You hear it all the time. Everyone seems to agree on it. Everyone seems to want it. Everyone thinks that more judges for pipe band contests would make the results fairer.
So why doesn’t it happen?
The typical configuration at a decent contest is two piping, one ensemble- and one drumming. Remarkably, non-Major RSPBA contests have only one piping and one drumming. Even with the four-configuration, that’s quite a bit of power that each judge wields.
Ten judges would be more like it. Doug Stronach at the PPBSO Adjudicators Seminar in May that, whatever the number, each judge should assess ensemble as well. I think that this approach makes sense.
And with 10 judges comprising five pipers and five drummers and each putting down a mark for both piping/drumming and ensemble the result would be equitable.
But, back to the question, why not? Two reasons: associations and contests aren’t willing to pay for it or can’t afford it, and associations simply don’t have enough certified judges to do it.
But, with some planning, it could be done at certain events. The World’s and Maxville would be good starting places. Everyone seems to want it, so let’s find a way to do it.