|PPBSO RULEBOOK 2012:|
PART A: GENERAL RULES OF THE SOCIETY
» A-1. Definitions
» A-2. Membership
» A-3. Membership Dues
» A-4. Discipline of Members
» A-5. Ombudsman
PART B: GENERAL RULES GOVERNING COMPETITIONS AND JUDGING
» B-1. Eligibility to Compete
» B-2. Dress
» B-3. Entries
» B-4. Competitor’s Responsibilities
» B-5. Penalties, Discipline and Protests
» B-6. Score Sheets
» B-7. Adjudication
» B-8. Assignment of Judges
» B-9. Judge’s Conduct
» B-10. Judges Qualifications
» B-11. Certification of PPBSO Pipe Band Adjudicators
» B-12. Certification of PPBSO Piping Adjudicators for Solo Light Music
» B-13. Certification of PPBSO Piping Adjudicators for Solo Piobaireachd
» B-14. Certification of PPBSO Solo Drumming Adjudicators
PART C: RULES GOVERNING SOLO COMPETITIONS
» C-1. Admission Refunds
» C-2. Order and Time of Play
» C-3. Conduct and Tuning
» C-4. Grade Structure
» C-5. Grading and Upgrading
» C-6. Professional Piping Contest Requirements
» C-7. Grade 1 Amateur Piping Contest Requirements
» C-8. Grade 2 Amateur Piping Contest Requirements
» C-9. Grade 3 Amateur Piping Contest Requirements
» C-10. Grade 4 Amateur Piping Contest Requirements
» C-11 Grade 5 Amateur Piping Contest Requirements
» C-12. Novice Practice Chanter Contest Requirements
» C-13. Amateur Piobaireachd Contest Requirements
» C-14. Tune Selection by Piping Competitors
» C-15. Drumming Contest Requirements
» C-16. Contest Results and Prize Presentation
» C-17. Champion Supreme Point Structure
PART D: RULES GOVERNING PIPE BAND COMPETITIONS
» D-1. Membership and Band Rosters
» D-2. Transfers of Players Between Bands
» D-3. Band Passes and Entries
» D-4. Competition Draws and Playing Times
» D-5. Massed Bands
» D-6. Minimum Numbers of Players
» D-7. Substitute Bass Drummer
» D-8. Runners
» D-9. Final Tuning
» D-10. Contest Performance
» D-11 Lateness
» D-12. Tune Requirements
» D-13. Medley Contest Requirements
» D-14. Leaving the Field after Competition
» D-15. Duty Band
» D-16. Method of Determining Winning Positions in Contests
» D-17. Best Pipe Section
» D-18. Best Drum Corps
» D-19. Best Bass Drummer
» D-20. March and Deportment
» D-21. Prizes and Travelling Expenses
» D-22. Band Champion Supreme Awards
POLICY FOR DEALING WITH HARRASSMENT AND DISCRIMINATION
APPENDIX I: PROPER HIGHLAND DRESS
APPENDIX II: DEVELOPMENTAL PLAYERS
APPENDIX III: INCLEMENT WEATHER POLICY
PART D: RULES GOVERNING PIPE BAND COMPETITIONS
Except as adopted by a Branch of the Society for their own
Contests, the rules governing pipe band Competitions sanctioned by The
Pipers’ and Pipe Band Society of Ontario are as printed in this Part
and in Part B.
D-1. Membership and Band Rosters
D-1.1 Membership. All bands must list all player names on a band roster
and submit the roster to the PPBSO administrator. Only players on the
submitted roster may compete with the band. All band members must be
current members of The Pipers' and Pipe Band Society of Ontario or an
officially recognized Affiliated Organization. An exemption of up to
two Competitions (one time only) may be allowed for a band that has
never been registered with the Society for competition, and in this
case a band roster must accompany the entry form.
D-1.2 Receipt of Memberships and Rosters. Band rosters must be
submitted with the Master Entry Form. Any member who fails to renew his
membership by May 1st in any year will be ineligible to compete with
the band until after the first Champion Supreme games of that year.
Juvenile band rosters must provide date of birth for juvenile age
players. Proof of age may be requested. A player on a lower-grade band
roster that is also designated “developmental” on a higher-grade band
roster may be allowed to compete up to three designated contests with
the higher-grade band, only as set out in Appendix 2.
D-1.3 Grade Structure. Pipe Bands shall be divided into the following grades:
(a) Grade 1
(c) Grade 3
(d) Grade 4
(e) Grade 5
D-1.4 Pipe Band Grading.
