Is this really in the spirit of the game?


A SKIP wins the club pairs championship with four different partners! This is no hypothetical; it’s happened this year.

The skip won the first round with a substitute but kept the originally nominated lead on the card as the constituted team member.

In the second round, the skip had a different substitute and won.

Third round, success again – this time with yet another substitute, who’d already won a round in another team as a substitute.

In the final, the original constituted team member played and they took the championship.

The ‘Crystal Mark’ Laws of the Game, usually as clear as mud, is at least clear on this point.

My copy says: “A constituted member of a team, whether defeated or not, cannot act as a substitute in another team in that competition.”

But the game’s ‘bible’ has so many amendments that keeping up with the rules is about as easy as keeping up with the names of bowls brands, so I checked it out with someone who should know – an international bowls umpire.

The rules guru’s view? It’s above board. “A sub is never beaten,” he said.

If that’s so, I told him, the rule is ridiculous.

“Why pick on one?” he said. “There’s plenty more.”

This one is bad enough. Being able to have four different partners in winning a pairs championship allows a winning substitute to be tossed aside if a better player can be found. And I’ll eat my bowls cloth if it’s fair to give a substitute who’s already played in the championship a second bite at the cherry.

An old chestnut claims the law’s an ass. Whoever said that surely was thinking of bowls’ Laws of the Game.

Pennants’ problems

RATHER than bring about congenial interclub relations, pennants causes more problems than enough.

After the season’s bickering, the prize is a trip to the State finals to be slaughtered by big-money
Premier League professionals now let into the pennant comp by the Royal.

The 2009 season is well and truly over but local clubs are still trying to solve some of the anomalies.

Delegates at the recent NRDBA annual meeting unanimously carried a motion aimed at solving grading rules regarding the regression of pennant players.

The move, proposed by Alstonville and Lismore City, suggests that in a 10-round season, a bowler who has played three games in a grade cannot be regressed. If it’s a six-round season, the limit is
two games.

Behind the move is Alstonville club’s claim that last season it had eight bowlers prevented from playing pennants because of the regression rule, which allows four to go down from the higher grading.

It says smaller clubs that don’t have consecutive grades are discriminated against.

WA comes to play

IN an 11-day visit, a tour group of 53 West Australian bowlers will play at eight district clubs – Lismore City, South Lismore, Lennox Head, Kyogle, Alstonville, Ballina RSL, Evans Head and Casino RSM – starting on September 7.

The itinerary includes four bowls-free days for tours and shopping.

NEW district selectors under chairman Kevin Locke (Alstonville) are Ray Jones (East Lismore) and Tony Scott (Ballina).

Stan Bendall was elected from the floor at the NRDBA annual meeting to fill a vacant committee position.

TWO of the North Coast’s most promising juniors, Aaron Teys (Ballina) and Jamie Eichorn (Yamba), have been selected in the NSW side for the coming interstate series at Halekulani.
Another junior, Luke Jones (Evans Head) was in the gold medal-winning team at the State high school championships.

CASINO RSM’s Gary Burt continued a great season by taking out the district champion of champions singles at South Lismore, beating Darren Kemp (Lennox Head) 31-24 in the final.

The champion of champions pairs at Ballina RSL went to two of Ballina’s ‘Big Seven’ – David Zorzo and Richard Latta. They were pressed by Brian Sten and Rod Greentree (Evans Head) before taking the title 21-18.

CORAKI (42 members) has been presented with the Legacy Shield for raising $500 out of a district total of $2320 last year. Since 1956, when the NRDBA adopted Legacy as its charity, the district has raised $199,546 – or 10 per cent of the welfare expenditure in the area. In the current year, Evans Head has raised $1320.

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