Published: October 24, 2019

A potential solution to the challenge of monitoring rosters

By Tom Foote

Roster management and tracking have become an issue for bands, Highland games and sanctioning organizations across the globe. It has become virtually impossible to guarantee that the rosters submitted to organizations comply with the rules of competition they have set forth. The time has come for bands, Highland games and sanctioning authorities to consider using modern means to track rosters live.

I will not cite specific instances of non-compliance or roster stacking on the part of any bands. I will say that it is known to have happened by multiple entities. I will mention that the practice is in use and probably will continue to happen until a viable system is in place to assure adherence to published rules.

Pipe Band competitions are big business. The participants deserve to be assured of fair play in regard to rostering. The adjudicators can then be allowed to judge the contests with the reassurance that there are no ringers being slipped into the contests. It is not job of judges to monitor rosters.

I do not think that there is a pipe band competition in the world that can be 100% assured that rosters submitted match the actual participants.

Fortunately, there is already a model to use to remedy future issues. Youth sports teams have had this in place for decades and have been successful with their propagation and monitoring of rosters under their jurisdiction.

If you have ever been to a youth sports event you may have witnessed the process of checking in prior to the game/event. It’s not time consuming and ensures that there will be fairness in competition at the event.

They use functional membership and player cards as a function of ID administration and monitoring.


Membership ID cards can be an effective way to bolster revenue and instill member trust.


Membership cards can provide innumerable benefits for both the member and the provider. For the member, these cards set them apart from non-members, making them feel part of an exclusive group and proud to be a member. Members also tend to get special access to membership perks depending on the type of organization or company. For businesses, membership ID cards can be an effective way to bolster revenue and instill member trust.

Membership cards identify members of any professional or recreational club, and are commonly used at businesses like gyms, grocery stores, and book shops. Membership cards can also be used with special software to track important data such as what time they’re used, how often they’re used, and other information on the cardholder. Membership can take on many forms, from photo identification cards to colored cards depending on your needs.

As an organization, it’s important to know that membership ID badges serve myriad functions, from tracking the number of members who use a service every day to counting how many times each member uses his or her card. Most membership ID cards contain a bar code or magnetic stripe encoding that is read by a scanner and integrated with a software program to gather data. If your club, organization, or business offers membership benefits, then incorporating a membership card program is a necessary component.

Membership cards are often paired with specialty software to manage membership activities. Once membership management software is in place, compatible cards can usually be printed and encoded using a standard ID card printer.

Photo identification cards typically contain a photo of the cardholder and other unique information such as name, address, job title, or other data that indicates special authorizations.

One of the most common uses of ID cards is basic photo identification. ID cards are usually made from PVC, and are sometimes covered with an over-laminate to protect information on the card and to increase durability and security. However, photo ID cards serve many purposes, and are necessary in many work and high-security environments where identification is essential to the task at hand. Today’s ID cards range from simple photo IDs right on up to high-tech multi-functional cards.

More complex cards can include a range of technologies such as a bar codes magnetic stripe or smart card encoding to increase card functionality. Adding these elements into the card design allows for integration with access control systems for buildings and computer networks, cashless payment, or time and attendance tracking. Proximity cards or contactless smart cards are embedded with radio frequency (RF) technology, which enables them to be read from a distance as a card holder passes by a card reader.

Creating an ID card requires a special printer that can print on durable PVC plastic cards. ID card printers print using a process that either applies resin to the surface of a card, embedding the colour through a process called dye sublimation, or prints images, graphics, and text on a special film, which is then fused to the card in a process called reverse-transfer printing. The cards may be pre-printed with common information such as a company logo, and then fed through the ID card printer to add each cardholder’s unique information. Depending on the type of printer and the features it supports, ID cards can be encoded and security overlaminates can be applied at the same time or in a separate pass.

There are hundreds of companies that offer ID card management systems and functionality. I’m confident that a suitable system could be found for pipe band needs.

What do you think? Do you and your band desire or deserve a roster ID monitoring system? Let your sanctioning body know your thoughts. I have and I will do so again and again.

Tom Foote has been a snare drummer with several Grade 1 bands, including Clan MacFarlane, the 78th Fraser Highlanders and the Toronto Police. He lives in western New York and is the owner and operator of the Tom Foote School of Drumming.

Do you have an opinion on a hot topic in piping and drumming? We welcome your ideas for guest editorials.

 

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