(a) Based on the pipe Band rosters received in accordance with D-1.2,
the Board of Directors, as advised by the Music Committee, shall notify any
improperly graded pipe band of its proper grade by January 1st of that
(b) The notified pipe band shall be allowed four weeks to submit opposing arguments in writing to the Board of Directors
(c) A final decision shall be made by the Board of Directors and provided in
writing to the affected pipe band by March 1st of that year
D-1.5 Grading Pipe Bands from Other Jurisdictions.
(a) Pipe bands from other jurisdictions shall play in the same grades in which they play in their own jurisdictions
D-2. Transfers of Players Between Bands
D-2.1 Transfer Form. Players transferring from one band to another must
use the Society transfer form and obtain the signatures of both Pipe
Majors unless specifically exempted by the Board of Directors. Developmental
players listed on two band rosters, subject to D-1.2 and Appendix 2,
are not considered to be transferring bands.
D-2.2 Transfers Prohibited. A player may not transfer
into a band where he or she has already competed with another band at a
PPBSO-sanctioned contest during that competition season. However, a new
member having no previous association with a band during that season
can join in mid-season.
D-2.3 Juvenile Bands. Registered
players may also join a juvenile band without having to transfer from
the non-juvenile band, but then D-2.1 and D-2.2 apply to both bands
D-2.4 Amending Band Rosters. Amended band rosters must be signed and
dated by the Pipe Major or Band Manager and submitted to the PPBSO
administrator. When a player has transferred from another band, D-2.1
applies and the transfer form must accompany the amended band roster.
Players of eligible juvenile age on the roster of a Juvenile band may
be on the roster of one non Juvenile band.
D-2.5 Refusal to Release. If a band refuses to release a member, the
member may take his or her complaint to the Board of Directors
whom may allow the member to transfer when satisfied that
have been resolved. Disputes related to owed sums of money are not
within the authority of the Board of Directors to resolve.
D-3. Band Passes and Entries
D-3.1 Delivered in Advance. In agreement with the Games Committee, band
passes for each games entered shall be sent or delivered to the bands
at least two weeks in advance of the event.
D-3.2 Penalty for Withdrawal without Notice. Bands that
have entered to play at a contest and wish to withdraw must notify the
Society at least 48 hours prior to the contest. Failure to do so,
subject to discretion by the Board of Directors, will result in a fine levied by
the Society of $200.00 and the band will not be permitted to compete
again until the fine is paid in full.
D-4. Competition Draws and Playing Times
D-4.1 Registration Before Draw.
(a) Each band must register with the PPBSO Office on the day of the
Competition prior to or at the time of the 11:00 a.m. meeting. Failure
to do so prohibits the band from playing. In special circumstances, the
Chief Steward may, at his or her discretion, allow such a band to play
first in the Competition, provided that the order of play or the
playing times of the other bands are not changed from those drawn.
(b) Bands requesting to play first in any contest must request to do so
prior to the 11:00 a.m. meeting and will be considered subject to the
discretion of the Board of Directors, otherwise rule D-4.1 (a) applies.
D-4.2 Draw for Position and Playing Time. Draw for
playing position will normally take place at the
PPBSO Office approximately one week before the games and will be posted
on the Society website. Confirmation of playing times will be
announced at approximately 11:00 a.m. on the day of the games.
For Contests where bands play twice, the draw for each Contest shall be
D-4.3 Competition Order. At all
games, unless otherwise requested by the games committee, the order of
competitions in each competition circle will be from the lowest grade
band to the highest grade band in that circle.
D-5. Massed Bands
D-5.1 Requirement to Play in Massed Bands. As a condition for receiving
travel money, all bands must take part in both massed band
performances at approximately 1:00 p.m. and at the conclusion of the
Competitions, unless exempted as specified below.
D-5.2 Exemption. The first two bands to play in each
competition circle will normally be excused by the Society from the
first massed bands.
D-5.3 Minimum Number of
Players. For first massed bands only, each band is required to field at
least the minimum numbers of players required to compete within their
D-5.4 Massed Band Drum
Majors. Drum majors responsible for massed bands at PPBSO sanctioned
Games must be pre-qualified by the PPBSO. 
D-6. Minimum Numbers of Players
D-6.1 Minimums. At pipe band Competitions, each band must meet the minimum player requirements as listed below.
