June 09, 2023

RSPBA implementing random roster checks at UK Championships

In line with the organization’s policy of requiring all pipers and drummers performing with a band in competition to be properly registered, the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association will be checking the rosters of randomly-chosen bands as they come off from the contest circle at the UK Championships at Lurgan, Northern Ireland, on June 10th.

As per RSPBA rules, a proper transfer and registration of players from a higher-grade band to one in a lower-grade can only occur after 42 days. All other transfers require 14 days to pass before the registration application can be approved.

The process is designed to mitigate quick band-hopping, and is among the most stringent worldwide.

RSPBA member bands receive an official printout of their registered roster, which must be carried by the pipe-major or a designated assistant at the event.

All bands competing at Lurgan have been told that they must carry their official roster or registered players, and produce it in either paper or electronic form if the band is chosen for review.

It is not known if a band will be disqualified if a discrepancy with its registered roster is found, but the association said only that “The findings of the sample will be fed-back to the Board of Directors at their next full meeting by the registrations working group.”

Though the vast majority of competing bands adhere to their home association’s registration rules, incidents of roster abuse, particularly around the World Pipe Band Championships and various other national championships, have been reported but rarely if ever cracked down on essentially since pipe band competitions were first formalized.

Registrations and ringers was an item of discussion at the January 2022 summit of the Alliance of North American Pipe Band Associations.






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