Tried and tested: Players urged to check bowls

by Aidan Davis

Players are being encouraged to ensure their bowls are compliant with the standards set by the Laws of the Sport, following reports from independent bowls testers that the number failing to comply is on the rise.

Competitive bowlers are being urged to get their bowls checked regularly, as often as every five years, as wear on the running surface of the bowl can straighten the run of the bowl over time, possibly causing the bias to become non-compliant simply through wear.

The wearing of the bias is particularly prevalent in the modern narrower sets of bowls, given there is very little margin to the legal bias.

Bowls also fail to comply when all four bowls in a set are not matched to draw in a group within a five-centimetre radius on a testing table.

Australia’s two independent bowls testing operators, Barry Cox from ‘The Bowls Doctor’ in Queensland, and Greg Sherman from ‘The Bowling Arm’ in Victoria, have noted the rise in the number of sets failing to comply with the standards set within the Laws of the Sport.

According to the latest testing results from Cox and Sherman of a total of 388 sets of bowls, an average of half have failed to adhere to the World Bowls standard required to be approved for competition.

“For those sets that don’t comply, Barry and Greg are then able to rectify the bowls and re-stamp each bowl with a registered World Bowls Stamp, which under the Laws Of The Sport Of Bowls, authorises the bowls to be used in all games.”

Each tester in the world, which includes six Australian-based organisations, has a testing table to ensure the correct weight and line, and is provided a master bowl by the World Bowls Board, which no individual bowl can draw less than.

The World Bowls master bowl is run down the table first, followed by the other four bowls that are being tested, which must all draw to at least the master bowl, not less than it, and must fall within a five-centimetre radius of the last bowl when drawn as a full set.

A licensed World Bowls Tester can test, repair and refurbish sets of bowls, and applies the World Bowls Stamp to validate that the bowl/s complies with all regulations and specifications of World Bowls.

A comprehensive list of Australian-based Manufacturers and Testers can be found below:

THE BOWLS DOCTOR

BARRY COX, INDEPENDANT LAWN BOWLS TESTER, 89 NICKLIN WAY, WARANA, QLD, AUSTRALIA 4575.

Tel: +61427158512 Email: linnettcox@bigpond.com

HENSELITE (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD

320 DAREBIN ROAD (PO BOX 197) FAIRFIELD VIC 3078 AUSTRALIA

Tel: 03 9488 0488 Fax: 03 9488 0401 Email: enquiries@henselite.com.au

SYDNEY BOWLS CENTRE

11A ELIZABETH STREET, CAMPSIE, NSW 2194, AUSTRALIA

Tel: 02 9789 4400 Fax: 02 9789 1666 Email: sales@sydneybowls.com.au

THE BOWLING ARM & BOWLS TEST CENTRE BENDIGO

12B NOLAN STREET, BENDIGO, VICTORIA 3550, AUSTRALIA

Tel: 03 5443 7133 Fax: 03 5444 1088 Email: thebowlingarm@vic.chariot.net.au

NSW BOWLS TESTING

1 Lang Road, Kenthurst, NSW 2156, AUSTRALIA

Tel: 0404838261 Email: faye@barefootbowl.com.au. or harps001@yahoo.com.au

AEROBOWLS PTY LTD TRADING AS WALROD PTY LTD

AEROBOWLS, 9 LINDSAY STREET, ROCKDALE, NSW 2216, AUSTRALIA.

Tel: 1300 132575 Email info@aerobowls.com

Image: Barry Cox in his workshop on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, testing a set of bowls on his World Bowls approved slate testing table.