Oban and Inverness Entry Rules for 2024 Announced

March to the games at Oban 2023 with Gold Medallist Alasdair Henderson as Pipe Major

The Argyllshire Gathering and Northern Meeting have issued a joint statement clarifying and updating procedures for entering their competitions in 2024. A new rule states that senior pipers must enter by January 31 or they will be ineligible.

The statement reads: The number of competitors in the Gold and Silver Medal competitions has been restricted to 25 for a number of years. Competitors are selected based on their CPA Grade and a detailed review by representatives of the Argyllshire Gathering, the Northern Meeting, the Solo Piping Judges’ Association  and the Competing Pipers’ Association at a Joint Eligibility Meeting. This process normally takes place at the end of February and the deadline for applications is 31st January.

In addition, there has been, over the years, a steady increase in the number of competitors playing in the senior competitions, including the Senior Piobaireachd/Clasp and Former Winners’ March, Strathspey and Reel. This has resulted in competitions which can approach 12 hours in duration presenting challenges on multiple fronts for organisers, judges, sponsors, audiences and, not least, competitors.


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It is important to recognise the tradition and history associated with the major gatherings, but this must be balanced with the requirement to consider the welfare of judges and logistical constraints.

The following procedures will apply for the Argyllshire Gathering and Northern Meeting Competitions in 2024:

  • The Gold and Silver Medal Competitions will be restricted to 25 competitors. The deadline for applications will be 31st January and applications will be considered at the Joint Eligibility Meeting at the end of February. This process has been established over many years.
  • There will be a new requirement for Senior Competitors to indicate their intention to compete in the Senior Piobaireachd/Clasp and Former Winners’ March, Strathspey and Reel competitions by completing an application form by 31st January. Many Senior Competitors have followed this process in recent years, but formalising this step will now provide the competition organisers with a clear indication of the potential numbers which will need to be managed.
  • The procedure for entering the MacGregor Memorial Competition at the Argyllshire Gathering will be based on the requirements from the competition sponsors/organisers – The Highland Society of London.

It should be noted that there will be strict enforcement of the end January deadline and all competitors are encouraged to submit their application forms in a timely manner. 


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