The news that Robert Malcolm II has applied to move back to Grade 2 after being upgraded by both the BCPA and RSPBA is at once alarming and not surprising at all.
Alarming: isn’t the band’s reason-to-be competition success? If a Grade 2 band wins just about everything at home and abroad, and the overall standard in both regions is good, then it follows that it should make the leap.
Not surprising: RMM2 is a “feeder band” for SFU. It’s not supposed to compete with the big band, but instead groom and supply members so that the ultimate goal of SFU winning the World’s is realized. At least, that’s what I understand.
Other bands have faced the same dilemma, where their feeder bands were potentially competing with and threatening the parent band, rather than nurturing it. Boghall and Toronto Police’s solution was to dissolve the feeder band and let the players go where they may. Seems to me that that solution was overall better for their pipe band scenes.
So, if RMM2 goes back to Grade 2, what will its mandate be? Will it still be competitive success, even knowing that there’s not much point in trying to dominate Grade 2 since it will never stay in Grade 1? If competitive success isn’t the core goal of RMM2, how would players be groomed for the Grade 1 band?
If it were me (and stop here if you don’t give a toss what I think), I would either dissolve the band or break away from the SFU organization. Anything else doesn’t seem to make much sense.