In this section of the website you can find information about how the club works and how the game is played. It is intended to be a Member’s Handbook where you should be able to find out those bits of information which nobody told you about but everyone assumes you know already! Each heading below is a link to the appropriate information; just click on it to find out.
This section is a work in progress, so if you have a question that isn’t answered here please contact Dave Bardsley or Linda Pillman who will try to answer your question and, if possible, put the information on the website to benefit other members.
Every club has to have its rules, so here are ours. They only relate to the Bowls Section; Ember Sports Club has its own rules (which are not included here).
These Rules were originally approved at The Club’s Annual General Meeting on 1st November 2008.
– Rule 5b was amended 31/10/2009
– Rules 3,4,5a,5e,6f were amended 30/10/2010
– Rule 9 was added 25/10/2014
– Rule 6f was amended 4/11/2017
Ember Bowls Club, hereinafter referred to as ‘The Bowls Club’, is a section of Ember Sports Club, hereinafter referred to as ‘E.S.C.’, formed in accordance with the Rules of that club. The Bowls Club shall be affiliated to Bowls England, the Surrey County Bowling Association and the Surrey County Women’s Bowling Association.
The affairs of the Bowls Club shall be managed by a Bowls Committee, hereinafter referred to as the ‘Committee’, which shall have the responsibilities and powers provided in these Rules. The Rules may only be altered or added to if approved by at least two-thirds of the votes cast by those members entitled to vote who are present and voting at an Annual General or Extraordinary General Meeting.
Membership of the Bowls Club shall be subject to the Rules of E.S.C. and the Rules of the Bowls Club. Completed application forms for membership and subscriptions at the appropriate rate should be sent to the Secretary of the Bowls Club. All applications will be presented for consideration by both the Committee and the Management Committee of E.S.C. All applicants must be ‘played-in’ by an officer of the Bowls Club or other person nominated by the Committee. The Committee may limit the number of Bowls Club members and manage any waiting list.
On the recommendation of the Committee, on due notice at any General Meeting of the Bowls Club, any person may be elected as an Honorary Life Member of the Bowls Club in recognition of services rendered to the Bowls Club. An Honorary Life Member of the Bowls Club shall be entitled to membership of the Bowls Club for his or her life (unless such membership is earlier terminated under these Rules) for so long as they remain members of E.S.C. without payment of the Bowls Club Subscription. Honorary Life Members shall otherwise have the same rights and obligations as Members of the Bowls Club.
4 Subscriptions and Fees
Subscriptions for membership of the Bowls Club shall be fixed annually by the Committee. Subscriptions are due and payable on the first day of April or by new members on application for membership. Reduced rates for part-year membership may be allowed at the discretion of the Committee. The Bowls Club subscription for an Honorary Life Member shall be waived for the duration of their membership from the year following their election. Unpaid subscriptions shall be dealt with in accordance with the provisions of E.S.C. Rules. Other income, such as green fees and visitors’ fees, shall also be credited to the Bowls Club.
(a) The Committee shall consist of a Chairman, the Ladies’ Captain, Gentlemen’s Captain, Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Treasurer, Match Secretary, Green Ranger and three other members plus two lady members for two years commencing 2008/09, all of whom shall be elected by members of the Bowls Club at the Annual General Meeting.
(b) All Committee members shall retire prior to the election of the Committee at the Annual General Meeting and shall be eligible for re-election and appointment. The chairman may not normally serve for more than 3 consecutive years.
(c) The Committee shall meet at least six times in any year.
(d) The quorum for a Committee Meeting shall be seven for two years commencing 2008/9 and then five thereafter. (e) The ladies’ and gentlemen’s vice-captains, to be elected at the Annual General Meeting, may deputise for their respective captains and be entitled to vote.
(f) Expenditure in connection with the Bowls Club must be authorised by the Committee.
(g) The Committee shall appoint a representative from the Bowls Club to the E.S.C. Management Committee.
(h) The Committee may assign specific tasks to members to assist the management of the Bowls Club.
(i) The Committee may appoint a Club Coach, preferably a member who holds a recognised coaching certificate.
