute The bandsman acting as deputy must not make any request for payment for their service and no such payment may be made by any official concerned.
13. The band Drawn number one shall assemble for registration no less than 15 minutes before the scheduled time for the commencement of the Contest. The band will be informed of any ‘Registration Irregularities’ and will be advised of any consequence i.e. possible objections or possibility of disqualification. The same registration procedure will apply to subsequent bands.
14. Bands may request to escort the Adjudicators to the “Box” to check that the arrangements for their complete seclusion are adequate.
15. The band Drawn number one will commence the day’s proceedings by playing the first verse of the National Anthem. Each subsequent band will be required to commence its performance as soon as possible after the Adjudicators have indicated that they are ready.
16. The Adjudicators decision will be announced as soon as the Contest Officials have collated them.
The Adjudicator’s decision is final.
17. Prize - money shall be despatched 14 days after the Contest. Any protest regarding the infringement of these Rules must be made in writing to the Contest Management within 7 days from the Contest date. A deposit of £10.00 must accompany the letter. This will be refunded if the objection is upheld. The Contest Management reserves the right to adjudicate on any protest. Prize Money involved will be withheld until protest adjudication is concluded.
18. The Contest Management shall be authorised to withhold any awards where any member, official or conductor of a contesting Band has been involved in conduct considered prejudicial to the reputation of the Contest or to be in breach of these rules. Any person concerned will be subject to disqualification and / or suspension from entry into Contests held under these Rules for a period of time to be decided by the Contest Management.
19. Any matters arising at a contest which are not covered by the above rules shall be dealt with by the Contest Management whose decision will be final.
20. Discipline and Penalties
Any member, player, official or conductor of a contesting band may be subject to disqualification and/or forfeiture of prizes and/or suspension from the Contest in the event of the following:
Rules: Breach of these Rules, or failing to comply with the conditions set forth in the contest schedule, entry form and the non-return of trophies.
Etiquette: Behaving in a manner deemed liable bring the good name of the contest into disrepute, including but not limited to offensive and provocative statements during the contest or online regarding contest management, adjudicators and officials,
These Rules & Conditions supersede any previously issued by the Contest Management and are effective from 1st May 2021.
The organisers of the British Open welcome any constructive suggestions which will always be considered.