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Thread: Etiquette re approaching and exiting mat.

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    If a player is standing on the mat, ready to bowl, with the previous bowl at rest and its bowler down the rink, I would think that 'interference' was clear : the player on the mat is being prevented from delivering his bowl. As I said in the last post, however, I would entirely agree that distraction/annoyance would require some active indication by the next bowler. Such interference would be physical and easily observed, whereas annoyance/distraction should be as felt by the next bowler and signified by either him, or his skip.

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    Of course, most games are just local leagues or district/county games, so in most cases there is not an umpire in attendance. I am sure in the more serious games like Nationals the umpires are there to sort any issues and do so effectively.


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    Yes, we've discussed this issue before, where things often become more problematic when there is no umpire present.

    Of course, in view of your comment in #25, I have been basing replies here on an umpire being present (and so able to enforce the law as you would wish, in a situation that John says is unacceptable and an infringment of the law. Of course, even a well-intentioned umpire cannot see everything that happens on a green - but a bowler following his bowl up the green as you describe is likely to stand out).
    Last edited by corptaxman; 11-07-2021 at 07:46 PM.

  4. #34
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    It really does depend on the level of game being played as to how the conduct is on the rink. At County/National comps level, nearly all players know the laws and generally stick to them. Yes, maybe they aren't quite at the head exactly as their bowl stops or back behind the mat perfectly in time but generally by the time you've assessed the state of the head or settled yourself on the mat, you can generally bowl without interference. If someone is either unaware or deliberately getting in the way, they are pretty much always told pretty smartish and generally without much grace! Mistakes are made often and nearly always apologised for and forgiven without a problem.

    At local level there seems to be more annoyance about this law and the 'time' it takes to play a game for some reason. I would however argue that a lot of time is wasted at this level with the front end sauntering up to the head before the back end bowl, deciding whether to and the subsequent act of measuring, stepping into the head after their skips bowl has come to rest to see if he sneaked shot even tho it's not their possession (many a time i've heard an opposing skip stood on the mat asking "do we still have it?" to be met with the reply, "I don't know, I'll tell you when I can get in and have a look!" due to oppo's team members trampling all over the head). I'd suggest it's also a club culture thing. Some clubs seem to care more others less so.

    I generally try to make sure I comply but it's inevitable that during a game you're not quite where you should be at all times. Only once have I been told to be behind the mat (in a low level league game) and I took great delight in telling the guy that he actually shouldn't be on the mat until my bowl has come to rest anyway so we are both at fault!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Riche View Post
    It really does depend on the level of game being played as to how the conduct is on the rink. At County/National comps level, nearly all players know the laws and generally stick to them. Yes, maybe they aren't quite at the head exactly as their bowl stops or back behind the mat perfectly in time but generally by the time you've assessed the state of the head or settled yourself on the mat, you can generally bowl without interference. If someone is either unaware or deliberately getting in the way, they are pretty much always told pretty smartish and generally without much grace! Mistakes are made often and nearly always apologised for and forgiven without a problem.

    At local level there seems to be more annoyance about this law and the 'time' it takes to play a game for some reason. I would however argue that a lot of time is wasted at this level with the front end sauntering up to the head before the back end bowl, deciding whether to and the subsequent act of measuring, stepping into the head after their skips bowl has come to rest to see if he sneaked shot even tho it's not their possession (many a time i've heard an opposing skip stood on the mat asking "do we still have it?" to be met with the reply, "I don't know, I'll tell you when I can get in and have a look!" due to oppo's team members trampling all over the head). I'd suggest it's also a club culture thing. Some clubs seem to care more others less so.

    I generally try to make sure I comply but it's inevitable that during a game you're not quite where you should be at all times. Only once have I been told to be behind the mat (in a low level league game) and I took great delight in telling the guy that he actually shouldn't be on the mat until my bowl has come to rest anyway so we are both at fault!
    I would question the suggestion that the better players know the Laws , That is not my experience and certainly was not when I was umpiring.Only recently commentating on you tube one of the very top players suggested the footfault law was different indoor and out.And I recall a top player throwing toys out of the pram when told the Law after a jack in motion hit one of his players, I have many incidents when the laws were not understood by top coaches and players. Not all of course but still more than you think
    No Grey Areas

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    And so it ever has been in many sports - the top golfers won't do anything until a rules offical has opined on the situation. In my view, knowing, and playing to, the rules is part of a sport - and that should be specially so, the higher up you get. If highly paid sportsmen were heavily penalised for getting things wrong, it might encourage them to get to know the rules a little better and stick with them. Laws can help or hinder, but you need to know them to get the most from them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by john haydock View Post
    I would question the suggestion that the better players know the Laws , That is not my experience and certainly was not when I was umpiring.Only recently commentating on you tube one of the very top players suggested the footfault law was different indoor and out.And I recall a top player throwing toys out of the pram when told the Law after a jack in motion hit one of his players, I have many incidents when the laws were not understood by top coaches and players. Not all of course but still more than you think
    No I wasn't suggesting that at all John. I meant they seemed to care less about the being behind the mat/head exactly when the bowl came to rest. Both ways.

    I agree, many players both at top and club level have a poor knowledge of the Laws. The foot fault law is one that I've rarely seen applied or upheld during a game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Riche View Post
    No I wasn't suggesting that at all John. I meant they seemed to care less about the being behind the mat/head exactly when the bowl came to rest. Both ways.

    I agree, many players both at top and club level have a poor knowledge of the Laws. The foot fault law is one that I've rarely seen applied or upheld during a game.
    Sorry I mis understood your comment Yes it is less of a problem with better players because both teams are infringing , and it is not a problem. It happens more at a lower level because the players do not understand the law.The footfault law is another issue.
    No Grey Areas

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