D-6.2 Grade 1:
Minimums for Grade 1 are 8 pipers, 3 snare drummers, 1 bass and 2 tenors.
D-6.3 Grade 2:
- Minimums for Grade 2 are 6 pipers, 2 snare drummers, and
- Grade 2 pipe bands may add a higher grade piper as their Pipe
Major only, in addition to the minimum 6 other pipers, provided that he
or she is registered as their piping instructor
- Grade 2 pipe bands may
add a higher grade drummer as their lead drummer only, in addition to
the minimum 2 other snare drummers, providing that he or she is
registered as their drumming instructor.
2 pipe bands may add a
higher-grade tenor drummer as their lead tenor drummer only, providing
that he or she is
registered as their tenor-drumming instructor. The band must also field
at least one other tenor drummer.
D-6.4 Grade 3:
- Minimums for Grade 3 are 5 pipers, 2 snare drummers, 1
- Grade 3 pipe bands may add a higher grade piper as their Pipe
Major only, in addition to the minimum 5 other pipers, provided that he
or she is registered as their piping instructor
- Grade 3 pipe bands may
add a higher grade snare drummer as their lead drummer only, in addition to
the minimum 2 other snare drummers, providing that he or she is
registered as their drumming instructor
- Grade 3 pipe bands may add a
higher-grade tenor drummer as their lead tenor drummer only, providing the player is
registered as their tenor-drumming instructor. The band must also field at least one other tenor drummer
- Minimums for Grade 4 are 5 pipers, 2 snare drummers, 1 bass.
Grade 4 pipe bands may add a higher grade piper as their Pipe Major, or
Pipe Sergeant only, in addition to the minimum 5 other pipers, provided
that he or she is registered as their piping instructor.
- Grade 4 pipe
bands may add a higher grade drummer as their lead drummer only, in
addition to the minimum 2 other side drummers, providing that he or she
is registered as their drumming instructor.
- Grade 4 pipe bands may add
a higher grade tenor drummer as their lead tenor drummer only, providing the player is
registered as their tenor-drumming instructor. The band must also field
at least one other tenor drummer.[1992, 2006, 2008 AGM]
D-6.6 Grade 5:
- Minimums for Grade 5 are 5 pipes, 2 side drummers, 1
- Grade 5 pipe bands may add a higher grade piper as their Pipe
Major, or Pipe Sergeant only, in addition to the minimum 5 other
pipers, provided that he or she is registered as their piping
- Grade 5 pipe bands may add a higher grade snare drummer as their
lead drummer only, in addition to the minimum 2 other snare drummers,
providing that he or she is registered as their drumming instructor
- Grade 5 pipe bands may add a higher grade tenor drummer as their lead
tenor drummer only, providing
that the player is registered as their tenor drumming
instructor. The band must also field at least one other tenor
- Minimum for Juvenile grade are 5 pipers, 2 snare
drummers, 1 bass, all of eligible juvenile age
- Juvenile bands
may add a non-juvenile piper as Pipe Major in addition to the minimum 5
juvenile age pipers
- Juvenile bands may add a non-juvenile
drummer as their lead drummer in addition to the minimum 2 juvenile age
D-7. Substitute Bass Drummer
D-7.1 Procedure for Selection. In the event of a bass drummer being
unable to compete with their band a temporary replacement can be found
using the following guidelines in order:
A player from within that band, and on the roster, can play the
bass drum, provided the minimum numbers in rule D-6 are satisfied.
(b) A bass drummer from the same organization, but in a lower grade, may replace the registered bass drummer.
the names of all bass drummers in the same grade shall be submitted to
a ballot, if they are so willing, and the bass drummer whose name is
drawn must play in the place of the one being unable to compete
D-8.1 Runners Required. Each band must provide someone to co-ordinate their prompt arrival on the contest field.
D-9. Final Tuning
D-9.1 Final Tuning Area. The PPBSO shall establish a final tuning area
which is clearly marked and supervised by a steward.
D-9.2 Mandatory Use. All bands are required to move through the final tuning area before moving to the competition area.
D-9.3 Penalty For Breach. Any band which competes without first moving
all competitive players through the final tuning area shall be subject
to the penalty of playing first at the next Contest in which it
D-10. Contest Performance
D-10.1 The first band to compete will be advised as to the time it must
be at the starting line in the Contest Arena; thereafter, it is the
duty of each succeeding Band to move forward as directed by the
Stewards, in accordance with the playing time provided.
