August 05, 2021

RSPBA to test online draws for competitions

The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association will test online draws for the order of play at band competitions before its next major championship, as the organization continues to improve its transparency to members.

The information was made public in the minutes from the association’s Board of Directors meeting held online on July 24th.

Online draws have been conducted by many associations and competitions over the last decade, and the practice has helped to demonstrate fairness, particularly with events with a large entry where competing early or late, or in proximity to specific other competitors, can have perceived or real implications on results.

Also revealed is that the association’s Standing Orders and Steering Committee, which comprises acting Convener Brian Niven, Lorraine Ronaldson and Margaret McCrindle, wants to make the end of February of each year a cut off date for bands to be paid up members in order to participate in the organization’s annual general meeting, typically held in March.

‘Any Band who registers after that date would not be eligible to attend the forthcoming AGM.’

“The SOSC feel there should be a cut-off date for the Bands to attend an AGM. The Bands who have paid their membership fees at the end of February may attend the AGM in March. Any Band who registers after that date would not be eligible to attend the forthcoming AGM. This will assist HQ with the administration of an AGM.”

Of possible note to pipes|drums readers, the RSPBA’s Marketing & Media Committee (Convener Kathleen Robertson, Arlene Faulkner and Malcolm Brown-Scott) proposed a formal policy on dealing with media requests, which have, with rare exceptions, gone ignored for the last 20 years.

The Standing Orders and Steering Committee advised that all media requests “should be considered by the committee before going into the public domain. It is recognized that members of the committee are not always readily available to action a request of an urgent nature. Media requests will be considered by a group of five, the Chairman, CEO, Marketing and Media Convener and the two Marketing and Media Directors. It was agreed that three members of the group are required to agree any media announcements before going public.”

Whether such an apparently bureaucratic process will improve timely responsiveness from the organization will be seen.

The RSPBA’s board also agreed to look at applying names for qualifying events for the annual World Solo Drumming Championships. The championship, normally held in Glasgow in October, was recently cancelled for the second straight year, the association citing uncertainty with venues and travelling due to the ongoing pandemic crisis.

The Finance, Insurance & Maintenance Committee reported that “The cashflow forecast has been updated to June 2021, the actual figures from the [profit and loss] have shown the forecast to be robust and accurate. Work is continuing regarding the 2022 championships.”

No specifics were provided regarding finances, which have been brought into question following cost overruns due to the lengthy renovation of the organization’s Glasgow headquarters.

The organization’s primary revenue sources are from member registrations, competition entry fees, and money from the organizers of the five major championships that buy the rights to stage the events. With the last two years of events wiped out by the pandemic, typical revenues have been impacted.

The complete minutes of the July 24th board meeting can be found here.



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