The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, after more than six weeks went by since several bands complained that Bagad Brieg exceeded the maximum six minutes by six seconds in their Grade 2 qualifying heat at the 2012 World Pipe Band Championships, addressed the matter at a board of directors meeting on October 13th, and decided that Brieg’s third prize overall and first-place in the drumming would stand.
The organization agreed that the complaints from at least four other Grade 2 bands would be “upheld,” and the concerned bands would receive an apology. The directors also agreed that Bagad Brieg’s six-second error “was not their fault.”
According to an insider, at the meeting the group decided that “discretion should not have been applied, and at the end of the day Brieg won the drumming [in the Final] fair and square on the day.”
Brieg played within the six-minute time limit in the Final by increasing its tempos in places.
The group also determined that no discretion of any kind will be given at future competitions. If a band arrives a minute late to the starting line, or over-plays or under-plays its medley by even one second, it will be disqualified without question.
Each circle at RSPBA competitions has a board member who is supposed to monitor timing. The board member on Brieg’s Grade 2 qualifier circle at the 2012 World’s was reportedly in his first year, and allegedly alerted RSPBA vice-chairman John Hughes about Brieg going over-time. Adjudicators have no role in monitoring duration of medleys or numbers of players.
According to more than one source, no official blame was laid on any RSPBA representative for the error.