The 2018 World Indoor Bowls Championships is underway and we are now in the final week of action.
The championships have been held at Potters Resort since 1999, and 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the Championships on the Norfolk coast.
Last year Paul Foster claimed his fifth indoor title in the men’s singles, while Katherine Rednall saw off defending champion Ellen Falkner on her way to a second women’s crown.
However, during play there has been much clamour on social media as to why the umpire sprays the bowls after contact with another bowl.
The Melton and District Indoor Bowls Club have provided some useful insight into this query below:
Coaches are often asked to explain about when a bowl is ‘live’ or ‘dead’, and confusion is only increased when an end is declared ‘dead’.
i) If a bowl hits the jack on its way down the green it is called a TOUCHER and is marked with chalk or spray, and even if it goes in the end ditch during the rest of that end it is still live, and can be counted if necessary when the END is complete. If any Bowl including the TOUCHER goes outside the lane boundaries then it is DEAD and cannot be counted.
ii) If the Jack goes in the ditch during play its position is marked at the end of the rink with a white disc visible to the remaining bowlers, and if the Bowl that hit it goes in the ditch as well its position is marked with a red disc.
iii) In Melton Mowbray (League rule only) if the Jack goes outside the lane boundaries it is re-spotted on the nearest Re-Spot (or side spots) to the right or left of the ‘T’. In Competitions, and at other clubs, if that occurs it is classed as a DEAD END, and the whole end has to be re-played and no score or end is recorded.
According to a forum from the BBC, the reason the bowls are sprayed is to mark them as touchers.
These are bowls which, because they have touched the jack, can not be knocked out of play by hitting them into the ditch.
The spray is more accurate than what is used in most indoor bowls clubs which is chalk.