November 30, 2008

SFU gains 2008 Hosbilt Cup for world’s best mid-section

The bass and tenor drummers of the 2008 World Champion Simon Fraser University Pipe Band have been chosen by readers of pipes|drums to receive the 2008 Hosbilt Cup, the annual prize that was traditionally awarded to the best bass-section in Grade 1 at the World Pipe Band Championships.
The Vancouver-based SFU won the people’s choice award by 10 percentage points over second-place finishers House of Edgar-Shotts & Dykehead of Scotland. Finishing third was the Scottish Lion-78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band of Toronto. Shotts and the 78th Frasers placed third and seventh overall as a band at the 2008 World’s.
Full results from the pipes|drums Hosbilt Cup readers' choice poll.
SFU’s prize gave the band all three awards from the 2008 World’s: best band, best drum section and best bass section.
The method of awarding the Hosbilt Trophy by using the pipes|drums Poll was chosen after the RSPBA decided in March 2008 to eliminate the Best Bass-Section prizes at the three major championships at which it was given. The association cited time constraints as the main reason for doing away with the prizes.
In 2005 the Hosbilt company donated a trophy to be awarded to the Best Bass-Section at the World Pipe Band Championships, but when the prize was abolished the trophy was not presented. Hosbilt owner Craig Colquhoun, along with leading tenor drummer Scott Currie, approached pipes|drums with the idea of awarding the prize through the poll.
More than 3,000 individual votes were cast. While readers could vote multiple times, obvious attempts to stuff the ballot-box were identified and deleted. Even after the 10 or so instances of ballot-stuffing were thrown out, the ultimate rankings did not change. All 14 bands that made the Grade 1 Final at the 2008 World Pipe Band Championships were included in the poll.
Final result was: 
  • Simon Fraser University – 26%
  • House of Edgar-Shotts & Dykehead – 16%
  • Scottish Lion-78th Fraser Highlanders – 14%
  • St. Laurence O’Toole – 9%
  • Spirit of Scotland – 8%
  • Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia – 7%
  • Field Marshal Montgomery – 4%
  • Clan Gregor Society – 3%
  • Robert Wiseman Dairies-Vale of Atholl – 3%
  • Strathclyde Police – 3%
  • Band Club, Sydney – 2%
  • ScottishPower – 2%
  • Ballycoan – 1%
  • Fife Constabulary – 1%
“Thanks to pipes|drums for creating a huge positive out of an equally proportioned negative,” Currie said. “Hats off also to Craig Colquhoun for not allowing the award he donated so kindly in the first place from becoming a doorstop at Washington Street [RSPBA headquarters]. In the absence of an adjudicated Best Bass Section award, this ‘peoples’ choice’ award was an innovative idea in my opinion. There is no better endorsement upon a performance than the approval of the audience and this award has allowed the people who follow and support our bands to have their say. Thinking out of the box is what will keep pipe bands moving forward and our audience interested, not denial and censorship of progress.”
Colquhoun said that he will personally contact SFU bass drummer Kathryn Tawse. He will handle the engraving of the Hosbilt Cup and shipment to Tawse after it is returned to him by the RSPBA.
The news of the method of awarding the 2008 Hosbilt Cup by pipes|drums reader-poll was met with considerable commentary from pipes|drums readers and elsewhere on the Internet.
“It was good to see that people are passionate about their opinions when it comes to this sort of thing,” Colquhoun added.
He did not indicate how the trophy might be determined in future years.


  1. Absolute farse, it is not a proper win. SFU did deserve it, but this is not IMO a full on view, and it no way represents the actual results. This is just another example of marketing taking thepipe band world over.

  2. WobblyTM – its no worse then one absent minded judge that doesn’t even respect what bass sections do giving out the prize at the worlds. Better than nothing I would say. I did not vote for SFU but they won it by a mile so there must be somethign to it.

  3. Sure thing. Here’s the data taken directly from the poll. The >1%” are mostly just a single vote. • UK 35% • Canada 25% • United States 22% • Australia 4% • Ireland 4% • Unknown Country 3% • New Zealand 2% • Holland 1% • France 1% • Belgium >1% • Chile 0>1% • China >1% • Denmark >1% • European Union >1% • Falkland Islands (Malvinas) >1% • Germany >1% • Hong Kong (China) >1% • Israel >1% • Italy >1% • Luxembourg >1% • Mexico >1% • Norway >1% • Oman >1% • Russia >1% • Singapore >1% • South Africa >1% • Spain >1% • Sweden >1% • Switzerland >1% • Viet Nam >1% “

  4. I think this was a great bit of harmless fun (And not a Marketing ploy), so well done to P & D for their efforts…. Perhaps things like this, may just tempt the powers that be, to re-instate the prizes at the Champs… Well done to SFU

  5. Well there you have it. Kathryn Tawse finally wins the Hosbilt Cup. Now, if the previous judging process had as much validity as this process did, we’d be getting somewhere. Well Done SFU!



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