International technical Official (ITO)


International Technical Officials (ITO) are accredited to officiate at international events. An ITO is an experienced umpire who has developed a high degree of competence, awareness and skill in the application of the laws and the use of measuring equipment. ITOs officiate at World Bowls events such as the World Championships and the Commonwealth Games. They also can be seen applying their knowledge on television or live streaming of world matches as both umpires and markers.


Be able to demonstrate extensive umpiring experience and a high degree of competence in knowledge of the laws, use of measuring equipment, marking and umpiring self-awareness.  You will also need to be a member of a bowling club in New Zealand and hold a current Level 2 umpire accreditation and have your application endorsed by the Bowls New Zealand Umpires Committee.


Preparing for accreditation as an ITO is not managed by way of a formal training programme. ITO candidates are expected to have a higher degree of competency, awareness, skill and experience in both the application of the Laws of the Sport of Bowls and the use of measuring equipment. In addition, candidates should also have experience and knowledge of the role of the marker.


Candidates will sit an exam once they feel confident and ready.

The exam will comprise of the following sections:

  • Fifteen written questions on the Laws of the Sport.
  • In the role of a marker, giving their opinion on the distance between the jack and a bowl in three head settings and giving their opinion on which bowls are shot in a further three head settings.
  • Act as the marker during a Singles game comprising four ends.
  • Carry out five measures whilst operating on their own.
  • Carry out four measures whilst being assisted by another umpire


Every five years umpires who wish to remain accredited will sit the ITO Re-accreditation. This examination is managed by World Bowls.

Have you got what it takes?

To find out more about becoming an ITO please email the Bowls New Zealand Umpires Committee.