The Lawman: Changes to the Laws of the Sport of Bowls booklet
Been a while but we are back, like our regular bowls will hopefully be soon, in the not too distant future.
World Bowls recently listed changes to the Laws of the Sport and created a new Version 3.2.
Many of the changes Bowls Australia had already included in their recent edition of The Laws of the Sport, Version 3.1, April 2019. This is the current law book that all officials and clubs in Australia should be using.
The relevant changes that need to be made to our Version 3.1 are as follows.
Revisions to the ‘Laws of the Sport – Crystal Mark Third Edition’
The ‘Laws of the Sport of Bowls – Crystal Mark Third Edition’ was approved at a World Bowls Council Meeting in August 2014. Subsequent revisions to the Third Edition were approved at World Bowls Council Meetings in December 2016, April 2018 and June 2020.
World Bowls Council Meeting – June 2020
The following revisions were approved:
Delete this law
Delete the wording “by players with a hearing disability”
A.1.4.5 Arrangements for the use of electronic devices
You can print and place in your law books:
Most of the additions or changes that you need to make to your version of Crystal Mark, Version 3.1 have little or no bearing on our great game.
What does removing Law 17.2.5 mean exactly?
LIVE OR DEAD BOWL
There has been considerable recent discussion on whether a non-toucher that comes to rest leaning on a toucher and/or jack that are in the ditch is a dead bowl.
This photo above caused considerable debate on Facebook (Lawn Bowlers Australia Group), with many people incorrectly stating that the orange bowl was a dead bowl, citing the World Bowls decision in November 2019 to delete Law 17.2.5 as the reason that this bowl is dead.
This is in fact not correct, the orange bowl is live.
When deciding whether such a bowl should be declared as “live” or “dead” the following Laws of the Sport of Bowls come into consideration.
C.27 Rink and its boundaries
C.27.1 Rink: the section of the green on which a game is played.
C.27.2 Rink of play: the section of the green and the corresponding sections of the end ditches on which a game is played.
16.1 The position of a toucher in the ditch will be validly altered if the toucher is moved by:
16.1.3 a non-toucher while it is partly on the rink and partly overhanging the ditch, as long as part of the non-toucher is still on the rink when it comes to rest after it has moved the toucher.
17.1 A bowl is a dead bowl if it is not a toucher and comes to rest in the ditch; Law 17.1.1.
The first thing to note is the definition of Rink (Law C27.1) and Rink of Play (Law C27.2). The Laws here define that the rink is the section of green on which a game is played and extend that area for the Rink of Play to include the section of the end ditches.
When taking these definitions into account a bowl that has come to rest partly on the green and overhanging the ditch is within the rink. This is consistent with Law 17.1.6 under which a bowl must come to rest completely outside the side boundaries of the rink to be to be out of bounds.
Therefore, a non-toucher that comes to rest partly on the green and leaning against the jack and or toucher(s) that are in the ditch remains a live bowl.
This position is also supported by Law 16.1.3, whereby the position of a toucher in the ditch will be validly altered if the toucher is moved by a non-toucher while it is partly on the rink and partly overhanging the ditch, as long as part of the non-toucher is still on the rink when it comes to rest after it has moved the toucher
Why the confusion occurred?
World Bowls has on their website a decision of the Laws Committee to delete Law 17.2.5 along with a decision that a bowl resting on top of live bowls and a jack in the ditch was a dead bowl.
The decision relating to the dead bowl along with the decision to delete Law 17.2.5 resulted in considerable confusion as it was considered to be inconsistent with Law 16.1.3. However, the Laws Committee decision was since no part of the non-toucher remaining in contact with the rink and therefore the decision was not inconsistent with Law 16.1.3.
Law 17.2.5, now deleted, stated“ A bowl is not a dead bowl if it comes to rest on top of the jack or any bowls that are at rest within the boundaries of the rink” What is not stated in the explanation is that the bowl in question referred to the WB Laws Committee had passed beyond the confines of the rink (i.e. had passed completely outside the playing surface) but was resting on live bowls and/or the jack in the ditch.
In the case of the picture in discussion, the touchers and jack are not at rest on the rink (they are in fact within the rink of play) as per the above discussion on the definitions contained in Law C27.
The Laws Committee decision (found here) further supports that the orange bowl is live with the statement: “The Committee has also considered law 17.2.2, which also refers to a bowl coming to rest “within the boundaries of the rink” as not being a dead bowl. Further, law 16.1.3 allows for a non-toucher to come to rest in contact with live bowls and the jack in the ditch, as long a part of that non-toucher remains in contact with the rink.”
Therefore, to put the discussion to rest:
The orange bowl in the picture at the top of this article is LIVE.
Officiating and Laws Committee.