The Lawman

by John Roberts

Bowls Premier League – Spot the Difference.

Bowls Australia have completed in Moama the first of three Bowls Premier League (BPL) events for 2022, with the remaining two being held at Pine Rivers, Queensland (May and November). I have had several comments made and questions asked, about two specific issues.

Firstly the red jack being used for power play situations.

The Laws of the Sport (Law 51.1) state that jacks must be spheres and either white or yellow. As no controlling body can contract out the Laws of the Sport (Law 60), Bowls Australia sort permission from World Bowls to run this format which included in the request, permission to use a red jack. Another example would be placing the jack to start each game.

The second observation was that in a tie-breaker situation a couple of players played their first bowl, and then played their second bowl as it appeared out of order. Clause of BPL Conditions of Play states that in a tie-break situation there will be two bowls per player. It does not stipulate they must be played consecutively. Each team must play turnabout, but not in any particular order. Bowls Australia is the Controlling Body for BPL events.

Other coloured jacks:

I have also had clubs ring me on occasion about the use of coloured jacks. For social bowls, fun events and so on, the colour of the jack is not important and not required to be white or yellow.

If a visually impaired bowler cannot see a particular colour of the jack that is being used for a particular game, it is permissible to use the best colour jack for their rink only. For example; three rinks could be one colour, and the fourth rink another colour.

In this situation the opposing team should be informed of the need for different coloured jacks in one game.

When the Skip or 3rd shows jack high, how long can they stand there?

This is related to the Laws 12 and 13, around possession of the rink. As soon as the bowl is delivered they must move behind the jack (Law The law states that as a bowl is delivered, a player who is controlling play from a position that is either level with or in front of the jack, must take their position as described in law 12.1.2.

That is behind the jack if in possession of the rink, behind the jack and away from the head if not in possession of the rink, and on the surrounds of the green if the jack is in the ditch or well clear of the head if you cannot stand on the bank.

The skip or third must remove their foot when showing jack high as soon as their player releases their bowl and move back.

Penalties for failing to follow this law are listed in Law 13.3. On the first occasion the umpire must warn the player with the skip present, and also the coach if nominated. If repeated, the last bowl would be declared dead. Law 13.3.2 sets what must happen if the bowl declared dead disturbed the head.

John Roberts
Officiating and Laws Committee

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