New Scoring System for Band Competitions in Australia/ Clan Donald Cash Boost for Oz Championships

Placings will be used to determine results in all music and drum major contests conducted under the Contest Regulations of Pipe Bands Australia from 1 January 2020. 

The decision of national management committee follows an extensive period of consultation and review of a proposal carried in the 2019 Ballot of Bands that advocated the change from a decision of bands to use points two years earlier endorsed by national council at the time. 

By Chris Earl, President, PBA

The proposal, supported by a majority of bands in the 2019 ballot, was further discussed at national conference in September and subject to additional review and recommendation by College Principals. 

Under the recommendation from Principals adopted by national management committee, placings and not points will be released on the official sheets from contests for all music elements in band, mini-band and solo competitions, including the drum major solo.



The drum major solo will use the placing system of the RSPBA – placings for marching and deportment, flourish and dress fault totals to determine total points to achieving placings. 

Placings will also be used in street march competitions where the disciplines of piping, drumming and drill are weighted equally. 

No change has been made for the dress inspection and other drill competitions where points will continue to be awarded. 

The Contest Regulations will be amended to reflect the changes as contained in the proposal in the 2019 Ballot of Bands and where not covered, a trial rule will be in place pending Contest Regulation amendment processes to be conducted in February/March 2020. 

PBA celebrate their Diamond Jubilee Year in 2020 the main event being the Australian Pipe Band Championships to be held at Maryborough, Victoria, on 4th/5th April, promoted by the town’s Highland Society.

Prizemoney now totals more than $14,000 with an agreement with the Clan Donald Lands Trust to be an ongoing sponsor of Grade 4A beginning in 2020. 

The agreement, together with the re-allocation of prizemoney to other grade by championship host the Maryborough Highland Society, will see the champion band in each of Grades 1 through to 4B collect a prize cheque for $1000.

Second and third place prizemoney in each grade will be $500 and $250. The Grade 4A award will be known as the AWR McDonald Memorial Prize and include a trophy for the champion band. 

With trophies valued at more than $3000 also on offer for the Diamond Jubilee year championships, the total prize pool in 2020, inflation adjusted, out does the reward for successful bands at the first championships in 1961, also hosted by the Maryborough Highland Society. 

The High Commissioner of Clan Donald in Australia, Neil Macdonald, said the Trust was delighted to cement a firm and ongoing partnership with Pipe Bands Australia to support and rewards bands in the nation’s premier championship. 


Get help for your band from the RSPBA’s fund – click on pic

‘We look forward to a long relationship in our shared promotion of the great cultures of Scotland,’ he said. 

The Diamond Jubilee year was a fitting time to establish firm links with kindred organisations in their support of the pipe band movement. 

The generosity of the Clan Donald Land Trust and the commitment of the Maryborough Highland Society to making our championships a great celebration will enable bands to compete for prizemoney and trophies of more than $17,000. 

Entries for the 2020 Australian Pipe Band Championships on 4 and 5 April close on 4 January. Check out previous winners here.


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