Pipe Bands Australia Follows RSPBA Lead

The Council of Pipe Bands Australia has approved changes to its contest framework to closer align it with Scotland.

The PBA website reports: Australian contest regulations now more closely reflect requirements observed in RSPBA competitions following national council adoption of proposals put to bands in the recent annual ballot of Pipe Bands Australia.

The new definition of music requirements for Grade 4 MSR provide both flexibility for developing bands and a consistent structure to support our bands preparing for competition overseas.

The music for Grade 4 shall be 4 parts of 2/4 March (may be 2×2 parts), either 2 or 4 parts of Strathspey (may be 2×2 parts) and 2 or 4 parts of Reel (may be 2×2 parts).

The Drum Major Contest (Solo) course has also been amended to a 50-metre length with competitors required to undertake 4.5 lengths of the course, again consistent with RSPBA requirements.

And the size of contest circles has been increased to 10 metres diameter (inner) and 14 metres (outer) to be also be consistent with RSPBA. The previous cap on number of piper files for MSR/SOM/Medley has been removed.

Council has also approved an amended rule for splitting a tied result for best pipe or drum corps. 01 An apparently tied result in a Contest Element, other than a Display, or in the aggregate result of a contest, shall be resolved:

(1) if the Contest Element is judged for ensemble, by reference first to the ensemble total and second to the March, Strathspey & Reel / Selection of Marches total, or an Australian, State or Branch Pipe Band Championship, placing; and

(2) if the Contest Element or contest is not judged for ensemble, by reference first to the piping total and second to the drumming total. If this reference does not separate the bands the results shall be a tie.

An apparently tied result in an aggregate contest for the best Pipe or Drum Corps a tied result shall be split by reference to the points, or placing in accordance with Rule B.1.11.02, allocated for the March, Strathspey & Reel / Selection of Marches as applicable. If this reference does not split the bands the result shall be a tie.


Under the latest amendments to contest regulations, juvenile bands will be able to appoint tutors who are registered with Grade 4 bands.

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