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About the Rankings

Since the world rankings were first established on 4barsrest and then British Bandsman, they have become one of the biggest talking points in banding. So how do they work?

Naturally, they haven't been met with universal approval, but we are delighted with the overall response to them and that they are now considered the 'Official' World Rankings in many quarters, including with some high-profile contest organisers.

How it started

The system was initially developed using contest results between 1994 and 2001, with the major contests from 1990 being used as the reference point to help us establish an initial top 50, upon which subsequent rankings would be based. Without going into too much mathematical detail, at the heart of the system are the results of the following contests with the approximate current (May 2015) value of the prizes in brackets.

  • National Championships of Great Britain (500 for 1st, 333 for 2nd, 222 for 3rd down to around 0.25 for 20th)
  • British Open (450 for 1st, 300 for 2nd, 200 for 3rd down to around 0.7 for 17th)
  • European Championships (450 to around 5 for 12th)
  • All-England Masters International (60 to around 0.2 for 15th)
  • Brass in Concert (350 to around 6 for 11th)
  • Scottish Open (80 to around 0.3 for 16th)
  • Grand Shield (100 to around 0.05 for 20th)
  • Regionals (Championship section 1st prizes range between 12 and 120 depending on the relative strength of each area. Prizes awarded to all sections)
  • National Championships outside UK (Championship section 1st prizes range between 3 and 60 depending on the relative strength of each nation, prizes awarded to all sections)
  • Other contests reward up to 7 prizes ranging from 0.3 to around 20 points for the winners, again depending on the relative strength of the field.

Generally...

As a general rule, there is a relationship between the overall strength of the competing bands at any contest and the value of points available there. These are calculated as that event's proportion of the overall strength of the strongest contest, currently the National Final at the Royal Albert Hall. The points awarded always diminish through time with today's points being worth exactly double last year's, 4 times the year before last, 8 times the year before that etc…

It is a dynamic system and we admit that it may not be easy to understand the workings of it, but we hope that the inclusion of the World Rankings in 4barsrest.com enhances your enjoyment of the site and that it provides your band with encouragement and motivation to compete at as high a level as possible.

We look forward to continuing to receive your comments/criticism on the system, which will always attempt to answer, eventually.



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February 24 • Enderby Band are looking for a SOLO TROMBONE to join us after the Area Contest. We are a hard-working and sociable band and are looking for a committed player to fill a key seat. We have a sensible mix of concert and contests throughout the year.


West Somerset Brass Band

February 23 • West Somerset Brass is looking to strengthen its cornet and baritone section. We are a community band playing all over Somerset and hope to undertake a tour to France later in the year. If you can play whatever standard please make contact


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February 22 • Having now been promoted to the 2nd Section for the forthcoming Contest season, the band are now looking for a back row cornet player, 2nd or 3rd, to join our team


James Chamberlain

BMus (Hons) PGCE
Conductor, Teacher