Citing an unnamed lower-grade band as an example, the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association at its annual general meeting in Glasgow on March 11th voted to extend the transfer period for all players joining a new band in a lower grade from two to seven weeks.
The organization’s Music Board said that the change was mainly due to an abuse of the previous 14-day window by a band that went on to win its grade with a number of new players from higher grade bands.
The 14-day time-frame remains the same for transferring up or laterally in grades, including the many Grade 1 and Grade 2 bands that load up on fly-in pipers and drummers to fill out their roster for the World Pipe Band Championship.
Rule 3.7.1 in the will now read “The qualifying period for a transfer from a higher grade band to lower grade band is forty-two days.” Rule 3.7.2 read, “In all other circumstances the qualifying period for a transfer is fourteen days.”
“Dual registrations” – players registered with more than one band at a time – are limited to “the Pipe-Major or Assistant Pipe-Major of a Novice Juvenile or Juvenile Band, or the Pipe-Major of a Grade 4 Band” and only one dual-registered player can be in a band. Those caught registered illegally with for more than one band will be “liable to suspension for such period as the Board of Directors decide.”
The perfectly-within-the-rules practice of temporary players in top-grade bands has been a bone of contention with some, and acceptable practice with others, particularly with bands that win.
The recent New Zealand Pipe Band Championship saw guest players from Scottish, Canadian and Australian bands fill out the rosters of regional bands competing in the event.
The association’s AGM was reportedly a sleepy event, with the biggest news being the fire that struck the organizations Victorian-era headquarters the day before.