December 22, 2023

RSPBA keeps hope alive right before the holiday break

On the afternoon of Friday, December 22nd, just before locking up their 45 Washington Street headquarters for the holidays, the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association’s Board of Directors kept hope of creating additional major championships in 2024 alive with an unspecific message:

The Board of Directors are working hard to find alternative solutions for the three Major Championships yet to be confirmed. We are exploring a number of different options, and discussions are currently ongoing with various parties to secure a solution.

One option being actively explored is building a Major Championship on an already established local contest. A number of suitable events have been identified and discussions are currently underway to agree [sic] the feasibility of this option.

We hope to be able to confirm the position in the New Year.

The Board of Directors

Since revealing in November that the world’s most powerful pipe band association had so far secured sponsorship for only the World and Scottish Championships next year, details on a foreshadowed Plan B have not been forthcoming.

The organization had already hinted at having one or more so-called “small” competitions count towards Champion of Champions points or even take on the title of one of the three missing majors.

With most UK member bands focusing on major championships (some in the top grades exclusively), groups have reportedly been concerned about the difficulty of budgeting finances for 2024 without knowing what competitions are on the calendar.

The RSPBA has scheduled the 2024 Scottish Championships for July 27th in Dumbarton, Scotland, and the World Championships for August 16-17 in Glasgow.

In 2023, the British Championships were not held due to failure to find a new sponsor after Inverclyde Council pulled out of the event following a one-year staging of the contest in 2022 at Battery Park in Greenock, Scotland. Apart from the pandemic years, 2023 was the first year in the organization’s history that five majors did not take place. Part of the organization’s mandate as a charity had been to stage five championships annually.

Almost all of the RSPBA’s operating revenues come from membership dues, entry fees and, most of all, income from the major championships, which ranged in 2022 from about £73,000 for the Scottish to nearly £257,000 for the World’s.






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