August 12, 2006

Unqualified disaster

While those not at the contest know of the massive spreads between the two piping judges in the Grade 1 qualifying contest at the World’s, it occurs to me that those actually on the field probably don’t yet know the details.

Good thing. If they did, there might be a riot.

Here we go again. Judges being so far apart that it boggles the mind. Yes, yes, it’s all subjective, but come on. This is the World Pipe Band Championship, and if judges can’t be reasonably close in their opinions, then what hope is there? If there must be only four judges (there should be at least twice that number), then they must be allowed to discuss their thoughts before they put in a final mark.

But they’re not allowed, and so another fine mess and another year of second-guessing and bitter grousing will help people all winter nurse their wrath to keep it warm.

Here’s a prediction: if this problem is not solved – either by expanding the panel, or re-introducing consultative judging – even more non-UK bands will opt out of the 2007 World’s than the 60 per cent of North American bands that stayed home this year. It’s just way too much effort and money to commit to such a questionable process.





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