Published: August 05, 2019

RSPBA sweats the tie details for 2019 World’s

The confusion over the Grade 1 results at the 2019 North American Championships was remarkably coincidental to the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, which recently announced a sixth-tier for breaking ties in competitions with fewer than 18 bands decided by more than one performance, and, specifically, for Grade 1 at this year’s World Championships.

If after a tie still remains after five existing tie-breakers, the decision will be based on the result from the Saturday competition.

But a tie would have to remain after these levels are exhausted:

  • 1st preference – ensemble combined overall totals
  • 2nd preference – piping combined overall totals
  • 3rd preference – drumming combined overall totals
  • 4th preference – ensemble total in MSR contest
  • 5th preference – ensemble total in Medley contest

With only 15 bands entered for this year’s Grade 1 World Championship, the likelihood of a tie is greater than it has been in many years. The fewer the bands, the greater the chance of a tie.

The Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario recently endured the embarrassment of announcing an incorrect Grade 1 result at the North American Championships at the Glengarry Highland Games at Maxville, Ontario.

After a tie over the two-event three-band competition, the organization mistakenly thought its rules stated that it would be broken by the overall MSR result, and thus announced at the massed bands, watched by tens of thousands of spectators and the 50 bands competing on the day, that the 78th Fraser Highlanders were the winners.

The band celebrated and marched off into a raucous beer-tent, where it played a brief victory concert.

Thirty minutes later, the PPBSO was asked by one of the competing bands to check its rules, which in fact state that, as with the RSPBA’s first tie-breaker, a tie in a multi-event competition will be broken by combined ensemble totals.

With City of Dunedin receiving a first in ensemble in each of the Medley and MSR events, that band was the announced as the winner, PPBSO President Chris Buchanan taking full responsibility for the mistake.

The likelihood of a first-place tie with 15 bands is remote, particularly with such a strong field of realistic contenders at the World Championships.

 


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