After a few rain showers on Tuesday we awoke to a clear fresh morning and took the stroll to the bus at 6:15am. It takes about 40 minutes to get to Helensvale via Musgrave Hill club where we drop the team headed by DCTO Michael Johnson from New Zealand. After the usual first day jitters and finding our feet we arrived on Day 2 and got on with our pre-match routines like a well oiled machine.
There were some new faces on my team for Day 2 and its great for them to move around venues and work with everyone, it’s a great way of cementing those strong friendships. I had a team of 9 today. They just got on with their jobs and that’s all you ask of them really. Its great to see everyone working well together.
|Play underway at Helensvale|
Women’s singles and fours and Men’s pairs were played plus we had the streaming team onsite. First session I carried out some assessments of the ITOs, followed by marking a singles match between Ellen Ryan, Commonwealth Gold medalist and Ineke Spangenberg from the Netherlands. It was a great match with Ellen coming out victorious. For the final session I was roving, otherwise known as the spare umpire. This role just helps with covering calls when the 2 green umpires are occupied or to offer assistance for 2 person measures. Usually the rover would cover two greens but at Helensvale that is a challenge due to the construction works on the middle green.
|Scorecards ready for collection by the managers|
ITO assessments are an initiative developed by World Bowls to assess the performance of their ITOs whilst at these major events. It’s a great tool for identifying areas of improvement but also for noting excellent performances. They are not a stick for beating the ITO. Each ITO receives 3 assessments as Umpire and 3 as Marker and are conducted by the DCTOs at each venue. Ratings are provided for several criteria which range from 1, below standard and 3, above standard. The standards set down by the World Bowls Officiating Document and selection criteria are used. As I hope you expect there are very few issues to note but we do have some ITOs attending for the very first time at a World event and its great to be able to offer constructive feedback to them. The results from each assessment are entered on to a Performance Report spreadsheet and a report is generated for each ITO. This is also a useful tool for World Bowls to use for future event selection.
Scorecards are checked by the Umpire and submitted to the venue coordinator for entering on the BowlsLink results system which you can access from the World Championships website. So far we have not had any discrepancies so fingers crossed for the rest of the event.
Unfortunately, on Day 2 we received official confirmation that Kenya would not be attending and their games would be forfeited to their opponents. This means that their opponents will receive byes in those rounds. Not too sure why they were eventually unable to make the trip but most likely to do with Visas.
As you are probably aware by now all teams are playing with Red and Blue bowls and it is expected that the show up with the correct colours to play the competition. However, on Day -1 we learned that Samoa didn’t have any bowls let alone the correct colour so the management team were busy running around various clubs and raiding the merchandise tent for bowls. On Day 2 at Helensvale just before the start of the second session I was alerted to the Singapore singles player only having a set of Red bowls with her and she was due to play in Blue. Thankfully, the lovely Laura from Switzerland agreed to change back to Blue and the problem was solved. However, you couldn’t make this up as no sooner had we resolved that, we then discovered that Papua New Guinea only had a set of Blue and a set of Green! Again, the kind gents from Falkland Islands agreed to swap back to their Red bowls. All resolved amicably in the end. All these things sent to try us!
Few questions about temperatures here on the Gold Coast. Tuesday at Helensvale we peaked at around 24 degrees. There was an impressive lightning storm in the evening and the low overnight was 15 degrees. Wednesday similar daytime temperatures peaking around 27 degrees. Ironically during the storm in the evening, snow fell just up the road at the Glass House Mountains, about 70 miles away north of Brisbane.
Back at Broadbeach for our DCTO debrief, we selected the officials for the various roles for the knockout stages at Helensvale over the weekend.
Getting to the business end of the first week now and I will be back with you tomorrow as we hit the knockout rounds.