(j) The Committee may appoint sub-committees for specific purposes and with defined powers.
(k) The Committee may co-opt a member, who shall have voting rights, to fill any vacancy on the Committee.
(l) The Committee may co-opt a member or members, who shall have no voting rights, to assist in the conduct of its activities.
(m) The Committee shall deal with all matters affecting the welfare and operation of the Bowls Club not covered by these Rules.
(n) The Committee shall determine any amendments to the Conduct of Play it may consider necessary.
(o) Any member who is a national or county delegate appointed at an AGM or who is a committee member at national or county level is entitled to a post on the Committee with full voting rights.
6 Annual General Meeting
(a) The Annual General Meeting of the Bowls Club shall be held as soon as possible after 30th September, the date to be determined by the Committee and posted on the Bowls Club’s notice board at least two weeks before the end of the season. The Agenda shall be sent to each member not less than fourteen days prior to the meeting.
(b) Any member who wishes a particular matter, which may lead to the taking of a vote, to be included in the business of the meeting shall give notice in writing to the Secretary at least 30 days prior to the meeting. No binding decision can be made at an AGM on any matter not so notified except where the Chairman deems that it is a matter of extreme importance and urgency.
(c) The quorum for an Annual General Meeting shall be 20 members.
(d) Members are entitled to vote in person at an Annual General Meeting provided they have paid their current subscriptions.
(e) A resolution, not affecting the Rules, put to the vote shall be decided by a simple majority of members present. See also Rule 2.
(f) Nominations for the Committee must have a proposer and a seconder and must be notified to the Secretary prior to the meeting, the consent of the nominee having first been obtained. In the event of no nominations for any rôle being made prior to the meeting nominations, which must have a proposer and seconder, may be accepted at the meeting, the consent of the nominee having been obtained.
7 Extraordinary General Meeting
(a) The Committee may, at its own discretion, and shall on the written request of 20 members qualified to vote call an Extraordinary General Meeting of the members at any time, giving not less than 21 days notice by a circular letter specifying the object of the meeting, to which any discussions shall be confined. No binding decision can be made at an EGM on any matter not so notified.
(b) The quorum for an Extraordinary General Meeting shall be 20 members.
(c) Members are entitled to vote in person at an Extraordinary General Meeting provided they have paid their current subscriptions.
(d) The vote of two-thirds of the votes cast in favour of a resolution by members entitled to vote who are present and voting at such a meeting shall be final.
Subject to such Regulations as the Committee may determine members may introduce visitors to play bowls and shall be responsible for payment of the appropriate visitor’s fee. Such members shall enter the visitor’s name in the Visitors Book and place the fee in the box provided for the purpose prior to playing. Visitors must abide by the Conduct of Play.
Matters of Discipline are dealt with in line with Bowls England Regulation 9.
MORE INFORMATION: Bowls England Regulations (pt. 1)
The regulations governing conduct of play at Ember Bowls Club were originally adopted as an addendum to the Club Rules approved on 1/11/2008. The Club Rules authorise the Bowls Committee to amend these regulations.
- In March 2011 a Dress Code was approved by the Committee pursuant to Regulation 3.
EMBER BOWLS CLUB – REGULATIONS FOR CONDUCT OF PLAY
- All games shall be played in accordance with the Laws authorised by Bowls England.
- The green shall be for the exclusive use of the members of the Club and any properly introduced visitor. No-one other than bowlers or a person officiating in the particular games will be allowed on the green.
- Bowlers, markers and umpires, when on the green, must wear smooth-soled, heel-less footwear in accordance with the Laws of Bowls England. Dress for bowlers, markers and umpires for Club matches, all competitions and play shall be determined by the Committee.
- The Green Ranger has the authority to control the use of the green. He will decide whether or not at any time the green is fit for play and will take any precaution to safeguard the surface of the green as he may consider advisable. The Green Ranger may appoint another member, normally of the Committee, to act for him in his absence.
- Any bowler who has a playing problem which, if not corrected, may damage the playing surface is expected to seek and to comply with the advice of the Club Coach or fellow bowlers. It is the responsibility of all bowlers to ensure damage to the green is limited by the use of protective mats as necessary.
