Thinking allowed

calling 'bob'

I had anoth­er go at call­ing a touch of bob doubles on Monday. I’ve now got to the point where I can remem­ber the sequence of calls (e.g. ‘out’, ‘make’, ‘in’ to leave bell 2 unaf­fected), and I know pretty much when to make each call but actu­ally mak­ing the calls in just the right place is a bit trick­i­er. Time to look at this in a little more detail, perhaps.

First, let’s write out the first lead end of Bob Doubles, for a plain course, and then, next to it, what hap­pens if a bob is called.

(plain) | (bob)

12345 | 12345

21435 | 21435
24153 | 24153
42513 | 42513
45231 | 45231
54321 | 54321
53412 | 53412
35142 | 35142
31524 | 31524 ‘bob!’ — called at back­stroke before treble leads
13254 | 13254
13524 | 12354 3 runs out, 2 runs in, 5 makes the bob, 4 unaffected

31254 | 21534
32145 | 25143
23415 | 52413
24351 | 54231
42531 | 45321

The bob should be called, I think, at the back­stroke before the treble leads, giv­ing a whole pull’s notice of the bob. This means it is called when the treble is in 2nd place before leading.

Since it is not easy (not for me any­way) to always see when the treble is in 2nd place, we ana­lyse where each of the oth­er bells is at this point.

We can see from the above dia­gram that, that when the treble is in 2nd place, the oth­er bells are as follows:

  • the bell that would have made 2nds place (but runs out), leads (back­stroke),
  • the bell that would have dodged 3/4 up (but makes the bob) is in 3rd place
  • the bell that would have dodged 3/4 down (but runs in) is in 4th place
  • the bell that rings 4 blows behind (and is unaf­fected) makes its first blow at the back

In the­ory the call should be made with the lead­ing bell, that is, when the bell that would make 2nds place makes its back­stroke lead. If you are ringing that bell then the tim­ing is easy, but if you are ringing one of the oth­ers then you need to make the call just before you pull your rope. This is more espe­cially true for the bells at the back. Remem­ber that each of these calls is made at back­stroke.

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