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Updated: Jan 30

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Just copied and pasted some of your responses to a couple of postings this week that have created some interest and very different views. This feedback covers the posting about the suggestion of the Winter League introducing a 35-metres maximum mark but first we include comments made online about the problem with the Veterans League fixture programme.

You can add your own comments at the foot of this posting or on one of the two original postings or by email to me at jefftheref2000@yahoo.co.uk.

Veterans League Fixtures Scrapped

Richard Pearcey .... The new Veterans league structure appears to be that Divisions 1 and 2 are going to play 26 games whereas division 5 only appear to be playing 18 games, which is totally unfair. The lower divisions pay the same subscriptions as divisions 1 and 2 so should be entitled to play a similar number of games. This has yet to be confirmed though.

Martin Holt .... Unfortunately the league sec is in a no win situation when it comes to formatting the division structure. At the moment he is trying to accommodate 62 teams within possibly a 26 weeks window. Unless clubs accept that (a) they may have byes (b) they may have to play more than 1 game a week or finally (c) play the odd team more than once, the uneven sections will have to continue. I'll get my coat.

Dave Sykes (Vets League Secretary) .... it was decided by the mc that we try to avoid the byes by tying them into the fixtures,this caused a very out of sync fixture list where a team or teams ended up playing a team 3 away games and 3 home games.and in one instance a team was only playing a opposition team just once at home and once away.i am not making any excuses for this total mix up of fixtures, but it was decided to run with it.

the amount of critisism i got from clubs was overwhelming but fully understandable. it was totally unsuitable.

and with ref to a total reconstruction of the format of the league would mean that 6 promoted teams would have to be relegated to end up with a and another 12. dont think those promoted teams would be very happy,do you ??

so it has been decided that the byes where applicable will have to stand,and the new fixtures will be out on next monday or tuesday. i rest my case.if anyone thinks they can solve this in any other way. then step up to the plate and have a go. i informed all reps about the new fixtures by email and everyone have replied and agree with putting out new fixtures(except one club). i will now join martin and get my coat.good night.

Jeff Jacklin ....

There is no reason why the promoted teams cannot be promoted and still have a reorganisation on the lines you mention resulting in a 14 team Division 1 and then 12 in the other 4 divisions. That is obviously the preferred format making it fair for all teams. Having 14 teams in the top 2 divisions and only 10 in the bottom division makes no sense at all.

There is a precedent for this as well as that is what happened in 2018. Four teams were relegated from Division 2 that year including Thorpe Green and Kirkheaton Cons who finished outside the relegation places. There was additional ripple-on relegations from divisions 3 and 4 as well to leave 12 teams in each of the bottom 3 divisions (unfortunately 2 teams resigned from the league on the eve of the season to take the number down to 13 in Division 2 and 11 in Division 3). This is exactly the structure that the clubs seem to be hankering after now. It wasn't popular with a couple of clubs but they all accepted it as being in the best interest of the League. That year Thorpe Green and Kirkheaton Cons went on to finish 1 and 2 in Division 3 and therefore resumed their Division 2 membership after that one-year sabbatical. The same Management Committee took that decision 4 years ago for the right reasons, why wont they make the same decision again this year?

You can add your own comments at the foot of this posting or by email to me at jefftheref2000@yahoo.co.uk.


The 35-metres Maximum Long Mark Rule The suggestion that a Winter League maximum long mark rule of 35 metres be introduced drew a number of early responses and an 11.30am start time also raised some views as below.

John Sunter .... I would be in favour of the 35 metre mark, it would make things a little fairer as I also witnessed the match mentioned and thought it was embarrassing to both players.

Karen Rause ....

11.30 am start yes , 35 meters would only get the games to go on longer as we would have to wait until the other end was finished, it's bad enough with 19 metres , my answer no

Jim Baxter ....

I am in favour of the max distance rule for the lower division or divisions.

In practice in the Oldham League the rule is very rarely implemented in the top two divisions. It’s never nice to see a bowler humiliated and struggling so with that in mind I would support the rule change.

