In response to some questions from outside the pipe band circle, we thought it might be helpful/interesting to provide some information on how judging works for bagpipe and drum band competitions. At the bottom of this article you will also find a video of our Grade 3 competition band as they competed for the first time together since 2019 at the Scotland County Highland Games on October 2, 2021. We also included copies of the judging score-sheets for review.
This information is taken from the EUSPBA competition rule-book @ http://euspba.org/resource/rules_competition.pdf
Each band's performance will be evaluated in the following areas:
Pipe Section: the pipe section's performance will be evaluated in the following areas:
Tempos, breaks between tunes, and finish
Tuning and tone of chanters and drones
Criticism in each of the above areas shall be given on the Pipe Band Piping score sheet.
Drum Section: the drum section's performance will be evaluated in similar fashion based on the following areas:
Rhythm and Expression
Quality and Variety
Blend Criticism in each of the above areas shall be given on the Pipe Band Drumming score sheet.
Ensemble: the band’s performance as a group will be evaluated based on the following areas:
Technical Integration (technique and unison)
Tonal integration (sound quality)
Quality of Arrangement
Criticism in each of the above areas shall be given on the Pipe Band Ensemble score sheet. Determining Band Score On the Band Tabulation Sheet, the tabulators will enter the judges’ placing. The weight of each discipline, will be Piping 50%, Drumming
Determining Band Score: On the Band Tabulation Sheet, the tabulators will enter the judges’ placing. The weight of each discipline, will be Piping 50%, Drumming 25% and Ensemble 25%. Total points across the sheet and the Lowest Points wins.
Ensemble Placing will break ties.
Points for season standings will remain the same such that placing #1 is awarded points equal to the number of bands in that competition, and each lower placing is awarded one point less.
Photo credit: William Fergusson (right) judges in Banff, Alberta, in 1931 with John Gillies of Vancouver (left) and Murdo MacLeod of Toronto --Pipetunes.ca