Jim's View: The rules should still apply

I COP a fair bit of flak - some of it good-humoured - with my insistence that scores be left on the scoreboard for the entire game and not cleared off with an end or two to go.

"It's only a social game," my detractors bleat. They do it whenever the rules of the game are abandoned in social play, as they often are.

Being a social game is exactly why the rules should be followed. What becomes a habit in social play becomes accepted practice in more important fixtures.

Nowadays even tournaments and championships suffer the score blackout with an end or two to go.

Here's a bit of a surprise for some of our trundlers: The scoreboard is to let people know what the score is - that's why it's called a scoreboard.

The one who keeps the card safely in a pocket often is the only one who knows the score going into the last end. The team and everyone else are left completely in the dark.

For years I've tried to find out how scoreboard clearing sneaked into our game.

Nearest I've come to an answer is provided by those who say it saves the greenkeeper work.

Even if it does - and how long does it take to wind back a scoreboard - this minimum of time-saving is superseded by the advantage of keeping everyone aware of the score.

The early clearing of the scoreboard has become so prevalent I've even had bowlers tell me it's in the rules. They must have a different rule book from mine.



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