Judges and Qualifications

Discussion in 'The Adjudicators' Comments' started by Anno Draconis, Mar 19, 2006.

  1. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    Really? Surely then it would be easier/cheaper to have an audience ballot on the day?

    Adjudication has to be a subjective thing, until the day we can get computers that can count splits and spot bad intonation ;)
  2. madsaz

    madsaz Member

    I think the point is more that the adjudicator regularly seems to disagree widely with general opinion suggesting that they may fall outside the "norm" of opinions if you plotted them as a curve. Of course, we hear a lot about those who widely disagree with results - few people have popped up to tell us they agree wholeheartedly - is that because only the vehement few post or because no one agrees with the adjudicator?

    What makes the adjudicators opinion so different? Is there a problem with acoustics in the box? Are they all deaf & past it? Could it be that they can tell who the band is by one means or another?

    I don't think you can poll the audience but you could try a panel of adjudicators like in some of the international music comps (i.e. singer of the year etc..) It may still give the same results, someone will always be unhappy whith their placing, but at least it would feel a little more democratic.

    Polling the audience would make contesting a cheap imitation of Eurovision - tactical and political voting - no thanks - even worse than having a single person to vent your spleen at!
  3. Darth_Tuba

    Darth_Tuba Active Member

    I have been on the winning and losing end of all sorts of adjudication systems. One in a box, three in a box, three in seperate boxes and open... and one thing holds true for all of them: You can't please everyone and someone will always say you should have done better or worse. Don't think there's anyway to avoid it.
  4. Chris Sanders

    Chris Sanders Active Member

    Totally agree, Id say its mainly down to an educated opinion and interpretation.
  5. madsaz

    madsaz Member

    educated? does that mean the adjudicator needs a degree or doctorate? Or do we acknowledge there are talented people out there without holding formal qualifications?
  6. Chris Sanders

    Chris Sanders Active Member

    Does education not come as much from experience as from studying formally.

    I say educated opinion as in, they dont have the non-playing librarian/secretary from umpah colliery band in the box, their opinions are only valued in the bar. The adjudicators do know what they're looking at, even if the results may sometimes be a little surprising??

    However, many adjudicators yes hold formal qualfications, and I would prefer to be judged by someone who has formally studied for the role.
  7. Space Cowboy

    Space Cowboy Member

    What I find most frustrating about contests is that it usually feels like you've been in a lottery rather than a contest and entertainment contests are even worse.

    Who decides if an adudicator does a good / bad job and therefore gets more work or not and how do they decide? Is every bands performance recorded and reviewed against the remarks and marks given after the contest - I suspect not.

    In my view all major contests, areas etc should be recorded and the recordings made publicly available along with a copy of the adjudicators remarks. I would also like the marks for a given performance to be made public immediately after they have played in the same way as gymnasts etc get theirs.

    As well as being a useful learning tool for all bands concerned these would give an accurate record of the days proceedings against which to assess the adjudicators.
  8. Roger Thorne

    Roger Thorne Active Member

    Cue! Open big can of worms - This ones quite simple to answer actually. Brass Band adjudicators are governed by a very specialist organisation - The ABBA. "Who are they", I hear you ask? The Association of Brass Band Adjudicators - The same people that adjudicate our contests.

  9. Spud

    Spud New Member

    Wow, now the ball is really rolling !!
    Adjudication - a dictatorship or a democracy ? - a single person's permission or a representation of the masses. Point is- do you accept that there are flaws and leave it at that, or do you do something about it. One thing is certain if were discussing it there must be flaws (in the system). Yes I agree that our ancient art is steeped in time honoured traditions, and the point was touched on that there is a whole lot of technology out there. The answer to "correct adjudications" will have to evolve!
    How about this for a suggestion - Split a test peice into pre-determined segments (use bar numbers and letters if you like - most peices have them) then the governing body eg NWBBA alots the maximum allowable points (adjusted for difficulty/technique/solo's) for each segment. The adjudiactor is then allowed say 20 points to allow for his own taste / musicality / interpretation / style. In my mind this means that all bands have a level playing feild, and take away a detailed account of where they have done well (or not), allowing for specific improvment.
    Why are our adjudications written - I have heard talk of a contest where his/her comments are recorded and typed up later (between bands) by a secretary.

    Ok done - now go for it.
  10. madsaz

    madsaz Member

    Thats almost a bit like figure skating [daft analogy alert] - where the performer had to include say a triple salko (it may be quite clear at this point I know little about figure skating) and some other technical stuff.

    Then points are awarded for technical and style. In that way band would know what bits they definately had to do in a certain way. For instance in another thread some adjudicators marked bands down who opened images at the correct tempo - if it was a technical requirement all would have to acheive say that bit at the right tempo and the best marks go to those who manage it.

    Then seperate marks could go to musicality.. you could even have 2 adjudiactors - one for technical and one for "artistic merit".