I am not sure about bringing the start time forward but would go with the majority decision as I don’t have strong views either way.

Martin Holt .... The idea of the 35mtr is ok but in my opinion shouldn't be restricted to just the bottom division. My reasoning is :- There's quite a few players both male and female that play at Springwood in div 2 and struggle over the longer distances. If the rule was brought in to certain sections some teams might pull a flanker and request to be seeded into the relevant section mmm. To my way of thinking its all or nothing. Just my take on things

Dave Turner .... What a good idea to start at 11.30 instead of 12

As for the 35 yards some male bowlers are too keen when bowling ladies. I think that common sense should prevail, you know when a lady can't reach and that she can be beaten so ease off and have a good game. Lets also remember that a lot of ladies can bowl long length better than some men. leave well alone don't complicate the game.

Ken Ellis .... I think a start time of 11.30am would be better to enable people to get away to pick up their grandchildren and also to avoid the school traffic. If a person was going to be late for reasons such as work they can always go on second or last.

Amanda Gray .... Yes, I think that a 35 metre max for a jack is fair especially for Winter League. In Petanque for example you have to throw the jack 6 metres minimum with a maximum of 10 metres

Bob Haigh Re the 35m rule, I totally agree with Martin Holt and am against any rule change that does not apply to all divisions, and like Dave Turner says dont over complicate things after all who is going to vote for that change? The 9 teams in the lowest division who will be effected or the other 27 in the top divisions on whom it will have no impact. What happens if a team in the bottom division do really well on short marks all year and then get promoted to a full length division? To me there are too many what ifs with a split league and I beleive it should be the same for all.

Mike Ralph .... With regard to a 35 metre rule I would certainly be in favour of giving it a try in the bottom division. As Jim has experienced it is very rarely needed to be implemented because once in force bowlers will automatically bowl a shorter length!

Also, by inclination, our league embraces change, let's give it a try, if it makes bowling in our league a little more enjoyable for some of the participants, go for it. It is far easier to say no.

Bob Haigh.... Mike Ralph, if you want to embrace change for changes sake that is fine but please embrace it for all not just one division out of four.

Philip Walker A 35 metre maximum length is a difficult one. On the one hand it would be helpful for those bowlers struggling to play corner to corner but how many bowlers bowl the whole game corner to corner ? I suggest very few. And how many bowlers can’t bowl corner to corner ? I suggest it’s a minority.

So, the question is, Do you have rules for the minority or for the majority. I suggest the latter.

As a final comment, I’d like to think that most of us , particularly playing a lady and realising that she just couldn’t play corner to corner would ease up a bit and play a shorter mark. There’s no fun in playing corner to corner against an opponent who can’t reach and win, as you quote, 21-2. So, on balance I wouldn’t change the rules alone and leave it to the decency of the bowlers.

Lorraine Hirst Sorry, I think The rule regarding the length of a mark should stay as it is. if You’re going to complain about being chucked in the corners, you shouldn’t be playing in a competitive league.

Alan Hobson According to Hugh Hornby in his book “Bowled Over” the largest green in Britain is at West Park in Macclesfield. This is not a square green but the longest mark on it is 90 meters. He notes, “although some bowlers do occasionally manage to bowl its whole length, in competition matches a player has a right to object if a mark is too long.” He does not say how long is “too long.”

I am in favour of a 35 metre maximum mark. I find there is no enjoyment from winning a game just because I can send my bowls further than my opponent. I have heard it described as winning by throwing rather than by bowling. It certainly cannot be any fun for the bowler on the receiving end of this. Such a local rule would make for a better bowls experience all round in any divisions below the top two divisions which are and should be highly competitive. As for the idea that we cannot have it in some divisions but not others my reply to that is that in football they have VAR in the Premier league but not in any others and in rugby league in the Super League they have a video referee at some matches but not at all of them.

You can add your own comments at the foot of this posting or by email to me at jefftheref2000@yahoo.co.uk.

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