This edition of Ask an Umpire focuses on a rebounding bowls call and duties of the marker
Q: “At a single game playing re-spot rule. Player A delivered a runner hit the jack, the jack goes out of bound. His bowl hit the backboard flew up in the air by a couple of feet, landed on the grass verge with back spin and roll Back into the ditch. The marker thought it was a dead bowl because it had left the rink of play. The umpire declared it a live bowl. What is the call?”
A: The bowl in question, having landed on the grass verge after bouncing off the backboard, was a dead bowl. This in accordance with law 17.1.4, which states that a bowl is dead if it passes completely outside the boundaries of the rink of play, after being moved as a result of play. The boundaries of the rink of play are defined as the imaginary lines between two pairs of boundary pegs; the corresponding sections of the end ditches; and the corresponding faces of the banks.
When the bowl rolled back into the ditch it should have been removed, as it was a dead bowl.
The marker made the correct call, but the umpire involved had the right to make the final decision. As this was an interpretation of the laws, one of the bowlers could have appealed the umpire’s decision to the Controlling Body.
Q: “Is a Marker allowed, if asked, to tell the player the distance of his/her previous bowl from the jack? Obviously the player could only ask on his/her next possession of the rink.
I read the Laws of Bowls, Law 42 “The marker’s duties” but it doesn’t address this question.
The only law I saw that maybe it would be OK was 42.2.5 “answer any specific questions about the state of the head which is asked by the player on possession of the rink”
A:Yes, it is permissible for the Marker to inform a player of the distance between a bowl and the jack, in response to a question. You are correct in referencing law 42.2.5 in regard to the Marker’s duties, as this a question about the state of the head. It is very important that the Marker can only respond to questions from the player who is in possession of the rink, and that the Marker must only answer the question that is asked.