D-10.2 Stewards may be provided as an aid to Bands, but
they carry no responsibility for the non-attendance of any band in the
D-10.3 The final responsibility rests
with each Band to be at the starting line as and when required and any
Band failing to do so and not complying with official instruction, is
subject to immediate disqualification.
D-10.4 Bands will arrive at the starting line properly dressed, including headdress and come to a halt.
D-10.5 After halting at the start line, no Band person will be allowed to withdraw
D-10.6 On a signal from the Ensemble Adjudicator, the Band will
commence its performance on the command of the Pipe Major
D-10.7 It will be the duty of the Adjudicator giving the signal to the Band, to ensure that the other Adjudicators are ready.
D-10.8 The playing field is marked with 3 concentric circles. The inner
circle sets out the band position. The second circle defines the
distance the judges stay back from the bands. The third circle defines
the closest approach by spectators. Where physically possible, the band
competition inner circle radius is to be 16 feet, and the next circle
is to have a 6 foot larger radius, and the outside circle radius is
have an 8 foot larger radius
D-11.1 Requirement to Arrive On Time. Bands must arrive at the starting
line for their Competition ready to play by their scheduled time, or
their adjusted time as advised by the Chief Steward or his/her delegate
D-11.2 Up to Three Minutes. A band that is up to three
minutes late shall be penalized by having to play first at the next
Contest in which it competes
D-11.3 More Than Three Minutes. A band more than three minutes late may be disqualified
D-11.4 Time of Disqualification. Any disqualification for lateness must
be imposed before a band begins their performance
D-12. Tune Requirements
D-12.1 Grade 1. Grade 1 bands shall submit 2 sets, and 2 medleys of 5 to 8 minutes duration
D-12.2 Grade 2. Grade 2 bands shall submit 2 sets, and 1 medley of 4 to 7 minutes duration
D-12.3 Grade 3. Grade 3 bands shall submit 1 set, and 1 medley of 3 to 6 minutes duration
D-12.4 Grade 4. Grade 4 bands shall submit 1 medley of tunes of 3 to 5
minutes duration, and 1 march medley of tunes, played in quick time, of
2 minutes 45 seconds to 4 minutes 30 seconds duration. [2000 AGM]
D-12.5 Grade 5. Grade 5 bands shall submit 1 march medley of tunes,
played in quick time, of 2 minutes 45 seconds to 4 minutes 30 seconds
D-12.6 Open Slow March and
6/8. At designated games, an open slow march and 6/8 march contest may
be offered. The minimum requirements are 2 parts slow march and 4 parts
D-12.7 Juvenile. At designated games, a
Juvenile contest may be offered. Juvenile bands shall submit 1 march medley of tunes, played in quick
time, of 3 minutes 45 seconds to 4 minutes 30 seconds duration
D-12.8 Definition of Sets. Each set
shall consist of a 2/4 march, a strathspey and a reel. Each tune
submitted in a set must be a minimum of four parts.
D-12.9 Definition of Medleys.
(a) A medley for Grade 3, 2 and 1 bands shall be defined as a minimum
of four tune categories in the tunes comprising the selection of tunes
(b) A march medley of tunes for Grade 4 and 5
and Juvenile bands shall be defined as any number of tunes that by tradition are
considered marches, (such as written in time signatures 2/4, 3/4, 4/4,
6/8, 9/8 and 12/8) played in quick time, and subject to the time
duration defined in D-12.4
Tune List. A list of all tunes comprising all sets and medleys must be
submitted to the PPBSO Office prior to the draw. This list should
include the name of each tune, its time signature and type. Any change in the submitted tunes must be
re-submitted to the PPBSO Office prior to the draw for playing position
and time (11:00 a.m.) on the day of the contest.
D-12.11 Medley Time Limits. Bands playing medleys of time duration other than listed may be disqualified
D-12.12 Choice of Set or Medley Played. Where a band is required to
submit more than one set or medley, the choice of the set or medley to
be played will be determined by draw at the starting line on the
D-12.13 No Duplication of Tunes. Where a
band is required to submit more than one set or medley, there shall be
no duplication of tunes between or within the sets or medleys
D-13. Medley Contest Requirements
D-13.1 Starting Position. Except as pre-approved by the PPBSO, for
medley Contests, excluding the march medley Contest for Grade 4, 5 and Juvenile
bands, bands are not required to begin their performance at the
starting line and may assume their final position before starting the
D-13.2 Music Director. Each band may designate one
member to act as Music Director during medley Contests. The designated
Music Director shall perform no other function during the Contest.
