Use of Bowling Arms

by Rob McGuire on December 2, 2021

“ No laws governing a sport can cope with every situation and the laws governing the sport of bowls are no exception.   Unusual situations not covered within the laws can often arise.   The Laws of the Sport of Bowls (“laws”) have been drawn up in the spirit of true sportsmanship.   So, if a situation arises that is not covered by these laws, players, markers, and umpires must use common sense and a spirit of fair play to decide on the appropriate course of action.” (Forward from the “Laws of the Sport of Bowls”.)

Hence the passage “ Spirit of true sportsmanship and a spirit of fair play “ arise.

It has been a problem for some time regarding bowling arm use and the attitude of some players toward those bowlers using them.   It has got to a stage that people are being abused, and derogatory statements are being made about the person and their use of an arm.   This is not acceptable sportsman like behaviour.  

Bowls Australia has approved the use of bowling arms and has made policies regarding the use and type allowed to be used.   Bowls Tasmania as a result follow those policies and allow the use of such in any game – be it pennant or any other format of the game.   The user does not now need a doctor’s certificate to use a bowling arm.   It is not for the other players to decide whether they should be allowed.   (Please find attached the Bowls Australia Artificial Device Policy which authorises the use of bowling arms and other aids.)

The use of words such as “cheat stick” are not acceptable in our game and should be dismissed from the vocabulary used by some.   Should a person be subjected to this kind of behaviour they have the right to call the umpire and have it stopped.

Bowling arms are keeping people in our great sport and should be given a fair go.   You never know you may need one yourself one day.

Les Harrison

Director Bowling Arm Tasmania

Bowls Tasmania