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Old 09-09-2006, 12:10 AM   #1
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Default WUSPBA judge testing food for thought

let me say first of all this is not an attack on WUSPBA but I am going to throw this out and see what you think. WUSPBA has joined with other organizations to have a standardized judge testing program. Great idea however John Partanen recently took the test for band judging, JP has played in every band grade and is on the solo judging list. JP took the 5 hour test passed with the best grade ever recorded for the program a 95% combine that with 50 plus years of piping at first was told he had passed the test then latter the powers that be revoke the certification without presenting to JP a reason for pulling the certification. Its simple to me if anyone can walk in pass the established and approved test then there should be no question if that person is qualified or not. pass the test in my mind you are qualified if not then the test does not mean much. Though I would throw that out for some chat. what do you think if you pass the test should you be allowed to judge??????shrug:
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Old 09-09-2006, 07:39 AM   #2
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Default Re: WUSPBA judge testing food for thought

So how does such a judge test work? My son recently took a hockey referee test; that's pretty objective. Know the rules and how to apply them.

But how do you test a piping/drumming judge? On what kind on things are they tested?

"It only has 9 notes...how hard can it be to play?"
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Old 09-09-2006, 10:18 AM   #3

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Default Re: WUSPBA judge testing food for thought

I'm thinking this thread may not be in the right Forum...

Related to the subject however - I can't comment on WUSPBA rules, because I don't know them that well (have been out of WUSPBA for over 8 years now) - but, related to judges, the accrediting (right word?) of judges.

Here in BCPA land, and I think there is a goal of every association having similar guidelines for their judges - the First (I think) guide is that the individual must have had a fairly distinguished career in competition - here the top level of judges must have competed in the Professional class (for a specified time) and must (!) have had a very successful career in the Pro class. When that criteria is met, then the rest of the requirements come in.

So, simple answer to the question of "Know the rules and how to apply them" - that is actually just one part of the puzzle. The requirements to become a judge (here at least) are truly intimidating, and a very (!) small number of people are even qualified (how many actually make it to Pro, and win in that class - way (way way) under 1% - yes, I've looked)

For Gary's question:
"if you pass the test should you be allowed to judge" - in the case of BCPA the answer is very simple - NO! - unless you have x years of solo competition success, and x years of professional solo competition, and you have won major contests as a professional competitor, and ..... there is more)

I am pretty sure that a review of the association's web site, would find a set of answer to this too?

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Old 09-09-2006, 11:02 AM   #4
Randy Erickson
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Default Re: WUSPBA judge testing food for thought

Hey Gary, haven't seen you on these forums in a while.

It sure sounds like we might be missing the full story here. This isnít exactly the first time John has alleged conspiracy on the part of the Association, but since he paid his dues last I heard, heís likely entitled to an accounting of some sort.

Bringing this back into Beer Tent relevance, Bob, I was once rather active in the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP). I know, it probably sounds like a pretty easy gig, drink beer and pick a winner, but there was/is an incredible amount of history, biology, and chemistry to be learned. The half-day exams measured not only technical knowledge in the written/essay portion of the test, but also evaluated the ability of the potential judge to convey constructive criticism in a helpful, civil manner. And the best brewers did not always make the best judges. Great talent aside, sometimes a jerk is still a jerk.

If a judge were to tell a competitor that his offering tasted like crap, he had better have the dietary and anaerobic chemistry references to back up his judgment, speculate as to how the result was achieved, and offer suggestions as to how to avoid the unfortunate situation in the future! When I first got into piping, I was appalled by the kind of smart-a** comments I heard that judges were allowed to get away with.

I can only speculate that the Pipeband Associations are attempting to develop a judge qualification program that ensures their customers helpful, respectful judges, not just big names. As weíve seen in a couple of threads this week, great players arenít necessarily always great teachers, and it follows (at least to me) that judges might also need to be taught (and tested on) their craft.

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Old 09-09-2006, 11:28 AM   #5
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Default Re: WUSPBA judge testing food for thought

After reading over my last post, I wanted to clarify that I was responding only to the concept of "if you pass the written test you should be allowed to judge". I disagree for the reasons I described.

I did not mean to pass any judgment whatsoever on the examinee referred to in the original post. I think I have been judged (in solos) by this individual exactly once, and his comments were accurate and professional. My playing was crap, but he didnít even hint that this was the case.

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Old 09-09-2006, 11:59 AM   #6
Highland Harry
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Default Re: WUSPBA judge testing food for thought

I would hope that passing the written exam is only the first step in the process of receiving a judging accreditation award.

As Bob mentioned, a history of successes must be part of the package too.
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Old 09-09-2006, 12:37 PM   #7
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Default Re: WUSPBA judge testing food for thought

It's like they say: It's not what you know, it's WHO you know....
Old 09-09-2006, 03:39 PM   #8
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Default Re: WUSPBA judge testing food for thought

Personally, I've never found John P. to be anything but pleasant. I've had him judge me a few times and also found the comments to be helpful and seemingly accurate.

That said, I know John has a history of being very abrasive to the volunteers running WUSPBA. I'm not a WUSPBA officer, and don't know much in the way of details. Without more details, I don't see any reason why he wouldn't be allowed to judgeóat the very least for lower grades.

I am involved with the WUSPBA organization as webmaster and am privy to some inside operations. I've yet to see any evidence of anything other than a group of individuals doing their best to try and help out other pipers in their region. Yes, they occasionally make mistakes, but there is no malice involved. (Even I'm not perfect. I found out this week that my new software accidentally overwrote the Drum Majors portion of the WUSPBA siteónot maintained by me. I'm certainly not out to get the DMs, it was an oops.)

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Old 09-11-2006, 09:36 AM   #9
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Default Re: WUSPBA judge testing food for thought

Hello Andrew, ( once again not a personal attack on WUSPBA a hard working group, but an honest question) yes many of us have had JP as a solo judge and I agree his comments are sopt on and he plays no favors on the boards, always does a professional job. JP has had a great piping career for those who really know JP on a real personal level will admitt he is a great guy be it though he likes to raise food for thought at times in an testy sort.
( absentee voting with WUSPBA is a big one for those who can not attend the meeting but would like to vote on the issues is one of those items) manner but he usually has a good point to make. But as far as his career he grew up in grade one bands, has competed in the pro level for well over 20 years an at one time ws WUSPBA top pro piper. JP I believe is the only American piper to be published in the SPS official Piob publication, the only American piper to be invited to play and lecture for the SPS and I also believe he has the highest certification from the College of Piping in the US
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Old 09-11-2006, 10:30 AM   #10
Ken Sutherland
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Default Re: WUSPBA judge testing food for thought

Hello Gary,

I suggest that when you make a post here, you separate fact from conjecture. To invent percentages and "rankings" of those who have taken the adjudication exams is irresponsible.

In addition, no "certification" was pulled from John. Prior to the exams, he was listed as a "A" judge for solos. After the exams, he is listed as an "A" judge for solos, with an acknowledgement that he has passed the exam.

The exams are only one element of the program for solo and band adjudicators. The others include experience playing in the highest grades, musical leadership in bands, competitive success, and teaching and adjudication experience. The determination of eligibility is made by the Music Board based on established criteria that has been shared with all interested parties (consistent with BC Pipers -- see Bob's post above). The determination relies on the information supplied by the candidate in a resume. The judge's list has been posted for some time now.

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