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Darren J. Ray

Posts: 3,431
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Q. Why did this game get started?

A. So that EVERYONE who wanted to take part could have their time in the sun and ‘hold the conch’, so to speak. People are welcome to host and select songs for us all to hear. Anyone who is interested is encouraged to vote and share their opinions and stories. The more the merrier. 

Q. Whose idea was it?

A. A former Blueboarder named Chris Arellano whose username was ‘Wow! Great Concert!’.

Q. When did it start?

A. February 2010.

Q. Can anyone vote?

A. If you are a registered member of this website, you are free to vote.

Q. If I vote, do I eventually have to host a week?

A. No, not at all.

Q. How do I distribute the votes?

A. Simple – Gold, Silver, Bronze & Tin. When the scorers do the figures, Gold receives 4 votes, Silver 3, Bronze 2 and Tin 1 (a total of 10 points per voter). All scores must be allocated 4, 3, 2 & 1 except in the case where a voter chooses to tie songs for a particular medal. In that instance, the scorer will take the tied medals’ points and divide them by two (or three or even four if that be the case) and allocate those equal points to the tied songs. For example, if you tie Gold and Silver as a double Gold, the scorer will add 4 + 3 to make 7 and divide it by two to make 3.5 points to those two songs (but as a voter, you don’t need to do this). No song can get more than four points. No song can get less than one point. Hence, a four-way tie for Gold gets the same points as a four-way tie for Tin, ie, 2.5 points each.  

Q. I’d like to host a week. How do I go about it?

A. During the year, I will periodically update a post, listing a schedule of upcoming weeks for people to claim. Be on the lookout for the post and jump on board!

Q. You people all seem to know so much about music. I’d feel like an idiot hosting a week.

A. Pffft! Your taste in music is just as important as the next person. And you’d be surprised how many people share your tastes or appreciate new songs and artists that you bring to the Battle. And if they don’t, what does it matter? You definitely do not need to be a wordsmith. You just need to be able to select four songs (that meet the criteria detailed below).

Q. I’ve never hosted a week. I’m a bit reluctant. Math(s) wasn’t my strong suit. Can anyone help me out?

A. ABSOLUTELY! There are plenty of helpful people on this forum. You can contact most of them (including me) by going to their profile and e-mailing them a private message. Equally, you can simply ask for help here in this forum. But you don’t need to be a mathematician to host a week.

Q. What are the criteria for a host in selecting the four songs?

A. We ask that at least one of the songs has a BW/BB connection. That connection can be strong (eg, a BW/BB song or an individual band member’s song) or not so strong (eg, a cover of a BB song). But be warned – if your connection is really tenuous, some people may cry foul and not vote in your week.

Q. What is the definition of ‘song’?

A. ‘Song’ generally means a track that was released as a recording, eg, a single, an album track. But it can be a live performance that has or has not been released commercially but is available to be readily viewed or listened to by the voters. Out of respect for Brian and other professional musicians and as a copyright concern, no bootleg recordings should be used.

Q. Do I need to have a theme for my week?

A. No. Some of the most challenging weeks are when hosts simply select four outstanding records.

Q. Are there any songs that cannot be used?

A. Yes. Currently there are nine records in the BOTB ‘Hall of Fame’ that are ‘off the table’ – ‘Good Vibrations’, ‘God Only Knows’, ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’, ‘Surfer Girl’, ‘I Get Around’, ‘Don’t Worry Baby’, ‘Surf’s Up’, ‘’Til I Die’ and ‘The Warmth of the Sun’ (all Beach Boys records). These are the annual winners of the last nine seasons respectively and have been retired from competition.

Q. Can a host select a song that has already been used earlier in the same year?

A. A recording that has been used earlier in the season cannot be used again in the same season as we cannot have the same recording appearing twice in the end of season play-offs. A same ‘song’ can be used provided it is a different recording. Recordings used in previous years can all be used again providing they are not one of the nine annual winners (mentioned above). 

Q. How can I check whether a song has been used before?

A. All previous seasons’ results are archived on this forum. The current season list (in this case, a post marked ‘Season X’) is updated every few weeks. And if the most recent weeks haven’t been listed yet, the results are obviously locatable on Page 1 of this forum. If you’re not sure, please feel free to contact me using either the ‘e-mail’ function on my profile or contact me directly at It’s always a pleasure to assist anyone.

