Are the minimum bias bowls killing the outdoor game?
This is the debate that probably rumbles through every Clubhouse in the County, but what is the solution, or indeed should there be one?
Lets start at the beginning. Although firing is part of the game, bowls is generally a game of skill where that main aim is for the player to judge the line length and finish of a biased Bowl to get it as close to the jack as possible. However the argument seems to be there is a minimum skill needed when all a player has to do is to judge the length by aiming straight up the middle!
A lot of players are taking the view that “If you can’t beat them, join them”, and so more and more players are joining the Straight Bowl brigade”. So is it becoming a game of skittles?
Some players will argue they play indoors as well and therefore need a tighter line Bowl and cannot afford to buy a second set of bowls.
What can we change for the sake of the future game?
One answer is to ban the minimum bias bowls for outdoor play only. The bowls manufacturers still produce bowls with a standard bias or bigger, theoretically for the slower playing surface, but who buys them? You wouldn’t use them on the fast indoor surface; even short mat bowls clubs are now using faster carpets.
Here’s food for thought:
The powers that be should produce a list of standard bias bowls or bigger from the manufacturers and distribute them to all Counties, so that when it comes to competitions if the set of bowls you use is not on that list you cannot play, therefore solving the problem. Yes it would mean players have to purchase another set of bowls, but don’t most players own two or more sets anyway? Plus I am sure that there are plenty of second hand sets on the various auction sites.
So that is the dilemma, but what do you think? Are you for or against the use of a tighter line bowls outdoors?