Ah, another UK championship, and another round of piping judges with ranking spreads stretching far and wide.
Thanks to the RSPBA’s exhaustive and timely online results spreadsheet, the punters can analyze and over-analyze every microcosm of soggy score sheet detail.
To be sure, credit goes to the Grade 1 piping judges, who were never more than three placings apart.
But in Grade 2, Torphichen & Bathgate must be wondering what’s in store for their season, with an alarming first and seventh in piping. And a second and a seventh to Glasgow-Skye must have that band shaking its collective head.
But the most intriguing must be Grade 3A, where some of the spreads are Grand Canyonesque. Take Kintyre Schools: a second and a thirteenth.
And then there’s most glaring one of the day, Pride of Murray with their eighteenth and second. That’s 15 places separating the judges in an 18-band contest. Is the pipe section pushing Grade 2 standard or are they looking at relegation? One has to wonder what the bus ride back to England was like.
Obviously, discrepancies arise in a subjective event. One judge’s fancy can be another’s pet peeve. But, really, what’s wrong with judges getting together to hear each other out and perhaps find some common ground? The benches at the world’s most important solo piping events have been doing that for centuries.