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Highland Games 101!

This information will be useful if you’re new to the summer games circuit sanctioned by The Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario. And if you’re not new, this information might serve as a good reminder.


  • At each games the PPBSO’s administrative centre is set up in a tent at an easily found area of the games field. This year you can spot it by one of our new banners (pictured below) marked “Administration”. This is where you can find information on where events are located (i.e. the station/table number), order of play and the judge’s name. Most of this information is published online on our website about a week before each games under the tab, Highland Games Info. Each games listed has an "order of play" and "results" tab at the right side of each listing.

  • Once a competition is completed the steward will bring the sheets to the tent to be processed. Solo results will be posted here, usually within one hour of completion of the contest. It gets very busy in the tent so be patient - and be kind!

  • All solo scoresheets should be picked up by 1:30 pm each games day. The afternoon is a busy one due to pipe band contest administration!

  • If you happen to win a prize (usually a medal if you’re an amateur piper or drummer) you will receive it when you collect your scoresheet. Scoresheets (i.e. the page each judge uses to write comments related to a performance) will be available once results have been posted.

  • The order of merit for each contest is from first to sixth - so 6 placements. There are medals for first, second and third place only.


  • Each solo contest is assigned a judge and a steward. The steward manages the contest. You should make your way to the steward for your contest and advise that person that you have arrived. You may then get more information as to contest timing and order of play. Failure to check-in with the steward in advance of the contest may result in disqualification if you’re not in view when your turn comes.

  • Each steward will be wearing a red golf shirt (pictured left) marked with the PPBSO logo and “Official Steward.” Each judge’s table will have a large number affixed to the front (pictured).

  • Tuning: Pipers are limited to 3 minutes tuning for light music and 5 minutes for piobaireachd. Should you tune past this time you will likely have the steward get your attention by pointing to their watch to advise you time is up and to start your tune. Failure to do so may result in disqualification.

Set your watch!

The PPBSO official time clock is that used by the CBC and the Canadian government, that of the National Research Council’s s atomic clock. You can find it here.

Have fun!

As always, enjoy your time at the games making music and visiting friends old and new. The music of the pipes and drums springs from a centuries-old tradition, one you are now a part of!


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