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3D Piper 11-29-2018 08:32 AM

What does the EUSPBA do?
What does the EUSPBA do?

Their mission statement says "We aspire to assist individuals and bands in reaching, not only their highest competitive potential, but also raising the level of our art."

Soloist and bands pay their dues to become a member. How is this money used to address the above? Are sanctioned games judges and stewards paid by the EUSPBA?

I would love to see our funds go toward a traveling workshop for each branch, where the EUSPBA would send a qualified piper and drummer to work with members. To me, this would prove to fulfill their mission statement!


Patrick McLaurin 11-29-2018 08:58 AM

Re: What does the EUSPBA do?
They sanction games and decide on regrade requests. And they still have a magazine, I think?

I dunno, why (West) Texas is officially in the EUSPBA, I have no idea. Actually I do, but it makes no sense. I found they aren’t capable to serve me so I stopped being a member several years ago.

Andrew Lenz 11-29-2018 10:33 AM

Re: What does the EUSPBA do?

Originally Posted by Patrick McLaurin (Post 1333058)
I dunno, why (West) Texas is officially in the EUSPBA...

I don't know about "officially". There's more or less a "gentleman's agreement" between the associations regarding territories. That said, the EUSPBA has sometimes been a bit aggressive pushing its boundaries. For instance, after the EUSPBA entered Florida, the SUSPBA ended up going away. (There were some arguments about the effectiveness of the SUSPBA, but nonetheless, the SUSPBA was an established association with set boundaries that the EUSPBA entered. My personal take.) Texas falls at the borders of WUSPBA and EUSPBA. Unless something has changed, a person or organization in that region could probably register with either association without too much problem. The other "fuzzy" area is Oregon which generally has fallen into BC Pipers instead of WUSPBA, though Oregon is obviously in USA and not British Columbia.

Back when I was ExecSec for WUSPBA, there was some discussion on the Executive Committee when a band in a fuzzy boundary area wanted to join WUSPBA. Associations generally want to respect each other's "map" but there has been—and likely continues to be—gray areas.


Nathaniel 11-29-2018 03:33 PM

Re: What does the EUSPBA do?
Associations provide a framework for competitions, rules for fair competitions, sanction events so competitions are the same within an association, provide a judging framework, make sure judges are qualified and trained, track competitor results, make upgrade and downgrades to make sure competitors are playing within the same brackets. They meet with other associations and compare rules trying to make cross-association competitions reasonable. Some provide other direct resources to the membership.

thevoidboy 11-29-2018 07:31 PM

What does the EUSPBA do?
So, if I understand what you just posted: they deal with competitions

How does this further the art?

(And no glib, knee-jerk “without competitions we would not exist” answers, because, honestly, when I travel to Scotland I hear a lot of exceptionally good music outside of the competition environment. In fact, I hear better music in pubs than on the boards.)

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bob864 11-30-2018 06:14 AM

Re: What does the EUSPBA do?

Originally Posted by 3D Piper (Post 1333057)
What does the EUSPBA do?

Their mission statement says "We aspire to assist individuals and bands in reaching, not only their highest competitive potential, but also raising the level of our art."

Soloist and bands pay their dues to become a member. How is this money used to address the above? Are sanctioned games judges and stewards paid by the EUSPBA?

Judges are paid, but it's my understanding they're paid by the games. Pretty sure stewards are volunteers.

The EUSPBA does train judges, and there have been workshops. I have no idea how those are financed. I seem to recall fees for workshops, but those fees might not cover the cost of paying the expenses of the presenters.

The dues are pretty low.

There is an Education and Scholarship fund.

Running an organization costs a lot of money. They will probably have legal fees and accounting fees. There will be insurance. They maintain the website. They host membership meetings. I see at the upcoming AGM runs three days. Hotels don't generally give out meeting space for free. If you need a microphone or want coffee they'll charge extra for that too.

Since they are a 501(c)(3) they need to be careful that 100% of the money they spend is in support of the mission or they can loose their status.

