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  • Band roster rules

    I have a (North America-specific) question about multi-grade band membership and competing. The general rule seems to be that "A playing member of a band may compete only with the band with which he or she is registered...." (see, e.g., EUSPBA rules at 17). I guess this would preclude the, say, Bugtussle Pipeband Grade V band from performing in a Gr V contest, then just dropping a few weaker members and having the remainder compete as a registered Grade IV band (call them the Bugtussle Better Band) in a Gr IV contest.

    My question is: does this count at a games that is (a) non-sanctioned, but generally follows the rules of some association; and (b) has "open" QMM and medley (Gr 4) competitions? I ask because I've seen this practice at non-sanctioned games and no one ever said anything -- maybe just because it would be unsporting to complain about something like that. But if my band did this, I wouldn't wanna get dinged for doing something either illegal or untraditional.

    Sorry for the long-windedness.....

  • #2
    Technically, in an unsanctioned contest, virtually anything could be allowed. It's up to the contest organizers to make a decision/declaration as to what rules (if any) will be followed. Some could state in the registration information that 'EUSPBA / MWPBA / WUSPBA / RSPBA rules will be followed. Contest results will not be reported to the association nor count towards association standings'.

    If that were the case, then a situation such as you have outlined would not be allowed, depending on the rules of those associations. I would think a 'challenge-up' could be allowed, but that would again be up to the contest organizers.

    Without that kind of statement, I guess anything goes. Is it right? Not really, to my thinking.


    Once upon a time, I helped run the Glasgow KY HG pipe band contest. Once the Games organizers decided to stop offering a sanctioned contest (too expensive with 5-6 judges*), for a couple of years after that, we went with an 'open' contest for any band, any grade, to put on a 15-20 minute performance, with extra instruments (guitars, brass, whatever) if they so wished. No grades, no association rules. The bands could therefore include members for some pieces and drop them for others, just as they would for a regular stage performance. We had a couple of 'judges' along with some audience acclamation involved as well. Now (well, prior to 2020), I think the Games just hire a couple of bands to do performances periodically through the day for atmosphere and a massed bands for the opening ceremonies.


    *When running the sanctioned contests, we offered all of the available solo contests - including bass/tenor - in the morning for every grade, plus band grades 3-5, if we could get grade 3 bands to come in. There weren't, and still aren't, many within a day's drive. We'd ask the bass/tenor judge to write comment sheets for the band contests and swap out one of the piping judges for a set of 'fresh' ears for the different grades, with the other piping judge swapping places with the ensemble judge.
    John

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    • #3
      What EagleJCS said.

      Andrew
      (Former ExecSec for WUSPBA)
      Andrew T. Lenz, Jr. BDF Moderator
      BagpipeJourney.com - Reference for Bagpipers

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      • #4
        Yes, I agree: What EagleJCS outlined. I would add that most organizations in N. America are shifting slowly toward RSPBA rules to more standardize them across the board. Of course, some things, such as delineation of bands (e.g., A and B; Juvenile; etc.) don't work if there are not enough bands in any jurisdiction. Even some non-sanctioned competitions in our region are starting to follow BCPA rules. Our band is selecting tunes based upon BCPA rules, which are off the RSPBA-approved list. QMM, by the way, is now QMS in our BCPA area, and there are specific tunes from which we are to choose. I won't comment on whether or not all the changes are for the best, though standardization and cooperation between associations is usually a good thing.

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        • #5
          Thanks for the responses. I guess I was thinking that just making a contest "open" made it kind of a free-for-all. But on further reflection, that just doesn't make sense.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Monkberrymoon View Post
            I have a (North America-specific) question about multi-grade band membership and competing. The general rule seems to be that "A playing member of a band may compete only with the band with which he or she is registered...."
            There seem to be a number of loopholes that bands sometimes exploit.

            One is the "instructor rule" where somebody can play in two (or more??) bands as long as they're listed as "instructor".

            Evidently somebody can play in two (or more??) bands if they play different instruments.

            There was a contest here where a band with only three pipers competed (the minimum being six) due to the 4th piper being the "instructor" and the 5th and 6th pipers being drummers from another band. As I recall at least one of the drummers was a piper from another band. I suppose an entire band could compete as two different bands as long as everyone switched instruments??

            proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; Son of the Revolution and Civil War; first European settlers on the Guyandotte

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            • #7
              But the instructor can’t count towards the number of pipers, ie they can’t be number 6 (or number 5 for G5 bands).

              As for switching instruments, I don’t see a big problem with that.

              The biggest loophole (for lack of a better term here) that I’ve had to find to make use of is someone being registered with a Juvenile band also being able to play and compete with a graded adult band, even on the same instrument.
              You don't have fun by winning. You win by having fun.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Jim Fogelman View Post
                But the instructor can’t count towards the number of pipers, ie they can’t be number 6 (or number 5 for G5 bands).
                To whose rules are you referring? Unless it's changed, under BCPA, I competed several times as an instructor with our junior band, and I was the sixth piper (this was at what some call the "BC Indoor", which was a mini-band event, limited to six pipers).

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jim Fogelman View Post

                  As for switching instruments, I don't see a big problem with that.
                  Well it clearly violates the "one band one band" ethos.

                  It's like getting pulled over by the police because you have a suspended drivers licence.

                  "But Officer, my licence was suspended violations I committed while I was driving my other car."

                  proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; Son of the Revolution and Civil War; first European settlers on the Guyandotte

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                  • #10
                    Both EUSPBA rules (p. 13) and WUSPBA rules (7.2.2.1) prohibit the instructor piper or drummer from making up the minimum number of players.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by pancelticpiper View Post

                      Well it clearly violates the "one band one band" ethos.

                      It's like getting pulled over by the police because you have a suspended drivers licence.

                      "But Officer, my licence was suspended violations I committed while I was driving my other car."
                      I see it more as having a license to drive a car as well as a motorcycle. They’re two different things that are used in the same place. But if you can get your class C and your M1/M2 license (California designations of licenses, not sure how the rest of the world classifies them), why should you be limited to only ever operating one vehicle?
                      You don't have fun by winning. You win by having fun.

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