Two bowls showing the stamp of the year when the stamp expires: Light Blue – expiry date is 2028 – this bowl could be used under the Conditions as set out in both Laws 4.9.1 and 4.9.2. Dark Blue – expiry date is 2013 - this bowl could only be used under the Conditions as set out in Law 4.9.2.

Umpire with Joan Brotherton – Stamps on Bowls and Duty of Care

by bqmedia on August 5, 2021

I have a very special message to all members:

Thank you so much for your wonderful, encouraging comments and congratulations for the article in the June Queensland Bowler magazine celebrating my 100th Umpire column. I appreciate all your thoughts and will continue to assist you all with various umpiring and officiating information.

As we look back on the last few months, many of you have competed in the Australian Open and are now playing your District Pennant and Champion of Club Champions play-offs. I wish you all enjoyable and good bowling as both these events continue onto group play-offs. Special appreciation to all officials that have been involved in all the games and to the live streaming personnel who have bought many of these games to members to watch and enjoy in the comfort of their homes including myself. Regarding the Pennant and Champion of Club Champions, please remember that it is important to read and understand the Conditions of Play as there are separate conditions that relate to each competition that need to be abided by.

Stamps on bowls

I have had several enquiries recently regarding stamps on bowls and the requirements. Various Conditions of Play and the following pages in the law book cover this:

  • Page 75 – Law 52.2.3 For domestic play, Member National Authorities can decide the requirements for re-testing and re-stamping bowls.
  • Page 80 – Law 53.5 For domestic play, Member National Authorities can decide the requirements for the stamps on bowls.
  • Page 95 – Appendix A.1.3.9 Requirements for the stamps on bowls.
  • Page 120 – D.R.4.9 Domestic regulations for Australia – Requirement for stamps on bowls (Law 53.5):
  • 4.9.1 For events where Bowls Australia is the Controlling Body, as a minimum, all bowls must carry the stamp of the current or future calendar year in which the competition/ event takes place.
  • 4.9.2 For Domestic events where Bowls Australia is not the Controlling Body, the stamp of a current or future year is not required unless specified by the Controlling Body in the Conditions of Play for that event.

The two important laws to look at are: DR.4.9.1 and DR.4.9.2 as they relate to Bowls Australia when they are the controlling body and domestic events where Bowls Australia is not the controlling body. This is where the wording in the Conditions of Play is important and this should be stated in all conditions, as most of our events are domestic and this will assist players as to whether or not their bowls need the current or future year stamp.

Extreme Weather Policy

Another issue that has come up recently is the Extreme Weather Policy, which I outlined in early 2020. To me, this is probably one of the hardest laws to discuss and make a decision that is suitable to all players; it causes many problems and complaints. However, as sports officials we sign a Code of Ethics that we will place the safety and welfare of the participants above all else. As an official, we need to take in many factors when considering the duty and standard of care required for all concerned especially during the winter season to ensure a safe environment. The following needs to be observed:

Environmental Conditions: Rain, lightning and wind occurring during competition that increases the risk of harm or injury and therefore requires a higher standard of care.
Unsafe Circumstances: Playing surface and surrounds, lack of shelter, unsafe equipment, the age and health of the players and officials is important, especially during the uncertainty of Covid-19 and its restrictions that we are experiencing. If you need any assistance or advice, please do not hesitate to contact your District or State Authorities.

The full Bowls Queensland Extreme Weather Policy can be found on the Bowls Queensland web site.