- Normally the green will be open from 10.00am to dusk, provided that no play will interfere with the maintenance of the green. Any variation in playing times will be determined by the Green Ranger in consultation with the Committee.
- If members are waiting to use the green no bowler shall occupy a rink for more ends than are necessary to complete the game under the Laws of Bowls England.
- The Captains shall be responsible for selection of teams for Club matches, arrange all Club competitions and the general arrangements for finals days. The Captains may delegate specific duties to a Club Member(s).
- Subject to licensing laws and the Rules of the E.S.C. the amenities of the E.S.C. are available to all members and properly introduced visitors.
- Bad language and/or inappropriate behaviour by a member will not be tolerated and could lead to imposition of the E.S.C. Rule 13(1) and 13(2) on expulsion or suspension of membership. The member shall have the right to request a hearing before a meeting of the Committee.
- The Committee shall deal with any matter which is not covered by the Conduct of Play and which does not require the general consent of the membership before implementation.
- No Club Competitions may be booked for a Monday evening however rinks for External Competitions may be booked.
MORE INFORMATION: Laws of the Sport of Bowls
The Ember Bowls Club Rules and Conduct of Play Regulations delegate to the Club Committee the ability to determine the Dress Code for club matches, competitions and general play. The current version of the Dress Code was approved by the Committee in May 2017.
The code applies to all bowlers, markers and umpires using the Club’s green or representing the Club at other venues.
CONDUCT OF PLAY: DRESS CODE
This Dress Code applies to all bowlers using the facilities of Ember Bowls Club or representing Ember Bowls Club at other venues. The Dress code also applies to Markers and Umpires officiating in any match or event organised by the Club unless they are wearing approved qualified Marker’s or Umpire’s uniform.
- Members are asked at all times to ensure their clothing is clean, well presented and comfortable.
- Shoes: In accordance with the Laws of The Game of Bowls, all shoes used on the Green must be flat-soled and heel-less.
- Club Regalia: The following items of Club Regalia are available through the Club:-
- A Club Badge that may be worn on any occasion on a blazer, shirt, blouse, top or other item of outerwear.
- A Club Shirt for wear at representative matches, competitions and in casual play as an alternative to a white shirt or top. Where teams are playing in outside competitions the Club would prefer all the players in the team to be similarly dressed. (Note: This may be a requirement of the competition, please check with the local rules).
- A Club Tie that may be worn with a collared, button-fronted shirt
- Where a match or competition is designated to be played in “Whites”:-
- Gentlemen should wear tailored and pressed white, full-length trousers or shorts together with a Club Shirt or a white, plain or button-fronted shirt with collar and sleeves. Where visible, socks should be plain white. Where the Captain of the Day or the Committee indicates it, a collared, button-fronted white shirt together with the Club Tie should be worn.
- Ladies should wear a white, below-the-knee, tailored bowling skirt or white, tailored and pressed trousers of either a full length or cropped below the knee or shorts. Where visible, socks should be plain white. Tops should be either a Club Shirt or a white, plain or button-fronted top without decoration or pattern and with sleeves and a collar. All materials should be opaque. For the time being ladies may continue to wear any pre-existing cream coloured bowling clothing.
- For internal and external competitions (prior to the final round or unless otherwise specified) and where a match is designated to be played in “Greys”:-
- Gentlemen should dress as for “whites” except that trousers or shorts and socks should be grey.
- Ladies should dress as for “whites” except that trousers or skirts or shorts should be grey.
- Outer-wear such as pullovers, cardigans, hats, jackets, gloves, waterproofs and other visible external clothing should be plain white.
- Members may wear the Club’s name, its badge and/or their name embroidered on any shirt, blouse, top or outer-wear. Badges awarded by National, County or District Bowling Associations may also be worn on blazers or outer clothing as appropriate. Clothing may also bear a manufacturer’s logo.
- Visiting Players may wear their own approved club shirts and other items of uniform that accord with their own club’s Dress Code.
