The Umpires Patch
The Umpires Patch

It might come as a surprise to some bowlers that the sport of bowls has a code of practice, as has all sports.

Ours is called the Laws of the Sport of Bowls, Crystal Mark Third Edition it is contained in a little red book, costing all of 3€, you can also find it online at the World Bowls website.

I say some might be surprised as the number of times one sees bowlers who have absolutely no idea what to do in a given situation, unless they have seen it on the Tele in which case it has to be gospel truth.

Now that the Foot faulting laws has been watered down to almost nothing, it has been noticed that the next contentious issue is Possession of the Rink Section 1.3 page 18, divided up into 4 sections

  1. Position of Players

12.1 In relation to the rink of play

12.2 In relation to a neighbouring rink

  1. Possession of the Rink.

It has been observed that where a bowler stand depending on which side they are playing causes many a raised eyebrow and caustic comment, and example.

A dedicated lead, rushes to the head then stand less than a metre immediately behind the jack, obscuring the bowls that are then behind the lead, neither of the players whose duties are to conduct the head to aid their skip can get a good view of the head without asking the lead to move, thus causing the sharp intake of breath and raised eyebrows.

The lead is breaking the law, the etiquette is bad and new bowlers follow suit.

This is not a difficult law to follow or understand; it helps the game move on smoothly as the opposing teams know and understand where they should be standing and who has the right to be in the head of bowls.

It is an interesting fact that the head of bowls is every bowl that has been bowled and is on the green, including touchers in the ditch this is “The Head”, and so yes you stand on the bank or as far away to one side as possible.

An excellent example can be observed if you watch some of the top games on You Tube, that’s Tele, isn’t it, so it must be right.


Mick the Nick