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Trial Wrong Ball Law explained in simple flowchart

[<<] [>>] by Bill Arliss
7th April 2013 (GC)

Note: Trial ended

The GC Laws Committee agrees that the 'trial wrong ball law' package circulated was sufficiently weighty to deter many players, and for this we apologise. Unfortunately it was considered essential to get something out quickly before the season started and hence the rather rushed result. To overcome these problems, two small groups have worked with the GC Laws Committee to produce a flowchart, which simplifies application of the trial law. We believe that this chart provides such a simple tool that it will allow all our coaches to put across the essential of wrong ball management to even the newest of GC players. It is something that has not been available previously and we feel it should be put into use as soon as possible.

Whilst the chart is based on the trial law and not the present law, the differences are so minimal as to have very little effect.

  • The new logic ensures that singles and doubles are treated in the same manner which has been a major talking point but in reality is a very rare event.
    • Now in singles if your opponent plays one of your balls and you do not notice and play one of your own, there is no full penalty as you are allowed to play either of your balls after such a mistake.
    • In doubles Black playing black after Yellow plays yellow is no longer a full penalty but is treated in the same way as singles - Replay or Exchange.
  • The addition of an exchange option in the bottom balloon of the flowchart
    • This is a change of intent and the main purpose of the trial is to find out whether this option will improve the game or not. Your GC Laws Committee considers it will but would like practical proof of its need. As it is the last link in a decision making chain, it should not make understanding of the overall law significantly more difficult.

I would like to pay tribute to the small group from the NW Federation who joined the discussion group and in to their words in the flowchart. They have taken a very forward-looking decision that all GC matches under their jurisdiction will be played in accordance with the trial law. With the flowchart tool available to explain the situation to all club players, they see no difficulties in introducing the change at all skill levels and it will ensure that all competetive GC play in the NW is played to identical laws

I therefore ask each Federation to reconsider their own position on the basis of the NW decision as I believe this is the right way to go as it brings a possible understanding of wrong ball procedures within the reach of most club players. Even if the odd game has already been played, a change to use the trial law even after a few matches have been played is unlikely to produce anything more than the slightest ripple and a lot can be gained.

Bill Arliss
Chairman GC Laws Committee


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