July 31, 2007

Updated: Draw for World’s Grade 1 Qualifier completed

After the European Championships, the pre-qualified bands for the World Championships were settled.

Based on the RSPBA’s league table system, in which points are accrued from the three Majors preceding the World’s, combined with so-called “overseas” bands that gained a prize at the previous year’s World’s, these bands, listed in alphabetical order, receive a bye to the Final. :

  • Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia (Scotland)
  • Field Marshal Montgomery (Northern Ireland)
  • House of Edgar-Shotts & Dykehead (Scotland)
  • Robert Wiseman Dairies-Vale of Atholl (Scotland)
  • Scottish Lion-78th Fraser Highlanders (Canada)
  • ScottishPower (Scotland)
  • Simon Fraser University (Canada)
  • St. Laurence O’Toole (Ireland)
  • Strathclyde Police (Scotland)

Five more bands from the morning MSR Qualifier will then be added to the mix. The draw for bands competing in the Qualifier:

  1. Alberta Caledonia (Canada)
  2. Los Angeles Scots (USA)
  3. Ballinderry Bridge (Northern Ireland)
  4. Tayside Police (Scotland)
  5. Dysart & Dundonald (Scotland)
  6. Lothian & Borders Police (Scotland)
  7. Ballycoan (Northern Ireland)
  8. Windsor Police (Canada)
  9. Clan Gregor Society (Scotland)
  10. Manawatu Scottish Society (New Zealand)
  11. 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel) (Canada)
  12. Bleary & District (Northern Ireland)
  13. Australia Highlanders (Australia)

The league table system has been heavily criticized for placing the qualifying bands at a severe disadvantage for the Final in that they have to compete three times. Since the RSPBA introduced the system, only three bands, ScottishPower, Vale of Atholl and the 78th Fraser Highlanders, have managed to get through the qualifier and then attain a prize in the final. The 78th Frasers managed it in two different years, and ScottishPower and the Vale both in 1999.

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  1. the rspba has always been like this, this is just a another act towards their reputation, i dont agree with the pre qualifed step at all, its gives the qualified” bands a physical and mental advantage over the bands who have to get through to the final round. The non quali bands are more fatiqued and go in the competition with the thought that there is probably a reason why they have to qualify… also is applied to more grades than one but in different matters

  2. The Aussie and NZ bands aren’t the only ones at a disadvantage under this system! Many Canadian and US bands cannot afford (monetarily AND vacation days from work) to travel over to Championships to attempt to prequalify… or run the gauntlet of three-in-a-day contests at Worlds. In truth, calling the Glasgow Green band contest the World Championships” is a FARCE under the current system on par with American Baseball calling their big game the “World Series.” Both big games occasionally let a Canadian team in

  3. Seems to be a bit mysterious, and possibly a departure from previous years. However, keep in mind that ScottishPower has been competing in the toughest field of Grade 1, and finishing right next to the prize list, with top 6 placings from some judges. They have finished ahead of the UK bands who didn’t qualify, and the other non-UK bands, who are all undoubtedly excellent, play in Grade 1 contests with one or two bands. For example, what has a band like Alberta or LA Scots achieved this year to set them apart from Power? Those bands are spending the whole winter preparing ONE medley, knowing that they don’t have to submit two, while Scotish bands must have two medleys for the championships. Now there’s a North American advantage that’s not really talked about in terms of the fairness”. With 21 Grade 1 bands

  4. Can anyone explain why the top SEVEN bands from the Champion of Champions table prequalified? I thought it was the top six plus any overseas” bands that came top six the year before. When and how did they come up with that number (seven)??”

  5. Sounds like yet another make up the rules as you go along thing to have another Scottish band in the final. Why these overseas bands bother I do not know but honestly good luck to one and all and see you in the beertent.

  6. Im sure that in the past few years where this qualifying process has been in place it has always been top 6 from the coc table for the current year that go through. Surely that means the RSPBA now class SLOT as overseas therefore qualifying through their top 6 placing in 2006????????

  7. SLOT were 7th in 2006, and therefore, they did not pre-qualify. They were, however, in the top six in terms of standing through the three majors this year. I really don’t get this system; to me, there is no way Scottish Power should pre-qualify with three seventh-place finishes. They’re a great band, and I don’t bear any ill will to them. However, they should have to play in the qualifier for one of six available spots. The RSPBA really needs to engage in a process that engenders transparency and legitimacy; as it stands now, the organization demonstrates neither of these characteristics.

  8. Sorry – i was being sarcastic. SLOT being classed as overseas would have explained it. SLOT are well deserved of their place. What i meant was i am totally confused as to how Scottish Power have qualified when in previous years 7th place in the standings after 3 majors was not good enough. Looking at summaries of past years Clan Gregor were 7th and im sure they have played the qualifier each year. I agree with you in that only 6 should prequalify and then 6 go through from the morning.

  9. The selection process is much tougher for Australian and New Zealand bands because they will never be able to attend the qualifying events and, more often than not, compete every 2nd year. This means that they will always have to go through the prelims. These bands don’t want an easy ride. Something approaching a level playing field would be more just! It is called the World Pipe Band Champs, not the Northern Hemisphere Pipe band champs and one or two antipodean bands who can occasionally attend.

  10. I think this is whats called a mugs game”. The qualifier gets all the overseas bands coming and hoping they will get through that and then dreaming that they will then go on to glory in the final. The odds are so stacked against that happening. But take away the qualifier and there goes most of the overseas bands from the contest. Most importantly there goes all that money pouring into the Glasgow economy. Without all those bands that means Piping Live probably would not happen. It is a slippery one. I think this is really on the edge of bands saying enough and pouring their money back into their own countries ecomonies.”

  11. I don’t think it has anything to do with tourist dollars — they could simply allow all the bands who showed up to play in both events! They don’t split Grade 2 until there are around 40 bands, so why split Grade 1 with only 21 bands? If numbers are an issue, then the RSPBA should work with other associations to ensure that bands in Grade 1 are of that standard. I would hazard to guess, however, that two plays in the afternoon would be a more realistic test of a bands’ standard, then an all-or-nothing MSR at 8:30.



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