April 08, 2021

CLASP amateur piping expands to include solo Grade 4 and Grade 5 pipers worldwide (video)

The Competition League of Amateur Solo Pipers (CLASP) was launched 15 years ago, originally providing a place for UK pipers older than 18 who didn’t want or weren’t good enough to play against “professional” standard players would have somewhere to compete.

In 2005, the National Piping Centre launched the new league, and now it has expanded to include an amateur Grade 4 category, with those with a Grade 5 in their home association allowed to play up.

Unlike most of the rest of the world, the UK doesn’t have an organized amateur system, mainly because there isn’t an association that sanctions or runs competitions for amateurs around the games. There’s still pretty much “seniors” (older than 18) or “juniors” (18 and younger). That’s been the way for more than a century.

Another silver lining of the pandemic has been opening CLASP competition to anyone in the world who wants to participate in new online events. The league has seen numbers take off, adult amateur players eager to find forums to compete before accredited judges.

In addition to her full-time teaching at the National Piping Centre, Margaret Dunn has been the manager of CLASP for many years and has overseen to expansion of the organization. Among other initiatives, she’s looking at the introduction of a CLASP Workshop series.

To participate in CLASP contests, pipers must take out a membership, which is £40 for the year and, unlike most associations, reduces the price as the season progresses. Members affectionately refer to each other as “Claspies.” As with associations, there are additional entry fees to specific events.

We recently caught up with Margaret Dunn, who was also part of our recent three-part Women in Piping panel discussion, to catch us up on CLASP developments and other aspects of amateur piping in the UK and around the world.



DeMass, Grothusen, Beaton overall March CLASP winners
March 28, 2021

CLASP solo circuit
June 23, 2005





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