Published: April 30, 2007

RSPBA medley format standing pat for 2007: sources

Potential changes to the RSPBA’s Grade 1 Medley format will reportedly not be implemented for the 2007 season, according to several high-level sources closely connected with the matter.

“The general feeling appears to be that more thought needs to go into the proposals, and I know that many of the adjudicators feel that they should have been consulted,” said one insider who spoke on condition of anonymity. “It is too late in any event for the bands to prepare for such a change this year.”

The RSPBA had posed the possibility of making the opening traditional three-paced-rolls an option, allowing band to begin in any manner that they choose with any tune-type they wish.
The proposal also raised the possibility of allowing bands to use a non-traditional circle formation in competition, such as “semi-circle, v-shape or ranked band formation.”

“I believe the new medley format will . . . be [used] in 2008,” a prominent member of a Scottish Grade 1 band speculated.

The RSPBA’s National Council is scheduled to meet at the beginning of May, and the potential Grade 1 Medley changes reportedly will be discussed then.

Current RSPBA rules require all bands to start a medley with two three-paced rolls, with an introductory E and “on the quick-march.” Bands are then required to form a circle within the parameters drawn on the competition field. The organization added the “on the quick-march” requirement in the early 1990s after the 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band started its World’s medley with a traditional Gaelic waulking song.

The first RSPBA major, the Scottish Championships, is on May 19 in Dumbarton, Scotland.

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