Q. Okay, I have four songs selected. What now?

A. Try to locate these tracks on the internet, preferably on a video sharing website such as YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, etc. But be warned. Not all tracks ever recorded are on these sites and even those that are may infringe copyright and not be viewable in certain countries. Preparing to host an upcoming week, most of us already send fellow participants from other countries several clips to check whether they are viewable. (If you e-mail me, I can arrange this.) Additionally, I can put together a video clip and post it on YouTube if requested (but it may still breach copyright and be taken down). You can even choose the artwork. You want to showcase your selection in the best possible way so people will vote for it, so try to locate a clip with audio that will do justice to the song.

Q. I am hopeless with YouTube or have limited internet access. Can you help locate songs for me?

A. Definitely. I can and I know there are others here who would be only too happy to help. All you need to do is ask for help.

Q. Am I allowed to vote in a week when I am hosting?

A. Yes, you are. It’s your choice as to whether or not you vote (and when, if you do).

Q. How do the play-offs work?

A. The play-offs are five battles spread over five weeks after Week 45 has finished. 

   Each play-off consists of 10 songs instead of the regular four.

   Week 1 – Battle of the Tins (winner does not progress)

                   This is made up of:

-       the top 10 ranked songs that finished 4th place in their week

    Week 2 – Battle of the Bronzes (winner progresses to Week 4*)

                   This is made up of:

-       the top 10 ranked songs that finished 3rd place in their week

   Week 3 – Battle of the Silvers (winner and song that beat the runner-up in its original week both progress to Week 4)

                   This is made up of:

-       the top 10 ranked songs that finished 2nd place in their week

   Week 4 – The Preliminary Final (top three place getters progress to Week 5)

                   This is made up of:

-       the winner of Week 2 and the two songs that beat it in its original week*, providing they haven’t already qualified in their own right for the Gold or Silver play-offs

-       the winner of Week 3 and the two songs that beat the winner of Week 3 and the runner-up of Week 3 in their original weeks, providing they haven’t already qualified in their own right for the Gold Play-Off

-       songs ranked 8-10 of Gold winners through the year

-       any remainder to make up the 10 spots will be the next ranked Gold winners (ie, #11, #12, etc)

   Week 5 – Battle of the Golds (top three are ‘crowned’ Gold, Silver & Bronze of the year; Gold winner is retired from future competition)

                   This is made up of:

-       the top three place getters from the Preliminary Final

-       the top seven ranked Gold winners through the year


* The winner of the Battle of the Bronzes can only progress if the song that won Silver in its original week is still ‘alive’. Therefore, if the Silver winner has qualified in its own right for the Silver Play-Off (Week 3) and does not win that play-off, the winner of the Bronze Play-Off does not progress, as we have established there are several songs that voters have already deemed more popular; they being the winner of the Silver Play-Off and the song that beat that one in its original week, and the two songs that beat it (our Bronze Play-Off winner) in its original week. So it's at least 5thin the queue already. Regardless, the song that won the Gold in the Bronze Play-Off winner’s original week is re-introduced, providing it hasn’t already qualified in its own right for the Gold Play-Off.  

Q. How are the songs that make the play-offs determined?

A. The finalists for all play-offs are selected by using the following system.

    There are two tables used to rank the weekly winners in each medal category (Gold, Silver, Bronze & Tin).

     One table has all 44 weekly winners in each category listed in 'votes received' order from highest to lowest. 

    The other table has all 44 listed in 'percentage of votes received in their week' order (for the benefit of hosts who had lesser turn-outs at the polls), again, highest to lowest. 

    The songs are allocated points 44-1 down each list.

     If songs receive the same number of votes or percentage, they are allocated the same number of points. For example, if two songs received 50 votes in their week, and that was the top score for their category, they would both be allocated 44 points each. The next highest voting song would then receive 43 points (not 42 points) and so the pattern would continue down the table. 

    Each song's points are added and the top 10 is determined for each medal category.

    If two or more songs tie for the last spot in making a play-off, as per the countback system each week, the song which received the most Golds will advance. If still level, we look at most Silvers, and so on.

    We have not had it occur in the nine previous seasons of the Battle but if in determining the play-off contestants, even after a countback, songs were still tied for the last spot in the 10, I would know in advance and probably call for a quick poll (of probably 24 hours) between the tied songs before the play-off commenced.

    If, during a regular week, two songs were still tied after a countback, I would ask a fellow BW/BB fan who had not voted that week to cast their votes to break a tie.

Q. What does ‘percentage of votes received in their week’ mean?

A. Here is an example using songs marked A, B, C, & D:

    At the end of a week, these are the votes:

  A 61 votes

  B 59.5 votes

  C 49.5 votes

  D 40 votes

  Aggregate: 210 = 210 voters

  The percentage break-down, rounded off to the nearest two decimal points, would be as follows:

  A 29.05%

  B 28.33%

  C 23.57%

  D 19.05%

  Aggregate: 100%

  If the aggregate does not add up to 100%, I know there has been an error somewhere.

Q. Do you, as scorekeeper, have any say in what gets through?

A. None whatsoever. I wouldn’t wish to be involved if one person’s tastes dictated what songs qualify. We are a community with each person’s votes counting equally. The finalists are only determined by how voters voted through the year. At the end of each week, we are all worthy of 10 points - no more, no less.

Q. How do we know there hasn’t been a mathematical error somewhere along the way?

A. Each regular week, both the host and I should ‘balance’ before the totals go into ‘the book’. If we cannot figure why we are out, a third party (usually D.A.N.) can independently check the figures. When it comes to the play-offs, I am meticulous in copying the correct figures and checking them throughout the year. I believe I owe it to the hosts, and those who took the time to vote, to ‘get it right’ and repay the faith people have invested in me. Again, all percentages must add up to 100%. Anyone is free to keep track and query results with me.

Q. Can I vote in the play-offs even though I haven’t voted during the year?

A. You bet! You can choose to vote in any battle during the year. You can choose not to vote in any battle. A number of participants vote in all or most weekly battles. Others only vote occasionally.  

Q. How did such a fabulous song get relegated to Tin?

A. That’s simple. It came fourth in its week! Maybe it was a tough week. Maybe others don’t share the love!

Q. How did such an ordinary song make a play-off?

A. Again, it did well against competitors in its original week. If enough people feel the song is nothing special, chances are the song will not do well in its play-off.

Q. What if a hosts puts up a week of a mediocre BW/BB song and three absolute stinkers - surely the BW/BB song is going to sail into the Gold Play-Off?

A. Not if enough people feel so strongly that they don’t vote that week. Sure, percentage of the week is half of the equation. But if a Gold gets a low vote, it will not make the play-offs. 

Q. If a song(s) from someone’s week makes a Bronze or Silver play-off but the song(s) that beat it in its original week doesn’t make the play-offs, how is that fair?

A. The song(s) that polled better in that original week CAN still make the play-offs, even if they haven’t automatically qualified via their own score. For example, the winner of the Bronze Play-Off goes through to Week 4 – the Preliminary Final (except if the song that won Silver in its original week has also qualified for play-offs and has been eliminated in Week 3 of the play-offs). The two songs that beat it in its original week are then re-entered into the contest (if they haven’t already qualified in their own right for the Silver and Gold play-offs) and also play off in the Preliminary Final. This is to reward hosts who had super weeks. It’s unlikely but quite possible that someone may have chosen a week where their Top 3 will ultimately be the Gold, Silver and Bronze winners of the year. Without the Preliminary Final, this would not be possible (unless the final weeks of the play-offs were stacked with a lot more than just 10 songs). The winner of the Silver Play-Off also advances to the Preliminary Final as do the songs that beat both the winner and the runner-up (of the Silver Play-Off) in their original weeks unless they have already qualified for the Gold Play-Off.

Q. What does the host who picked the Gold song of the year win?

A. The distinction and acknowledgement of being the host who picked the Gold song of the year! And the congratulations of all contributors, tacit or otherwise.

Q. Can we also keep tabs on how our songs are going through the year?

A. Absolutely. Anyone is free to keep track of the scores and, at the end of the year, draw up the two tables, allocate the points and do the math(s). As scorekeeper, I could copy and paste the calculations into a post here that would reveal what songs are coming up in the play-offs. But do you really want to know what your Christmas presents are before you unwrap them? I can certainly post all calculations after the Gold Play-Off, although I would think we’re all a little battled out by that point! But if anyone wants to know all the calculations I don’t have a problem posting them here if requested (or sending privately) or answering any queries of where particularly songs finished up in the rankings. It’s your right. 

(Thanks very much to the various kind Blueboarders who helped me prepare this and offered feedback, suggestions and amendments.)

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