Rules & Sanctioning

Membership Rules

  1. Membership of CLASP is restricted to adult amateur pipers. The definition of adult is taken to mean someone who is 18 years old or over.
  2. New Rule: For the purposes of UK based CLASP members, an amateur piper is defined to be someone who does not compete in open solo piping competitions in either indoor venues or Highland Games. This rule will also apply to overseas CLASP members when competing in the UK.
  3. A member of CLASP cannot simultaneously compete as a member of the Competing Pipers Association as this would revoke any amateur status.
  4. Membership of CLASP may be open to pipers who have at one time competed in Open level events where prize money has been offered. Pipers will need to audition and they will be considered for a CLASP membership based on their level. Pipers will not be considered for membership if they have competed at open level within 12 months of the application.
  5. All members must pay an annual membership fee. Membership fees must be paid on joining. Members may join at any time of year. Please see membership payment structure.
    CLASP Membership payment windows:
    1st November - 31st March - £50 (1 years membership) *Price updated January 2024
    1st April - 30th June - £40
    1st - July - 31st August - £30
    1st September - 31st October - £20
    Pipers can only enter a CLASP competition if they are current CLASP members, however, in the case where a membership lapses between entering a competition and competing in a competition, it is the competitors responsibility to renew their membership prior to attending and competing in the competition. It is against CLASP rules to compete as a lapsed CLASP member.
  6. All members will be graded in order to compete (Section 2). Members who wish to lodge an appeal against their grading can only do so within one of the appeal windows throughout the year (July or November). An appeal should be placed in writing to the CLASP administrator(s). The members appeal can be supported by audio recordings also. When an appeal is received, arrangements will be made by CLASP (once the grading window has closed) for a grading panel to review video/audio evidence/ league table points/Judges Standard sheets/ Competition Results and any other relevant information. Members may not appeal more than once in any year.
  7. If membership lapses or entry to competitions ceases for a period of 2 consecutive years intending competitors must be re-graded upon renewal of membership or re-entry to competition.
  8. All members must adhere to the competition Rules (Section 3). Failure to do so will may result in your membership being revoked without refund.

Grading Rules

  1. Applicants must adhere to membership rules by becoming CLASP members in order to be eligible for a CLASP grade. (Please see membership rules)
  2. All CLASP members must seek a grade from the CLASP to be eligible to compete in CLASP competitions.
  3. Amateur pipers outside of the UK with a current Amateur grading from their relevant association (For example. in North America) should notify CLASP admin of their current grade for both Light Music/Piobaireachd.
  4. Grades shall be classified in ascending order of ability, Grade 3, Grade 2 and Grade 1.
  5. Grades will be determined by ability ONLY and precedence will not be given over previous prizes, age, gender or affiliation.
  6. The CLASP reserves the right to re-grade any competitor at any time.
  7. Competitors who win the overall CLASP for the year, in grade 3 and grade 2, will receive an automatic upgrade for the next year to the grade directly above. An overall win in Piobaireachd will not result in an upgrade in Light Music, and vice versa.
  8. Grades will be reviewed at the end of each year by CLASP officials.
  9. A competitor who chooses to appeal their grade will do so in writing to:
    The National Piping Centre
    30-34 McPhater Street
    Glasgow, G4 0HW

    Or via email to:

Competition Rules (For non remote CLASP events)
Steward's Responsibilities
A steward will be assigned to each event. The steward will be responsible for ensuring a regular and orderly stream of competitors to the event’s competition area. A steward has the discretion to disqualify any competitor who is not ready to play in their allocated position. It is the competitors responsibility to ensure they are easily located when a tuning room is ready for them and when it is time to compete.

  1. A steward will ensure that the judge has enough time, between performances, to complete critique sheets.
  2. A steward will liaise with judges and competition organisers, and will notify them of any delays that may occur during the competition.
  3. A steward has the discretion to alter the order of play when extenuating circumstances arise, such as a clash of competitions.

Competitor’s responsibilities

  1. Competitors will enter and compete in the grade they have been allocated by CLASP officials.
  2. On arrival, competitors will be responsible for reporting to the steward/organiser(s). Competitors should obtaining their position in the order of play, in case of any late adjustments, and be ready to compete when their position in the draw arrives.
  3. Competitors must be ready to compete when the steward indicates. Competitors unable to compete in the designated order of play, may be disqualified at the discretion of the steward.
  4. All competitors will perform in their event without the aid of printed music.
  5. Competitors should be prepared to supply music to the adjudicator for unusual or unconventional tunes or settings.
  6. Competitors should aim to keep tuning to a minimum. This allows the competition to run more efficiently and does not impact on other competitors who may follow.
  7. In the event of tuning lights, competitors should note the following tuning times:
    - Amber Light: 3 minutes
    - Red Light: Competitor must start performance or will be disqualified.
  8. Competitors will wait to be assigned to a tuning room by their steward. This is important to allow ALL competitors an equal amount of time to prepare for their event.
  9. Any competitor who interferes with, threatens, or uses abusive language towards the adjudicators, officials, stewards or members of the CLASP will find themselves liable for suspension from further competitions for as long as CLASP officials deems is necessary in the circumstances.
  10. The same penalty as (9) will apply to situations involving the abuse of private property at any CLASP competition.

