For fans the World Baseball Classic is a nice warm-up for the regular season. It’s the second time that the every-three-years event has been put together, and for those in North America who think that the sport isn’t played to any great level anywhere else, the competitiveness of countries like The Netherlands and Australia is eye-opening, even though most national teams have a smattering of Major Leaguers on their rosters, since even an American-born player with a parent or even grandparent from a foreign country can opt to play for the other side.
Could such a fun festival of talent be done with pipe bands? I think so. What fun it would be to assemble an all-star band from every country where Highland pipes have caught on. Each national team could be managed by a few designated accomplished pipers and drummers who no longer compete, and they could go about picking their bands from the cream of the available crop.
Would Scotland automatically win? I don’t think so. Similar to team USA not having anything like a lock on winning the WBC, I would say that the competition between Scotland, Northern Ireland, Ireland, France, Canada, USA, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand that – at least tonally and technically – it would be a dead heat. Even England could field a top-notch group.
There could be several events, including, say, a national music category, where each band would have to develop a medley reflecting the unique musical style of its home country (advantage: France?). Countries could be encouraged to wear some adaptation of national dress. The possibilities are endless.