The Lawman: Umpiring equipment check list for Pennant

by John Roberts

Pennant season is here. As we all prepare for the long haul, now is the time to check all your umpiring equipment and assess the need to update or replace what doesn’t work. Ready, Steady…and we’re off!
Pennant season is almost here, and we are all preparing for the long haul. At this point of the season I always feel the pennant season is too long. Then it just disappears.

Now is the time to check all your umpiring equipment and assess the need to update or replace what doesn’t work. Law 54 deals with the minimum equipment that should be available. It is up to the club measurers and umpires to ensure that their Club’s equipment is sufficiently comprehensive to cover all measuring and any other situations that might arise.

Do you have enough jacks?
Do those tired old mats need to be replaced?
Scoreboards, are they ok?

Do you have two indicators for the end of each rink? One for the jack (Law 18.2) and one for a live bowl in the ditch (Law 14.4). One white and the other brightly coloured? Do you need to have a chat with your Greenkeeper to make sure the greens are compliant and consistent with the laws of the sport?

Make sure you have copies and are familiar with the conditions of play relevant to your location. These can be down loaded from the Bowls Victoria website.

Have you informed your club of the changes to the rules for competition for next season? There is an information sheet already prepared on the Bowls Victoria website.

Checked your own reaccreditation date on your current umpires card? Need to reaccredit then download the application from the Bowls Victoria website. Get your club Secretary to sign it and post off to Bowls Victoria as soon as possible.

World Bowls has now approved bowls sized 000 and 0000. Not that we check bowls very often but if you come across any of these two smaller sized bowls they are World Bowls approved. Having access to two smaller sized bowls will assist in further increasing or maintaining participation in our sport – hopefully by older and younger people alike. For more information, please visit the World Bowls website.

The Laws of the Sport of Bowls are based on fair play, common sense and clear directions on how the game should be played. At all times umpires, markers and measures should be professional in approach, be ethical, impartial, demonstrate good interpersonal skills, be professional and positive and great communicators.

Upon becoming officials, we sign up to the Bowls Australia officials Code of Behaviour which is underpinned by the Australian Sports Commission Officials Code of Ethics. Players need to treat Officials with respect and understand they are all volunteers and doing their best.

If umpires are required to resolve conflict on the green they should be professional, remain calm, address the problem and not the emotions involved while being fair, confident and firm at all times. Good umpires are authoritative and not authoritarian.

Enjoy the Pennant Season, happy officiating in whatever capacity that may be. We do appreciate the time you volunteer and the great job you do. May all your measures be accurate!