National Championships of Great Britain - The Luck of the Draw: 1968-2003

4-Oct-2004

We've been trawling through the record books once more and have updated those types of details that keep your Band Secretary awake at night with nightmares. Yes – the draw.


If you thought having an early draw meant the end of your chances at the Open then you'll won't be glad to hear again that it's much the same picture when it comes to the National Finals as well.

We've gone back to 1968 and fed the results of each contest into our computer - and you don't need to have a degree in rocket science to tell what the results were. If you want to win, then get a draw in the last third of the contest; you can just about kiss your hopes goodbye if you are drawn number 1 or 2.

We've also had a look at the bottom six results for the past 17 years, and surprisingly they make interesting reading, as they don't really conform to what we have come to expect. It seems that just about every number of the draw has had the misfortune of being placed down with the dead men in the last few years so that will be of no comfort to you at all.

Last year saw a top six that read draw numbers: 19, 11, 12, 3, 2, and 17, whilst the bottom six came from numbers 7, 1, 14, 5, 4 and 20. What will be the lucky and unlucky numbers in 2004 then? 


Top 6 Positions at the National Finals 1968 2003

Draw

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

6th

Total

1

 

2

1

 

3

2

8

2

 

1

3

1

2

1

8

3

1

 

2

1

2

2

8

4

 

2

1

1

1

1

6

5

1

1

1

1

1

 

5

6

2

1

2

1

 

1

7

7

2

1

1

1

1

1

7

8

2

5

2

 

1

1

11

9

3

2

2

1

2

 

10

10

 

 

1

3

3

 

7

11

2

3

2

2

4

3

16

12

4

3

2

1

1

3

14

13

1

3

 

3

3

1

11

14

4

2

2

2

2

2

14

15

2

2

1

3

2

 

10

16

1

1

2

3

 

5

12

17

4

 

3

3

3

4

17

18

2

 

4

1

1

 

8

19

4

4

1

4

1

2

16

20

1

3

 

3

 

2

9

21

 

 

2

 

 

1

3

22

 

 

 

1

 

 

1

23

 

 

1

 

1

 

2

24

 

1

 

 

 

 

1


So the hard facts are these:

Numbers 1, 2, 4 and 10 have never won the top prize in the past 35 years, and we believe from our records that you have to go back to 1910 for a performance from either number 1 or 2 to win, when Fodens won off the number 2 spot.

Fodens did win from the draw number 4 - but back in 1932, so that's not much better and Fodens won again off number 10 in 1953. The first quarter of the draw (1-5 as there are now 20 bands at the contest each year) has only produced two winners since 1970, when Fodens won off number 5 in 1999 and Desford won off number 3 in 1991.

The best draw seems to be around numbers 11 17, which has seen 18 winners since 1970 and no less than 14 runners up.

At the moment the very best draw seems to be number 17, which has produced 17 top six prize winners since 1968.

Being drawn last really isn't that good as number 20 has just the one win in 1990 and three second places. Just 9 times has the number set up the band for a mention off the stage.

As for the worse number of the lot? Well it's definitely number 5, with just 5 top six finishes in 31 years with a best of 1 win in 1999 and 1 second place. Beware.

This is the complete breakdown:

Number 1: No Wins: 2 Seconds (1978, 1990): 1 Third (1979): 3 Fifths (1982, 1996, 2002): 2 Sixths (1993, 2000)

Number 2: No Wins: 1 Second (1977): 3 Thirds (1987, 1995, 1997): 1 Fourth (2001): 2 Fifths (1968, 2003): 1 Sixth (1984)

Number 3: 1 Win (1991): 2 Thirds (1981, 1985): 1 Fourth (2003): 2 Fifths (1973, 1988): 2 Sixths (1976, 1988)

Number 4: No Wins: 2 Seconds (1984, 1990): 1 Third (2002): 1 Fourth (1986): 1 Fifth (1993): 1 Sixth (1980)

Number 5: 1 Win: (1999): 1 Second (1994): 1 Third (1982): 1 Fourth (1971): 1 Fifth (1995)

Number 6: 2 Wins (1981, 1997): 1 Second (1989): 2 Thirds (1986, 1996): 1 Fourth (1969): 1 Sixth (1985)

Number 7: 2 Wins (1972, 1973): 1 Second (1998): 1 Third (1993): 1 Fourth (1996): 1 Fifth (1974): 1 Sixth (1978)

Number 8: 2 Wins (1968, 1975): 5 Seconds (1979, 1982, 1985, 1993, 2000): 2 Thirds (1970, 1992): 1 Fifth (1972): 1 Sixth (2001)

Number 9: 3 Wins (1978, 1983, 1993): 2 Second (1975, 2002): 2 Thirds (1973, 1977): 1 Fourth (1987): 2 Fifths (1981, 1985)

Number 10: No Wins: 1 Third (1969): 3 Fourths (1976, 1981, 1994): 3 Fifths (1975, 1989, 1997)

