Playing Requirements for Major Pipe Band Championships 2023 Announced

The RSPBA have published playing requirements for the 2023 Major Pipe Band Championships.

They have listed them as Major 1 to Major 4 plus the Worlds. They say the requirements are ‘subject to change due to circumstances’.

No dates or venues are given for the championships. The Europeans, scheduled for July in Inverness have already been cancelled with a new venue being sought. The UKs have, for the past few years, been held in Northern Ireland in the middle of June, the British in Gourock or Paisley at the end of May and the Scottish at Dumbarton at the end of July

Scotland’s local authorities, many of whom sponsor pipe band championships, are struggling with unprecedented funding cuts and rising costs.

However the Worlds have already been confirmed for Glasgow Green on Friday 18th and Saturday 19th August 2023 – a week later than usual to accommodate a cycling event in the city.

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Playing Requirements

For all championships, Novice A and 4A play a prescribed MSR either, 3 four parted marches, strathspeys or reels, or 2 two-parted marches, strathspeys or reels. All tunes to be from the RSPBA list. More here.

Grade 4B and Novice B will play four two-parted marches from the prescribed list. In Novice B bands will play from a static start – march into the circle and then strike up. This is a pilot project to make it easier for young pipers who difficulty with the two roll intro and marching simultaneously. Check it out here:

Juvenile grade bands will play a 3-5 minute medley at Majors 1 and 3 and an MSR at all other championships.

Grade 3 bands will play a 3 – 5 minute Medley at Majors 2 & 4 and an MSR at Majors 1 & 3. At the Worlds they will play an MSR to qualify for the final; here the requirement is a 3-5 minute Medley.

Grade 2 bands will play a 4-6 minute medley at Majors 1 and 3 and an MSR (submit 2) at Majors 2 & 4. For the Worlds it’s a 4-6 minute Medley to qualify and two MSRs for the final.

In Grade 1 it’s two 5-7 minute Medleys for Majors 2 and 4. Major 1 is one MSR of minimum four parts. Major 3 is one MSR of maximum four parts.

Worlds Friday G1 Qualifying it’s one minimum 4-part MSR and own choice Medley. For the Saturday final it’s one maximum 4-part MSR and a different Medley from the Friday.

The RSPBA conclude: ‘Details of the playing requirements can be found in the Reference Information on Competition Format Version: 3.0 Events will be straight through Finals unless the number of entries require Qualifiers to he held.’  

1 thought on “Playing Requirements for Major Pipe Band Championships 2023 Announced

  1. The pipe band calendar is really in a parlous state for next year, with the European Championships at Inverness having been cancelled, and the British Championships at Greenock reportedly in jeopardy. The RSPBA really need some urgent action to consolidate the schedule for next year. I am sure all readers will wish them well with their endeavours. My own humble suggestion is to open discussions with the Cowal Gathering Committee about the return of a major contest to Dunoon (and put aside any historic disagreements). Attendance at Cowal (upwards of 30,000) used to surpass attendance at the Worlds, so even a modest entry charge would help the funding, and a return of its previous slot at the end of August would fill a gap in the pipe band calendar.

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