Tuesday 29 November 2016

World Bowls 2016 - Tuesday 29th November

I can officially announce that New Zealand is a long way from England!! I left cold damp Gatwick on Friday evening arriving in Christchurch New Zealand at 3pm on Sunday afternoon a short 29 hour flight to the other side of the planet. Jet Lag has not been a great issue, which is a bit of a results as we were straight into work on Sunday afternoon with a tour of the 3 main bowling venues for this World Championship. It has been great meeting up with friends from Australia and New Zealand and other countries and we all enjoyed a Chinese meal before calling it a day.

Waiting for a Bus - Some of my ITO Colleagues
On Monday morning after breakfast we held a meeting of all the ITO’s. After the meeting we departed to the various venues to carry out the final Bowl Registrations and check the umpires kits.
Monday afternoon was the opening ceremony. All the players and officials were taken into the city centre where we marched behind a brass band a short distance to the City Council Chambers. There we were entertained by a traditional Maori welcome and some speeches.

Tuesday was the start of the competition itself. It’s an early start for us officials as we are collected by minibus from our accommodation at 6:45am and taken to our allocated venues. There are 3 venues being used for these games; the main centre being Burnside Bowling Club with 3 impressive greens, Fendalton Bowls Club with 2 greens and a separate green a short walk away called Canterbury Bowls Club and finally a delightfully named Papanui Bowls Club with 2 greens.

Preparing the TV rinks at Burnside
During the early sectional play stages we are all working 3 sessions per day up until Thursday. The sessions start at 8:15, 12:15 and 15:45 and all games are played to a 3 hour time limit. There are 34 Officials representing 7 countries working at this 2 week event.

I started today at the Fendalton Club at 8:15 with a session as a time keeper, more on that later in the week, followed by a marking session at 12:15 and then an umpiring session to end the day. This afternoon I marked for two delightful ladies from Kenya and Fiji and this was followed by an umpiring session with the Mens’ Pairs. The late afternoon session was particularly challenging for the players as the wind was strong and with a very slick green it made controlling the bowls very different. There was some World Class players on the rink and the conditions were making them look like amateurs which was proving very frustrating for them.

The ITO Uniform modeled by
Vic Perry from England

Tomorrow (Wednesday) I will be officiating at Papanui Bowls Club for the 3 sessions. 
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.

You can follow all the latest news and results at www.worldbowls2016.com