Solo Judges Announcement

This press release has been received from the
Solo Piping Judges’ Association
Additions to Judges’ List: Murray Henderson – senior judge, Michael Grey (Canada) – approved judge, Logan Tannock – approved judge.
The updated list is attached (see below), and will be posted on the CPA website.

Change to Senior Judge Criteria
A change has been made that a new senior judge will judge with experienced colleagues for the first year. This recognises that even the most successful senior player may not have fully developed some of the qualities needed for judging.

Changes to Approved Judge Criteria
The first change here is that senior judges will now be consulted about any possible change from approved to senior judge. The second is that new applicants who otherwise meet the criteria but who have been away from the piping scene since stopping competing, or who do not have sufficent judging experience, should not judge at senior competitions until they have gained experience and kept a log of judging assignments. Colleagues with whom they have judged will be consulted before a decision is made about judging at major events.

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Changes to Recommended Practice for Judges
The area here causing most concern for judges and pipers has been conflict of interest. After due discussion and debate the guidance has been changed. The previous guidance was that a judge should not judge relatives or pupils. If this was not avoidable, the judge should declare interest and not take a leading part in discussion.
The new guidance is as follows

Conflict of Interest
The judge should not accept an assignment when it is known in advance that pupils or relatives will be competing.
If judging a pupil or a relative occurs, interest must be declared to fellow judges. Judging should then take place as normal.
The main change here is that judging should take place as normal after conflict of interest has been declared. It also recognises that it is not always possible to avoid conflict of interest, and that judges are confident that a fair judgement is made in such situations.

The full statement on recommended practice is attached, together with the rules of the new association:
Solo Piping Judges Association
• To form monitor and maintain a list of approved and graded judges deemed capable by an elected committee of peers of judging major solo piping competitions.
• To represent the interests and views of these judges to competition promoters and the Competing Pipers Association.
• To participate in and to organise training seminars for judges.
The judges whose names are on the existing list of judges maintained by the Joint Committee for Judging will be eligible to become members of the Association. Payment of a nominal fee (initially of £10/person) is requested to cover yearly expenses. This may be waived from time to time. This list will form the initial list of this Association. New applicants for membership to the list will apply in writing to the secretary. New applications will be considered by the general committee, in consultation with others if necessary.

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General Committee

The General Committee will be responsible for running the business of the association and annual review and maintenance of the judges list. Chairman – senior judge in both categories; Secretary – preferably a senior judge in at least one category; Treasurer (may be ex officio). Three representatives two of whom will be senior judges in both categories. Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer maximum term five years, re-elected annually. Appointed by nomination and election if more than one nominee. Representatives serve a three year term, appointed in rotation after nomination and election if more than one nominee.

Categories of judges

Senior Judge
Most likely to have competed successfully at the highest level with continuity over an extended period of years, able to demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the music, and with experience of judging. Eligible to judge any level of competition, but to judge with experienced judges at major competitions in the first year of acceptance.

Approved Judge
Those knowledgeable and experienced and having had notable success in competition, amateur or professional, but not necessarily at the highest level. Eligible to judge at any level of competition, but in major events should be accompanied by a senior judge or judges.
Upgrade to senior judge status is possible after an approved period, further experience having accumulated from a suitable number of judging assignments at major events. Senior judges to be consulted in the assessment of this.
New applicants who otherwise meet the approved criteria but who have had an extended break from the competition scene, and/or who have insufficient experience of judging may not judge at major competitions.
They may judge at major competitions only after a suitable period, subject to the approval of the general committee based on reports from those with whom they have judged,and a log of judging assignments undertaken.

Recommended Practice for Judges

Judges must show integrity at all times and individual judges must respect the confidentiality of the bench.
Conflicts of Interest
The judge should not accept an assignment when it is known in advance that pupils or relatives will be competing.
If judging a pupil or a relative occurs, interest must be declared to fellow judges. Judging should then take place as normal.
Feedback to Competitors
Judges should be willing to give comment on a performance when asked by a competitor. Critique sheets should be written for graded B, C, and junior competitions if supplied and requested by competition officials. At least one sheet from a joint bench should be written.

Willingness to Judge with others
Judges should be willing to judge with any other judge on the list.

Complaints about Judges
Complaints from competitors should be made in writing by the CPA, or directly by players not in the CPA, to the chairman of the judges committee, who in the first instance should investigate and raise the matter verbally with the judge concerned in order to try to resolve the issue. If this fails then the matter will be handled by the general committee as appropriate. Complaints by one judge against another judge should be made to the chairman of the Judges Association General Committee.

Public expression of views
A judge who wishes to express views in the media concerning a competition he or she has judged should state that the views are personal and not those of the panel judges.