Download the Rules (PDF)
(updated October 2017)
For distribution to: Teams, Venues, Judges, Committee Members.
The objective of the National Twelve Bell Striking Contest is to promote excellent ringing on twelve bells. The contest shall be held annually and the winning band awarded the Taylor Trophy.
- Contest Dates
Eliminators shall be held on the 4th Saturday in March and the final on the 4th Saturday in June. Variations (e.g. for Petertide or local circumstances) shall be notified via the Ringing World and contest website at the earliest opportunity.
- Venue Selection
A defined rotation around the weight groupings of bells will be followed where possible. (The Weight Band List.) Eliminator towers will be of roughly the same weight as each other and that of the bells for the final. There will be geographical clustering of eliminator towers whenever possible.
- Entry Qualifications
4.1 Applications shall be invited from centres at which twelve bell ringing is organised and practised. No centre may enter more than one team.
4.2 The closing date for entries to the contest shall be the Friday, nine days before the December committee meeting.
4.3 A list of potential participants shall be submitted to the committee by the advertised deadline. Each team member must have current and regular association with the centre they represent. No ringer may represent more than one band in any year’s contest. The committee may accept or reject entries. Subsequent changes must be submitted to the secretary not less than two weeks before an eliminator or final.
4.4 A confirmed band list must be provided to the nominated committee representative on the day of the contest. Any band which includes names not previously approved by the committee will be disqualified.
- Allocation of Teams
5.1 If an entry is received from the team hosting the final, that team, provided it has also entered the previous three contests, will be granted a bye into the final.
5.2 The committee shall allocate teams to eliminators at its December meeting by drawing lots, seeking to include an equal number of teams (not exceeding nine) in each eliminator. Teams will be seeded based on previous contest performances. An equal number of teams from each eliminator shall qualify for the final. The number of teams in the final shall not exceed ten.
5.3 Teams will be drawn into pots (A, B and C) representing eliminators but with no venue being assigned. (If the eliminator venues are not geographically clustered, the committee will then attempt to assign venues to each set of teams in order to minimise travel distances.) Teams representing host towers will be assigned to the eliminator at their home tower.
5.4 Nine teams will be seeded by taking the average placing of bands from the previous 3 years’ contests.
5.4.1 three teams will be seeded at each eliminator
5.4.2 seeds will be divided into three groups (1, 2 & 3; 4, 5 & 6; 7, 8 & 9). If two teams have the same seeding score, the result from the most recent contest will prevail.
5.4.3 one team from each pot will be drawn at each eliminator
5.5 Following the draw of the seeded teams, the remaining teams will be drawn and assigned to eliminators in strict rotation.
5.6 Team withdrawal from eliminators will not normally trigger a re-allocation unless the distribution of teams is significantly unbalanced, in which case the committee may seek to negotiate a re-allocation taking into account timing, seeding and practice arrangements. Team withdrawal from a final will result in its place being left vacant.
- Practices at Contest Venues
6.1 Host towers are asked to offer a list of available practice slots in the two months prior to the Contest. Teams will be allocated one 90-minute practice slot each by the host tower.
6.2 Practices shall not be allowed closer than the Sunday 13 days before the contest (though they can be on that Sunday).
6.3 During the period from the draw to the contest, non-host teams and individual team members shall limit the amount of additional ringing they do at any contest venue over and above their usual contribution to the above 90-minute practice.
7.1 The committee shall appoint the chief judge for each contest at its September meeting.
7.2 The chief judge, in consultation with the chairman, shall be responsible for selecting judging panels for the eliminators and the final. Judging panels shall be considered for ratification by the committee at its December meeting.
7.3 A person may not normally be appointed chief judge for either the final or an eliminator unless they have previously been a contest judge. The judging panel for a contest final shall normally consist of those who have previously judged at an eliminator.
7.4 The committee shall provide written guidance to judges. (‘Judges’ Notes.’)
7.5 The chief judge may recruit assistant(s) to undertake administrative tasks at the contest.
7.6 Judges’ decisions at any stage of the contest are final.
- Draw at Contest Venues
8.1 The draw shall take place at the time advertised in the Ringing World. All teams will be entered into the draw whether or not they are complete. Each team will be allocated a 30 minute slot starting on the hour or half-hour.
