Scottish police bands may not attend British Championships
Several prominent Scottish pipe bands affiliated with police forces may be kept from competing at the British Championships in Banbridge, Northern Ireland, in June due to security concerns.
According to sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, eight bands could be affected by such an official move, including Grade 1 Strathclyde Police, Lothian & Borders Police, Fife Constabulary, Tayside Police and Grampian Police.
Also impacted would be the Grade 2 Dumfries & Galloway Constabulary, the Grade 4 Northern Constabulary and the Central Scotland Police.
If such a ban were imposed it could dramatically impact the Grade 1 league table system for qualifying for the World Pipe Band Championships, with some bands having to go through the qualifying round to get to the final.
RSPBA rules state that RSPBA-member bands must play in all major championships before the World’s in order to be eligible to pre-qualify.
“It’s not good news for the British Championships,” the source said. “It kind of contaminates the Grade 1 qualifier at the World’s for bands trying to break through from the middle tier of the grade. Maybe they will relax the rules, but I would doubt it.”
The security concerns may stem from the March 2009 incident in which two British soldiers stationed near Belfast were killed.
The British Pipe Band Championships are scheduled for June 27th in Banbridge.