The English Bowls Bowls Association (EBUA) have now approved Laser Measures for use by Umpires as an piece of additional equipment that they may want to carry.
World Bowls do not “approve” or “endorse” measuring equipment. If an item complies with the Laws of the Sport, then it is for the Member National Authorities (MNAs) to approve the types of measuring equipment for carrying out umpire duties
as stated in Law 54.9
The manufacturer, Bowlsline, market their measures “as approved by World Bowls”.
In its guidance of October 2020, the World Bowls Laws Committee stated, “The World Bowls Laws Committee does not need to give permission for new measuring devices (each MNA has this authority), but the LC will comment if they do not comply with the
Laws of the Sport.
The laser measure may be used as an alternative to the box measure, Due to a variation in tolerances among laser measure models and as they do not measure directly between the nearest points of the jack and a bowl, there is a recommended minimum distance for their use of 300 mm.
The maximum distance for using a laser measure can vary, depending on the ambient lighting conditions, the measuring range of the laser beam, and the reflectivity of the target. For example it is unlikely that a commercially available measure will be powerful enough to be able to measure a minimum jack length or determine a line bowl or jack.
There are now several models of available laser measures for bowlers. Each model has a unique design and instructions on their use. Laser measures should be used with a degree of caution. All laser models display metric units to three decimal places (i.e. 1 mm), but their technical specifications indicate various levels of typical measuring accuracy, ranging between +/-1 mm and +/-3 mm.
Another limitation of any laser measure is that it can only be used when the jack and all bowls are on the green, and nothing is in the ditch. The laws state that any measurement involving the jack or a bowl in the ditch must be carried out using a flexible or string measure whenever possible.
The most accurate laser measure is the Bowlsline model, and this is the one recommended for use by EBUA umpires.
With this update, we will now allow them to be used by members