Over the next few weeks, we will be going through some important bits of information which all Australian Open participants should know. This week, we start with the basics.
The first match of each day (barring a few minor exceptions during the final two days) will begin at 9:00am, with 8:45am trial ends. Matches 2 and 3 of each day are scheduled for 11:45am and 2:30pm. Trial ends will only be played for the first match of the day in a given discipline.
During sectional rounds, all sections will be played at the same club on one day; this means that participants do not need to move from club to club within a match day.
Until the quarter-final rounds, all matches will be run to a 2 hour, 15 minute time limit. From quarter-finals onwards, Open Singles, Pairs and Fours matches will be untimed, while all other disciplines will be limited to a maximum of 3 hours.
The match formats for all relevant disciplines are as follows:
Singles: 4 bowls each, 21 shots up (shots in excess of 21 do not count);
Pairs: 3 bowls each, 18 ends.
Fours: 2 bowls each, 15 ends.
There are no dead ends at the Australian Open; if a jack comes to rest outside of the playing boundaries, it will be respotted at the T (see section 2.7 of the CoP).
Qualifying into the knockout rounds
All sectional winners for every discipline will automatically qualify for the knockout rounds, and will be placed in the knockout draw at random.
Additionally, in most disciplines next best qualifiers will be used to fill the remaining number of knockout spots. The number of next best qualifiers differs for each discipline.
Importantly, next best qualifiers can only meet section winners in the first round of the knockout rounds (they cannot meet other next best qualifiers). For more information about how next best qualifiers are calculated, please see section 7.2 of the CoP.
Next week, we will be digging a little bit deeper into the Conditions of Play and giving you a rundown on how prize money is allocated and distributed!