A trial rule will commence next month allowing branches and contest promoters to offer a separate Grade 4 selection of marches event.
National management committee received a request for the trial rule from the Victorian branch and has decided that the opportunity should be available in all branches across Australia to engage bands and players currently not competing in Grade 4 aggregate competitions that comprise MSR and medley elements and to encourage participation by new bands.
The spirit of the trial rule, as proposed, is to provide an earlier band competition experience for pipers and drummers at the beginning of their musical journey while also allowing those players who have contributed over many years the chance to continue participation by offering support to the next generation.
The trial will also provide opportunity for skill development of players who may have abilities on both pipes and drums, allowing the chance to compete on the secondary instrument.
The underlying intent of the trial rule is the development of players, including as lead piper or drummer, if necessary with the augmentation of some experienced players from the Grade 4 aggregate band to meet minimum player number requirements.
The trial additionally provides encouragement to bands absent for some time from the competition circle to again participate in contests and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow bandspeople.
National management committee will be monitoring participation in the separate Grade 4 Selection of Marches event while the trial is in operation. The Grade 4 aggregate competition of MSR and Medley will continue as previously.
A national trial rule for the Drum Major Solo has also been approved by national management committee. The trial rule alters the length of the course to 50 metres and adjusts the course to 4.5 laps with competitors finishing in the centre of course, consistent with requirements in RSPBA competitions.