The Western United States Pipe Band Association's sanctioned drum major contest rules are taken from the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association's rules for drum major competitions. Sanctioned WUSPBA D/M competitions are for Scottish pipe band drum majors and appropriate pipe band uniforms must be worn in order to compete. Competitor's are not required be registered with a pipe band but must be dressed appropriately. WUSPBA solo competitor membership is required to compete at a WUSPBA sanctioned competition. See the WUSPBA site for information on becoming a member.

Competitors compete for a total of 100 points based on these categories: dress inspection (20 points.), marching, deportment, mace and foot drill (40 points.). The flourishing score includes: variety, difficulty, quality, and knowledge of the music being played (40 points). Drum majors compete with a pipe band playing a 6/8 march and two to five compete at the same time. The correct style, the Scottish pipe band drum major method, of marching, deportment, and flourishing must be displayed.

The competition starts with a step off and the drum majors marching forward on a straight course that will be at least 120 feet long. A counter march is performed at the end of the course and the drum majors march back to the starting point where another counter march is executed. Mark time, halt, and music cut off drill are performed at the half way point of the course.The number of counter marches in a competition are determined by the judge. The number of counters are no less than two.

Flourishing is allowed only in the double forte (repeat) of the tune, and only beating time or a cane walk are allow during the piano ( first time through) of the tune. Contest penalties are describe in the official rules.

A link to the official rules, a diagram of a drum major competition course, and a video of a drum major contest are provided for drum majors to study on this page.

Click on link to read the official rules for:

      • Dress Regulations
      • Marching and Deportment
      • Flourishing
      • Ties, Heats, and Competition Duration

Drum Major Competition Rules


View a drum major competition below.