CLASPIES Keep the Piping Flame Alive During Lockdown/ EUSPBA Rules for ‘In Person’ Contests

As was reported in Piping Press yesterday, the National Piping Centre’s CLASP competitions for amateur pipers is attracting entries from all over the world, writes Joe Moore. There is a real fellowship between participants and a sense of belonging. This was demonstrated when, to mark the recent Burns Night celebrations, we held an online get together.

‘CLASPies and Friends’, is our Facebook group for pipers and their ‘groupies’ and our International Pre Burns Night meeting was on Sunday 24th January. Participants included Gill Cairns, one of  our administrators living in in Malta, John B Hunt in or next to Loch Fyne, Rona Robertson in Inverness, Neil MacLure in Edinburgh, Dagmar Pesta in Mannheim, Germany, myself in Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire, and Paul Sykes in Leicestershire. I kicked off the assembly  playing  Ca’the Yowes and  My Love she’s but a Lassie Yet on fiddle, followed by a spirited rendition of Willy Wastle from  John. 

The evening then got down to a lively discussion on a multitude of piping matters. We were bemoaning the fact that we cannot meet face to face and enjoy the support banter and socialising at CLASP contests. Gill recommended the Archie Kenneth Quaich as a fantastic event held usually on Rose Street in Edinburgh. John recommended we all join the Piobaireachd Society relating that Jimmy McIntosh’s ‘Talk Piobaireachd’ session was spellbinding.

It was agreed that we should meet more often and the next get together was last weekend after the announcement of the results of the CLASP January online video competition. Membership of the Facebook group is open to CLASP members, their family and friends.

The Editor writes: Thanks to President Jim Dillahey for forwarding the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association’s guidelines for ‘in person’ contests during 2021. The EUSPBA’s Executive Committee state:

‘These protocols do not hold the weight of law but together with federal, state, and local guidelines plus a healthy dose of good, old common sense, they will go a long way towards keeping you safe if you attend an in person contest. It is obvious when looking at the country at large and the precarious financial situation of many Games and Festivals, most of us will not be attending an in person event in 2021. 

  • ‘For many organizers, the upfront money required for a Games or Festival while not knowing if the event can happen means that many are keeping a lock on their check books with a plan to come back stronger in 2022. For those fortunate enough to attend an in person event, here are the adopted protocols, but remember, your safety is your responsibility: 
  • Check In and Score Sheet Distribution: Any interaction between competitors and contest organizers should be 6 feet apart per CDC [Centers for Disease Control] guidelines. In addition, all federal, state and local guidelines, including masking, need to be followed. Hand sanitizer required on site.
  • Solo Playing: Recommend a minimum ‘bubble’ of nine feet between a competitor and the judge’s table. Games should provide a steward’s ‘check-in’ table that will provide six feet for social distancing between stewards and competitors. Drumming competitors are required to wear a mask.
  • Band Areas: Games organizers are asked to place each band in an assigned area and ask bands not to interact inside another band’s area. During band competitions, drummers (snare, tenor, and bass) will wear masks. Judges will continue the 10 foot separation between themselves and individual players as required by competition rules. Any interactions between judges, stewards, and band members should be six feet apart per CDC guidelines.
  • Stewards and Judges: Are asked to wear masks at all times while performing their duties.

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