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Old 08-17-2020, 03:07 PM   #26
Jim McGillivray
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Aurora, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 3,016
Default Re: Constructive Criticism for Pipers

Originally Posted by John Dally View Post
This is in the DNA of piping competitions. You start with a maximum score and points are taken away as you play, often for ambiguous or subjective reasons. You are penalized for faults. Most sports are based on an accumulation of points, rather than subtraction. Piping competitions have a negative framing.

It's good to remember that competitions also exist to bestow prestige on the judges and organizers. Many times they actually deserve it. Their comments are often written or not written with their own prestige in mind, and have little to do with you.

I have to say that the above two statements -- if I'm reading them right -- are quite foreign to me and, I would suggest, to many or most of my colleagues. I'm often asked after a contest how I decide on first place, and my reply is usually, "the performance I like the most." It's not "the guy with the fewest things wrong." That's not being glib; that's how I do it. I receive every competitor hoping to be entertained. These days I find I can adjudicate contests where the top half dozen didn't have anything "wrong" and my decision is based almost purely on who moved me.

Re comments: for a lot of judges, myself included, comments are written to remind us about the performances we heard when it comes time to make up a list. As such, they can be very useful to competitors. I always try to include one or two summary comments suggesting to a player what might be most important in improving themselves as pipers.

For what it's worth, most competitions have done away with points on scoresheets, looking for placings only.

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