Worlds to Remain a Two-Day Event RSPBA Rules

The World Pipe Band Championship is to remain a two-day event. After considering all the feedback they have received, the Board of Directors of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association made the decision at a meeting before yesterday’s AGM in Glasgow.

Specific arrangements for this year’s championship will be reviewed by the Association’s Music Board and ratified at a Board of Directors meeting in May.

The Music Board will have access to all recent comments gathered from Grade 1 bands, adjudicators and others.

There had been suggestions that the Association might be thinking about making the Worlds one day only, Saturday August 17. A number of G1 bands had indicated that they would not be entering this year and a couple of others had disbanded making the Friday qualifier unnecessary some thought.

But Chairman John Hughes said: ‘At the pre-AGM board meeting there was a full, in-depth discussion about the format of the Grade 1 World Pipe Band Championship. 



‘We considered all of the feedback we received from bands plus feedback from our Adjudicator Panel and our Music Board. We have discussed the options and have confirmed that the Worlds will remain a two-day event.

‘The format of that event will be decided by the Music Board who already have a number of proposals in place. We will ask them to confirm their preferences and these will come to the Board of Directors’ meeting on the 27th April. 

‘These recommendations will be debated by the Board, in particular how they will align with the operational challenges of any particular event. 

‘But we can confirm to all bands that it is a two day event and that each Grade 1 band will require two MSRs and two Medleys exactly as they have had to prepare in the past. 

RSPBA Chairman John Hughes

‘The Worlds is our premier event and a major test of the capability of the bands especially in Grade 1. They are judged by 16 adjudicators. It is right that they have that level of scrutiny and we hope the bands will enjoy the challenge over the Friday and the Saturday as they have done in the past. 

‘We may have reduced numbers this year but we don’t know. Entries are still open; nor do we know how many bands are travelling next year so we need to be very careful to produce an event which is sustainable and flexible.



‘The bands know what to expect. They now know it will be a two-day event. They know they are going to have to play an MSR and a Medley on the Friday and the same on the Saturday if they want participate in the Grade 1 Worlds.’ 

The RSPBA’s Music Board has two Association directors and representatives from every branch of the Associaiton on it. Once the Association has secured the commercial side of any major championship, the Music Board is given the responsibility of deciding what format it should have and recommending it to the Board of Directors.

There is no input to the structure of the Worlds from the BBC or from the promoter Glasgow Life. These bodies have made it clear that they are happy to support the decisions of the Board of Directors regarding the Worlds.

  • Read about the RSPBA 2019 AGM here.

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1 thought on “Worlds to Remain a Two-Day Event RSPBA Rules

  1. I look forward to more details about Worlds Grade 1 format. It is wrong to think of it as 2 days of competition with 16 judges arriving at the decision. It is 1 day of filtering, and 1 day of true competition. The top bands don’t compete against each other on the Friday (they are drawn into different groups), and for G1 bands to choose their own MSR and Medley for the “real final on Saturday” is not the most testing challenge for this elite group of bands

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