Interesting Anomaly with a Declared Bowl in a Final

  • By: Jack Toucher
  • Date: August 11, 2023

Mrs ZK told us about an interesting occurrence during the final of a men’s pairs competition:

The skip had one more bowl to play. His lead told him that they were lying the shot. The skip therefore decided to declare the bowl and said so.

In other words, he elected verbally that he was declaring the shot and would not to play his last bowl.

Having said that, the opponent’s nearest bowl to the jack fell over and the shot was now down.

There was, of course, much consternation because the skip had already declared the shot.

He had stated so verbally, he had not lifted the mat to indicate physically that the end was over.

Therefore it was decided among the players that the skip should play his last bowl as if the shot had not been declared.

No umpire

There was no umpire around to determine what should happen, which is unfortunate.

It appears that the players made the wrong decision, according to a technical official I spoke to.

He said: “Once a skip has declared the shot, that is the final decision and it cannot be disputed, whether he has lifted the mat or not.”

What should have happened is that the skip should have picked up the mat after hearing the bad news that the shot was down.

The lead was then free to ask for a measure just to make sure that the bowl that had fallen over did in fact lie the shot.

(By the way, World Bowls Laws of Bowls does not say anything exactly about this situation that I can find. If you have further insight in this regard, please contact us here to let us know.)