Help and Advice for New Bowlers
These points are intended as a guide for new bowlers before they play a game of Fours and as a reference for more experienced bowlers to ensure the game is always played well and enjoyed by all.
1. Always dress properly for all games and at all times.
2. Always be ready in plenty of time before a game. It is best to aim to arrive at least 20 minutes before the game is due to start.
3. At the start of a game introduce yourself and shake hands with your opponents.
4. If you are playing Lead, hand your opposite Lead the jack or mat when it is their turn to play.
5. Show respect both to your own team and your opponents at all times.
6. Keep quiet and listen carefully while the Captains give instructions before the match begins.
7. Always keep still and as quiet as possible while others are bowling.
8. Always do as your Skip asks and acknowledge his/her instructions.
9. The Lead who plays first should place the mat and deliver the jack. The Skip may indicate how long or short he/she would like it to be.
10. Make sure that when you deliver the bowl, part or all of one foot is on or above the mat.
11. The Lead should indicate clearly to the Skip, who wishes to centre the jack, in which direction and how far it is from the centre of the rink.
12. Remember to compliment your opponent as well as members of your team on a particularly good bowl.
13. After you have delivered your bowl and it has come to rest, step back behind the mat straight away.
14. Before it is your turn to bowl, give your opponent who has just bowled plenty of room to leave the mat and return to his/her place.
15. Make sure that you do not deliver your bowl before the previous bowl has come to rest.
16. Give the game your full attention and do not wander off your rink during play. If you need a toilet break tell a team member where you are going and be as quick as possible.
17. Threes may offer advice to the Skip if he/she asks for it or when to do so would be helpful. Threes and Skips should work closely together at all times.
18. Teamwork is important and team-mates should support one another wherever possible, particularly those who are new to the game.
19. Bowls delivered straight into the ditch without touching the jack are dead bowls and should be lifted out and placed on the bank.
20. A bowl which touches the jack is a “toucher” and remains live even if it is in the ditch so do not remove it. The toucher should be marked as soon as it comes to rest.
21. Keep out of the head when Threes are counting the number of shots scored and make no observations about the result as you see it.
22. Threes should always measure if there is the slightest doubt.
23. When Threes have agreed the count for that end the woods should be pushed back well behind the mat and a little to the side to avoid accidents.
24. When the Threes have agreed the score for an end, Twos or Skips should mark it on their scorecard and should add the number of shots won on the scoreboard.
25. When the game is over, shake hands with your opponents.
26. If you are in the home team, offer to buy your opposite number a drink from the bar.
27. Following a match, join with your team and your opponents for tea at the same table.
28. If your game finishes but other games are still going on, leave the scoreboard where it is so everyone can see the final score on your rink and relate it to their own game.
29. Always help out by returning bowls equipment to the store.
30. Be careful not to distract bowlers by walking along the bank behind the head when players on other rinks are about to bowl.
Compiled by Martin Speakman. (Wellington Somerset Bowling Club Coach)
with thanks to Peter Staddon (County Senior Coach), Richard Northam (Senior Coach) and
Brian Wombwell (Club Secretary) for their valued input.