February 28, 2009

Australian RSPBA judges claim compliance with score sheet request

pipes|drums has learned that the three Australian judges on the RSPBA’s approved “international” panel – Brian Niven, Nat Russell and Sam Young – contend that they were in full compliance with the association’s request to provide samples of their band score sheets from judging assignments at contest within their home organization.
The three judges contend that the Australian Pipe Band Association received a request on November 30, 2008, asking for samples of score sheets from local contests. They go on to say that the samples were faxed to RSPBA Executive Office Ian Embelton on February 2, 2009, and that Embelton then confirmed receipt of the fax on February 11, 2009, along with notification that none of the three had been assigned to any RSPBA major championships.
A statement from the Australian judges says, “It is important to note, that [the notification of November 2nd] is the first request to come from the RSPBA asking for copied critique sheets, since we had been appointed to the RSPBA’s Adjudication Panel in 2005. This correspondence did not stipulate time lines.”
The group goes on to quote Embelton’s correspondence to them:
“I acknowledge receipt of your Fax dated 2/2/09 enclosing copy critique sheets and confirm these have been forwarded to the Adjudicator Management Board.
“I should advise you that the Championship and Competition allocation has already taken place and you have not been allocated any adjudication duties at RSPBA events in 2009.”
The group says that Embelton or the RSPBA has not responded to their requests for a reason why no contests were allocated to them
“Since all requests from the RSPBA have been complied with, one can only assume there is some other reason why none [their emphasis] of the International Adjudicators have been allocated for 2009.”
pipes|drums has asked Embelton to comment on the matter, but has so far received no response.

According to a source within the RSPBA, the discussion at the November 2, 2008, Adjudicators’ Panel meeting “was about conditions which the home associations of the international adjudicators were required to comply with each year, which were agreed when the new international adjudicators were appointed in 2005. The whole business seems to have got out of all proportion.”
The Adjudicators’ Panel meeting, at which the enforcement of the score sheet policy was decided, was chaired by Convenor Jim Hutton, with Malcolm MacKenzie acting as vice-convenor and Joe Noble recording secretary.
The following RSPBA judges allegedly attended the meeting:
Tom Brown, Denver Cardwell, David Clark, Annie Grant, Dixie Ingram, G. Lawrie, Iain MacLellan, John McCarlie, Robert Mathieson, John Nevans, Alan Ronaldson, A. Sloan, R. Shaw, Bob Shepherd, Harry Stevenson, Jim Semple, I. Simpson, Peter Snaddon, I. Wood, Alistair Aitken, D. Brown, Gordon Craig, Grant Craig, J. Drysdale, J. Dunlop, H. Finlay, W. Goodall, J. Robertson and S. Steele.
Among other judges who did not attend the meeting were Jim Baxter, J. Campbell, Trevor Dear, Ronnie McShannon, John Moles, Ciaran Mordaunt, Gordon Parkes, Winston Pollock, John Wilson and Andrew Wright.
According to the judging allocation table that the RSPBA publicly disclosed on February 11th, Jim Hutton has been assigned to four championships, Malcolm MacKenzie to three and is on reserve for the other two, and Joe Noble has been assigned to four of the majors.
The Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario, the home association of Greg Dinsdale, Ken Eller and Bob Worrall, the three other international judges affected by the decision, has said that no request to provide sample score sheets was received from the RSPBA.


  1. How can the Pipe Band world send a firm message of disdain to the RSPBA for their numerous and continued actions which seem to disregard, and flow completely contrary, to the opinion of their own membership and the global piping community?

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