RSPBA finally makes statement at AGM on international judges issue
After more than a month of silence on the matter, the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association made its first public statement on the suspension of six of its “international” adjudicators after the RSPBA alleged that the judges and/or their home associations failed to provide sample copies of score sheets from competitions that they judged on their home ground.
RSPBA Chairman Kevin Reilly in a prepared statement defended the position of his organization, maintaining that the RSPBA advised judges and their associations of the need to provide sample sheets, including stipulation in 2004, when four of the judges in question went through the accreditation process, that sample sheets would need to be forwarded in an ongoing manner.
The judges affected are Brian Niven, Nat Russell and Sam Young of Australia, and Greg Dinsdale, Ken Eller and Bob Worrall of Ontario. All six judged RSPBA events regularly since 2006 and, in the case of Worrall, since 1989.
Reilly said to the audience at the AGM that review of scoresheets from all RSPBA judges is conducted every year. He contended that, when it was realized at a November 2, 2008, meeting of RSPBA judges that the international judges were not in compliance they were advised of the matter “within 24 hours,” but that sample sheets were still not received.
Reilly maintained that a letter outlining the compliance requirements was included when the RSPBA sent its form to determine each judge’s availability for 2009 competitions on December 15, 2008. He said that still no sample sheets were provided.
It was stressed at the AGM that none of the judges have been “banned” from the RSPBA’s panel, and only “held in suspension” until the judges provide sample scoresheets and are approved to continue judging after their review. The Australian judges have contended that they did fax copies of sample scoresheets before the 2009 allocation of judges was made.
Both the Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario and the Australia Pipe Band Association have said that they received no official correspondence from the RSPBA advising them that sample sheets would be required ongoing.
Despite several requests, the RSPBA has not responded to pipes|drums’ invitation to the organization to provide its perspective on the matter.