Determination of Prizes, Points and Aggregate Winners
Medals/prizes will be awarded to all prize winners who attend an indoor competition. The number of prizes allocated will be based on the number of competitors in an event.
Allocation of Prizes:
1-19 competitors: 3 prizes awarded (1st place – 3rd place)
20+ competitors: 6 prizes awarded (1st place – 6th place)

  1. Points will be awarded to competitors who place in 1st to 6th position for each event entered. Competitors will get points equal to the number of competitors defeated plus one; no points will be awarded for last place. A single competitor may be awarded one point. See exception for Piobaireachd events.
  2. A trophy will be presented to the overall winner of each grade (Grade 1, 2 & 3). The overall winner will be determined by the accumulation of all events entered. However, in the situation where a competitor has a different grade for Light Music and Piobaireachd, points cannot be combined to make an aggregate.
    In the event of a tie for the overall prize in a grade, preference will be taken according to the following order:
    (a) Highest Piobaireachd placing
    (b) Highest MSR placing
    (c) Highest 2/4 March placing
  3. A full MSR will be classed as 1 event but may also be separated into 2 events at the organisers discretion, in which case this will be stated on the online entry form. When the event is an MSR, the points allocated will be doubled.
  4. The Adjudicator’s decision will be final

Acceptable Highland Dress and Dress Code

  1. Competitors may be prevented from competing and accepting trophies onstage for not wearing acceptable and properly worn highland dress.
  2. Clasp recommends that competitors wear a kilt with sporran, jacket, shirt, tie, hose with flashes and brogues. However, female competitors may wish to wear a kilted skirt, blouse and dress shoes. Trews will be accepted in the substitution of a kilt.


  1. Any Competitor who is unable to attend a competition, which they have entered, must notify the CLASP administrator no later than 24 hours prior to the competition’s starting time.
  2. In instances of non-attendance / withdrawal, entry fees paid will not be refunded and cannot be carried forward for another event.

Competing at Non-Sanctioned CLASP competitions
A competitor may play in a grade of higher or lower ability at a competition outside of CLASP jurisdiction if the competitor’s grade is not offered in the external jurisdiction and it does not infringe on CLASP membership rules.

Interpretation of Rules and Protests
In the event of any misunderstanding or ambiguity in these rules the CLASP officials reserve the right to supply its own interpretation which will be final and binding.

Competition Rules (For CLASP Remote 'Video Submission' Competition)

  1. CLASP membership rules apply fully for any remote CLASP events
  2. CLASP Grading rules apply fully for any remote CLASP events
  3. Competition Events
    CLASP admin will set out the tune requirements via the CLASP website prior to the opening of competition entries and this information will also be displayed on the competition entry form via the members area of the CLASP website.
  4. CLASP members should enter all remote CLASP competitions via the membership section of the CLASP website, within the advertised registration time frame.
  5. VIDEO Submission
    - Competition video submissions should be recorded in the date window outlined by the CLASP
    - All entries will be video submitted using the free platform, You Tube.
    - Videos should be submitted separately for Light Music and Piobaireachd events. Light Music recordings should include ALL light music events entered.
    - Each video submission must be made in one complete take (no editing allowed), but use as many attempts as you want.
    - CLASP competitors should introduce themselves at the start of their video recording and include the following information: Name/ Grade /Light Music or Piobaireachd event/ Name of Competition and year. For example: My name is John Smith and I will be taking part in the Grade 3 Light Music events for the CLASP Competition, 2020. (This information should also be included when uploading your competition recording(s) on You Tube. Please see the video link below, which was recorded by CLASP admin and includes the basic steps to correctly uploading a video privately on YouTube using a smartphone and then emailing the link.
    - For Light music events, competitors can stop between events to re tune or have a drink of water.
    - Competitor's videos should show most or all of the body, including your head. Videos must be lighted properly so your face and hands can be clearly seen. Videos with poor lighting or sound may not be accepted.
    - Competitors are allowed to tune up prior to starting their performance, just as you would in a regular competition setting.
    - Video submissions should be uploaded to You Tube and then competitors should email the video link(s) to both
    - CLASP recommends that competitors list their uploaded video submission as 'Unlisted'. 'Unlisted' videos allow you to control who can view your video and only those you share the link with can view the video submission.
    - All video submissions must be emailed to CLASP admin by midnight (UK time) on the closing date of video submissions.
    - CLASP admin will share each competitors’ video submission link with their relevant judge for the adjudication process.
  6. Adjudication
    Once the closing date for video submissions passes, competitor’s videos links will be sent to their relevant judge(s) for the adjudication process.
  7. Announcement of Winners
    Winners will be announced in a Facebook video announcement approximately one week following the close of competition video submissions and results will also be posted on the news section of the CLASP website.
  8. Crit sheets will be emailed out to each competitor following the announcement of results. Please allow a few days for this admin process.
  9. Performance Dress
    Highland attire is required.
  10. Performance Rights
    By entering this competition, all performers give CLASP permission to publish their performances in part and/or in full on the digital/social media channels selected for the competition.