Nathaniel 11-30-2018 09:37 AM

Re: What does the EUSPBA do?
Maybe more specifically, the mission of Pipe Band Associations surrounds the art of competitive piping (band, solo, piping, drumming, drum majoring). The art is of course much larger than just competition, but it is a part. The NFL for US football or the PGA for US golf - they aren't the authority of all football or all golf, but they are for the events they sanction.

The money they spend is likely spread between Program, Management, and Fundraising categories. The hope is they spend the most on program.

Pppiper 11-30-2018 01:46 PM

Re: What does the EUSPBA do?
Once upon a time, Id have had a much different take on this. But fact of the matter is, competitions aren’t entirely responsible for keeping the culture/discipline alive, but it does help.

People can argue whatever they like, but ANY sort of gathering that brings people together in celebration of culture will, in turn, serve to help it endure and grow. Can the same be said of pub musicians and sessions? Dances? Of course it can.

It ALL helps. The EUSPBA is one of several organizations around the globe that, at the very least, aims to keep the culture of piping going by organizing and conducting competitions in a standardized fashion.

These competitions give musicians something to strive for, which prompts them to show up to events. Those events can then begin to serve as a nucleus for others to “check it out.” People from the community can come and see what this is all about. Maybe some of them will even grab a practice chanter, or a drum pad.

And when musicians go and try their hand at winning a prize, they meet other folks who love the same things that they do. Friendships are born, their kids decide to try it too ... and they make friends there as well ... and on, and on.

And thus, this all spurs growth (ideally). So in this regard, the EUSPBA and other similar organizations do precisely what their mission statements dictate.

Now, could they do MORE to promote and bolster interest in piping culture? Of course. And from what Ive seen and heard recently from officials in the organization; they quite agree, and theyre working on it.

That’s what the EUSPBA does.


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3D Piper 12-01-2018 07:44 AM

Re: What does the EUSPBA do?
Thanks for the responses.

Lets count some beans. I see about 200 bands listed @ $175 each, that is
$35K. I couldn't count them all, but lets just assume there is at least 500 individuals @ $40 each that, that is another $20K.

I totally understand 'running an organization costs money' (I am self employed). But each branch's officers are volunteer, yes? (Side note: with the new web page format, I can't find a branch map to see what states are included in each branch). If the games organizers are also the ones paying judges fees, I am not sure where all the money is going.
Would it be unreasonable to request a workshop/clinic for each branch to check on the development of the members/bands, give advise and help where needed? Something like that would really "..aspire to assist individuals and bands in reaching, not only their highest competitive potential, but also raising the level of our art." We paid our dues and played by their rules so we could compete, and so far we got score sheets and a reminder of renewing our membership.

When I competed in Canada, if I remember correctly PPBSO members paid their yearly membership fee then never had to pay for games entry or competition fees. They just showed up at games and competed. That is certainly a perk!

I would love to see an EUSPBA championships where each branch had a competition and sent their best to the finals! Bracketing would give local bragging rights and foster interest for the whole season. EUSPBA is so big, bands you've never even seen or heard of can end up beating you no matter how well you do.


thevoidboy 12-01-2018 11:28 AM

What does the EUSPBA do?
Nate - a very nice defense of the status quo, and I understand why you would do so given your recent successes. But I am not convinced. And I’m not sure if these competitions and games are flourishing to the degree you suggest. Of course, I don’t have any numbers to know one way or another. But anecdotally, in my own experience attendance is down, Including bands.

Matthew - in my experience last year at Maxville, i had to pay at the event in addition to my association dues. Which didn’t break the bank, but was unexpected.

I’d like to see more educational opportunities, more recital opportunities, more focus upon finding performance and educational outreach to other musical associations and even public or private schools.

Particularly since there are a LOT of service bands who do NOT compete. Why would we not help them? What can we do to include them?

Blue-sky: it would be incredible if each branch had its own full-time “piping center”.

But - competitors like to compete. So, it seems that’s what PBAs do.

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