This edition of Ask and Umpire covers Shot restriction in the first two ends of a game and player shadowing
Q: “Seeking clarification for Law 22.1 with regard to how shots are determined in situations which do not fall under Law 57.2.2. My question is this – if a Controlling Body was to introduce a Condition of Play which stated that for each of the first two ends of a game, one shot only shall be recorded regardless of the number actually earned, would such a Condition be in compliance with the Laws?”
A: While limiting the number of shots scored in the first 2 ends of a game is not considered in law 22, it is permissible within the overall Laws of the Sport of Bowls, so long as the game is considered to be a social or recreational game, as described in law 57.2.2.
BCB has set no limits on financial rewards as per law 57.2.2. As a result, controlling bodies of competitions that do not lead to the winners being awarded a club title, or enable the winners to compete for a district, national or international title, can set conditions of play which include aspects of play that are different from those described within the Laws of the Sport.
I personally would prefer to play two trial ends before a game – and play two fewer ends in a game, if necessary – as opposed to restricting the number of shots scored in the first two ends, as I think this is a fairer way to play. However, law 57.2.2 does enable clubs to offer alternative formats of play to attract more bowlers and cater to varied interests.
Q: In regards to section 13
Skip A, in possession of the rink, goes down to view the head. Skip B goes to head with Skip A. This happens multiple times during a game. Sometimes, Skip B stays at the head, other times Skip B returns to the mat with Skip A. Would this be considered interference ,annoyance or distraction. Players and other umpires view this in different ways. So we are all on the same page, how should will we address this.
A: This guidance is provided in the absence of any restrictions on the movement of players, which may impose additional constraints.
The law is quite specific about where players may stand when they do not have possession of the rink. If at the mat end, they must be at least 1 metre behind the mat. If at the head end of the rink, they must be behind the jack and away from the head.
When two skips are at the mat end, and the skip in possession of the rink walks up to the head, the opposing skip does sometimes follow. They have no right to do so, but most players don’t make an issue out of it. Some bowlers who believe in the etiquette of the sport may request their opponent’s permission to follow them to the head. Others just do it anyway.
There is no need for an umpire to intervene if they see an opposing bowler follow another player who has possession of the rink. However, if the player in possession of the rink asks the umpire whether this is allowed, or if the umpire decides that a player in possession of the rink is being annoyed or distracted by the opposing player, the umpire must warn the offending player about violating possession of the rink.
Once the opposing player has reached the head end, he or she must keep walking until they are behind the jack and away from the head, and remain there until their team has regained possession of the rink. If the opposing player tries to return to the mat end any sooner, when they are not in possession of the rink, the umpire must give them a warning that they are in violation of law 13 Possession of the rink.