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Possession of the rink

Look after the bowling green, do not drop your bowls onto the green

“Possession of the rink shall belong to the team whose bowl is being played. The players in possession of the rink … shall not be interfered with, annoyed, or have their attention distracted in any way by their opponents.” When it’s your team’s turn to bowl, it’s your mat and head, your opponents should be away from both, if they are not, ask them nicely to move.

Bowlers should be watching the game as it progresses so they understand the position of the game when they step onto the mat.

Bowlers should be ready to bowl immediately after the opposition’s bowl has come to rest, not sitting on the bench or standing on the bank.

Stand well behind the mat or the head, keeping still and quiet while others are delivering their bowls.

Mat Placement: The first to play places the mat on the centre line at least 2 metres from the ditch.

Foot Faulting: Before delivery a player must have one foot fully on the mat and at delivery all or part of one foot on or above the mat.

Jack / Bowl Length: A jack must travel 21 metres to be legal while a bowl must travel 14 metres to be in play.

Jack Delivery: If the jack is improperly delivered the opposition may reposition the mat and deliver the jack but not play first. If the jack is delivered improperly by both leads the jack is placed at the 2 metre mark and the first to play may reposition the mat.

Questions, information or instructions should only be shouted while you have ‘possession of the rink’ – as soon as your bowl comes to rest, ‘possession of the rink’ is transferred to the opposing player or team.

Walk up the centre of the rink with minimum delay, if it is not your team’s turn to bowl DO NOT STOP TO CHAT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE RINK, IT’S NOT YOUR MAT OR HEAD.


Follow the direction given by the ‘skip’, whether or not you agree.

Remember that the directions for the ‘skip’ are only given by the number three in rinks, or the number two in triples. Other players should not interfere, unless asked.


Results of an end

The result of each end (including measuring where required) is determined between the threes in rinks or the number 2 in triples. Other players should not be involved.

Do not disturb the head until the result of the end has been agreed.

Touchers: Only the delivered bowl may be a toucher even if it deflects off other bowls before touching the jack