- Members attending post match or competition presentations are encouraged to wear the appropriate bowling clothing together with a navy blue blazer.
- For Members participating in internal roll-ups, Monday Club-Night or Bank Holiday roll-ups the Dress Code is smart casual. If you wish colourful dress may be worn. Men’s shorts must be tailored and ladies attire must be in line with the smart casual criteria (Not permitted: – vests, denim jeans/jackets and cargo shorts/trousers.) Footwear must be as defined in section 2 above.
- New bowlers attending club training courses or as guests of members are exempt from these regulations but must wear appropriate shoes.
- The Committee may suspend these regulations, except for those relating to bowling shoes, for special events at their discretion.
- The Committee will consider requests from individual members to be exempted from any or all of these regulations where individual circumstances warrant it. Any such requests should be made through the Club Secretary. The Committee does not bind itself to agree to any such requests and will consider each on its merits.
Bowls is a social game with a number of unwritten conventions that underline play. In essence it’s all about sportsmanship and good manners (and occasionally gritting your teeth!) In order to keep things friendly we offer the following tips and guidance:
- Dress correctly for all games.
- When a game, be it a roll-up or match, is due to start at a certain time be on the green and ready to play at that time.
- Greet your own team members and opponents at the start of the game and congratulate or compliment them at the end of play. Shaking hands before a match and at its conclusion is part of the fine tradition of the game.
- Compliment your opponent on a good shot.
- Admit a fluke with grace.
- Stand still when a player is on the mat.
- Do not talk or make a noise behind the mat when a player is about to deliver a bowl.
- Remain behind the mat or head when it is not your turn to play. Always remember that as soon as your bowl has come to rest possession of the rink passes to your opponent.
- If you are skipping a rink do not impede the other skip’s view.
- Keep to your own rink. Do not become a wanderer and distract other bowlers.
- Walk down the centre of your rink when changing ends and avoid walking through the head.
- On sunny days be aware of your shadow. Do not let it mask the jack nor permit it to fall in front of the mat when a player is about to bowl.
- Try to avoid obscuring boundary pegs, rink plates or rink markers.
- Never criticise your opponent, the greens or your own team members. If you cannot say anything positive don’t say anything at all!
- Pay attention to the game. Nothing can be more frustrating to your team-mates than to have them feel that you are not giving your full attention and best efforts to the game by your lack of concentration. Save your socialising until after the game.
- Always appear to be enjoying the game.
- Stand well back from the head when drive shots are being played and warn others on adjacent rinks of the fact.
- If the jack goes into the ditch during play all players should stand off the green and leave a clear view of the jack marker.
- Learn the Laws of the Game and abide by them.
- Be a gracious winner and a good loser.
- Help clear bowls once an End is complete and the score agreed.
- Pick up the mat once the End is completed and place it off the rink.
MORE INFORMATION: Laws of the Sport of Bowls
These Rules were approved by the Bowls Committee on 16th March 2013 and amended on 8th March 2014. In adopting these Rules the Committee intend that the spirit of fairness and sportsmanship should prevail in their application.
1. These rules cover the following competitions
Men’s Championship Singles. Played to 21 shots and open to all male club members.
Ladies’ Championship Singles. Played to 21 shots and open to all female club members.
Men’s Championship Pairs. Played over 21 ends and open to all male club members.
Ladies’ Championship Pairs. Played over 21 ends and open to all female club members.
Ladies’ Invitation Mixed Pairs Championship. Played over 21 ends and open to pairs consisting of one female and one male club member. Entries are open only to female club members and must include the name of her nominated male partner
Men’s Handicap Singles Championship. Played to 21 shots and open to all male club members.
Ladies’ Handicap Singles Championship. Played to 21 shots and open to all female club members.
Men’s Drawn Handicap Pairs Competition. Played over 21 ends and open to all male club members.
Ladies’ Drawn Handicap Pairs Competition. Played over 21 ends and open to all female club members.
Open Drawn Handicap Pairs Competition. Played over 21 ends and open to all club members.
Men’s Two-Wood Championship Singles. Played over 21 ends and open to all male club members.
