WMF taking a tougher stance against lane manipulation
18 Mar 2009 at 06:52 | Published by: JJM | Views: 4969 | News search
A coach applying saliva to the wall in Tampere. (Photo by John Mittler 2008)
In its annual meeting on 31 January 2009, WMF Technical Committee wrote a statement:
"12.9.4 Preparing the lanes by applying e.g. spit or powder onto the frames:
TC states that this as well as e.g. heating a lane with a heating bag is not
allowed by the current rules, as it must be seen as changing the lane."
Manipulating the walls of beton and eternite lanes, to increase the margin of error for the players, has been for decades a key strategy for some top countries. The rules have never allowed it, but now WMF Technical Committee is planning to change the de-facto policies of refereeing, to limit this widespread practice in official competitions.
How wall manipulation works: The team chooses the playing line for a minigolf lane, using a wall shot whenever possible. Then the coaches carefully note the place where the ball should hit the wall.
Some centimeters before this "sweet spot" in the wall is applied with chalk (to make it more slippery), to get too early hits bouncing less than they naturally would, to correct the course of the ball back to the optimal playing line.
Also some centimeters after the "sweet spot" is applied with saliva (to make it more sticky), to get too late hits bouncing more than they naturally would, to correct the course of the ball back to the optimal playing line.
Some minigolf designers have started building minigolf courses with unplayable walls of round materials, to remove wall manipulation and ball preparation from center stage of the sport, returning the game back to its original simplicity.» video: a coach applying saliva to the wall in Tampere 2008
» memorandum of Technical Committee meeting 31 Jan 2009