Ask an Umpire: Neutral Objects and Duties of the Third

This volume of Ask an Umpire covers Neutral objects and duties of the third

Q: I was playing a singles game in which the following occurred: I delivered a running bowl which did the following in this order:

  1. It touched the jack
  2. Then it made contact with a non-toucher, causing the non-toucher to enter the ditch
  3. Then the top-spin on my bowl made it continue towards the ditch, whereupon it made contact with the non-toucher that just preceded it into the ditch, and as a result hopped up and over the ditch and onto the grassy area beyond the ditch (i.e. completely out of play).

This all happened too quickly for anyone to intervene. My question is: does 37.5.1 apply in this case? Could my opponent and I have tried to agree on where my toucher would have ended up had it not touched the dead bowl that had been sitting in the ditch, albeit only for a fraction of asecond?

A: Law 37.5.1 does not apply in this case, as you have indicated that the non-toucher did not rebound onto the green, but remained in the ditch.

As the non-toucher became a dead bowl as soon as it landed in the ditch, it should have been considered as a neutral object. This is one of the definitions of a neutral object (see Definition C.23.2.3).

As a result, Law 37.3.2.2 should have been considered. You and your opponent would need to agree on where your delivered toucher would have come to rest if the dead bowl had not been there. If you could not both agree, the end would be declared dead, and you would have needed to replay the end.

Result of an End

Q: What happens in the following scenario when a leaning bowl falls over during measuring? Team A has two shots but the third bowl of team B is leaning and was not wedged. Team B gave two shots to Team A, and at the same time the leaning bowl fell. Will this bowl now be included into the count? And if it is now second shot, will Team A only receive one shot?

A: Law 23.6 discusses activities that may occur during the process of deciding the number of shots scored. Law 23.6.3 states that all the shots agreed before any bowl falls will count. So, in this scenario, if Team B has agreed that Team A has 2 shots, prior to the Team B bowl falling toward the jack, Team A will continue to have 2 shots.

The key word is “agreed.” One way to confirm agreement of both sides during the measuring process is to remove each shot bowl and place it on a cloth.

Players who are counting the shots in the head are encouraged to carry wedges as well as their measure, so that the wedges can be used to prevent such incidents. Umpires are trained to always wedge any bowls that are on their running surface prior to commencing any measuring.

Q: In a Triples game, measuring and counting shots is left up to the respective seconds (vices). Once the seconds have agreed as to the count can the second conceding the points be overruled by their skip who disagrees and requests that additional measuring take place?

A: The applicable law in this instance is law 40.2 in regard to the duties of the third (vice). The opposing thirds can measure any disputed shots and they can then agree to the number of shots scored. The skips cannot request any additional measuring after both thirds have agreed on the results of an end.

There is a role for the umpire to measure any disputed shot, but if there is no dispute, and the two thirds have agreed to the number of shots scored, it is also too late to call the umpire.

From past editions of Extra Ends, as well as questions bowlers had for umpires that have never been published. All questions were answered by the National Officiating Committee

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