Ladies’ Two-Wood Championship Singles. Played over 21 ends and open to all female club members.
Men’s Drawn Triples Competition. Played over 18 ends and open to all male club members.
Ladies’ Drawn Triples Competition. Played over 18 ends and open to all female club members
Mixed Drawn Two-Wood Triples Competition. Played over 10 ends and open to all club members.
Non-Winners Singles Championship. Played to 21 shots and open to all members who have:-
-never won any Ember Bowls Club singles competition, including handicapped events,
-not won any Ember Bowls Club Pairs competition, including handicapped events, in the preceding 7 seasons.
-never won any County or District level competition, including the Ember Coronation Cup competition.
2. All competitions will be overseen by the Competition Secretary(ies), appointed by the Bowls Committee, who will arbitrate in any disputes regarding the playing of matches or the interpretation of these Rules, including the disqualification of players and the awarding of victory by walk-over in un-played matches, and whose decisions will be final and binding on all entrants.
3. Entries to club competitions must be received by the Competition Secretary(ies) by the date notified on the entry forms and be accompanied by the appropriate entry fee.
4. In drawn competitions where it is not possible to allocate all entrants into a team due to the format of the competition, a ballot will be held to determine which entries will be accepted. All unsuccessful entrants shall have their entry fee refunded.
5. Prior to the draw for the season’s competitions the Bowls Committee will allocate a Handicap Score to each club member that shall be final and remain in place for the whole of the season.
6. In Handicap Singles Competitions each competitor will start play with a shots score equivalent to their Handicap Score.
7. In Handicap Team Competitions the Team Handicap Score will be the aggregate of their individual Handicap Scores. The Team with the higher aggregate score will start play with a shots score equivalent to the arithmetic difference between their Team Handicap Score and that of their opponents.
8. All competition draws are to be made in the presence of the competition secretary(ies) plus a minimum of one club member as an independent witness. In circumstances where the competition secretary(ies) are absent the Committee may nominate replacement(s).
9. Where any competition entry does not equal a numerical power of 2 a preliminary round shall be played to reduce the field to next power of 2 below. The preliminary round should first draw the appropriate number of byes followed by entrants or teams in turn until the preliminary round is filled. The remaining entrants or teams will then be drawn in turn, gaining a bye into the first round.
10. Draws for Championships shall be made on an un-seeded basis with all entrants being drawn in turn from the one ballot, taking their place in turn on the competition draw sheet.
11. In the Drawn Ladies’ and Men’s Handicap Pairs Competitions the entrants shall be divided on the basis of their handicap into two equal pools, dividing the higher handicapped entrants from the lower. Where the boundary between the two pools occurs within a single handicap rating the competition secretaries may use their discretion to allocate players in that handicap rating between the pools. The competition draw will first pair one player from each pool into a team and that team will then take its place in turn on the competition draw sheet.
12. In the Open Drawn Handicap Competitions the entrants shall be divided into two equal pools on the same basis as set out in Rule 11.
a) If the total number of male entrants exceeds or equals the number of female entrants the draw procedure should be, in order:-
-Pair each female in the low-handicapped pool with a high-handicapped male entrant into a team.
-Pair each female in the high-handicapped pool with a low-handicapped male entrant into a team
-Pair each remaining high-handicapped male entrant with a low-handicapped male entrant into a team.
-Having established the teams the competition should then be drawn on an un-seeded basis and entered on the competition draw sheet.
b) If the number of female entrants exceeds the number of male entrants the procedure set out in Rule 12a should be repeated with roles reversed between males and females.
13. In the Men’s and Ladies’ Drawn Triples Competitions the entrants shall be divided into three equal pools on the same handicap basis as set out in Rule 11. The competition draw will take in turn one player from each pool to constitute the team and that team will then take its place on the competition draw sheet.
14. In the Mixed Two-Wood Triples the Competition Secretaries shall designate one third of the entrants as Team Captains (based on handicap) and draw the competition as set out in Rules 9 and 10. Each Captain shall then, in turn, draw a player of the opposite gender from the remaining entrants to join their team. Finally each Captain shall draw, in turn, a third player at random from the remaining entrants to complete the team.
