Jim's View: Bias in bowls.
WHEN was the last time you heard of a bowl being subjected to a paid challenge because its bias didn't conform? A few years back it was common but now, with biases just about as skinny as they can get, why bother?
It's a surprise to see that Bowls Australia still has a bowls testing policy.
It opens this with an assertion that it will do everything in its power to ensure all players participate within the laws of the game.
Then it says, "BA further believes that no bowler should be unjustly penalised for inadvertently using non-conforming bowls."
Despite the no-penalty contention, it goes on to lay down a penalty: a year's suspension and costs if a challenged set of bowls is not handed over for testing; a minimum of a year if bowls have been intentionally altered.
'Inadvertent' is probably the governing word.
But what bowler would use over-skinny bowls without realising it? He buys them because of their bias (or lack of it).
There was a time when bowlers paid unscrupulous operators to alter the bias of their bowls to give them an advantage.
A testing policy was needed then and enforced regularly. In these days of straight-down-the-line deliveries more suited to the ten-pin game, there's nothing left to challenge.