Taken from “Laws of the Game”


Taken from “Bowls” written in association with Bowls England

The mat must be placed lengthwise and centred in line with the centre-pins marking the rink, with the front edge 2m from the ditch for the first end and not less than 2m nor more than 4m from the ditch in any subsequent end.

At the start of the first end the mat is placed with the front edge 2m from the ditch. In all subsequent ends, the mat is placed so that its front edge is at least 2m from the rear ditch and no closer than 25m from the front ditch.

If the lead in one cast (of the jack) fails to set the mark (i.e. casts less than 23m from the mat line centre to the nearest point of the jack, measured in a straight line after the jack has been centred, or into the ditch, or off the rink, the opposing player is then entitled to move and place the mat in accordance with Law VI.I and to cast the jack, but may not bowl first. If she/he then fails to set the mark, the mat may be moved, still in accordance with Law VI.I and the jack be returned as often as required and cast alternately until a mark is set, subject to the original penalty.

The player to play first casts the jack. If the jack comes to rest less than 2m from the front ditch, it is moved to 2m from the ditch and centred. Improper delivery of the jack occurs when:

the jack travels into the ditch

travels outside the rink boundary

travels less than 23m in a straight line from the front of

the mat

If this occurs, the opposing player may remove the mat in the line of play, deliver the jack, but does not play first.

If the jack is improperly delivered by each player in one end, it is centred 2m from the opposite ditch.

If the jack is forced into the ditch by the effects of play it shall be deemed to be live and played to, its position being indicated by a suitable marker placed above it on the face of the bank. If accidentally interfered with the opposing party shall replace the jack as nearly as possible to its original position.

If the jack is in the ditch and is later displaced by another non-toucher bowl, it is restored to its original position in the ditch. The jack in the ditch is not restored if it is displaced by:

a) a toucher on the green later driven by another bowl into the ditch where it hits the jack

b) a toucher in the ditch driven by another toucher into displacing the jack

A bowl which runs off the green or is driven into the ditch by the effects of play shall be counted dead and shall be removed from the bank.

Any bowl which runs against or strikes the bank or edge of the green and rebounds on to the green within the boundaries of the rink shall be declared dead and shall be removed and placed on the bank.

Touchers which rebound from the bank to the rink remain live bowls and continue to play. Non-touchers which rebound from the bank, from the jack or touchers lying in the ditch are dead bowls.

No ball shall count which lies more than 2 metres from the jack.

ALL bowls of one team nearer to the jack than any of the three opponents count one shot each with a maximum score per end of nine.

A bowl which runs off the green or is driven into the ditch by the effects of play shall be counted dead and shall be removed to the bank.

A bowl which in its original course on the green makes contact with the jack is called a toucher. It remains a “live” bowl even if it passes into the ditch, provided it comes to rest in that part of the ditch within the rink’s boundaries. If the jack is driven into the ditch by a toucher and comes to rest there, no subsequent bowl in the end being played can be a toucher. A toucher shall be clearly marked or indicated with a chalk mark by a member of the player’s side. If a toucher is not marked before the next bowl is delivered, it becomes a non-toucher.

Players may alter the order in which they play, but only after the completion of an end, other than a dead end and before the commencement of the next end.

Don’t change the playing order during a game as this can lead to forfeiting the match to your opponents.