15. All matches shall be played in accordance with the Laws of the Sport of Bowls as published by World Bowls unless modified by any local rules included in these rules.
16. All competitions will be played on a knockout basis with an open draw for the first round and the winner(s) progressing to the next round up until the Final.
17. All competition matches are to be played in rounds to be completed by the set date notified on the competition draw sheets with the following exceptions:
a) The Mixed Two-Wood Triples Tournament is to be played to completion on a fixed date published in the club’s fixture list.
18. All Finals matches, except for the Mixed Two-Wood Triples Tournament, will be played over the designated Finals Weekend published in the club’s fixture list.
ARRANGEMENTS FOR PLAY
19. All competition matches are to be played at Ember Bowls Club.
20. No matches shall be arranged such that they start or extend after 6.00pm on Monday evenings other than Bank Holiday Mondays.
21. The topmost (odd numbered) named player or team on the competition draw sheet is “The Challenger,” the second (even numbered) player or team is “The Opponent.”
a) The Challenger is responsible for arranging a mutually acceptable date and time for the match to be played, which must be prior to the closing date for the round notified on the competition draw sheet.
b) The Challenger is responsible for booking a rink for play and, in singles competitions, for providing a marker.
c) If, by the set closing date for a round, any match remains un-played and has not had a date arranged and entered in the rink booking diary the Competition Secretary(ies) may award the match to the Opponent. However, if, in the opinion of the Competition Secretary(ies), the Challenger has, in the circumstances, taken all reasonable steps to arrange the fixture in time, the Competition Secretary(ies) may grant an extension to the closing date or award the match to the Challenger.
22. The winner of each match is responsible for entering their name into the next round on the draw sheet and, if known, advising their next opponent(s) of the need to arrange their match.
AVAILABILITY FOR PLAY
23. No member may enter a competition if, at the time of entry, they are aware that they will not be available to play on the designated Finals Weekend published in the Club’s fixture list.
24. If, during the course of the season, a player becomes aware that they will not be available to play on the Finals Weekend they should immediately withdraw from the competition. In singles competitions they should award their next opponent victory by a walk-over. In team competitions the team may, subject to Rule 27, appoint a substitute as a replacement or, otherwise, withdraw from the competition by awarding their next opponents victory by a walk-over.
25. If during the course of the season a player becomes aware that they may not be able to meet all or any of their commitments to play matches by or at the designated time they should selectively withdraw from any remaining competitions to a level where they feel they can meet their commitments. Any such withdrawals should be made prior to the semi-final. In team competitions the team may, subject to Rule 27, appoint a substitute as a replacement for the remainder of the competition.
26. Where a player becomes temporarily unavailable for play during the season (e.g. due to holidays or illness) they should advise any opponents and team members that they are scheduled to play with or against and, if necessary and subject to Rule 27, arrange for a substitute or seek an extension of the closing date for the round with the Competition Secretary(ies). Failure to do so may lead to any matches affected being awarded to their opponents.
27. Substitutes may only be used in team competitions and only with the agreement of the Competition Secretary(ies), whose approval should be obtained prior to any match being played.
a) A Substitute may only be used where a player becomes unavailable for play on Finals Weekend or is otherwise unavailable during the season.
b) A Substitute in any competition may not have previously played in that competition.
c) A Substitute appointed under Rule 26 can be replaced by the original team member at any stage in the competition.
d) A team must contain at least one member of the original team that played in the first round match of the competition.
e) In Open Competitions a team may only appoint a substitute who would otherwise qualify for the competition.
f) In Drawn Competitions a team may appoint a substitute who would otherwise qualify for that competition and who has the same Handicap rating as the player they are replacing. In circumstances where a substitute player with the same handicap cannot be identified a substitute with a Handicap within two shots of the original player will be accepted and, in Handicap Competitions, the Team Handicap will be adjusted accordingly. If a suitable qualified substitute cannot be identified the team should withdraw from the competition.
