[r-t] Proposed definition of a peal

Richard Smith richard at ex-parrot.com
Thu Aug 7 12:28:29 UTC 2008

Matthew Frye wrote:

> The solution (a solution) to this is to basically 
> remove artificial limits and let people ring what they 
> want, and leave it up to them to decide what they believe 
> is worth ringing and what isn't, if they believe that what 
> they are ringing is worthwhile, then i can see no reason 
> why anyone else should be able to put limits on it, and if 
> they want to ring something they view as not worthwhile 
> then that's their time to waste.

I'm agree with Matthew, Don and Peter on this.  Personally, 
I have no problem with someone ringing minimus with 12 
covers, though I wouldn't agree to participate.

I think the way forward is to make the basic definitions as 
liberal as possible: allow (and define) jump changes; allow 
multiple covers and other sorts of non-changing bells; allow 
5016s of minor or 5039s of triples.  I'd even say allow 
cylindrical if I thought we could write consistent 
definitions that dealt with the interactions between 
cylindrical and jump changes.

However, the basic definitions aren't everything, and 
there's still space to layer a some value judgements on top 
of them if they are desired.  We then introduce a section 
called 'Recognition' or something.  (And I don't feel that 
we should beat around the bush with a wooly term like 
'unanalysable' or 'unclassifiable' or anything.  If we want 
to retain any sort of value judgement, let's be open about 

The 'Recognition' section, would then a list of 
proscriptions.  For example,

   The Central Council does not recognise peals which

    a) jump changes;
    b) more than multiple non-changing bells; or
    c) more than 42 consecutive blows in one place.

or whatever is desired.  Note the language: the decisions do 
not say that they are not peals -- I don't believe the CC 
should have the authority to make such a pronouncement -- 
merely that they are not recognised.  We can still require 
the PAC (or whoever that is these days) to analyse and 
record unrecognised peals.

This is probably also the place to note that peals must be 
rung on bells (if that's desired), that bells must be rung 
by the same ringer throughout (again, if desired), and so 

This has several advantages.  As and when the decisions are 
liberalised/tightened, all that is required is to 
remove/add proscriptions from/to the list.  The basic 
definitions will not need modification.

It is also (to my mind) a much cleaner approach: we start 
with a very broad set of definitions that allow (almost) 
anything, and we then explicitly disallow things which are 
specifically felt to be of less merit.  This is in contrast 
to the existing decisions that start from the premise that 
nothing is legal and then list things that you can do in a 

More importantly, this also means that it is possible to 
present a menu of possible proscriptions to the Central 
Council.  Potentially, you could produce a long list of 
proscriptions that reproduce the effect of the current 
decisions, and allow the meeting (not a Committee) to select 
which it wants to see ratified.

That way, if the result is that jump changes are not 
recognised, it is because the Council have explicitly, 
unamiguously, knowingly voted not to accept them, rather 
than because they have been presented with a convoluted 
definition set of definitions which together outlaw them.
I think people would be more inclined to accept the 
Council's view on what should be recognised if they felt 
that Council members actually understood the implications of 
what they vote to accept / not accept.

Finally, presenting a list of choices to the CC involves 
them in the process, which I suspect is more likely to make 
them accept a major rewrite to the decisions.


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