As part of discussion and review of the game by the committee (incl Winter League) we are going to introduce the following measures this year.
These basically cover the two areas of Foot Faults & Calling with another item purely for the delight of Winter League players.
1. The Oche Monitor – A 3rd official to monitor any player that places their foot on or over the oche.
The Foot Fault debate has raged through the entire lifetime of Aunt Sally so the Committee has decided to introduce a two stage approach to enforcement. As a foot fault is already in the rules (rule 9) no voting is required for the committee to introduce this change.
Therefore from the 2023 season for the Premier and A Section only the 3rd official will be from the non-throwing side to monitor faults and will be known as the “Oche Jockey” to join the Caller and Stickerup as the game officials. The official should call ‘Fault’ (much like tennis) if a player places their foot (or part thereof) on or over the oche.
During 2023 we will partner with a local engineering firm to build a standard competition oche with electronic monitoring to alarm when the foot is placed on or over the Oche – thus incurring a foot fault. On activation a buzzer and lamp will be lit indicating a fault. This will be a phased introduction from the 2024 season paid for by the League for the Premier/A venues.
2. Better Calling – Avoiding Dodgy Dolls
Another area of contention is in the quality of Calling. “You know it’s good when you hear the wood!” is still a yardstick along with if the doll moves backwards etc.
So in order to miminise incorrect calling from the 2023 season all dolls will be magnetised to ensure a level of adhesion to the swivel. Needless to say any magnet needs to be of an approved strength to ensure the doll does actually come off! This should also ensure any dolls/swivels without a steady placement should be simpler and quicker to place and remain stable thus improving the play and the safety of the players in the yard. Existing dolls can be retrofitted very easily and further details on the specifications of the magnets will be published later in April ready for the start of the season in May.
3. Winter League Only – Free Stick Rule
To ensure more competition and sportsmanship the 2023 Winter season will introduce a new free stick rule for indoor play.
If a player throws a stick and it rolls to returns to hit or pass by the oche the player will be entitled to throw that stick again regardless of whether that throw was a doll or not. Note the maximum number of dolls scored will still be 6.
We hope you’ll agree these minor changes are straightfoward and will help move the league on for the enjoyment of all.
Any comments please login and raise them below or email the committee at the usual address.