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December 19, 2014

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About the Event

The National Honor Guard Competition and Demonstration provides an opportunity for law enforcement organizations to perform ceremonious and patriotic tributes for public viewing. These teams are a highly dedicated group of law enforcement officers that represent organizations from all across this nation and Canada. They converge on the Nation’s Capital every year for National Police Week, where peace officers are honored for their dedicated service to the protection of our communities. The day of May 15th is known as
National Peace Officers’ Memorial Day, a day when the nation honors those officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice. This event is the tribute these teams give to honor our fallen officers and their families.

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Pipe Band Rules

UPDATED 1/2014
Check back for updates

Pipe Band Event Rules


The purpose of this event is to;

  • provide a friendly competition to honor those being remembered during National Police Memorial Week,
  • provide a good natured competition between public service pipe bands,
  • increase camaraderie between the public service pipe bands,
  • encourage public service pipe bands to perform quality and appropriate music while honoring fallen law enforcement officers.


The Memorial Pipe Band Competition will not be sanctioned by any pipe band association.  Bands are not required to be registered with any pipe band association or have a current designated grade.  Bands will be expected to play one slow march/slow air medley for no less than three minutes and no more than 6 minutes.


Any competing pipe band shall be required to have a minimum of 5 pipers, 2 snare drummers and a bass drummer.  Bands are permitted to have more of each instrument.  Pipe bands must be;

1) Comprised of active or retired law enforcement, or
2) Comprised of any public service agency, or

3) Sponsored in part or whole by a public service agency, or

4) Any organization that has a history of rendering honors for fallen law enforcement officers;

who are attending and participating in National Police Memorial Week activities.  


There is no fee for this event and there will be a maximum number of teams allowed to participate. Team registration will be accepted up to the maximum team cut off so early registration is important. Only online registrations will be accepted.

On the day of competition, a representative from each band must check in at the competition AT LEAST 30 MINUTES PRIOR TO THEIR PERSPECTIVE START TIME.

*All band members must be members of the band that registers. No substitutes or drop in muscisions are allowed to participate in a performance.


Ken Roske, National Memorial Committee
2839 West Kennewick Ave. #356
Kennewick, Washington 99336


Each band will provide their own equipment, including Great Highland Bagpipes, snare drums, tenor drum(s) and bass drum(s).  No other musical instruments will be permitted.  Each band must be properly dressed in Highland attire.


Each band shall be attired in a uniformed manner consistent with the agency or organization they represent.


To be announced


TBA Washington DC


Awards will be presented immediately following the day’s events.
Awards will be given for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place as well as a top award for Dress and Deportment.


Each band's performance will be evaluated in the following areas:

Pipe Section: The pipe section's performance will be evaluated in the following areas:

  1. Introduction/attack
  2. Tempos, breaks between tunes, and finish
  3. Tuning and tone of chanters and drones
  4. Execution
  5. Expression
  6. Difficulty of medley

Criticism from the judges in each of the above areas shall be given on the Pipe Band Piping score sheet.

Drum Section: The drum section's performance will be evaluated in similar fashion based on the following areas:

  1. Rolls
  2. Tone
  3. Tempo
  4. Execution
  5. Rhythm and Expression
  6. Quality and Variety
  7. Blend
  8. Difficulty of medley

Criticism in each of the above areas shall be given from the judges on the Pipe Band Drumming score sheet.

Ensemble: The band’s performance as a group will be evaluated based on the following areas:

  1. Technical Integration (technique and unison)
  2. Tonal integration (sound quality)
  3. Musicality
  4. Quality of Arrangement
  5. Overall appearance (uniforms, military bearing, marching)

All bands must be ranked with no ties.


The medley shall consist of a slow march/slow air set that would be appropriate for a law enforcement funeral and/or memorial service.  The set can be made up of any time signature and can change time signature from tune to tune throughout the medley.  The only tunes off limits to play are Amazing Grace and Going Home.

**NOTE** The slow march medley does not require an attack of two three beat rolls or one five beat roll.  The pipe band will utilize the attack of their choice and will be judged accordingly.


While a band is competing, no other band or individual shall attempt to tune bagpipes or drums within 500 feet of the designated competition area.  Once a band representative has checked in, FOP personal assisting with check-in can directed bands to appropriate areas for further tuning.

The final tuning area will be within 50 yards of the competition area.  Bands may tune until signaled to approach the Starting Line.


The Competition area shall be marked using the following markers on the ground.

The Starting Line shall be marked 45 feet from the center of circles.

Bands will wait to be signaled to start their entry into the competition area by the competition personnel.  Bands must march in from the Starting Line. Bands may march in with drum taps or playing their medley. Either format will be judged accordingly.  Official time starts when the pipe chanters sound.  Bands will form a circle within the marked area.  Once they have completed their medley, bands shall march out of the competition area with drum taps displaying good deportment.

Violations of the rules outlined above will be grounds for disqualification.

Page Last Updated: Jan 02, 2014 (13:54:20)
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     Jerrard F. Young
            DC Lodge #1

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Overview of the Honor Guard Event

1. TEAM INSPECTION DRILL: The team leader shall present the team for judging at the Inspection Line. The team shall come to “Attention", then remain at attention until dismissed.  When the Team Leader is satisfied that his team is ready, he shall take his position in front of the team and inform the judge that the team is ready for inspection.  The Leader will then be inspected for neatness, cleanliness, and military bearing.  The remaining team members will then be inspected for conformity to the leader’s uniform.  All members of the Honor Guard Unit will be judged in the Team Inspection Drill.

2. COLOR GUARD – When the inspection portion for each team is
completed, the flags will be brought to the flag bearer/s.  Not all team members are required to Post Colors but all team members must
participate.   Judging begins in this event when the judge instructs the leader to begin. Each team will immediately begin the “Posting of the Colors.”  Each team will post a minimum of three colors

3.  EXHIBITION PHASE. This phase will consist of a performance that all team members must participate in. The performance must last no more than Eight (8) minutes and teams that go over the time limit will receive demerits however, teams using less then 8 minutes will not be
penalized. The event time will begin once the team’s leader has his team assembled and gives an audible command to the judge that the team is ready.

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