The Lawman – Jan 5 2018

by John Roberts

Happy New Year to you all.
Hoping that you all have a successful and rewarding 2018 and you enjoy good health and mindfulness.
Prince Hamlet in one of his soliloquys said to be or not to be… or did he mean interruption to play or a stoppage? That is the question often asked by those nobles on the greens.
What is the difference between a stoppage of play and an interruption of play? When does an interruption of play become a stoppage?
Law 32.1 states that a stoppage is called because of darkness, weather conditions or any other valid reason by either the :
– Controlling Body
– The umpires after appeal from the players, or
– By agreement of the players if there are no umpires or members of the controlling body present.
It is not the call of the side managers.
If a stoppage is called the game can be continued on the same day or another day. Incomplete ends must be declared dead.
If all required bowls in an end have been played the number of shots must be determined before the game stops – Law 32.3
A stoppage is a stoppage if Law 32.1 is evoked. If all the required bowls in the end have not been played the end is declared dead.
If a player or players (on their own undertaking) decide to run for cover, for example, lightning, sun shower or to get their wet weather gear this becomes an interruption to play because a stoppage has not been invoked.
So what happens to uncompleted ends when the game is interrupted? Play must continue when the players return to their rinks. Because a stoppage has not been called, the game continues. Incomplete ends are not declared dead.
If while play is interrupted, there is a disturbance to the head by wind, rain, falling trees or any foreseen incident, the skips (or opponents in singles) must put the jack or bowl/s back to their former positions. If they cannot agree on the former position, the end is declared dead and must be replayed. Law 35.
Simply an interruption to play becomes a stoppage when one the bodies listed in Law 32.1 says so.
Bowlers should also keep in mind that they must not delay play by leaving the rink of play unless their opponent agrees, and then only for no more than ten minutes. Law 33.1
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune or to continue on with your game is clearly laid down in the Laws of the Sport.
Happy Bowling and happier officiating
John Roberts
Chairman, BV State Umpiring Committee

Previous The Lawman columns

Delivery – Dec 22 2017
You’re On The Mat – Dec 8 2017
Conditions of Play Documents – Nov 3 2017
A measurer’s duties – Oct 20, 2017
Who’s got shot? – Sept 28, 2017
Pre-season checklist – Sept 15, 2017
For 2016-17 editions of The Lawman, see our Heads Up archive here