When Guaya United raised the T&T Super League trophy on Tuesday night, it was the culmination of a season of tension, struggles, and rebounding that ultimately led to joy.
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NCBA stands by results
In the face of mounting disapproval of the 2014 Band of the Year (Large) results, National Carnival Bands Association (NCBA) chairman David Lopez is adamant that the results are official and final. The results, announced on Ash Wednesday on the NCBA Web site, revealed that Neal & Massy Trinidad All Stars won the coveted title, portraying Sailors Ashore at a Tropical Fiesta. Yesterday, Lopez said many bands were disqualified by the NCBA for infringing the rules of the competition. He added: “The rules of the competition are on our Web site for everyone to see. The process is very independent and not under the purview of the NCBA, but strictly for the judges to make determinations.” The rules are contained in a 31-page document. One of the rules is that participating mas bands could lose 50 per cent of their points if revellers did not wear full costume on Monday.
Bands can also be disqualified for having anyone under the age of 18 playing in the band. Lopez said: “When bands registered, they paid money to the bank for the category they wished to compete in, and got an electronic card upon doing so. “Before it is printed and handed over, they must sign to indicate that they understand and shall abide by the rules. “I cannot pinpoint which band broke which rule. That is a question for the judges. Under the rules bandleaders can no longer manipulate the system as the competition is no longer under the control of just one man. “The rules of the competition are precise, transparent and clear and the NCBA assumes that everyone who signed on to participate in the competition understood them and would adhere to them.” National Carnival Commission (NCC) chairman Allison Demas confirmed her organisation had received a letter from attorneys representing Ronnie & Caro, and added, “We expect to get another letter from the attorneys for Rosalind Gabriel. The NCC shall forward both to the NCBA. “Attorneys for the NCC will advise us on what, if any, action the NCC can take to resolve this matter, bearing in mind that this is an NCBA competition subject to NCBA rules and regulations.”
Ronnie: We played by the rules on Tuesday
Most vocal in challenging the results is Ronnie Mc Intosh, leader of Ronnie & Caro, whose presentation River Come Down copped the Downtown Band of the Year title but failed to make it among the top six in the competition organised by the NCBA. Mc Intosh said, “I am waiting on my attorney to know the next step to take, but I am taking this thing down to the wire. “NCBA is saying that we went off route on the Monday. We are baffled, because we didn’t know Monday mas is connected to Tuesday mas. In the past, Monday mas has not affected Tuesday’s parade. There are not supposed to be any mandatory rules for Monday. “But we adhered to the rules of the route on Tuesday. Everything was in order on Tuesday—the route, the time we spent on stage, everything; we stuck to the rules of the competition.”
Passion leader: I saw it coming
Also commenting yesterday, Mas Passion leader and T&T Carnival Bands Association (TTCBA) chairman Gerard Weekes said, “I predicted that Trinidad All Stars would win Band of the Year.”
He had felt so because All Stars competed on both days in full costume. “I took the time and read the rules properly and stuck to them,” said Weekes. “The 31-page document contains several rules, all critical to the Band of the Year Competition and the parade route. The NCBA reserves the right to change the rules at its discretion. “Apparently most bandleaders didn’t read the document carefully. Mere days before Carnival, bandleaders rushed and signed the rules. “One of the rules was that you could lose 50 per cent of the points if your band didn’t wear full costume on Monday. All the bands in separate costumes on Monday could have been disqualified. “Many bands also didn’t know that points awarded on Monday were added to their Tuesday presentation. That, too, was in the rules. “You could also have been disqualified if you had anyone under the age of 18 playing in your band. “Bands could have also lost 50 per cent of their points for any route violation.”
Against the rules
NCBA reserves the right to disqualify bands if:
• The registration requirements have not been met or were submitted after the deadline.
• Untruthful, inaccurate or misleading information has been supplied.
• The band, its bandleader and or its producer fails to abide by the rules or the applicable procedures and requirements regarding stage performance.
• Band members and/or its bandleader exhibit behaviour that is dangerous to themselves or to the other participants.
• The band fails to appear for its stage performance.
• The band fails to compete in full costume on both Carnival Monday and Tuesday.
• The producer fails to amend the registration form as to the size of the band and then the band appears in the competition with a different size of band.
• The band fails to comply with the strict time restrictions regarding stage performance at the Queen’s Park Savannah judging venue.
(Source: NCBA Web site)