Number 11: 2 Wins (1969, 1988): 3 Seconds (1968, 1995, 2003): 2 Thirds (1978, 1999): 2 Fourths (1970, 1983): 4 Fifths (1986, 1992, 1995, 1998) 3 Sixths (1977, 1989, 1997)

Number 12: 4 Wins (1970, 1986, 2000, 2001): 3 Seconds (1976, 1983, 1988): 2 Thirds (1971, 2003): 1 Fourth (1975): 1 Fifth (1984): 3 Sixths (1972, 1982, 1992)

Number 13: 1 Win (1979): 3 Seconds (1970, 1997, 1999): 3 Fourths (1978, 1984, 1992): 3 Fifths (1976, 1990, 2000,): 1 Sixth (1996)

Number 14: 4 Wins (1984, 1989, 1998, 2002): 2 Seconds (1971, 1981): 2 Thirds (1972, 1990): 2 Fourths (1977, 1985): 2 Fifths (1983, 1999): 2 Sixths (1974, 1987)

Number 15: 2 Wins (1974, 1976): 2 Seconds (1972, 1992): 1 Third (2000): 3 Fourths (1980, 1991, 1995): 2 Fifths (1978, 2001)

Number 16: 1 Win (1971): 1 Second (1974): 2 Thirds (1980, 1998): 3 Fourths (1972, 1982, 1989): 5 Sixths (1973, 1975, 1983, 1986, 1994)

Number 17: 4 Wins (1982, 1985, 1992, 1995): 3 Thirds (1975, 1983, 1984): 3 Fourths (1973, 1993, 1997): 3 Fifths (1979, 1980, 1987): 4 Sixths (1998, 1999, 2002, 2003)

Number 18: 2 Wins (1987, 1996): 4 Thirds (1974, 1988, 1994, 2001): 1 Fourth (2000): 1 Fifth (1977)

Number 19: 4 Wins (1977, 1980, 1994, 2003): 4 Seconds (1973, 1986, 1987, 1996): 1 Third (1968): 4 Fourths (1974, 1979, 1988, 1990): 1 Fifth (1991): 2 Sixth (1969, 1995)

Number 20: 1 Win (1990): 3 Seconds (1980, 1991, 2001): 3 Fourths (1998, 1999, 2002): 2 Sixths (1979, 1981)

Number 21: No Wins: 2 Thirds (1976, 1989): 1 Sixth (1991)

Number 22: No Wins: 1 Fourth (1968)

Number 23: No Wins: 1 Third (1991): 1 Fifth (1969)

Number 24: No Wins: 1 Second (1969)


The Bottom 6:

Not as bad as you may have first thought. Certainly having an early draw doesn't help, but overall coming down in the basement list isn't confined solely to number 1 5.

The worst culprit are in fact numbers 7 and 8, which has meant your band coming in the relegation zone on 8 occasions in the past 16 years, so don't seem too pleased with yourselves when your Band Secretary comes back brandishing one fat lady in his pocket.

The list however makes interesting reading, not just for the fact that the filed of competitors has now been reduced in the past ten years from 23 bands to 20.

The Bottom 6: 1987 - 2003

Position and Draw Number

Year

No of bands

23

22

21

20

19

18

17

16

15

14

13

2003

20

 

 

 

7

1

14

5

4

20

 

 

2002

20

 

 

 

3

7

2

12

18

6

 

 

2001

20

 

 

 

9

19

5

7

3

17

 

 

2000

19

 

 

 

 

5

7

17

4

14

16

 

1999

20

 

 

 

10

8

16

7

15

18

 

 

1998

20

 

 

 

12

9

15

13

8

19

 

 

1997

18

 

 

 

 

 

16

4

3

15

7

5

1996

19

 

 

 

 

17

8

5

11

2

12

 

1995

19

 

 

 

 

12

13

1

4

9

14

 

1994

20

 

 

 

13

7

20

8

4

15

 

 

1993

21

 

 

3

11

19

2

16

5

 

 

 

1992

19

 

 

 

 

7

9

3

10

19

1

 

1991

23

9

14

22

8

11

18

 

 

 

 

 

1990

23

18

11

22

5

6

10

 

 

 

 

 

1989

22

 

3

9

18

8

17

15

 

 

 

 

1988

19

 

 

 

 

1

2

15

17

7

16

 

1987

19

 

 

 

 

13

7

6

8

16

1

 

In the past 16 years the following draw numbers have come up these many times in the bottom 6:

Number 1 5 times
Number 2
4 times
Number 3
6 times
Number 4
5 times
Number 5
7 times
Number 6
3 times
Number 7
9 times
Number 8
7 times
Number 9
6 times
Number 10
2 times
Number 11
4 times
Number 12
4 times
Number 13
4 times
Number 14
4 times
Number 15
5 times
Number 16
5 times
Number 17
5 times
Number 18
5 times
Number 19
3 times
Number 20
2 times
Number 21
0
Number 22
2 times
Number 23
- 0

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