Devizes Bowls Club

Laws of the Sport of Bowls

Every playing member should be aware of the laws of our sport , you can find these at the link below :

Laws of the Sport of Bowls


Previous Laws we have looked at 

OK all of those that answered the quiz thought it was a simple question, the answer to which everyone knows but in fact there were a couple of things which were not spotted and no one appears to have looked up the Laws and made a precise answer.


The mat must be placed 2 mtrs from the rear ditch but is it measured from

  1. the front edge of the mat
  2. the centre of the mat
  3. the rear edge of the mat

The jack is delivered short relative to the mat do you check by measuring from

  1. the front edge of the mat
  2. the centre of the mat
  3. the rear edge of the mat

So this is it :

The first question is entirely wrong therefore none of the answers are strictly correct

So first you have to define the Mat Line C.20 Mat line: the edge of the mat nearest to the front ditch. All measurements
involving the mat and a jack or a bowl will be taken from the centre of the mat line.

“the player to play first must place the centre line of the mat lengthwise along the centre line of the rink with the Mat Line at least 2mtrs from the rear ditch and at least 25mtrs from the front ditch”

The second question answer specifically requires the centre of the Mat Line to be used to measure the distance.



Surprising number of you didn’t know this one !


In readiness for the new season here a test question for you :

If the first player has delivered the first bowl and you notice the mat is not 2mtrs from the rear ditch do you:

    1. challenge the legality of the mat position
    2. say nothing
    3. place the mat correctly

6.1.4 After the first player to play has delivered the first bowl, no-one has the
right to challenge the legality of the original distance of the mat line
from the rear and front ditches.


40 Players’ duties
40.1 The skip
40.1.1 The skip will have sole charge of the team and all players in the team must follow
the skip’s instructions.
40.1.2 The skip must decide all disputed points with the opposing skip, making sure that
any decision reached is in line with the Laws of the Sport of Bowls.
40.1.3 If the skips need to check any part of the Laws of the Sport of Bowls before
reaching a decision, they must ask the umpire for an explanation.
40.1.4 If the umpire considers that a decision reached by the skips is not in line with the
Laws of the Sport of Bowls, the umpire must overrule that decision so that it is in
line with the laws.
40.1.5 If the skips cannot reach agreement on any disputed point, they must ask the
umpire to make a decision. The umpire’s decision is final.
40.1.6 If the Controlling Body has not appointed an umpire, the skips must choose a
competent neutral person to act as the umpire.

40.1.7 The skip must: be responsible for the score card supplied by the Controlling Body while
play is in progress; make sure that the names of all players of both teams are correctly
entered on the score card; record, on the score card, all shots scored for and against both teams as
each end is completed; compare and agree the score card with that of the opposing skip as each
end is completed; and at the end of the game, record on the score card the time that the game
finished and then sign their own and the opposing skip’s score cards.

40.1.8 For domestic play, Member National Authorities can decide the procedures for
using a scoreboard instead of one of the score cards.
40.1.9 For domestic play, Member National Authorities can transfer the skip’s duties
described in law 40.1.7 to other members of the team. However, they must make
sure that the duties are transferred to players whose positions, in order of play, are
the same in each team.
40.1.10 Skips can, at any time, delegate their own powers and any of their own duties
(except those described in law 40.1.7) to any other members of the team as long
as they tell the opposing skip immediately.



13 Possession of the rink
13.1 Possession of the rink will belong to the player or team whose bowl is being played.
13.2 As soon as each bowl comes to rest, possession of the rink will transfer to the opposing player or team after allowing time for marking a toucher as soon as it comes to rest.
13.3 If the umpire, either by their own observation or on appeal by one of the skips or opponents in Singles, decides that the players in possession of the rink are being interfered with, annoyed or distracted in any way by their opponents,

13.3.1 the first time this happens the umpire must: warn the offending player, while the skip is present; and tell the coach, if they are present, that the player has received a warning.
13.3.2 on each occasion after this, the umpire must have the bowl last played by the offending player or team declared dead. If that bowl has disturbed the head, the opponent must choose whether to: replace the head; leave the head as altered; or declare the end dead.