Lawn Bowls

When the Heat Rule strikes

Everyone’s home but the lights aren’t on

This past Saturday the Manning Division 1 Blue crew were heading out to Leeming for a top of the table clash in Divvy 1 Blue South, and the game was half a chance of being heated off beforehand with the Saturday forecast for Perth being set for 39 degrees Celsius, which would feel several degrees hotter playing on a Synthetic green, and Bowls WA’s new heat rules (Rules 13.1 and 13.2 of the Conditions of Play) for season 2022-23 stipulate that play can be halted by the umpire of the day at every club when it reaches 38 degrees.

So there I was on Friday night after Chase The Ace thinking that we’d feel alright about getting a cheap 4 points on the road against the 2nd placed team in an automatic promotion war, then Saturday morning comes around and it’s overcast and barely reaching 30 degrees, the BOM revises the maximum temperature down to 37 degrees, and all scheduled games were clear to play.

Eventually the armored convoy left Manning and arrived at Leeming, we did the draw and our No.1 rink (Myself, Steve, John and Heldty) drew their No.4 rink, and unsurprisingly with a bit of a mismatch, our four built up a 13-5 lead after 8 ends thanks to some crackerjack shots from the four of us, Heldty was hitting top gear on the 7th End when he drew 2 shots stone cold after we were 5 down, making it 10-5, then we picked up another 3 on the 8th End…

Then the umpire’s whistle sounded at 2:45pm that the temperature box had hit 38 degrees, so all rinks had to stop play after completing the end they were on.

Carey vs Vandersluys the last rink off

It was a very inopportune moment, because across the 4 rinks we were 14 shots ahead after 32 ends; our rink was 13-5, Murray’s rink was up 10-4 after 7, Brett’s rink was up 7-4 after 8, and Mike Carey was 8-11 down after 9 against Leeming’s top rink.

So after 90 minutes of waiting for the temperature to drop below 38, which involved sitting behind the fence watching the grade cricketers next door:

The temperature was still hanging around 38 degrees at 4:15, so despite pretty much everybody being keen to get back underway, all games at Leeming were abandoned under the Heat rule, the first time the revised Heat rule has even come into play for this Metro season (That’s how mild the weather has been in Perth), and with every game short of reaching 2/3rd ends played to make a result, the points were shared.

Had we started at midday, we would’ve easily reached the required distance (14 ends out of 21 constitutes a rink) and called it a day.

It probably didn’t help that according to local myth, Bowls WA allegedly told Leeming to move their temperature box to be adjacent to a tin wall.

Once again, great forward thinking.

I suppose the old saying ‘Be careful what you wish for’ applies to me, because as previously stated I would’ve been content getting 4 points at Leeming and keeping them below us for now, but with the way we’d settled in, we could easily have snagged 6 or 7 points, which would’ve been huge, but at the same time we could’ve fallen in a heap and dropped 6 or 7 points.

It turned out we weren’t alone in the Heat rule affecting 1 Blue, because 3rd-placed South Perth (Who play on Synthetic like Leeming) called their game off at home against Kardinya as the breeze off the Swan River did nothing to drop the temperature, which means the Top 3 is exactly as it was.

However, Safety Bay were able to play Fremantle without issue, because Safety Bay is the windiest place on the Earth and wouldn’t have been anywhere close to 38 degrees, Thornlie’s home game against 4th placed Vic Park Carlisle at Thornlie was completed after both teams were allegedly happy to keep playing (Although you’d get $1.01 odds it was over 38 out there), and Thornlie wound up taking 7 points to 1, leaving Vic Park 11.5 points behind Manning.

Funnily enough, last-placed Hilton Park had already forfeited their game against Forrestfield, even though Forrestfield were another club that abandoned play due to the Heat rule, so if Hilton had bothered to show up with 16 players, they’d have picked up the easiest 4 points of their season.

Even still, highlighting the fickle nature of the heat rule, when we got back to Manning (Which would’ve been hotter than Leeming) at 5pm, every rink was still playing despite all players coming off twice due to the weather, which helped the Premier League team complete an 8-0 sweep of Gosnells, sending them to the top of the Premier League table.

The Heat Rule, another fantastic inconsistently applied rule.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s