The organisers of the British Open Spring Festival have revealed to 4BR that they are to consider making innovative changes to future draws at the Grand Shield, Senior Cup and Senior Trophy contests.
A spokesperson told 4BR: "We are very aware of the financial costs that competing at the Festival can impose, especially on bands that have to travel to Blackpool and stay overnight. We are therefore considering a number of proposals to introduce either segmented or split draws with the bands notified well in advance."
4BR understands that the most radical of these proposals would see a rolling year on year draw in each section, with bands in the first half of the draws in 2012 (1-10) automatically being placed on the second half for 2013 (11 – 20).
The process would be reversed the following year with those drawn 11 – 20 in 2013, set to play in the first half (1-10) in 2014 etc.
A draw would be made on the day of the contest to decide what exact draw number in each half would be taken by each competing band.
Promoted and relegated bands will take the allocated draw for the bands that they replace in the relevant contest (for 2013, the bands relegated from the British Open this year will take the draw numbers of Grand Shield qualifiers Hepworth and Beaumaris)
The six new bands in the Senior Trophy will be allocated the draw position of the bands that they replace. This will be decided by using alphabetical order as determined by the Contest Management in the order of the placing of the replaced bands.
Other ideas are also being considered such as the possibility of a segmented draw (much like the All England Masters), to try and help competing bands in their financial as well as musical planning for the contest weekend.
I would urge representatives to contact me, so that we can work together to enhance the growing popularity of the Spring Festival in the years to comeFrank Hodges
However, Contest Controller Frank Hodges told 4BR that no decision will be made without consultation from the competing bands at the 2012 Festival.
"We want to hear from as many competing bands as possible to find out their thoughts and opinions. Any proposals are being considered to help bands as best we can to compete at the Spring Festival.
I would urge representatives to contact me, so that we can work together to enhance the growing popularity of the Spring Festival in the years to come."
Frank Hodges can be contacted at:
Telephone: 01942 703217