July 31, 2023

RSPBA muddles up Scottish Grade 1 drumming result; Inveraray & District actually won

At the Scottish Pipe Band Championships on Saturday, the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association announced that Field Marshal Montgomery had won the Grade 1 drumming title.

Some 36 hours later, it was revealed that Inveraray & District was actually the winner, the association mistakenly reading the drumming result from ensemble judge Gordon Lawrie’s rankings.

The SNAFU did not affect the overall result, but was guaranteed to leave every single competing band, Grade 1 or not, shaking their collective head in dismay.

According to sources, both Field Marshal Montgomery and Inveraray & District knew about the matter a full day before the RSPBA made a public announcement at 11:30 GMT on July 31st. The bands apparently were informed formally by the RSPBA only minutes before the association made its public announcement.

No other Grade 1 bands competing at the Scottish were reportedly contacted.

“It makes you wonder why we do this. No one has faith in our organization anymore and I don’t see it improving.”

The association made its public apology, but specified that it was only to Field Marshal Montgomery and Inveraray & District and that “investigations began on the 30th July having been notified of a problem. It was identified that the Drumming and Ensemble scores / adjudicators had been reversed during the data capture of the placing sheets.”

“I am taking this incident seriously and looking at additional measures to be put in place to prevent this happen again in the future,” RSPBA Chief Executive Colin Mulhern said in the statement.

The statement is virtually identical to the one issued by the association after it announced an incorrect Grade 4B result at the 2022 World Championships, including the sentence regrading ensuring it never happens again by taking “additional measures.”

One Grade 1 band member who spoke on condition that their name not be used, said, “It makes you wonder why we do this. No one has faith in our organization anymore and I don’t see it improving. They should be ashamed of themselves for not addressing the matter immediately once notified.”

Two weeks ago, the RSPBA announced the all-important Grade 1 draw for the World Championships, but neglected to make, much less release, an order of play for the Friday events, reportedly informing bands that the draw for Saturday would apply. The organization later back-tracked, and made a separate Friday draw, quietly adding it to the list already published.

Like every association, mistaken results announcements occur, but rarely for the winner of a major competition. pipes|drums has amended the original story on the Scottish Championships results.

At publication time, Mulhern had not responded to a request for more information on the matter.

After the Grade 1 drumming result was corrected, the Champion of Champions Drumming standings show: Field Marshal Montgomery in the lead (4 points), followed by St. Laurence O’Toole (8), Inveraray & District (10), Peoples Ford Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia (11), ScottishPower (16) and Police Scotland Fife (18), where fewer points due to better rankings from drumming judges are better.

What do you think? Your thoughts are welcome, so please use our Comments feature below.




  1. You wonder who if anyone works at the RSPBA central office. There have now been three majors this year – let’s not even talk about their inability to field the fourth – and the Championship Table results on the RSPBA website still has no results for any grade recorded. So it makes it difficult to build proper anticipation for The Worlds without all of the data in front of us. Is this Association really doing it’s job?

  2. Please carry an editorial and opinion piece on the chaos within the RSPBA management. Its a laughing stock. How can this possibly be allowed to continue.



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