D-14. Leaving the Field after Competition
< D-14.1 Required to Leave Field. Bands must leave the Contest field
immediately upon completing their Contest selection and are prohibited
from further playing on the Contest field until all Contests are
completed, unless requested otherwise by the Chief Steward.
D-15. Duty Band
D-15.1 Draw. The duty band for bass, tenor and drum major Contests will
be drawn from all participating Grade 1 and 2 bands in rotation
D-16. Method of Determining Winning Positions in Contests
D-16.1 Ranking Method. Winning positions at all competitions shall be determined by a ranking method as follows:
(i) Each Judge's preference will be ranked in order (1, 2, 3, 4 etc.);
The lowest total of all the ranking positions from piping, drumming and
ensemble wins first place, second lowest wins second place, third
lowest wins third, and so on.
D-16.2 More than
One Performance. When a competition is based on more than one
performance, the point system will be used as in D-16.1 above, and
winning positions will be based on the lowest total of ranking points
from all performances. Ties are broken by lowest aggregate ensemble
total. If a tie remains, it is broken by set ensemble.
D-16.3 Ties. All band ties are broken by ensemble. If a tie remains, it is broken by piping
D-16.4 Publication of Results. The ranking of bands for each contest
(and performance where the contest is composed of multiple
performances) shall be posted on the Society website and shall include
the ordinal ranking assigned by each judge to each band
D-16.5 Errors. Where an error is made in the calculation of prizes, the
Society shall ensure that all legitimately won prize monies are paid
within 14 days of the event and seek to recover prizes and monies
awarded in error
D-17. Best Pipe Section
D-17.1 Award. The best Pipe Section in each grade or category shall be
determined by the combined scoring of the Piping Judges and be
D-18. Best Drum Corps
D-18.1 Award. The best Drum Corps in each grade or category shall be
determined by the Drumming Judge and be announced
D-19. Best Bass Section
D-19.1 Award. The best Bass Section in each grade shall be determined
by collaboration between the Ensemble and Drumming Judges and be
announced at each games
D-20. March and Deportment
D-20.1 Judged. Each competing band may be judged on dress, marching
and general behaviour during the time that they are on the Contest
field. When prizes have been provided by the Highland Games Committee,
an announcement and an award shall be made
D-21. Prizes and Travelling Expenses
D-21.1 Information. The amount of prize money and travel money
negotiated by the PPBSO may vary from games to games. Information and
travel directions are available upon request from the PPBSO Games
D-22. Band Champion Supreme Awards
D-22.1 Contest Titles. The PPBSO will assign Championship titles
including the North American, All Ontario and all Canadian
D-22.2 Award. The Band Champion Supreme Award is given to the band in
each grade or category with the highest total of Champion Supreme
points as calculated in accordance with the Rules below
D-22.3 Points.(a) In a
PPBSO-sanctioned Contest other than the North American Championships
that has from one to five bands compete, points shall be awarded as
follows: 1st = 5 points; 2nd = 4 points; 3rd = 3 points; 4th = 2
points; 5th =1 point.
(b) In a PPBSO-sanctioned Contest
other than the North American Championships, that has six or more bands
compete, a multiplier of 1.5 will apply to the structure defined in (a)
above, and points shall be awarded as follows: 1st = 7.5 points; 2nd =
6 points; 3rd = 4.5 points; 4th = 3 points; 5th = 1.5 points.
For the North American Championships, a multiplier of 2 will apply to
the structure defined in (a) above, and points shall be awarded as
follows: 1st = 10 points; 2nd = 8 points; 3rd = 6 points, 4th=4 points;
5th = 2 points.
(d) In contests that involve heats and a play-off, only the play-off event will be awarded points.
Each band’s points for the season will be added at the end of the season.
The band with the highest total will be awarded the Champion Supreme
designation for the grade
D-22.4 Ties. In the event of a tie for the highest total of Champion
Supreme points, the band which has placed ahead of the other bands
involved in the tie more often at Contests shall win the Award. If a
tie remains, the band placing higher at the North American
Championships shall win the Award.
D-22.5 Standings. Band Champion Supreme standings shall be posted at each Highland Games
D-22.6 Eligibility – Only PPBSO registered bands, whose rosters are
comprised of PPBSO members, will be awarded points for placing in
events. To be eligible, a registered band must enter and compete at a
minimum of 50% of PPBSO sanctioned Highland Games at which events for
the applicable grade are offered.