Opinion: Clean Break – a call for change – Part 2
The WPBA Tour – a restructured global major championship circuit
The WPBA Tour would turn the pipe band season into a nine-month circuit, with bands having the opportunity to participate in more events than they currently do and compete for championship points outside the UK.
- New Zealand Championships (March)
- Australian Championships (April)
- Scottish Championships (May)
- US Championships (May)
- English Championships (June)
- Ulster Championships (June)
- Irish Championships (July)
- South African Championships (July)
- Canadian Championships (August)
- World Championships (August)
- European Championships (September – relocate to Alden Biesen, Belgium)
- South American Championships (November)
All events currently exist at present and will continue as managed by their host organizations, but with new WPBA Tour Championship status, which creates equal opportunities for bands regardless of where they are located geographically, allowing bands to compete as often as their finances and logistics permit. It turns the current system of a three-month major championship season confined to the UK, with a nine-month closed season, into a nine-month global season with a three-month closed season.
The RSPBA’s Champion of Champions table would be replaced with a new WPBA Tour Championship Leaderboard, with 10 WPBA Tour Championship Leaderboard points awarded in every grade at every championship. The WPBA Tour Championship winner will be the band in each grade that accumulates the most WPBA Tour Championship Leaderboard points in the year. A cash prize would be awarded to the WPBA Tour Championship winners in every grade at the end of season.
Realign grading structure globally to ensure consistency and parity in every member association: Grades 1 to 6 and Novice Juvenile.
Player registrations and transfers
No movement of players during competition season. All movement and registration of players to take place in closed season transfer window 1 December to 28 February. Registrations and transfers administered by home associations and database shared with WPBA.
The host of each event is responsible for the appointment of adjudicators to their home championship subject to approval by WPBA. World Championships mandated to draw a balanced international adjudication panel from every member association. All WPBA adjudicators required to abide by enhanced code of ethical conduct governing conflicts of interest, relationships with competitors and influencing WPBA rules and policy.
Professional standards, code of conduct and complaints
The current system of administering and investigating complaints is inadequate, unfair, offers far too narrow time bar limits, and lacks confidentiality. The hearing system is unfair to the accused, lacks impartiality and sanctions lack consistency.
The current system of administering and investigating complaints
is inadequate, unfair, offers far too narrow time bar limits, and lacks confidentiality.
WPBA would adopt a new system involving:
- Professional standards for staff, representatives and adjudicators. Policy will require stricter management of conflicts of interests to prevent conflicted adjudicators from judging business associates and customers, immediate family members, and students.
- Updated code of conduct for players and band committee members.
- Appointment of an independent group of ombudsmen empowered to investigate complaints, hold disciplinary hearings and recommend action and resolutions to complaints and grievances.
- A new secure SafeCall confidential complaint reporting system direct to ombudsman.
- Time bar on complaints extended from 14 days from date of incident to six months from date of incident.