The Lawman: It’s about time and place.

by Bronwyn Slatter

It’s Pennant time again. Some Regions and Divisions have already started, while others will be underway soon.

As is the case each year, Conditions of Play (CoP) for Pennant are reviewed to include any change in Laws and Domestic Regulations, as well as alterations for local conditions.

The 2019-20 CoPs for both Regions/Divisions and Metropolitan Pennant have been approved by the Bowls Victoria Board and are available on the Bowls Victoria website.  

As would be expected, the CoPs across all Regions and Divisions are generally consistent with some variation to meet local needs.

Earlier this year the Bowls Victoria Board approved a new management structure for the administration of the Metropolitan Pennant competition with the establishment of the Metropolitan Pennant Executive.

The Executive has introduced some innovative ideas that are about time and place. A summary of these initiatives and some old chestnuts that involve time are included here.

Let’s start with the timing of the greens:

Timing of the green is not compulsory, and there is no requirement that Bowls Victoria be informed of the speed of the green on the day of play. A visiting Club cannot demand that a green be timed. Clause 46.1 Metropolitan Pennant Conditions of Play.

Starting times:

Rule 52.1. The Green Director or their Deputy at the Club where the match is scheduled to be played has the sole authority to determine whether the match will commence as scheduled or the start time delayed for up to one hour due to the conditions of the green. If the match cannot be commenced within an hour, it will be abandoned. Clause 51.3.1.2

Awarding points for abandoned games:

When play is abandoned by Bowls Victoria for all matches in a round, the points will be shared as per a Tied game. Clause 34.1

When play has commenced, if the game is subsequently abandoned, and the following minimum number of ends have been completed:

  • 60 ends being completed for a 16-player game; 
  • 45 ends being completed for a 12-player game; 
  • 30 ends being completed for a 6-player game; 

The game will be awarded to the Side who has the higher number of total shots at the time the game is abandoned, and points allocated according to clause 27 – Side win, Team win and Team tie. If the game is abandoned prior to the above number of ends being completed, the maximum available points will be shared equally for a tied game. Clause 34.2

When, what time and where can we play pennant?


WEEKEND PENNANT. SCHEDULE 2 (MPCOP)


Matches are scheduled to commence not later than 1:00 pm on a Saturday with two trial ends completed before that time. Clause 5.1, Schedule 2.

However, with prior agreement by both Clubs, Sectional games in all Divisions may commence at a time or day other than 1:00 pm. The home side must notify Bowls Victoria. Clause 5.2, Schedule 2.

Take a break:

For all Premier Division games, there will be no break taken irrespective of the day of play or the commencement time. 

In all other Divisions, a 15-minute break is to be taken at 2:45 pm. A bell will be rung at 2:40pm, and no new ends are to be commenced after the bell including ends declared ‘dead’. Clause 6.2.1

If the start time is varied from a 1:00 pm, start the scheduled break may be varied by agreement between the Side Managers. Clause 6.3

At all times Side Managers may agree to waive the break. If there is no agreement between Side Managers, then a break will be taken. Clause 6.4, Schedule 2.

Scheduling:

All play is scheduled for Saturday. Clause 7.1, Schedule 2.

However, with the agreement of the opposing Club, Sectional games in all Divisions can be rescheduled to a Friday evening, Saturday other than the scheduled 1:00 pm start time, or a Sunday. The home side must notify Bowls Victoria. Clause 7.2

Note: Friday evening games that have NOT commenced and are abandoned MUST be played at the 1:00 pm the next day (Saturday). Clause 7.3.

Friday evening games that have commenced and are abandoned cannot be rescheduled for any other day and will have the points shared as per a Tied game. Clause 7.4

Sunday games cannot be rescheduled, Clause 7.5, and a Saturday game must be commenced and completed on the Saturday. There is no provision to commence or complete a scheduled Saturday game on another day.


MIDWEEK PENNANT. SCHEDULE 1, (MPCOP)


The scheduled commencement time is not later than 10:30 am with two trial ends completed before that time. Clause 5.1, Schedule 1.