8.2 If a band is not complete when it is time for their team to start their test piece it will be disqualified. If a band is complete in time to ring the test piece and is prepared to forfeit their practice and rope adjustment time they will be allowed so to do.
- Interruption of a Contest
9.1 If a clapper falls out or a rope breaks the fault will be repaired, if possible, and the competing team will be allowed to start their competition slot again from the beginning. No change will be made to the running order and the starting times for the following teams will be adjusted accordingly.
9.2 In extreme other circumstances, if a team is interrupted, their band representative should talk to the committee representative in charge of the contest who will make a reasonable decision. In the event of an irreparable mechanical failure or permission being withdrawn every effort will be made to re-arrange the contest through consultation with the committee and teams. Any team unable to be present on the new date will have their entry fee refunded.
- Instructions for Conductors and Stewards
10.1 Each band will have approximately 30 minutes in the ringing room starting on the hour and half-hour.
10.2 Bands are asked to assemble at the entrance to the tower stairs at 15 or 45 minutes past the hour as appropriate.
10.3 The steward will escort the band up the stairs so that they may enter the ringing room as soon as the previous band has set the bells and take the previous band downstairs.
10.4 Each band must be in the changes of the test piece by 15 or 45 minutes past each hour as appropriate. The signal to the judges will be two whole pulls on 1,2 (i.e. 1-2, 1-2, 1-2, 1-2) rung any time after 10 or 40 minutes past each hour and immediately before starting the rounds that precede the test piece.
10.5 Rounds are not judged. It is the conductor’s responsibility to ensure that the touch is in changes by the correct time and bands will drop a place if they do not comply. Teams are asked to minimise the rounds at the end of the test piece and to leave the ringing room promptly.
10.6 The time from entry to the ringing room to starting the test piece may be used by the bands to practise as they wish. Practising must not start before the hour and half-hour.
10.7 The conductors will be briefed after the draw to ensure they understand the above procedure.
- Composition of the Committee
11.1 The contest shall be planned and organised by a committee which shall be convened annually immediately following the contest and which shall serve until the conclusion of the subsequent contest. The committee will meet three times a year: immediately following the presentation of the results at the final; on the first Sunday in September; on the first Sunday in December.
11.2 Each of the centres of ringing represented in the final of the contest and the centres holding the highest placed runner-up position in each eliminator contest shall be entitled to appoint one representative to the committee. A centre may change its representative at any time by giving notice in writing to the secretary. Each member of the committee shall have one vote.
11.3 A chairman, normally a committee member, shall be elected annually at the committee meeting following the contest and shall be eligible for re-election.
11.4 The committee shall appoint a secretary who shall not be a committee member and who shall not be entitled to vote at committee meetings.
11.5 The committee shall appoint an archivist who, if not a committee member, shall not be entitled to vote at committee meetings.
11.6 The committee may appoint a Strikeometer coordinator who, if not a committee member, shall not be entitled to vote at committee meetings.
- Role and duties of the committee
12.1 Committee members should be prepared to attend three committee meetings each year; carry out additional tasks as agreed at committee meetings in support of the work of the committee; accept joint responsibility with the other committee members for ensuring a successful contest; accept that committee membership involves a responsibility to the Exercise and for the success of the contest, not just the band that they represent; support and promote the work of the committee in the ringing community.
12.2 The committee shall decide the venues and test pieces for all contests; arrange the dates of each contest in consultation with host towers; maintain a plan of venues for future years; invite entries to the contest from centres of 12 bell ringing; review entries from bands for compliance with contest rules; allocate bands to eliminator contests through the drawing of lots and the use of seeding arrangements; approve the accounts annually and determine the contest entry fee; manage the budget including the cost of engraving and insuring the Taylor Trophy and other necessary administrative expenses; maintain an archive of the contest; publish detailed procedures and guidance on the administration of the contest; develop the contest, to ensure its continued success and quality; carry out surveys of bands and undertake research to ensure effective decision-making; make such decisions that are required to ensure a successful contest.
12.3 The committee shall have the power to vary these rules only by a decision of a majority of those eligible to vote.