Competition Rules (For CLASP Remote 'live' Competitions)

  1. CLASP membership rules apply fully for any remote CLASP events
  2. CLASP Grading rules apply fully for any remote CLASP events
  3. Competition Events
    CLASP admin will set out the tune requirements via the CLASP website prior to the opening of competition entries and this information will also be displayed on the competition entry form via the members area of the CLASP website.
  4. CLASP members should enter any remote competition via the membership section of the CLASP website within the advertised registration time frame.
  5. Competitors using the platform Skype or Zoom as their mode of 'live' video connection with the designated steward, should ensure, prior to the competition day, that their designated ‘Live Video Steward’ contact request has been accepted as failing to do so will prevent the steward connecting with the competitor on the competition day and will result in the competitor being disqualification.
  6. A week prior to the competition date, CLASP will publish an 'Order of Play' via the CLASP news section of the website. Included in the 'Order of Play' will be; a list of competitors, the competition judges for each event and a designated ‘Live Video steward’ for each event.
  7. Each competitors 'Live Video Steward' will connect via live video call at each competitors allocated performance time and using the competitors selected platform. After connection has been made, the steward will ask each competitor to start their audio devise and the steward will then announce each competitor at the start of the audio recording. Here are some guidelines to follow with regards to the audio recording, which will be used to judge each event.
  8. If using your smart phone as audio recording devise- please place it on flight mode.
  9. Competitors can tune before their performance / or between Light Music events
  10. Competitors should not stop their audio recording devise prior to completing all performance events. For example do not stop recording between your March and your Strathspey and Reel or Jig events. However, you can re tune/ have a drink of water between Light Music events.
  11. If for any reason the live video link disconnects after the steward has made the introduction at the start of the audio recording- keep going- it does not matter if any disconnection happens after the introduction has happened at the start of the audio recording and the steward will not try to reconnect with you.
  12. Once each competitor has finished their performance, the 'live' audio recording(s) should be emailed on the same day to CLASP administrators.
  13. CLASP admin will provide competitors with information to access competition results.
  14. Crit sheets will be emailed out to each competitor following the announcement of results. Please allow a few days for this admin process.


CLASP has established a set of sanctioning rules and regulations, which are aimed to give individuals and organisations a structured framework to successfully run a CLASP competition. The sanctioning of an event will provide, the competition organiser, a measure of uniformity in terms of CLASP rules, standards, and administration, regardless of the country the competition is being held in. Once a memorandum of understanding is agreed, the CLASP will sanction the competition/competition league.

General Conditions

  1. A named point of contact should be identified for CLASP Administrators to directly correspond with. A good communicator is key to the success of a CLASP competition and to ensure that the CLASP rules and procedures are followed.
  2. By sanctioning a CLASP competition, you are acknowledging that your event will follow the rules of CLASP, under the guidance of the CLASP administrators.
  3. CLASP officials will grade all competitors prior to the competition. See grading rules.
  4. CLASP competition events and tune submission requirements should be implemented. Any amendments to the events and requirements should be agreed with the CLASP officials.
  5. There should be a mutual agreement when setting a CLASP competition date. The date should allow a realistic timeline for both CLASP administrators and the other party to promote and advertise the competition.
  6. A closing date for competition entries should be agreed by both parties and this timeline should allow for ample time to process all the information.
  7. The competition venue should be a suitable space to hold a solo piping competition. This includes a spacious performance room, with a minimum of 2 tuning rooms close by for competitors to warm up in.
  8. All competitors should become CLASP members via the CLASP website.
  9. Competitors should enter their chosen event(s) via the CLASP website unless otherwise agreed with the sanctioning organisers.
  10. Membership varies in price depending on the time of year someone joins. Please see membership rules for payment structure. Once membership has been completed it is an additional £5 per competition event.

Financial Arrangements for Sanctioned Organisers

  1. CLASP will collect and retain all competitor’s annual membership fees.
  2. CLASP will administer all entry fees and produce an order of play for the competition organisers.
  3. Alternatively, the sanctioned competition organisers can manage the entry fees and competitors entries. Suitability for this will be determined by the CLASP organisers.