On the 24th we will wend our way up to Woodland for the annual Sacramento Games, where we hope to see some of you. We will be set up in the Old Same Place inside, with Jamie Cavin in attendance as always. We will have a few new products on display, like the Saul Tuner, Brett Tidswell's maintenance book, and some new music. Come by, browse, and chat. And buy something....

THE RECENT DEMISE of several newspapers around the country set me to thinking - in a few years, is the Net all we'll have for news and commentary, other than the talking heads on TV? There is no such thing as a real, hard-boiled print Journalism major anymore, and bloggers have overtaken print media as the popular form of information, inaccurate and poorly-grammared though they may be. As journalism is reduced to thirty-second sound bites I fear for the English language as at least I know it.

But is the demise of the Newsie a bad thing? Many will say no, and the times may be a-changin' - but change is not necessarily a good idea. Men will no longer be able to retire to the Reading Room with the Sports Pages, and kids will have to get their comic strips off the web - or will they even bother? Will comics and editorial pass into history, flashed only on a flickering screen for seconds before cutting to commercial? Yes the forests will thank us for not raping them to feed the grinding paper mills, but how will we line birdcages, and does anybody really care????

Maybe that's why I have always referred to this section of my website as The Column, and not a blog - a stupid word for egocentric ramblings. I try to keep the personal out of this monthly effort as much as possible, and put up new products, gossip, news, and commentary, with an occasional obit for a friend or colleague (I seem to be at that stage of my life). Let's just hope that the newspapers don't all go belly up - like the car companies seem to be doing....


Ahoy thar Mates!  I be just back from the Special Executive Committee Meeting in Salt Lake City this weekend. This was a "working conference"  where we were all brought togather, grouped, and given special tasks to perform. My group was to work on the WUSPBA Representative Manual, Contest Sponsor, and Sanctioning Manual.  There will be new versions of these available for review and presentation for approval at the upcoming AGM in November. A lot of work was also done by the "Geek Squad", and the Contest Rule Committee.  The meeting was very productive and should be repeated on an annual basis in the future.  Andrew Morrill, and Jeff mann should be commended for having this meeting.  I personally congratulated these two individuals, and told them they are not allowed to quit at the end of their terms of office, but should run again to keep the inertia going in a positive direction.  I even pledged to not call the Utah Junta the Utah Junta anymore in the future....Wait....did I just break that pledge?   Ahrrrrgh!  Never trust an ol' Priate!   Ahrrrrgh!    Also at the meeting was the Music Board, or part of it anyway.  They worked on the new Grade V for pipe bands, and incorporation of this new pipe band grade should be very smooth as a result of their work.   Ready or not, Grade V is coming!

 The Music Board also worked on adjudicator's compensation recommendations.  Now these later recommendations are for $250.00 for adjudicators per contest, plus travel and expenses.  But...if you're an on site "assistant adjudicator", or at the contest and asked to judge, the recommendation is $75.00...and these are "recommedations" or guidelines for contest sponsors, and adjudicators must negotiate their own compensation with the contest sponsors.  So lets see an adjudicator, you must first get yourself on the A or B list, attend seminars, take tests, and every two or three years do it all over again....and all you might get is $75.00 if you happen to be at a contest and they need you to judge.  As I said, at the meeting....RIDICULOUS!  My request to at least make it $100.00 fell on the deaf ears of the Music Board.  The rest of the E C may have agreed, but were reluctant to "upset" the Music Board....RIDICULOUS!  

Now the other "hot button" seemed to be on the way that band contests should proceed.  An order of play is determined, and then a schedule is posted.  One faction believes that once the schedule is posted that the times are the times when each band performs.  BUT...the Contest Rules do not say that the schedule once posted is the time that a band must be at the ready line and ready to compete.  What the Contest Rules state is as follows under PART VII, para 3c:

Duties"Band Representatives' Duties:  A representative shall be held responsible for the prompt attendance of his or her band on the contest field.  The first band to compete will be advised at the draw as to the time it must be at the starting point in the contest arena; thereafter, it is the the duty of each suceeding band to move forward as directed by the stewards.  To reduce the gap between final tuning and competing to the lowest possible margin, there will be a five (5) minute MAXIMUM time period from the conclusion of one band's performance or from the posted time of play, whichever is later, to the appearance of the following band (in the same contest) at the starting position ready to play, or face disqualification.  The officials shall mark off final tuning areas in the closest possible proximity to the contest arena, and bands should move forward to these areas upon request.  Stewards may be provided as an aid to bands, but they carry no responsibility for the attendance of any band in the playing area.  The final responsibility rests with each band to be at the starting point as and when required, and any band failing to do so and not complying with official instructions is subject to immediate disqualification."

In other words:  It is the competing bands' responsibility to be at the ready line and ready to compete as and when directed to be ready to compete.  In other words, posted times are not cast in stone, but are approximate times only, and bands MUST be ready to compete as directed by the contest sponsor stewards.  

Now in the Intermountain Branch, I'm told the schedule is the schedule, with a five minute grace period.  Ok for that area I suppose, as there are far fewer bands in that branch.  But in the branches with contests with large numbers of bands, these contests must move right along.  In the Southern Branch, bands are told that the schedule is approximate, and that there is a five minute interval allowed between the band before exiting and the next band at the ready line and ready to start.  This is not unlike what occurs at Maxwell, and at the World's.

The arguments expanded from there, but our rules are clear...."The final responsibility rests with each band to be at starting point as and when required,...".

There was also some argument as to who disqualified a band not ready, or at the ready line as and when directed.  Some branches have the WUSPBA Representative doing the DQ.  The Southern Branch complies with ARTICLE XV - PROTESTS. "1.  infringement with protest:  In the event of a protest being lodged by one band against another for infringement of the rules at any contest.....".  A protest needs to be lodged by another competing band against another with the WUSPBA Representative, that a band was late and caused a delay.  In the Southern Branch, the WUSPBA Representative keeps track of the time between bands, and or is advised if a band has failed to comply with the request of the contest sponsor officials to move forward to the ready line and be ready to compete.  In the later case, the contest sponsor would file the protest.  In the Southern Branch, the WUSPBA makes the ruling, but does NOT initiate the protest.  Similarly, in the Southern Branch, if a band's timed medley is short or long, a competing band in the same grade must initiate the protest.  The WUSPBA Representative, keeps track of the time to perform the medlies, so that a ruling to uphold or reject the protest may be made.  In the Southern Branch, the WUSPBA Representative is not a member of the "stopwatch gestapo", and may not DQ a band unless a protest has been lodged.  What occurs in the Southern Branch raised a few eyebrows, but is in compliance with the Contest Rules and Bylaws of the WUSPBA.  These matters were referred to the Music Board for resolution, but are NOT a Music Board responsibility. 

This ol' Pirate believes the responsibility to change, or not change these issues lies with the membership as a whole, and not with the Music Board.  None-the-less there will be some recommendation(s) forthcoming by the Music Board which the EC will recommend because they don't want to upset the Music Board, which begs the question....Who runs the WUSPBA?  The Music Board, the Executive Committee,  or the Membership?

Ol' Black Part   

(The management of Cuillinn Craft takes NO responsibility for any editorial statements made by John Eric Partanen PhD. Any and all comments should be directed to BLACK PART)


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