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Date: Monday, 21st January 2013
Contributor: Alistair Aitken - Adjudicator Panel

RSPBA Adjudication - (Drum Majors)


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A placings-based process is operated for all RSPBA Drum Major competitions (Major Championships and local competitions).

Drum Major competition performances are assessed under 3 separate categories:

  • Dress
  • Marching and Deportment
  • Flourish
Within these categories Drum Major Adjudicators are required to assess performances against defined standards which are set out in the RSPBA’s published Drum Major Manual (a free download from the RSPBA website). These standards cover specific aspects of dress; marching; deportment; foot drill; mace drill; variety of flourish; quality of flourish; and degree of difficulty of flourish.

More specific details of the Drum Major adjudication process are:
  1. In the Dress category performances are assessed against the required standards and the number of Dress Faults are noted on the Adjudicator Critique Sheet, together with relevant comments;
  2. Both Marching & Deportment, and Flourish categories are assessed against the required standards, and a placing is decided for each with relevant comments on the Adjudicator Critique Sheet;
  3. The Marching & Deportment and Flourish categories are conducted in Heats of 4 Drum Major performers depending on the numbers involved;
  4. Drum Major Adjudicators are required to maintain a progressive Personal Record showing the number of Dress Faults and the M&D/Flourish placings for each competitor, to enable them to decide their final results and transfer these to a Results Sheet at the end of the contest. They are allowed a mandatory 10 minute period to finalise their results and complete the Results Sheet, under the supervision of a representative of the RSPBA Board of Directors.
  5. If different Drum Major Adjudicators are involved in different sections of the same competition (i.e. one adjudicating Marching & Deportment and another adjudicating Flourish), each Adjudicator is required to complete the relevant column of the Results Sheet;
  6. The results of the competition are calculated by the RSPBA Compilers from the Results Sheet. The final placing is determined by adding together the numbers in each of the 3 columns, and the results are decided according to the lowest total being 1st, second lowest being 2nd etc. In the event of a tie the highest Marching & Deportment placing takes precedence.
Major Championships
At all Major Championships, Dress assessments apply only in the Heats. The Finals are adjudicated in the categories of Marching & Deportment and Flourish only. A different Adjudicator will be used for each of the Marching & Deportment and Flourish sections.

The Final at all Major Championships should normally have 6 competitors, in two Heats of 3 (the competitors selected according to their playing order in the Heats); and there are 6 places (all counting for the Champion of Champions).

At Major Championships with more than 25 Adult competitors the Final will have two Heats of 4 competitors.

World Championships
At the World Championships two Adjudicators are used in each of the Marching & Deportment and Flourish sections of the Adult Final. A separate electronic compiling sheet is used for the World Championships Final to incorporate the placings of the 4 Adjudicators. In the event of a tie the placings of Drum Major Adjudicator 1 take precedence to break the tie.

RSPBA Adjudicators’ Training Group
January 2013


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