Long, Boland, MacKenzie capture 2021 CLASP league championship titles
Scott Long of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Eddie Boland of Ireland, and Colin MacKenzie of Scotland were the season-long champions of Grade 1, Grade 2 and Grade 3 in the Competition League of Amateur Solo Pipers (CLASP) season of online competitions.
Each piper picked up the prize after league table tabulation of all contests and events, contestants accruing points for their results.
Normally, the CLASP season would culminate at the in-person Inveraray Games in Inveraray, Scotland, but this year all events were staged via pre-recorded videos due to pandemic restrictions.
Long, Boland and MacKenzie were awarded a gold-plated “clasp” to commemorate their success.
The winning pipers get an automatic CLASP upgrade, apart from Long, who has nowhere else to go but to Open or Professional competitions held by other associations or games. CLASP director Margaret Dunn confirmed, though, that Long could continue to compete at the Grade 1 level in CLASP contests, if he so chose.
CLASP was started by the National Piping Centre in 2005 as a way to provide a place for adult pipers to compete in the UK without having to move to “Senior” or “Open,” which the traditional format requires for anyone older than 18. Most countries outside of the UK long ago adopted open/professional and amateur grades with no age restrictions.
CLASP expanded in 2021 to include Grade 4 and Grade 5 categories.
The new CLASP season started with the World Amateur Solo Piping Competition on August 15th, held in conjunction with the Piping Live! Festival.