March 03, 2016

RSPBA members to vote on consultative judging trial

The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association’s annual general meeting at the Trades Hall in Glasgow on March 12th will enable member bands to decide two proposals that could be fairly contentious.

The first is a move for a “Consultative Pilot Scheme” that would see adjudicators at two major championships to have the option “to confer during the contest where it is deemed appropriate and conducive to the adjudication process, e.g. dealing with performance anomalies, unexpected incident, clarify any pertinent instrument or performer issues or a build-up of multiple performances evident of a similar standard in the lower half of the assessment spectrum.”

The proposal stresses that such a pilot “should only be exercised as an OPTIONAL [RSPBA’s stress] extension to the current recognised adjudicator duties and adjudicators should not lose sight of the requirement of the panel delivering an individual result from each adjudicator in his or her nominated discipline.”

Currently the organization disallows judges from discussing any performances with each other before their final result is submitted and the event is complete.

In contrast to the system used for several years by the Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario, which was abolished by members that voted at its 2013 AGM, the RSPBA scheme would see casual dialog during the actual competition event. The PPBSO system called for a 15-minute consultation period between all judges at the completion of all performances.

The second proposal recommends that adjudicators’ scoresheets be created in triplicate so that the judge him/herself can retain a copy. Currently RSPBA sheets are in duplicate, one copy kept by the association and the other going to the competing band.

There is no explanation so far as to why a third copy is needed, but at least one RSPBA insider, who asked to remain anonymous, surmised that it would be so that the judge could more effectively answer questions from competitors after an event.

The association had reportedly wanted to trial the consultative judging scenario at two major championships in 2015, but delayed implementation until a member vote could be taken.

The RSPBA permits one vote from each of its member bands either in-person or by official proxy.





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