MORE INFORMATION: Laws for the Sport of Bowls (Opens in new window)
Bowls is a simple game. Here it is explained in 58 pages! (Opens in a new window)
Bowls England have also made a number of Regulations covering aspects of the game and its governance. If you have time to spare these links will take you to them (Opens in a new window).
Bowls England Regulations 1-49 (General),
Bowls England Regulations 50-70 (Championship/Competition Rules & Regulations)
There is a lot to learn about the game of Bowls, most of which will come from experience. So, to get you started, here is some basic information, some jargon explained and some quick tips.
Health & Safety
- Be careful getting on and off the green, especially when wet – you will have been shown.
- Bowls – know where they are on the green and keep out of their way.
- Bowls are heavy – a dropped bowl can hurt someone, damage the green or the bowl itself.
- 1st Aid Box + AED + Injury & Accident Book are in the clubhouse ‘phone booth.
- Dress comfortably so that your movement is not restricted. Bowls is usually payed in ‘Greys’ or ‘Whites’ but casual dress is acceptable while you are learning.
- Shoes must be flat with a smooth sole – check with the coaches if you are using trainers.
- Bowls is played on a ‘Green’ which is surrounded by a ‘Ditch’ and raised ‘Bank’.
- The Green is divided by white markers into playing strips, the ‘Rinks’.
- A small, round white or yellow ‘Jack’ is rolled (’delivered’) down the rink from the ‘Mat’ and centred a minimum 23m from the mat.
- ‘Bowls’ are shaped with a ‘Bias’ so that they take a curved path towards the jack. As a Bowl slows down it turns in towards the ‘bias,’ indicated with a smaller disc on the Bowl and usually highlighted with a small coloured sticker. Sometimes a Bowl is referred to as a ‘Wood’
- Players take it in turns to ‘deliver’ their Bowl smoothly, i.e. with no bounce, from the ‘mat’ at one end of the ‘rink’ to the’ jack’ at the other end. The objective is to deliver the Bowl with the correct force (‘Weight’) along the correct ‘line’ so that it comes to rest in the desired place at the ‘Head’.
- The player or team with one or more bowls closer to the jack than their opponent wins that ‘End’, scoring one ‘Shot’ for each counting bowl.
Formats of the Game
- Singles – 2 Players with 4 bowls each, the winner being the first to reach 21 shots
- Pairs – 2 teams of 2, with 4 bowls each, the winner being the higher score after 21 ends
- Triples – 2 teams of 3, with 3 bowls each, scored over 18 ends
- Fours or ‘Rinks’ – 2 teams of 4, with 2 bowls each, scored over 21 ends
- In a team game the ‘Lead’ is the first to play, then the ‘Number 2’, then the ‘3’, finally the ‘Skip’.
Some More Jargon
- ‘Stance’ = How you stand on the Mat. You should be balanced and comfortable on the mat, with the feet and body pointing along the ‘line’ on which the bowl or jack is going to travel.
- ‘Delivery’ = How you deliver the Bowl. It should be smooth, with the Bowl rolling from your hand without bouncing. You should aim to be consistent in your delivery.
- ‘Follow through’ = The natural, smooth movement of the delivery arm following the line of the bowl after the bowl has been released – important!
- ‘Forehand’ Delivery of a bowl so the curve of the bowl is from right to left towards its objective (for right handed players).
- ‘Backhand’ Delivery of a bowl so the curve of the bowl is from left to right towards its objective (for right handed players).
- ‘Head’ The group of the jack + bowls.
- Good manners and supporting behaviour towards team mates and opponents alike are appreciated. Compliment, don’t criticise.
- Do not distract the bowler by moving or talking.
- Always stand behind at the mat while not bowling or behind the jack and away from the ‘head’ at the other end.
- Admit a fluke with grace, don’t praise outrageous luck, don’t wave opponents bowls through the head.
- Once a bowl has come to rest ‘Possession of the ‘Rink’ at both ends passes to the opponents i.e. you should be clear of the mat and head and not be between the mat and the head when it’s not your team’s turn.
- Don’t walk past the end of a rink when a player is about to bowl towards you.
Concentrate and enjoy!