Bowling Reminders and Tips!

From time to time various queries arise regarding the regulations and rules of bowling, so hopefully herewith some answers and a few ‘Tips’!  Do take time to read them even if you have been bowling for years, the aim is to be helpful!

Placing the Mat

Make sure the centre of the mat lines up with the centre of the rink number on the rear ditch.  The front edge of the mat must be positioned not less than 2 metres from the rear ditch and as far up the rink as the marker indicating 25 metres from the front ditch.  Note the 2 metre and 25 metre markers on the sides of the Green – they are pale yellow on our Green. 

The Jack.

This must be delivered no less than 23 metres from the front edge of the mat.  (If your mat is 2 metres from the rear ditch and you deliver the Jack the minimum 23 metres, it will rest in line with the marker indicating 25metres from the rear ditch.)  If you move the mat up ensure the Jack is delivered 23 metres from the front edge of the mat!   (Should your Skip ask ‘is your mat up?’ he is querying whether you have sent the Jack far enough i.e. 23 metres).  A rink measure is kept in the equipment shed.

Should the Jack come to rest less than 2 metres from the far ditch, it should be moved and centred 2 metres from the far ditch. .

If the Lead fails to deliver the Jack correctly it is then passed to the opposition Lead.  If they also fail to deliver it correctly, the Jack is placed 2 metres from the far ditch and centred.  The mat can then be moved by the first Lead who then commences bowling.

Delivery of Jack and Bowl

Ensure one foot is entirely within the confines of the mat – on the mat or directly above it.

Duties of Players : Part 1

Roll ups and Bowls Drives provide us with the opportunity to play in different positions and these ‘Tips’ outline correct procedures for each member of the Team.  It is also helpful if each player in a Triples Team knows the duties of the others.

See previous ‘Tips’ for information on Placing the Mat and Delivering the Jack!

Role of Lead –  The Skip may leave it to the Lead to decide on Jack length but the Lead should watch to see if their Skip subsequently signals for a change to the position of the Mat or the length of the Jack.  If you are first to play, place the Mat, deliver and centre the Jack.

Watch the progress of your bowl down the Green to assess whether the line is right.  Your Skip will indicate whether it is short or long of the Jack – preferably by Hand Signals.

As soon as your bowl stops, the Mat belongs to the Opposition and you should stand at least 1 metre behind it.                                     

 When at the Head-End of the rink stand behind, away from the Jack and clear of the Head.                               Occasionally, perhaps through the inability of the No. 2 to kneel to measure and with the Agreement of the Opposition Skip, the Lead will be asked to measure.                                        

 Once agreement has been reached on the score of an end, either the Lead or sometimes the No. 2 on the losing side should scoop up the bowls.  If your Team has won the end, your role is to collect the Jack and the Mat ready for the next end!

Remember the Skip has sole charge of the Team and all players in the Team must follow the Skip’s instructions!

Duties of Players : cont.

Player No. 2 –  must follow the advice of the Skip who builds up the Head.  As soon as the No. 2’s bowl comes to rest, possession of the rink belongs to the Opposition and they must then stand at least one metre behind the Mat.

The No. 2 provides advice to the Skip when asked, unless a situation has arisen which the Skip is unaware of i.e. the positioning of the mat, or when danger has arisen at the Head-End although this should be unnecessary if the Skip has just left the Head!  Hand Signals should be used wherever possible, comments are distracting to players on other rinks, particularly if they are about to bowl!  The No. 2 should carefully watch the arrival of their Skip’s bowls and chalk any touchers.  They are responsible for signalling the score to the Skip during play and at the finish of an end.

When at the Head-End of the Rink the No. 2 should stand behind, away from the Jack and clear of the Head whilst the Opposition has possession of the rink.  Once possession of the Rink is theirs they can move forward to observe the Head and to advise their Skip of the situation, again preferably through Hand Signals.

The No. 2 is responsible for measuring, agreeing the score with the Opposition and changing the scoreboard.  It is usual for the No. 2 on the Team which is not holding ‘shot’ to count/measure the winning bowls, each of which should be placed perhaps on a cloth for safety, or somewhere where they will not be muddled up with any others!  It is best to agree with the Opposition No. 2 whether each records the score on the scoreboard when they have won an end, or whether the Home Team No. 2 maintains the scoreboard.  Either the No. 2 or the Skip will be responsible for the score card.

The Skip – has sole charge of the team and all players in the Team should follow their Skip’s instructions.

It is their decision whether a Jack should be ‘short’ or ‘long’.   A Skip should query if they think a Jack has not been sent 23 metres or more from the front of the mat.  If not obvious, they can ask for the 23metre Measure to be used to determine the distance.

The Skip is responsible for building up the Head i.e. ensuring there are bowls behind the Jack or strategically placed in front.  The Skip may be responsible for the score card but this may be delegated to the No. 2.   Whenever possible Hand Signals should be used.

The Skip must decide all disputed points with the Opposition Skip.  It is not compulsory for the Skip to bowl the final bowl but must inform the Opposition Skip of their decision Before the process of deciding the number of shots scored starts.

Happy Bowling!