Basketball fans in the U.S. and, to a lesser extent, Canada are currently enjoying the NCAA tournament. “March Madness” pits 50 or so top-ranked college/university teams that don’t always play each other in a seeded, “brackets”-style competition. Basically, one loss and you’re out. It’s one of the most exciting events of the year, even for those who don’t otherwise follow College Hoops much, since virtually every office, pub, or group of friends has a pool that anyone can win because the upsets are impossible to predict.
Solo-piping in Scotland and Canada has often had brackets competitions in its own “knock-out” format. The longest running is probably the one in British Columbia, and Scotland recently resurrected the original in Glasgow.
Since almost all of the bands are in Scotland during the week leading up to the World Pipe Band Championships, why not one year hold a pipe band knock-out? “August Madness” could be staged at venues throughout the city, creating far more excitement and anticipation than the way the contest is currently set up.
Bands would be seeded, and upsets would be sure to occur when favoured bands are a bit off of their game.
The RSPBA could absolutely rake in the money, too, of course awarding much of it to the bands for travel and prizes.
Pretty swish, huh?