    Now, can I wear sequins and a daft purple outfit??
  11. Spud

    Spud New Member

    Never stopped you before !!! Anyway - you wear the funny clothes and I'll do the gags.
  12. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    Why don't you take this forward?

    Take it to your local association, get them to adopt it, and when it works, get them to lobby for national adoption of the practice.

    Someone has to start things off.
  13. Charmed

    Charmed Active Member

    To treat brass bands the same in competitions such as, figure skating, as previously mentioned, woould mean a very big change. For one, in contests such as the areas, everybody plays the same piece, so points can't be added for 'putting in' a difficult part, only points taken away for not playing it correctly, and again, you are down to subjection. And, most contests that judge the way that has been suggested, don't just have 1 or 2 judges, they can have as many as 5 or 6, each giving their points after each performance which is then totalled. Here still, for brass bands anyway, you would have a massive difference of opinion. How many of us know personally, adjudicators that have listened to contests and given a totally different opinion and result to the one that the actual adjudicator has given? So if judge 1 gives 183 points and judge 5 gives 196, you can just see the comments on a forum such as this already can't you? ;)
  14. madsaz

    madsaz Member

    it was kind of a flippant comment as backed up by the sequins comment. Though I think panel decision and total points may be better....
  15. glen miler

    glen miler Member

    Sports like skating / gymnastics have the ultimate check on adjudicators for their important competitions, they are televised and performances can be publically judged and reviewed against marks given.

    We need this in banding, as currently there is no accountability on adjudicators. From one of the previous entries it appears we have the "turkeys voting for xmas" scenario when it comes to adjudicators.

    I personally think they should use the prize money on offer at the areas to pay for extra adjudicators who are kept separate, and make public their scores after each competitor has played, without any consultation between adjudicators.

    After all I don't think any of the bands at the areas would not have competed if there wasn't the chance to win what is fairly small beer in terms of prize money, we go to qualify for the national final not to be in a lottery for £200 - I can do this by filling in the football card at work and I don't have to spend two hours every night for a fortnight practising how to fill in the card!!
  16. andyp

    andyp Active Member

    The best set of remarks I've ever received in 20-odd years were done this way, at Fleetwood contest a few years ago. Well written, constructive, detailed, and above all LEGIBLE! Some of the remark sheets are like doctors prescriptions!
    I wonder, though, how easy it is to concentrate fully on listening and writing at the same time, and would suggest it's too much, and the addition of a "secretary" would enable the adjudicator to devote their full attention to listening?
  17. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    Wouldn't that get a bit annoying if you could hear somebody muttering away throughout every performance? Also, couldn't later bands listen in to what the adjudicator was saying and try to alter their performance according to what he was saying to the tape recorder? :eek:

    Big can of worms there potentially I think! Although, I suppose in order to avoid the above we could always put the adjudicator in a sound-proof box. That might work..... :biggrin: :oops:
  18. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    I thought a lot of bands uniforms were like that anyway??? ;) :)
  19. madsaz

    madsaz Member

    I know that at one major contest last year, those sat near the box were quite clearly able to hear the adjudicators muttering away through the performance anyway. One thing I do believe is that no one should be able to sit near the box - stands to reason if we can hear what adjudicators are saying then they can hear those sat around them.....

    THey could always write, then decipher the comments themselves to an audio typist (you can get those service you phone which email back to you) so at least we could decipher the seemingly unfair comments and unfounded abuse...... (don't flame me, its partially a joke....)

    Dave, I meant skinpy purple with sequins. Preferably with an apparently plunging neckline covered in nylon tights gusset several shades darker than my skin tone.

    As for doctors handwriting..... I could make them far more legible, at twice the speed. And better spelling. I'd probably give out prophylactic analgesia to the bands with bad results..... and resolve sachets to the winner.
  20. Perplexed

    Perplexed New Member

    What can be done – is to judge the judges – we have the firepower now to be able to collect the statistics.

    The first thing is – bands get a lot better and a lot worse in months, not years – especially in sections 2 3 and 4 – so using the last three years results doesn’t really work to send them up and down –

    But more to the point – the results and statistics show that a certain few judges regularly get the Area results wrong – the bands they send up come straight back down and often suffer through their experience – whereas, certain other judges can be shown to send bands up that stay up, and bands down that stay down for a good while to re-build.

    I’ve done the exercise – I’m a saddo with a spreadsheet – will I publish it?

    No – I’m no authority, just a bloke with a spreadsheet .

    But if someone wants to look at two or three particular judges from the 2006, 2005, 2004 Areas and Pontins recently… well… you can see it!

    If you take the whole movement as achieving reasonably correct results overall – you can soon see the individual judges who are causing the problems…

    (I should add - I have been fortunate to avoid these individuals of late and have no axe to grind...!)
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2006

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