[r-t] Philip's new Decisions, including Wiki page

Philip Earis pje24 at cantab.net
Sun Aug 3 12:05:56 UTC 2008

"Anyway, following your suggestion I will come up with my own slimline "Decisions" sometime in the next week.  It should at least be a basis for people to see where I'm coming from"

Graham: "I look forward to it"

OK, in the couple of hours following ringing this morning I've now prepared what I think the current Decisions from sections (D) to (G) should be. 

I have copied these below, and also created a page on the Ringing Wiki at http://bellringers.org/ringwiki/index.php/NewDecisions

The key points are:

- I've tried to reduce constaints to the lowest common denominator.  My only real constraints that I've put into the peal section are requirements for "true permutations".

- The guiding principle I've tried to incorporate into the method section is that the Decisions should classify what can be done, not say what it permitted.  I've explicitly included this in a preamble.

- Less is more.  I've really tried to go "back to basics", rather than tweaking the existing framework (my main criticism of the Norwich Axioms). I've tried to prune all the value-judgements from the existing Decisions.  My version is only 24% of the length of the existing Decisions. I regard this as a very good thing.

- I also feel that my version should be a lot more accessible to the general "ringer on the street".  The current Decisions are needlessly complicated, dense and technical. 

- I feel no consistent rules on extension are possible, so I've basically chopped everything, with an important proviso. Interestingly in the existing Decisions on authorship of compositions, there is the text "...it is impossible to devise a comprehensive set of rules which shall be equally applicable to all methods and yet free from the imperfection of being too lax when applied to some methods, and too stringent in the case of others..." - I was sorely tempted to reuse this verbatim!

- A new thing I've done is to remove all reference to cover bells, etc.  This leads to lots of mess in the existing Decisions.  Fundamentally, if something is rung with a cover I've come to think that this should be explicitly mentioned in the notation. This also makes my decisions much more consistent and elegant. Whilst formally this would lead to very few peals of "caters" etc being rung, the method would formally be reclassified according to the rules.  The common name wouldn't need to change though, and the existing pages of "triples" principles, etc in the Decisions could be preserved.
- Slightly against my better judgement, I've preserved including the  class of the method in its title.

Of course, there are bound to be some things that need attention and changing here. However, I think these convey what I'm trying to get accross about a simpler, fairer and more elegant framework. Comments are very welcome - please try to keep the volume down a bit though.  I don't want to get into the situation where people are simply shouting tired arguments at each other, without adding anything genuinely constructive or new.  I want to avoid the possibility that people "drown" in this thread due to too many messages - this has at times been a bit of a risk recently. 

(D) Peal Ringing

A. Conditions required for all peals

  a.. A peal shall consist of either:
- At least 5000 different rows

- A round block containing an integer number of extents, plus a true part-extent. 

  a.. A peal shall be rung without interval.
  b.. No unfair assistance shall be given to any ringers by any person not ringing in the peal.
  c.. The use of physical aids to memory in conducting and ringing is not permitted.
  d.. Any shift or error in ringing shall be corrected immediately.
  e.. Compositions in more than one method shall be called 'spliced'. Peal reports shall state the number and names of all methods separately, and the number of rows rung in each method.

B. Record length peals

The Record Length Peal in a method or group of methods on a given number of bells shall be the longest length complying with the Decisions on Peal Ringing. Tower bell and handbell records shall be kept separately.

Record Length Peals of 10000 or more rows must comply with the additional conditions below:

(a) Not less than 14 days' notice shall be given in The Ringing World, stating the place, date and hour at which the attempt is to be made, and stating the method, number of bells and number of changes proposed to be rung. A copy of the notice shall be sent to the Peal Records Committee.

(b) The ringing is to be heard and the figures of the composition to be checked throughout the peal by a competent umpire or umpires.

(c) If a record length is rung the peal report and the figures of the composition, if not previously published, shall be sent immediately to the Chairman of the Peal Records Committee.

(d) For handbell peals, arrangements shall be made for interested persons to be able to hear the attempt.

