November 30, 2008

World’s Bass-Section award to be decided by pipes|drums Poll

After the RSPBA’s March 2008 decision to drop the Best Bass-Section awards from the three major championships at which they were offered, the decades-long tradition of naming the World Champion in the category threatened to come to an end.
In 1985 Victoria Wines sponsored the Best Bass Drummer trophy at the World’s, but after the 2003 season the Hosbilt Cup for Best Bass-Section was created and donated by Craig Colquhoun’s Hosbilt company and it had been awarded every year since. The 2007 winner was the Scottish Lion-78th Fraser Highlanders.
With the prize being removed from the World Championship, Colquhoun wanted to ensure that the tradition would continue, at least in Grade 1.
Colquhoun and tenor drummer Scott Currie of the Grade 1 Strathclyde Police Pipe Band approached pipes|drums with the idea to utilize pipes|drums’ popular Poll feature to decide the 2008 World Champion Bass-Section, asking readers to cast their vote after viewing and listening to the DVD and CDs from the contest.
All 14 bass drummers from the bands in the Grade 1 Final at the World’s are on the ballot. The pipes|drums Poll feature allows only one vote per computer Internet Protocol address. The Poll will be available until midnight (ET) Sunday, November 9, 2008, and the winner of the trophy will be announced on that day, with the trophy being awarded to the band to keep for one year.
Results will be kept hidden until the poll closes.
“Since 2004 the World’s cup has been sponsored by Hosbilt,” said Colquhoun. “The trophy was won by Johnny Rowe’s [section] in 2007, and it was returned to the RSPBA prior to the 2008 World Pipe Band Championships, since the RSPBA requires bands to return all trophies from the previous year or the responsible bands will not be allowed to compete. So, this trophy (which I don’t have yet) will have all of the history engraved.”
Readers can view the list of Grade 1 Best Bass and Best Bass-Section winners at the World Pipe Band Championships using pipes|drums’ BigPrizes database.
While the award was changed from Best Bass Drummer to Best Bass-Section in 2004, the trophy still lists the section’s bass drummer, according to Colquhoun, “to keep the history consistent.”


  1. I’m a fan of keeping the award alive and well, but to me this sounds like maybe they (the RSPBA) were correct. Either that or we have given up hope? By doing this, I feel is to say; They win. But we want to give out this trophy still. And or

  2. Im afraid I think this is a terrible decision and sets a very worrying precedent. It may very well be a People’s Choice award, but its not necessarily a choice of people who heard or witnessed a single performance, never mind the entire contest. This sort of idea promotes popularity as opposed to excellence and invites exactly the sort of criticism that has been levelled at RSPBA adjudicators when they consistently opt for the big names” when they maybe shouldnt have. While I do not wish to make this a geographical debate

  3. I think all section prizes should be removed with only the band prizes being announced on the day. At the end of the year get all judges registered with the RSPBA to vote on who was the best pipe corps, drum corps and bass-section. I would also like to see awards given based on every member of pipe bands voting for their RSPBA World Pipe Band of the Year” similar to what they have in football or soccer. The most improtant prize is the band that wins the world championship at Glasgow Green

  4. When I first read this I thought…cool, why not. Better than nothing. So I rushed to vote…and then vote again just to see if the prohibition on the same ip (internet protocol) address voting twice would work. It did! But then I thought, I have three other computers at home with unique ip’s, I can vote with them. Then it dawned on me…this method of awarding the Best Bass Section award risks making a farce out of it. Those like myself who play in a bass section and players who want to see the contribution of the bass section recognised are frustrated with the absence of these awards and even more so with the lack of standards and qualified judges. Hoss has the right to do as he wishes with the Hossbilt Award. I suppose this ‘stunt’ has brought this issue back into view, but I don’t think it has done anything to promote the cause. I can only dream of ever being part of a band that wins this award, but if it were to happen, I don’t think I would want it to be this years’. Iain Ricketts-Moncur

  5. Gotta give it up to Hoss, Scott, Andrew – I like it! Given some of my recent posts, I will recuse myself from voting on this 🙂 But seriously, kudos to everyone – I think it’s a cheery note in our sometimes dreary, political, hidebound and silly….hobby, profession, whatever. Bravo, and my the most popular section win!

  6. “It’s a people’s choice award. Get over it.” Author: Andrew Berthoff. Mmmmm I am thinking there has been very many excellent views being posted to suggested otherwise. I also thought the whole point of a comment page was to allow people to express their views? Don’t get me wrong this is great idea but there are obvious concerns. The notes made about IP addresses are spot on. If you know what you are doing you can even change your IP address time again on the same machine. Many folk will work in offices where at the very least will have a second vote, and at the most x votes depending on how many machines present within that company. To believe it is one vote per person is very naive. Yes, it may be a peoples choice, but is it fair, that is what people are obviously concerned about which is surely justified?

  7. You are correct, Wemyss. All comments are welcome, and that was my comment. It’s the Hosbilt Cup, so if Hoss wants to award it by making it by people’s choice, then pipes|drums is happy to help.

  8. I think Craig and Scott are on the right track with this poll but also fear that the RSPBA may not reinstate the award for 2009 and beyond. If that is the case I’d like to see a panel of 3 players that are not playing at the 2009 World’s selected by Craig and Scott to decide the award. They could remain anonymous or not a ranking system with lowest aggregate score would determine the winner. A method to break a tie would also need to be in place. This way the Hosbilt Cup would continue to be awarded and by qualified adjudicators.

  9. The Poll actually works on a third-party platform. Working with the developers, I am now able to identify and delete multiple votes from a single IP address. Only addresses casting single votes will count. So . . . don’t waste your time trying to trick the system!

  10. So you have to go through each vote to check if they’ve voted before? Sounds to me like a hefty task. Especially considering that when I refresh the page I can vote again

  11. I am basing this on the story of the bass section award at the world championships which is run by the RSPBA. Whether or not a band can attend doesn’t matter, as long as it is a member of the RSPBA they can vote based on the CD and DVD. Alastair

  12. Well, This has been interesting so far! The only reason the RSPBA got rid of the Bass Award was to shorten the closing ceremonies. I fear all of the great ideas here and elsewhere will not come to fruition in my life time. If their goal was to enhance the means of treatment of the mid-sections, taking away their award would not have been the first step. Heck, go ahead, save time. Don’t have centre bands. Just announce who won each grade (first place only) in the beer tent at the end of the day. That would satisfy all needs. Please don’t take yourselves so seriously. Competition is the most amateur thing we do.

  13. True enough. That was the original idea wasn’t? to shorten the games, which from what I hear they have done by all of maybe…..NOTHING!!! Maybe they should have stated that they would only award the prize at the worlds. This might help the other championships held over there. But they cannot reasonably believe that they would be able to save time by eliminating one award (per grade), when every year they have more than one band added to the growing numbers of competitors. Math; 20 more bands than last year @ 6 minutes per band = 2 hours added. Not taking into account the time inbetween bands. I don’t think the bass award was taking 2 hours of time at the end of the day. Maybe limit the prize announcements to the top 3? But have the placings on the sheets as usual for the bands after 3rd. That would save them an extra ….1/2 hour?



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