December 15, 2016

Oban cryptic on judging policy

The Argyllshire Gathering in Oban, Scotland, has made an unusual official statement saying that it will “cooperate” regarding the recent unanimous approval by voting members of the UK’s Solo Piping Judges Association of a new code of conduct policy that prohibits teachers from judging their pupils at their event, the Northern Meeting at Inverness, and the annual competitions at London.

+ Carried: no judging pupils at big UK events

The SPJA’s policy was subsequently approved by the UK’s Joint Committee for Solo Piping Competitions.

+ UK’s Joint Committee adopts rigid conflict policy

“The Argyllshire Gathering will co-operate with the new ruling adopted by the SPJA concerning the perceived conflict with tutors judging pupils at our competitions,” the statement from Argyllshire Gathering Piping Steward Torquil Telfer read.

But the message went on to state cryptically: “We have our reservations about how this ruling will be reflected in judging and tutoring standards in the future. In addition, it has not escaped our notice that, despite the ruling being supported and adopted at the SPJA’s AGM, there remains a nucleus of judges – including some eminent Senior judges – who do not hold with the proscriptive nature of the ruling – as they view it.”

When asked to explain what was meant by the paragraph, Telfer commented, “The Argyllshire Gathering does not wish to make further comment.”

The original statement continued, “We, in the past, felt that it was incumbent upon us to select benches of three Senior judges who in a 2-to-1 decision would mitigate any bias in the prize list. It is the bench, after all, which awards the prize – not the tutor . . .



  1. The senior judges doth protest too much, methinks. Are you kidding me? Who are these esteemed adjuidicators who think it is reasonable to judge and give prizes to their students. Give you effin head a wee shake.



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