Week one of competition concludes this weekend with the finals of the Women’s Fours, Women’s singles, Men’s Pairs and Men’s Triples.
|Part of the team at Papanui|
On Wednesday I was based at the Papanui Bowls Club venue where I umpired the first session in the morning and Marked two singles ties in the afternoon. The weather decided to take a turn for the worse and it was overcast and drizzly. I had the pleasure of marking an excellent match between Karen Murphy of Australia and Laura Daniels of Wales. I have marked for both players many time before on the World Bowls Tour events.
Our days are long. An alarm at 6:00am followed by breakfast ready for a bus collection from the accommodation at 6:45am, sets us up for a day approaching 10 hours at the bowls venues. In the evenings we are finding local restaurants which have proved to be very nice. There is a great selection of dining options just down the road from our accommodation. We are staying at the University of Canterbury College
|Our accommodation blocks|
On Thursday and Friday the temperature plummeted and the rain continued, there were a couple of sessions where I has as cold as I ever can remember on a bowls green. The games on Friday reached the first knockout stages. In the morning I was a scoreboard attendant for the Australia v Scotland Womens Fours match which was an excellent game despite the wet conditions. There was a bit of confusion in the afternoon session as I should have been a shot indicator for the Men’s Pairs but I got bumped and so had the afternoon free. It was all fine with me as it took me most of the afternoon to thaw out.
The greens are fast here at the three venues. One of our roles in the mornings is to time the greens but delivery bowls to a distance of 27metres and seeing how long it takes. This is called the pace of the green and stated in seconds. It gives the players a general idea how quick things are running. Most of the greens are timed at 16 to 18 seconds with 17 being about the average. To put that into perspective, it’s a similar pace to a fast indoor rink in the UK but with the added complication of the wind playing havoc. On Wednesday it was particularly windy and we even had jacks being moved by the wind.
Today (Saturday) many of us had a free day as only a few officials were needed for the two finals. It was an ideal opportunity to go out and see some of New Zealand. Four of us opted to hire a car and take a fantastic scenic drive to a small coastal village called Akaroa. It was a brilliant day especially as the sun made an appearance. Sunday, I am again off and not involved in the remaining two finals of this week. We are planning on going into Christchurch to learn more about how the city is recovering from the devastating Earthquake.
I am back in action for the start of the second week of the competition on Tuesday.
If you have any questions of comments about the championships then please enter them below and I will be happy to answer them whilst at the event.
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