Published: October 10, 2006

Do the hustle

I’m always amazed at piping and drumming judges flying all over the place, especially those who have a non-piping/drumming job. I can see getting to a judge a high-level event with stellar playing, but so many contests are made up of lower-grade competitors, one after another, all day, with largely the same problems to critique. It’s hard work and the pay is usually not much of an incentive.

But obviously to each his/her own. Go for it, and maybe using up vacation time to judge is satisfying to some. If I ever retire from work, I’m sure I’ll change my tune.

What really amazes me, though, are judges who actually go out and advertise their services and availability to events and associations, hustling judging gigs. Seriously. This happens. Again, to each his own, but that’s just a bit unseemly. It’s like a competing piper asking to be invited to a contest. It’s not the way it works. Invitations to competitions, whether to competitors or judges, are based on excellence and reputation, no?

Sure, eager and available judges should make sure that events and associations know how to reach them. But they should also wait for the call. I’d be really suspicious of a judge who tries to hustle up judging jobs. It speaks volumes.

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