Clause 5.2. With prior agreement by both Clubs, Sectional games in all Divisions may commence at a time other than 10:30 am. The home side must notify Bowls Victoria.

Take a break:

Clause 6.1 states a 30-minute break is to be taken at 12 noon. A bell will be rung at 11:55 am, and no new ends are to be commenced after the bell including ends declared ‘dead’. 

And Clause 6.2 states that subject to any variation in the start time the scheduled break may be varied by agreement between the Side Managers.

Scheduling:

Clause 7.1 states that for mid-week pennant play is scheduled for Tuesday. 

However, Clause 7.2 clarifies that with the agreement of the opposing Club, Sectional games in all Divisions can be rescheduled to a Wednesday or Thursday. The home side must notify Bowls Victoria. 

Clause 7.3 clearly states that there is no provision to commence or complete a rescheduled game on another day.


The Metropolitan Pennant Executive has clearly provided much more flexibility when Pennant games can be played.

The main changes being:

  1. Weekend Pennant with agreement can be played on a Friday evening, Saturday or Sunday and Midweek Pennant on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays.
  2. Friday night games not commenced must start at 1:00 pm the following day.
  3. In all divisions of Weekend Pennant (except for Premier Division) there is an allowance for a 15-minute break which can be waived by agreement of both Side Managers.

What happens if there’s a player/s missing at the agreed commencement time?

Pennant game starting time has commenced. Side A has one player short in one of its teams. What are the options?

Wait 30 minutes to see if the player arrives. Side B must wait the full 30 minutes if Side A wishes. Teams with no missing players can commence their game. If the missing player arrives within 30 minutes of the scheduled start time, they must take their original place in the team at the completion of the end in progress but is not allowed to have trial ends.  DR 2.6, (The Laws of the Sport, Crystal Mark 3, Version 3.1, April 2019.)

What if Player A does not turn up within thirty minutes of the scheduled start time?

You can find an eligible substitute to take the missing player’s place. The substitute must play in the same position as the player being substituted, except if it is the skip.  DR 2.4.5

If no substitutes are available?

Then that team is reduced to 6 bowls. You must play as if the second is missing and the skips carry the card. DR 2.6.1.1, DR 2.6.1.2

If the absent player arrives at any time after the commencement of the Side game (pennant), they must take their original place in the team and the completion of the end in play. This may involve rearranging the team. DR 2.6.3

You have to wait 30 seconds.

Law 23 is all about how we decide the number of shots scored. When does it start, when does it finish? 

Consider this scenario: Team B skip has delivered the last bowl for that end. The Third from Team A, after the last bowl stops, commences the measure as he believes his team has at least one shot. His opposition third shouts out stop! You have to wait 30 seconds. Team A third replies no I don’t as your skip’s last bowl has come to rest. Who is correct? 

The law clearly indicates that determining the number of shots scored must not start until the last bowl required to be played in an end has come to rest. 

The law then goes on to state that if the skip or opponent in singles asks for a 30 second period, it must be observed. During the 30 second time, all bowls likely to fall cannot be chocked or secured.

The question often asked is when does the thirty seconds start and who controls the clock? The thirty seconds starts from when the last bowl comes to rest. Who times? The law book is not clear here, in fact, no one is nominated. Which suggests we apply common sense.

In Pennant, I would suggest it would be in agreement between the thirds. In singles, I would see this as a task for the marker.

So back to the scenario: You are entitled to request 30 seconds; however, the request needs to come from the skip, but as is usually the case, that power may have been delegated to the third according to Law 40.1.10.

So either Team B could have had the right to call 30 seconds, if not delegated, then Team A third had the right to commence measuring. 

An interesting point. Law 23.6.1 states at any time during the process of deciding the number of shots scored if a bowl is likely to fall either opponent can use the best available means to secure it in its position.

So back to the Scenario, Third B could have chocked or wedged any bowls he wished too, and Third A could not intervene.

It’s all about time and remember the time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.

 


ABOUT THE LAWMAN

 


John Roberts is one of Australia’s most experienced lawn bowls officials. John works in a volunteer capacity for Bowls Victoria as a Laws and Rules Official and Chair of the association’s Officiating and Laws Committee