Any objection which may be taken to a peal other than one with respect to the truth of the composition, shall be raised in writing to The Ringing World. Objections that may be received should be considered by the Central Council on a case-by-case basis, and judged against reasonable expectations for what a peal is.

(E) Methods

A. Preamble

The sole purpose of these Decisions on methods is to accurately and consistently classify what can be rung. Where new peals complying with the conditions above are rung, it is the duty of the Methods Committee to ensure that the details are recorded, and these Decisions altered where necessary to provide a consistent framework for so doing.

B. Definitions

A row is a permutation on the number of bells being rung. Each bell rings once and only once in each row.

A method is defined by the places made between successive rows of its plain course, which shall be a round block, divisible into at least two equal parts

Bells which are in the same position at the beginning of each lead are known as hunt bells, unless they remain in the same position throughout the lead. Bells which are not in the same position at the beginning of each lead are known as working bells.

A call is a means of altering the places made between two consecutive rows in a method. It is not part of the definition of the method.

C. Classification of methods

(a) A well-formed path is one in which the hunt bell has the same path if it is rung backwards and is symmetrical about two places made half a lead apart.

(b) In Plain methods the hunt bell has a well-formed path and strikes two blows in each position of the path within the lead.

(c) In Treble Dodging methods the hunt bell has a well-formed path, strikes more than two but the same number of blows in each position of the path within the lead and makes only two places within the lead.

(d) A Principle is a method with no hunt bell.

Further to the above, a number of historical conventions exist about further classifications of methods. 

(a) Place methods are Plain methods in which the path of each bell consists only of hunting and place-making.

(b) Bob methods are all other Plain methods.

(c) Treble Bob methods are Treble Dodging methods in which the hunt bell dodges in only one position, or that have no internal places made at any cross section.

(d) Surprise methods are Treble Dodging methods in which at least one internal place is made at every cross section.

(e) Delight methods are all other Treble Dodging methods.

(f) In Treble Place methods, the hunt bell has a well-formed path, strikes the same number of blows in each position of the path within the lead and makes more than two places within the lead.

(g) In Alliance methods, the hunt bell has a well-formed path, but does not strike the same number of blows in each position of the path.

(h) In Hybrid methods, the hunt bell does not have a well-formed path.

C. Classification of methods with two or more hunt bells

Each hunt bell is either a principal hunt or a secondary hunt. The properties (a) to (e) are considered in turn and the paths of the hunt bells are examined until a hunt bell is found whose path has that property. 

(a) Plain hunting; (b) Treble Dodging; (c) Treble Place; (d) Alliance; (e) Hybrid

Methods with two or more hunt bells are classified using the definitions and classifications for methods with one hunt bell but with reference to all the principal hunts.

D. Nomenclature

The stage names for different numbers of changing bells are:-

4 Minimus, 5 Doubles, 6 Minor, 7 Triples, 8 Major, 9 Caters, 10 Royal, 11 Cinques, 12 Maximus, 13 Sextuples, 14 Fourteen, 15 Septuples, 16 Sixteen, etc.

(a) The title of a method shall consist of name, class(es) (except for principles), and stage. An up-to-date collection of rung methods shall be kept and published by the Methods Committee of the Central Council, and made freely available. The collection should be available ordered by method class.

(b) A method may not be given a name if the title (excluding the Stage) would be the same as a method in a different class on that same stage.

The band that first rings a peal complying with the Decisions on Peal Ringing of a new method (or includes a new method in a multi-method peal) shall name the method according to the conventions above, and publish it in The Ringing World. The Council has the authority to change the name if it considers a pressing reason makes this necessary.

E. Method Extension

It is acknowledged that no consistent set of rules about extending a method onto a higher stage can work in all cases. When naming a new method, a band is encouraged to only use the name of an existing method in the same class on a lower stage when it will be generally agreed that there are sufficient similarities in the methods to justify this. The Council retains the authority to change a name in the published method collections where this is not the case.
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