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Following a review of this year’s British Firework Championships, The Event Services Association (TESA) which organises the event, is considering amendments to the rules for future years with the aim of providing competitors better feedback on their displays. Discussions are also taking place about extending the event to three days.

In future, the Association plans to amend the way scores are judged at the end of the competition. Under the current system the individual scores of judges are collated and averaged. This aggregation process is undertaken independently by the adjudicators.

Under the new system, while the judges will continue to score each display, it is proposed that they should  sit around a table to discuss and finalise scores with the adjudicators at the end of the second night. The points would continue to be aggregated. One proposal is that in future each competitor would be sent a report after the event giving their aggregated scores for each element as well as a benchmark average or maximum score for comparison purposes.

Scores are currently given for the range of products used, the rhythm of firing, the originality of the design and the overall effect as well as site layout, rule adherence, sportsmanship, consistency with original declared firing order, crew competence and compliance with deadlines. As part of the proposals, the marks for these elements would be explicitly defined within the rules, which each competitor signs up to.

While it is intended that the new system would provide competitors with better feedback from the event, TESA is concerned that the judges should not be put in a difficult position. Hence no identification of the individual judges’ scores would be allowed and the judges bound by a confidentiality agreement.

TESA is currently inviting comments from the industry on this proposal before implementing changes in the rules for 2014.

The Association is also in discussion with Plymouth City Council about changing the dates of the event to a weekend in future and possibly extending it over three nights to allow competitors a wider firing area.

The Association is inviting feedback from the industry on these proposed changes by 14th October. Comments should be sent to TESA would also welcome any other suggestions for improving the competition.

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