Opinion: Clean Break – a call for change – Part 2
We have a movement that took decades to build and is worth fighting for. Look at the countless good news stories that pipe bands have brought to people’s lives, the lifelong friendships that are formed, the employment opportunities that are created, the innovation and technological advances that create better instruments, the marriages of couples that would not otherwise have met and who raise and inspire their children to become the next generation of pipers and drummers. Without the pipe band movement, we lose everything that we, and everyone before us, dedicated our collective lives towards building.
Our only other alternative is to close our eyes, keep our mouths shut and wait for the day to come when we allow an archaic and selfish institution destroy the activity we love, which just isn’t an option.
Our only other alternative is to close our eyes,
keep our mouths shut and wait for the day
to come when we allow an archaic and selfish
institution destroy the activity we love.
So where do we go from here? I don’t pretend to have all of the answers, and it’s very easy to criticize when you are unable to offer solutions. But I don’t intend to be that person and have approached this constructively. I have formulated a basis of what I believe to be a tangible proposal for change that brings together all of the existing organizations globally as equal stakeholders in a revolutionary new approach to major championship competition. While it would be new to pipe bands, it’s not a new concept in sport. I have drawn inspiration from the worlds of golf and Formula 1, i.e., the PGA Tour and the F1 World Championship.
What I am proposing is the basis of a discussion document for associations and pipe bands to consider the viability of. At the end of the day, only they can bring about the change that is necessary. Perhaps my proposal isn’t what people want, but if it encourages others to tinker with it or, even better, to formulate even better proposals, then something constructive and beneficial can come about from putting these ideas out there for people to talk about. Maybe there is a healthy compromise to be found between an ambitious plan like this and the current state of affairs, which let’s face it, anything is better than.
My proposal may sound more convoluted than it actually is, but in essence, it boils down to two simple things to make it happen:
- Global standardization of grading.
- Taking pipe bands worldwide with a global major championship circuit.
It is achievable within the existing infrastructures of events that exist. The aim of my proposal is to take these events into the 21st century with some ambition and creative thinking, and hopefully good things could happen as a result. For the purposes of discussion, let’s call it the World Pipe Band Association.
World Pipe Band Association
A new international association comprising equal membership drawn from representatives of pipe band associations globally, with responsibility for the administration of a new WPBA Tour major championship circuit.