This month I have answered a number of commonly asked questions that have been put forward to me recently. I hope they are of use.
Question: In the Laws of the Sport does a toucher have to be marked in any special way?
Law 28 ‘Marking a Toucher’ states the following:
(i). A toucher shall be clearly marked with chalk by a member of the player’s team or the marker in singles.
NOTE: As you can see, the law does not mention that a toucher has to be marked in any specific way. However, I always recommend when asked that you place a chalk mark on each side of the bowl. This helps to identify touchers should they be moved during play as the toucher should be visible.
Question: In a league match at my club, we were playing to a short length jack i.e. 25 metres. My opponents were holding three shots and decided to protect the head by trying to bowl a ‘blocker’ to stop me driving. His bowl finished in the centre of the rink but only about half way up the green. I said that it was a dead bowl because it was too short. He said it was in the rink of play. There was no umpire present and views were divided between bowlers. Was I correct?
It would depend on how far the bowl in question had travelled. ‘Law 26 Live Bowl’ states the following:
Law 26 Live Bowl
A bowl, which in its original course on the green, comes to rest within the boundaries of the rink, and not less than 14 metres measured in a direct line from the centre of the mat line, shall be accounted as a live bowl and shall be in play.
NOTE: If the bowl in question had travelled less than 14 metres it would be regarded as a dead bowl and should be removed from the rink. All the relevant distances that bowls and the jack must travel can be found on page 46 of the WIBC Law Book ‘Illustration of Distances.’
Question: Can a spectator/relation advise a player as to what shot to play during the course of a game?
The fact that he/she may be related to the player makes no difference. ‘Law 61 Spectators’ covers such incidents and states the following:
Law 61 Spectators
(i). Persons not engaged in the game shall be situated clear of and beyond the limits of the rink of play. They shall neither by word nor act disturb or advise the players.
(ii). If the umpire is of the opinion that a breach of this Law has occurred, the umpire shall request the spectator to cease this action. If the spectator continues, the umpire shall request the Controlling Body to take immediate action to have the spectator removed.
(iii). Betting or gambling in connection with any game or games shall not be permitted or engaged in within the playing area and immediate surrounds.
NOTE: So it is very clear that a spectator, even if they are related to the player, cannot give advice during the course of the game. The only person permitted to give advice during the course of a game is the team manager, which Law 60 covers.
Law 60 The Manager
The manager, or coach of a team or side or, in the absence of both, the manager’s delegated deputy, may give advice from beyond the boundaries of the green.