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Judging at Competitions

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.. Judging at Competitions

Post by wee_fee-Fee on Wed 6 Feb - 11:43:32

I would be interested to see everybodies views on this.

We all know that Judges have their preferences and their biases, both personel, national and commercial. Pick your grade and you can find examples throughout the past.

What do you all think if the RSPBA went to a panel of judges and throw out the high and low scores. To have enough judges to fairly adjudicate the Worlds, G1 needs to be on its own day. This way RSPBA could utilize their entire judges panal to adjudicate G1.

I believe it would help for RSPBA to expand the panel, to recruit, train and certify more judges. This would not be easy, but sometimes you've got to take the bull by the horns. They have made efforts in this regard and it needs to be given a high priority. Hopefully RSPBA is using nearly every qualified, available Scottish judge each year. If so then they need to look elsewhere to expand the panel. This will be difficult. For example, there are probably only 1 or 2 Americans, that would even be "potentially" qualified to judge an RSPBA G1 band contest. However the effort to get more "foreign" judges has to be pushed hard. RSPBA should be able to get qualified judges out of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the USA.

Maybe the RSPBA needs the Judges to have cards....1-10 and be required to publically hold them up to the public audience. Immediate scrutiny would stop, better then reviewing score sheets in the beer tent or 5 days later on the web.

Also who things the qualifying round is fair? It may be necessary but is it fair?


Last edited by on Wed 6 Feb - 20:47:33; edited 2 times in total
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wee_fee-Fee
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.. Re: Judging at Competitions

Post by wee_fee-Fee on Wed 6 Feb - 11:45:21

Haha thats my rant for the morning. laughing Pint
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.. Re: Judging at Competitions

Post by janelle on Wed 6 Feb - 13:20:54

As sounds great in theory Fee. I can see a couple of problems. I'm surmising here, but I'm would think qualified judges here would have day jobs, so money would be an issue. Enough to warrant a lengthy stay in the UK.
If the best judges from Australia, New Zealand and other countries were in the UK for the season, wouldn't that have a detrimental affect on the local scene.

I find the qualifying system confusing and obviously don't know enough about it to comment.
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.. Re: Judging at Competitions

Post by Heilan Mary on Wed 6 Feb - 14:23:32

Very good points Fee. The judging system is what is commonly known as pants. The point you made about making the Grade 1 being on its own day might not go down well. The public for a start wouldnt want to go and spend the extra money on an extra day for the Worlds and neither would the RSBA I dont think. The lower grade bands might feel segregated and unimportant with not being in Grade 1 and not playing on the same day. I dont remember what the position was in Grade 1 in previous years with the Qualifying round. In a way that is a waste of time and I think they should just let all the Grade 1 bands compete as normal like they do for the other majors. They probably would get more Scottish judges or judges from other countries around the circuit in years to come, with playing members retiring, etc. At Cowal for the dancing the judges come from all over the World as it is the World Championships and they to need the Qualifying sections as there are so many dancers.
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.. Re: Judging at Competitions

Post by wee_fee-Fee on Wed 6 Feb - 14:56:27

janelle wrote:As sounds great in theory Fee. I can see a couple of problems. I'm surmising here, but I'm would think qualified judges here would have day jobs, so money would be an issue. Enough to warrant a lengthy stay in the UK.
If the best judges from Australia, New Zealand and other countries were in the UK for the season, wouldn't that have a detrimental affect on the local scene.

I find the qualifying system confusing and obviously don't know enough about it to comment.

Bands arrive early and are required to perform in a qualifying round which takes place in the morning. The top bands at the end of the qualifying round play in a second event in the afternoon to determine an aggregate winner. To win, Grade One bands must perform in two events, a March, Strathspey & Reel event (known as a "set" or "MSR") which consists of three pre-arranged tunes, and a Medley event, which consists of a short selection of music chosen and arranged by the band. The rules for the medley contest are very open, requiring only a minimum and maximum time frame (between 5:30 and 7 minutes) and a minimum of different time signatures that must be played.

