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Go Back   Bob Dunsire Bagpipe Forums > Great Highland Bagpipe > Competing Pipers
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Competing Pipers Questions, issues, or discussions specifically related to Piping and Pipers competition.

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Old 06-04-2018, 03:25 PM   #1
defenestrator
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Default Competing without bag cover?

I recently switched to a Gannaway zippered bag. My old bag cover doesn't fit great and leads to slipping and thus poor playing.

When I practice without the bag cover, the bag stays up nice and tight and is really comfortable.

I'm not going to be able to find a replacement cover before my next solo contest, and I'm considering playing without a cover. Do you think the judges would look down on that? Is a bag cover part of the "uniform"?
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Old 06-05-2018, 06:44 AM   #2
bob864
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Default Re: competing without bag cover?

It isn't unusual to see pipers without bag covers in competition, at least in the lower grades. At a larger contest there will usually be several.
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Old 06-05-2018, 07:53 AM   #3
piper Q
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Default Re: competing without bag cover?

I've don't recall having seen anything in the rules about bag covers. only the requirement for highland dress of the competitors. Some judges may consider the bag cover as part of the dress accoutrements, more so in the case of some hybrid bags which can tend to stand out visually.

The question you ask should easily be check in the rules of the governing body for your region.
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Old 06-05-2018, 07:57 AM   #4
CalumII
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Default Re: competing without bag cover?

Any judge that cares isn't worth worrying about.
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Old 06-05-2018, 11:54 AM   #5
diefenbaker
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Default Re: competing without bag cover?

If I remember correctly, Iain Spears competed at the Glenfiddich without a bag cover, winning with a synthetic bag. But I couldn't find a picture...
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Old 06-05-2018, 01:40 PM   #6
Pppiper
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Default Re: competing without bag cover?

I remember reading a story regarding this in Bill Livingstone's book, in which he discusses how he often had trouble keeping his bag from slipping.

I can't remember the exact circumstances, or location, but the gist of it was that one day he'd discovered that the sticky sheepskin of his bag (without the cover on) would help keep the bag up nicely while he was wearing a jacket. Otherwise, he would apparently have two jackets with him at playing events/competitions .. one for wearing in general, and the other for the actual performance .. and this one would have the underarm area actually cut and removed.

I digress ... apparently, he then tried playing at some high-level competition with naked sheepskin bag. I believe that he played very well and was surprised that he didn't place well. Later, I believe he was somehow informed that playing without the bag cover was a bad idea.

A judge shouldn't care ... really, in my opinion. But I think it's safe to say that it's frowned upon to skip the bag cover, and anything that's frowned upon ... well, while technically you're in the clear, you're taking something of a risk in doing anything that might make the judge ruffle his brow.

Do what you want, but if you want to play it safe, find a way to keep it on with the same results. Might suggest investing in a new, custom-sized bag cover (or having a seamstress alter the one you have now).

Cheers,
~Nate
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Old 06-05-2018, 02:55 PM   #7
Anndrah
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Default Re: competing without bag cover?

I have competed solos without them. Also think I remember playing a band contest without them once, back in the 80s when we were cool!

Whatever you do make sure it is not tight on the inflated bag. I have experienced steadiness troubles in myself and others that was cured by removing a tight bag cover.

There is something that you can do to your bag cover to make it grip well. You can do this to the inside as well as the outside of the bag cover.
If your cover is black go to the hardware store and buy a tube of 100% silicone caulk. Cut a small bit off the tip (so that it squeezes out beads about an 1/8" diameter) and puncture the foil. Lay the bag cover flat, and lay down some beads an inch or so apart about 8" long, right where your body contacts it. You should have about an 8x8 patch of horizontal lines of caulk.
This is the hard part. Do not touch it for 24 hours!!! Then flip it over and do the same thing on the other side. Then turn it inside out and repeat. Doing the whole thing takes 4 days.
In the end your body will grip the cover and the cover will grip the bag.
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Old 06-05-2018, 04:11 PM   #8
Paul
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Default Re: competing without bag cover?

Anndrah - I did the same thing with silicone rubber many years ago. Everyone said it would fall off, but it stayed on for about 5 years until the band gave everyone new covers.
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Old 06-05-2018, 04:23 PM   #9
Steven Knox
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Default Re: competing without bag cover?

The latest version of the EUSPBA rules contains zero mentions of the term "cover" and zero mentions of the term "bag " (the word bag followed by a space). So it looks like you're in the clear -- as far as following the rules goes -- if you're competing in the EUSPBA.
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Old 06-05-2018, 05:03 PM   #10
Anndrah
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Default Re: competing without bag cover?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul View Post
Anndrah - I did the same thing with silicone rubber many years ago. Everyone said it would fall off, but it stayed on for about 5 years until the band gave everyone new covers.

I taped out a band logo on mine in negative, then smeared the silicone into it. Looked cool, but that was back when I was a kid and had free time.
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