August 31, 2012

World’s Grade 2 result reportedly under appeal

The final result of the Grade 2 competition at the 2012 World Pipe Band Championships is reportedly under appeal by at least four bands due to Bagad Brieg of Brittany playing six seconds over the maximum allowed time in the medley qualifying competition which, according to sources, the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association has acknowledged was known before the band went through to the Grade 2 Final.

Bagad Brieg went on to place third in the Grade 2 Final, which was also a medley competition. The band played the same selection, but slightly faster, putting the performance just under six minutes. The RSPBA time requirement for a competition medley in Grade 2 is between four and six minutes.

Bagad Brieg was placed first in drumming in the Final, edging out overall winners Denny & Dunipace Gleneagles for the prize. Lomond & Clyde finished seventh overall in the Grade 2 Final.

The Portland Metro Pipe Band of Portland, Oregon, finished seventh in the Grade 2 qualifying heat in which Bagad Brieg competed, and because Bagad Brieg were not disqualified did not go through to the Grade 2 Final.

According to two sources who spoke on condition of anonymity, the RSPBA has been contacted by no fewer than four Grade 2 bands, each of which have appealed the decision to allow Bagad Brieg to compete in the Final. One source said that the RSPBA justification for Brieg going through was that playing over time gave them “no musical advantage.”

“Timing is normally very strict at championships,” said one RSPBA insider who spoke on condition that his name not be used. “It’s the job of the National Councilor (now director) on duty in that arena. In the past bands have been disqualified for being a second or two over time. One famous incident was a major at Allness where a handful of novice bands were disqualified by the National Councilor on duty that day, which caused a big rumpus because it was kids.”

Bagad Brieg were allegedly told by RSPBA officials after the qualifier that they had exceeded the six-minute maximum by six seconds, but it was decided to let the results be tallied and then deal with it later.

Recordings of Bagad Brieg in the Grade 2 qualifier show the performance lasting six minutes and six seconds, and five minutes 58 seconds in the Final.

The RSPBA normally will respond to complaints made in writing. It is not known if any bands have appealed in writing.

At publication time, RSPBA Chief Executive Ian Embelton had not responded to a message left asking for comment on the matter.

After the 2012 European Pipe Band Championships, the RSPBA took away the first-prize originally awarded to the Killeen Pipe Band in Grade 3B after the band voluntarily returned the trophy and prize money when it was discovered they played with seven pipers, one less than the minimum required for the grade at a major championship.


  1. ToneCzar sums up this situation in a nutshell. Sure this can be debated based on Its only a couple of seconds and they’ve travelled a long way…”…..but why would any band “plan out” a selection that put them so close to either a min or max. Any band I’ve been in

  2. I stopped taking these rules seriously in 2010, after the band in which I was the P/S got a third place in a given competition. No sore losing here – members from both the winning band and runners up said they were surprised by the placements as our tone, balance, tempo etc was way higher. What I did was, after the announcements I politely questioned the adjudicator. He said merely, It’s a number’s game”

  3. Would a rule ‘within the spirit of the rules’ help. This would allow some leeway for issues like this where the ‘breech’ is not serious. Or would it simply confuse matters and allow the judges and officials to be be berated for using their initiative and allowing some latitude? Just wondering!

  4. Rules are rules and I appreciate that. However, Portland weren’t the only ones to spent a lot of money so did Brieg, the decision was probably the wrong one in hindsight, but I can see why it was done, they’re a few seconds over, they’ve spent a lot of money to come and the decision was taken at the ring not to DQ them. I am sure if the decision was taken after compiling and not after the performance the outcome may have been different, and I’m absolutely positive if the band had placed last we wouldn’t be having this debate. Once again there’s an element of RSPBA bashing, I’d love to see some of the other organisations run a championship with over 230 bands and over 300 performances in a single day and get every single call exactly correct, the reality is no other organisation knows what it’s like to run that event. Portland can feel hard done by, if their drum corps had been better than 3rd last they wouldn’t have been relying on someone else, and I read on here someone thinks they should get an automatic pass into the next Worlds Final, seriously!!!!! OK as I said, I can see why the person made the call the did AT THE RING after the performance, he or she are surely now wishing they hadn’t made that call, yes rules are rules but common sense should also prevail, I think in this occasion it has backfired badly. Imagine if it were your band running a few seconds over, you’d want common sense to prevail and if the RSPBA DQ’d your band then there would be outcry also. They really can’t win, but by all means if you feel you can do a better job then step up.

  5. Seems like the R.S.PB.A could do themselves a favour and say eaxctly what happened instead of staying quiet. Just tell the world why you made the decision you did and then move along. Sheesh. Why is that so hard??? Are these rules to follow or are they not?? Should bands feel free to add 5 or 10 seconds to their medley’s now or not???

  6. As pipe major of Portland Metro, on behalf of the band I would like to thank people for their support and sympathy.  Although we were disappointed with not making the Grade 2 final, we prefer to make the final based on our playing ability, and not based on a technicality.  Although we are not a part of this appeal process, we respect the rights of bands wishing to voice their concerns.  We will use this experience to help fuel our drive towards our return to the Worlds in 2014.  Thanks! Mark Tomasetti

  7. It is a rule. These rules are put in place for bands to follow. At this level of playing it is unacceptable for this so-called minor mistake. Bands practice and time their sets and they took the risk. It is unfortunate however they should be disqualified if you ask me. If you bend the rules here then what does that say for the rest of the rules in place?

  8. Do you guys know 78th Fraser’s medley also run over time in 2010 (you can check the CD, their time was 7:11). However, RSPBA also didn’t have action on that time and no one mentioned it… Maybe it is because the competition was Bill’s last time as a PM of 78th on the field.



Forgotten Password?