Two Top Officials Resign Their Positions Within RSPBA Adjudicators’ Panel

Two leading office bearers within the RSPBA’s Adjudicators’ Panel have resigned over a dispute involving another member of the Panel.

8241971918_b5ac7993bf_mConvenor John Wilson (left) and Vice Convenor Joe Noble, both senior and widely respected figures in the pipe band judging community, stood down following disagreements between the Panel’s Management Board and one their newest judges, P/M Ian Duncan.

Details of what the disagreement is about have not yet been made public but it is understood that following a series of written exchanges Mr Duncan resigned and is now taking legal advice on the matter.

wee-joeIt is important to stress at this time that these recent difficulties will  not in any way compromise the upcoming pipe band season. Both Mr Wilson and Mr Noble (left) will continue as members of the Panel and as adjudicators – but without office within the management group.

They will be on duty at their alloted contests for the 2016 season including those for the major championships already published by the RSPBA. For example Mr Wilson will judge the Grade 1 piping at the UK Championships in Belfast and Mr Noble, an adjudicator for both drumming and ensemble, will be on duty in Grade 1 at the Scottish Championships at Dumbarton.



Under Mr Wilson and Mr Noble’s guidance, and that of Panel Secretary P/M Robert Mathieson, the Adjudicators’ Panel have forged ahead with new ideas such as consultative judging – trialled last year and planned for this year at the European Championships at Forres and the British at Belfast. More details on this in the latest issue of Pipe Band Magazine.

P/M Duncan on adjudicator training last year
P/M Duncan on adjudicator training last year
P/M Duncan had recently completed his adjudicator training. He has a long and distinguished career in pipe bands. He has taught scores of young pipers over a  40 year period and took his band Vale of Atholl to third place in the Worlds largely with pipers all taught by himself. The loss of such an experienced and knowledgeable Pipe Major to the pipe band judging community would be considerable.

ian embeltonRSPBA Chief Executive Ian Embelton issued this statement to Piping Press: ‘All the work of the Adjudicators’ Panel, all the training, has been completed in good time for the 2016 season. All that remains to be done is one final Adjudicator Information Meeting which will be held this weekend at Headquarters.

‘The recent happenings will have no effect whatsoever on the running of our contests. Everything continues as normal. The problems within the Adjudicators’ Panel will be addressed by them at their AGM in November. It is a matter for the adjudicators, and as far as I am aware there are no plans to replace Mr Wilson and Mr Noble at the moment. The Panel’s management board is in situ and is continuing without a Convenor or Vice Convenor.

‘Mr Wilson and Mr Noble are highly respected figures; they have resigned for personal reasons, and this is an internal adjudicator issue. It is very much business as usual for the Association. For example we already have a record entry for the British Championships to be held at Paisley with 133 bands taking part. There may be more as the entries do not close until midnight tonight [April 6].

‘We expected a large entry given that the venue is in Scotland’s Central Belt with very good motorway connections and other first class facilities for the bands. The draw for this contest will take place at 11am on the 13th of April with the playing order published on the RSPBA website shortly thereafter.

‘Difficulties such as those within the Adjudicators’ Panel arise from time to time and are unfortunate, but everyone should be re-assured that we are well prepared for the 2016 season with all adjudicators in place and ready to give of their very best for the bands.’

Judges on duty at Paisley are:JudgesRead more about how the RSPBA Adjudicators’ Panel is structured and how it operates here.


World class instruction for Pipers, Drummers (Side and Bass/Tenor)