Bowls umpire bound for Glasgow games

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If you can’t beat them, umpire them, as Raelee Tuckerman reports for the Bendigo Advertiser . That’s Kangaroo Flat lawn bowler Daryl Rowley’s motto as he prepares for his third Commonwealth Games appearance as an “international technical official”. The 42-year-old is a handy player in his own right, but has made his name on the world stage as a referee. Rowley is one of a handful of non-Scottish officials selected to umpire and mark at the Glasgow Games mid next year. Only two other Australians were chosen. He has previously officiated at the Melbourne games in 2006, including a ladies’ semi-final, and New Delhi in 2010, where he watched over the men’s singles bronze medal match. “It is an honour, probably even more so this time because it was much harder to get selected,” he said. “The host city supplies about 80 per cent of the umpires. But in India, they had none as they’d never even played lawn bowls so they just took the top 42 ITOs based on marks from the previous exam. “This time there were only a couple of spots and I was lucky enough to be selected.” ITOs act either as markers on the green or umpires on the sidelines and can be called on to set up the jack, measure the bowls and resolve disputes. Rowley marked the men’s final at the World Bowls 2012 championship in Adelaide, He heads to Queensland on Monday to officiate in the inaugural Australian Premier League lawn bowls tournament next week. The APL features franchises from five mainland states and New Zealand vying for a total prize pool of $100,000, and will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 2. “It’s a pairs events but there are three in a team (lead, skip and super-sub) and the substitute can come on and play a specific shot,” he said. “It’s controlled by a time clock, with 30 seconds to play each shot. “It’s a bit like Twenty20 cricket but with lawn bowls.” Rowley first got involved in umpiring to help his game. “When I took it up about 15 years ago in Melbourne, a guy I was playing under said to me, ‘if you want to play, learn the rules’. He said you win more games if you know the rules and told me to become a level one umpire, which I did. “If you can’t play at the elite level, this way you can at least still have some influence.” Caption: Daryl Rowley will officiate at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY