The Lawman – Oct 20 2017

by John Roberts

The umpire’s decision is final!

Pennant season is now in full swing all over Victoria.
I have recently reaccredited a significant number of National Umpires and Measurers and it was great to see how well they are doing. 
I thank all of you for the many volunteer hours you give the sport of bowls wearing your officials hats – whether it be at Club, Region, State or at National or International level. 
One question that was often missed on the exam paper for reaccreditation was the question regarding a measurer’s duties.
Law 43.2.6 states the Umpires decision in all circumstances (except those relating to the interpretation or meanings of the laws of the sport) are final.
This is the Law that caused the BV State Umpires committee and the National Officials Advisory Group (NOAG) to re-examine what had been defined as the duties of a measurer.
At that time the measurer’s decision was final. A player or players could not question the measurer’s decision. However this clearly contradicted Law 43.2.6.
As a point of interest very few bowling countries actually have “ measurers” and that is why the duties are not defined in the Law Book. They appear to be an Aussie invention.
NOAG sent out a memo nationally indicating that if player/s wished to (as is the case when markers carry out a measure) they can call for the Umpire to make a final adjudication. The umpire’s decision is final. (Page 33, Bowls Australia, Officiating Manual, Marker, Measurer and national Umpire).
This clarification was never intended to dismiss the role of a measurer – it was done to ensure the laws of the Sport where consistently applied. 
Measurers remain important to our game. If there is no umpire available for the day the skips must choose a competent neutral person to act as umpire. 
That may well be the appointed measurer, who then, for that game becomes the Umpire and then their decision is final. Law 40.1.6.
For some reason we have had a number of queries regarding who carries the scorecard in pennant. It is definitely the role of the second NOT the skip. DR 3.2.4 
The only time the skips would carry the scorecard in pennant would be when a team of 3 plays a team of 4. In that situation you play as if the second is missing, hence the skips carry the card. 
Happy bowling and officiating
John Roberts
Bowls Victoria Umpiring Committee Chairman

Previous Lawman columns
Who’s got shot? – Sept 28, 2017
Pre-season checklist – Sept 15 2017