May 31, 2004

PPBSO judges seminar puts sensitive issues on the table

While many may have rather been enjoying the glorious spring day, approximately 30 members of the Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario’s panel of adjudicators met indoors in Campbellville, Ontario, on May 28 for a five-hour think-tank at which numerous issues were openly discussed.

Among the issues was the PPBSO’s new score sheet system for amateur solo piping events that calls for judges to place only the top six competitors, and assess every participant in terms of how they performed in context with the standard of the grade.

The various nuances of the new system were discussed, occasionally under a lively debate. The section was led and moderated by Bob Worrall. Ultimately, those in attendance gained a clear understanding of the system, and the PPBSO decided to make small adjustments to elements of the new score sheets.

The seminar also included a spirited discussion of judges’ conduct and decorum, with the segment led by Andrew Berthoff. The PPBSO’s Code of Conduct for Judges was highlighted, as well as other issues, including teacher-student situations, judging and not judging immediate family, proper attire, and even beer tent sensitivities were brought in to the open.

“While the day was a seminar for judges, it was really all about the competitors,” said Berthoff. “As piping and drumming judges, we need to remember that it’s the competitors whose interest we need to look after. The more open and frank discussion that can happen, the better aware we can be of the sensitivities of pipers, drummers and bands.”


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