The Lawman – Feb 24 2017

by John Roberts

When noise annoys, and there’s a bad smell in the air

– By John Roberts, Bowls Victoria Umpiring Committee Chairman
Consider this scenario, based on a number of real issues raised by clubs:
Club Fairdale has a large popular park (G L Reserve) along one of its boundaries.
On this pennant day a player in a team playing on Rink 20, the one closest to the park, has raised two issues. Firstly the music from the park is very loud and distracting, and there is a very pungent smell wafting across from what appears to be the public toilets.
After about eight ends, the concerned player says that she can no longer play on due to this odour, as it is making her feel very unwell.
She informs her side manager, who then speaks to the side manager of the home side. The side managers mutually agree to move this rink to an available empty rink, Rink 14, further away from the park boundary – a common sense approach.
What direction do the Laws of the Sport offer in this situation?
* Law 33.2 states a player can leave the green for up to 10 minutes due to illness or some other reasonable cause.
* Law 3.3 states that once rinks have been made, and a player in that competition plays on the same rink before the start of play , they will be disqualified. So hopefully none of the players had practiced on Rink 14. This requirement can be altered through the National Authority and common sense.
* The forward of the Laws of the Sport states that no laws governing a sport can cope with every situation. Unusual situations not covered within the laws can often arise. If a situation arises not covered by the laws, players, markers and umpires must use common sense and a spirit of fair play. This is the key to solving this situation.
BV Rules for Competition state:
Rinks allocated for Pennant play must be consecutively numbered and where possible played on the one green (splitting up Teams that are part of a Side is not permitted). However this only refers to the commencing the game and the draw of the rinks.
If incidents occur which makes a rink unplayable (e.g burst water pipe, damaged green) commonsense must prevail and in this situation it did. Commonsense and a spirit of fair play.
About the music:
Music blaring from a public place unless it’s contravening the Environment Protection Authority of Victoria (EPA) is unavoidable. You could approach the person/s and ask them to turn it down.
However during a pennant game, Bowls Victoria is clear in its directions. Music played by a home club is acceptable provided the level of sound does not impinge upon the conduct of any pennant games. Background music is acceptable and can add to the ambience. But, for example if the skip’s instructions cannot be clearly heard at the other end of their rink, you are within your rights to ask for the music to be turned down.

Previous The Lawman columns
The Lawman, Feb 10, 2017
The Lawman, Jan 27, 2017
The Lawman – Jan 13, 2017
The Lawman – Dec 23, 2016
The Lawman – Dec 9, 2016
The Lawman – Nov 25, 2016
The Lawman – Oct 28, 2016
The Lawman – Oct 14, 2016
The Lawman – Sept 29, 2016
The Lawman – Sept 16, 2016
Bowls Victoria’s Umpiring Section