This volume of Ask an Umpire covers Wheelchairs and Marking

Q: I know a player in a social league who uses a wheelchair. I’m having trouble finding any info outlining what requirements must be fulfilled for him to compete with able or para athletes.

A: The requirements that would enable a wheelchair bowler to play bowls in Canada would be compliance with wheelchair specifications, as outlined in Law 41.1. BCB has not approved any specific wheelchairs for use on the green, and in the absence of any requirements, we would rely on the regulations adopted by the International Bowls for the Disabled (IBD) – the World Governing Body for disabled bowls.


Q: The World Bowls Marking and Measuring video includes a scenario where the player asked “who has shot?” The marker could clearly see that the player had two shots and responded “two shots to you!” I was marking in a Singles match and Player A was on the mat with her last bowl in hand and asked me “who has shot?” I could clearly see that she had 3 shots, so my response was “you have 3 shots.” Player B advised me that I should not have said that. I explained that this was an acceptable response, but Player B was still not happy.

A: Markers are now instructed to provide more information in their response to a player’s question than they did in the past. Markers used to be trained to provide short, concise answers to the question that was asked. This was often just a “No” or a “Yes,” which could lead to more questions and answers.

In the World Bowls video, produced in 2008, markers are instructed to provide a more complete response to the question, without providing information that has not been asked for. When the question is asked “am I holding shot?”, it is appropriate to answer yes, if they are holding one shot, or state the number of shots, if there is clearly more than one shot. This reduces the need for players to ask subsequent questions, which should result in speeding up a Singles game.

The WB video is being used to train umpires and markers in Canada. However, as you have indicated, some bowlers are not aware of these changes.

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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