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Reminder: PPBSO Highland Games Inclement Weather Policy!

We know that southern Ontario summer weather conditions can bring inclement weather with thunderstorms a common occurrence. With the recent two-year pandemic pause in our outdoor competitions and a stretch of good weather for our Highland Games members may benefit by the reminder provided here of the PPBSO’s Inclement Weather policy (found as appendix 3 in our Rule Book).

Please take special note of the air horns signals. Our new WhatsApp pilot will also be drawn on to alert bands of weather warnings.

PPBSO Inclement Weather Policy

Policy: The PPBSO sanctions contests and promotes piping, drumming and band events with due regard for the safety and health of competitors and members.

Context: When PPBSO officials anticipate severe weather or lightning, a decision will be taken that considers the safety hazards associated with changing circumstances. Such a decision may result in the suspension, or cancellation of some or all of the events, and in extreme conditions, may result in declaring that areas deemed high hazard be evacuated.


PPBSO officials shall use their best judgement in considering all available weather information and this policy in making and communicating decisions

  • When the time interval between lightning being seen and thunder being heard is 30 seconds or less, PPBSO shall halt contests and activities, and instruct competitors to seek shelter

  • The PPBSO shall sound an Evacuation signal - three blasts of the air horn – to signal competitors to vacate the playing field and seek shelter. If possible, loud speaker announcements should be made: “Attention everyone: please leave the area immediately!”

  • When possible to do so, competitors already competing may finish any performance that is in progress. No further performances will begin until PPBSO officials have determined that there is no longer a threat to safety.

  • When PPBSO is satisfied that it is safe to resume events, a signal to resume – 2 blasts of an air horn – will signal that solo contest will resume in 20 minutes and band contests will resume in 40 minutes. If possible, loud speaker announcements should be made: “Attention everyone, contests will resume.”

  • In extreme situations, cancellation of the games may be necessary. The PPBSO president (or delegate) and Highland Games Committee senior representative will usually consult one another and make such a decision jointly. If this occurs, a Cancellation of Games signal - four blasts of the air horn - will signal cancellation of the games. If possible, loud speaker announcements should be made: “Attention everyone, the games are cancelled!”


  • It is the responsibility of the senior PPBSO representative present in consultation with other PPBSO officers or executive members to ensure that this policy is fairly implemented

  • Once notified, members are responsible for their own actions in reacting to safety hazards