The Winter League Management Committee has decided to put a new rule on the agenda for the End of Season Meeting of clubs to be held on 23 March. This rule would introduce a new maximum jack mark of 35metres into matches in the divisions outside of the top 3 divisions only.
A recent online poll voted 60-40 against introducing such a rule but it is back on the agenda for the Winter League's End of Season along with some other proposed rule changes.
The thinking behind the suggested change is based on 5 things
Winter bowling is played on heavier, slower greens and in worse weather
The Winter League is a mixed-gender League
With all bowlers over 60 a long mark can lead to problems for some bowlers
We are likely to lose bowlers who cannot compete with long marks
To introduce the rule in the top 3 divisions would be insulting to these better bowlers
Any match that becomes one-sided because one bowler cannot reach a long mark is totally unsatisfactory for the losing bowler and, usually, their opponent as well. It is not feasible to suggest that bowlers should not take advantage of an opponent who cannot reach their long marks as they could be letting their team down by playing down the advantage that is there for the taking.
This has been the subject of a poll on this website a little while ago and whilst only 40% of the voters supported the introduction of such a rule. The Management Committee felt it was right that the teams in the League should have the final say on this matter. The Management Committee are split on supporting this rule and members will be voting independently as they see fit and in the best interests of their teams.
The rule would be applied exactly the same as a short mark of 19metres is now. It can only be called by the opponent after the first wood has been bowled. It is expected that this deterrent would reduce the number of long marks played with always the threat of a measure being called and the threat of losing the jack lead.
Some other changes to the League Rules have also been put on the agenda and these have all been circulated to the League teams in advance of the meeting later this month. These changes include:
Changing match start time to 11.30am
Doubling the number of Management Committee posts
Clarification of the rules about guest bowlers
The full agenda for the meeting is below: