Ever keen to see innovation in the sport your correspondent struck gold in the first week of the new outdoor season. It is wet, of course, and the green is wet. Holding onto a slippery wet bowl is never easy.
Choosing a grip-enhancing product is on many bowlers minds at this time of year. Sales of Grippo, Monkey Grip, Wilgrip, Bulldog Grip and Champion spray polish (when meagre stocks can be found) are always strong in April and May.
Bowls gloves are also selling well, but that may be about to change. Seen on the green this week – a bowler wearing a latex surgical glove.
Since it is perfectly acceptable to use leather or faux-leather gloves, and/or apply any of the above-mentioned products to either hands or bowls, there can be no reason to think that the wearing of a surgical glove should be singled out as unacceptable.
The laws of the sport don’t ban them. You couldn’t say wearing a surgical glove gives a player any greater advantage than wearing a traditional bowls glove or using a wax or rubber-based grip paste or solution.
Unless, that is, the latex glove is such a superior solution to the problem of slippery bowls that anyone who is not using one could be said to be at a distinct disadvantage. Even then, anyone who wants to can choose to wear a latex glove.
Financially they make good sense too. A bowls glove from Drakes Pride or OBG costs around £9.50. A box of 200 (yes, two hundred) disposable latex gloves can be had for a similar amount.
I’m off to the green to try a latex glove…