Correct me if I'm wrong but I think its the top six bands who were placed at the Worlds pre qualify for the next year. That therefore means that those bands can turn up at the park around 12. Other bands have been playing in the pissing rain and up from god knows what hours. We were first band to compete a couple of years ago at 9.00am in qualifiers. George Shepherd made us be at the park for 7am to soak in the atmosphere. We were there before the burger vans lol.

re. adjudicators -

The National Council appointment 7 new International Adjudicators to its Panel of approved Adjudicators., in 2004 when new arrangements were announced at the International Conference, held the day after the World Pipe Band Championships, which were designed to attract interest from suitably qualified and experienced Adjudicators from the RSPBA’s Affiliated Associations.

The new process encouraged the Affiliated Associations to nominate individuals who met the RSPBA’s Adjudicator demanding entry criteria and responsibility was placed on the RSPBA Adjudicators’ Training Group to ensure that the training of those nominated met RSPBA standards.

Each adjudicator was required to undertake training/development sessions at RSPBA Headquarters conducted by the Adjudicators’ Training Group in August 2005, either during the week prior to the World Pipe Band Championships or the week before Cowal Games. They also shadow-judged in large grades at the World Championships and/or Cowal Games in tandem with the official adjudicators to gain experience of the RSPBA system and of adjudicating grades with large numbers of bands. Some were also involved at the North Berwick and Bridge of Allan contests prior to the World Championships.

Greg Dinsdale from Canada is one drumming judge who seems to make an appearance over here very often. The RSPBA should be pushing this training programme. In my opinion its a good step.
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.. Re: Judging at Competitions

Post by janelle on Thu 7 Feb - 8:19:36

Thanks Fee, it makes alot more sense now. I was unaware that it was the placings in the previous Worlds that determined Pre-qualifying. Which is why it never made much sense.
Any alternative that I can think of, create their own problems. Except perhaps not having pre-qualifying and making every band work both ends of the day.

I agree that recruiting judges in this way sounds like a great step. Each country would then nominate a suitable person who is willing and able to make the required commitment.
Actively training people in any occupation, not only ensures they have the required skills, but brings everyone working at a similar level, hopefully helping eliminate personal quirks.
Of course I can only generalise in my opinion, having had no experience with majors at all. :D
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.. Re: Judging at Competitions

Post by Gordy88 on Thu 7 Feb - 16:59:37

Excellent thread Fee,

In my opinion, the whole thing needs an overhaul,

1. Bin any judge who makes his living from the piping game, shepherd, McAllister, Chesney, whoever, sorry but, i did a post the other day about the approximate costs for NI bands, every band has huge costs, no matter where they are from, Judging must not only be clean, but be seen to be clean

2. Standard of judges, there are too many judges standing judging a grade who have never played anywhere near that level, even at their peak, i personally know one drumming judge, who highest was a few years at grade 2 level, he got selected because there was no one else, i'm not saying that you need to be as good as anyone in FMM or Shotts in order to judge them, but you wouldnt pull some drunk out of a pub to referee the cup final.

3.. qualifyed judges, I am currently doing the RSPBA courses, it takes 5 years or so, then i have to do the adjudicators course as well, it covers, PIbroaugh, or however that horrible noise is spelled, it cover piano keys, and the grand staff, etc, a lot of stuff that has no relevance to piping, i'm seriously thing of packing it in.

4. If someone has done it at the highest level, they should be able to do a series of dummy run tests, and let it be compared to the average of the other judges,

5. Case in point, our wee Stormy, played in the best band of the time, how many times did he win the worlds,? SPPB of the late '80s were fabulous, does anyone presume to tell me that thet likes of stormy couldn't make a fist of judging a competition?, try if you like, hope you dont mind swearwords.

6, Finally, at the worlds, make it a 2 day event, Grades juv, nov juv, 4a, 4b, maybe 3b and all drum majors n the Saturday, 3a, 2 and 1 on the Sunday something like that,

That frees up judges, and RSPBA can up the ticket price a wee bit, and the ticket does you for when ever you want. And people can see and hear more bands.

The one thing that really p1sses me off is the arrogance of some judges, the Worlds is recorded and sold. Do some of these numpties not realise how much of an arse they are making of themselves by getting it wrong all the time?

Don't believe me? have a listen to the Grade 1 qualifying cd, and then look at the placings on the rspba website, it is a disgrace, i do go on a bit about some of the American bands cashing in their airmiles, but when you listen to that particular cd you will be well aware of what i mean.

Cheers
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