August 31, 2005

2005 World Pipe Band Championship predictions

The thirteenth will be a lucky day for the bands that make the prize lists at the World Pipe Band Championship, the biggest event on the pipe band calendar, tomorrow in Glasgow. We takes its annual look at the competing bands and puts odds on the field.

We assembled a large panel of experts, none of whom play with a Grade 1 band. We asked them to consider the season so far, the judges, and intangibles like weather, previous prizes won, and World’s results from previous years. We sorted the data and came up with an aggregation of their thoughts.

Just a reminder: this is all in fun, and we don’t condone gambling, and it really means nothing.


Field-Marshal Montgomery – 1:2 odds
“A band in full force. This will be their year again.”
“No one gets a sound like FMM, and maybe no band will ever again.”
“These could be vintage performances.”

Simon Fraser University – evens
“SFU always turns up leaving nothing to chance.”
“If there’s a role model for other bands, SFU is surely one of them.”

House of Edgar-Shotts & Dykehead – evens
“Their win at Tain puts a whole new dimension on things.”
“Two words: drum corps.”
“More Ontario players in the ranks than some Ontario bands!”

Strathclyde Police – 3:1
“The Polis are always the local favourite.”
“Playing great, and they may well come up the middle to take it all.”
“A great darkhorse bet.”

St. Laurence O’Toole – 4:1
“A tremendous concert on Wednesday has got everyone buzzing.”
“Always great music.”

78th Fraser Highlanders – 5:1
“Their sound is better than it has been for years.”
“Not good enough to win, but top-six is there.”

ScottishPower – 6:1
“Always musical and refined, and a drum section getting better all the time.”

Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia – 8:1
“Sorry, still not their year, but could finish very high by a few judges.”

Clan Gregor – 8:1
“Getting in at Tain gives them a serious look at the top-six.”

Alberta Caledonia – 10:1
“They’ve turned up in Scotland playing very well.”
“Should get through the qualifier.”

Toronto Police – 10:1

78th Highlanders (Halifax) – 10:1

Manawatu – 15:1

Nunawading – 15:1

Vale of Atholl – 15:1

Dysart & Dundonald – 20:1

Peel Regional Police – 25:1

Ballycoan – 25:1

Ballinderry Bridge – 25:1

David Urquhart Travel – 25:1

City of Washington – 25:1

Glasgow Pipes & Drums – 25:1

Lothian & Borders Police – 30:1

Prince Charles – 30:1

Qualifier result prediction

Our panelists’ consensus prediction for the result of the qualifier contest, in order:

  • 78th Fraser Highlanders
  • Clan Gregor
  • Alberta Caledonian
  • 78th Highlanders (Halifax)
  • Toronto Police
  • Manawatu

    Final result

    And so, our fearless prediction, based on the input of our seasoned panelists, for the Grade 1 prize list at Glasgow Green on August 13 is:

    1st Field-Marshal Montgomery
    2nd Simon Fraser University
    3rd House of Edgar-Shotts & Dykehead
    4th Strathclyde Police
    5th St. Laurence O’Toole
    6th 78th Fraser Highlanders
    Drumming: Shotts

    Consensus dark-horse: Strathclyde Police

    We thank our panelists – they know who they are! – and we wish all bands competing at the World Championships nothing but the best of luck on the day.


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