August 31, 2004

RSPBA reportedly prepared to make World’s judging more international

The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association has reportedly decided to make judging at the World Pipe Band Championships more international in flavour, with adjudicators’ nationalities more representative of the overall band entry’s countries of origin.

According to sources, some 20- to 30-percent of judges at the World’s, starting in 2005, will be from non-RSPBA organizations. World associations will be asked to have judges interested in adjudicating at the World’s submit an application.

The source also said that the RSPBA is aiming to have judges who are unaffiliated with competing bands.

The RSPBA in 2004 expanded its judging at the World Championships to include more judges from Northern Ireland, but has actually reduced the number of Canadian judges since 1987, going from five RSPBA-approved adjudicators from Ontario to only two in 2004 – Bob Worrall and Ed Neigh.

The organization has been criticized in the past for not expanding the scope of its judging at the World’s. In 2003, all of the eight judges for the Grade 1 final events were from Scotland. In 2004, the RSPBA reportedly had every one of its available judges for a major competition on hand at the World’s.

The move to make judging more international has been in the works for several months, and was part of a presentation by the RSPBA at the organization’s annual post-World’s meeting with non-RSPBA associations.

“If this actually happens, it’s a bold step forward for the RSPBA,” says one insider requesting anonymity. “Non-Scottish bands have really made the World’s the different event that it is today, and it’s only fair that the judging reflects the nationalities competing.”


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