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Team Roles, Standards & Conduct

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Duty: The lead of the team to play first in an end should;

  • Place the mat as described in the Laws of the Sport of Bowls Crystal Mark Third Edition, as per the game plan or as directed by the skip,
  • Deliver the jack and make sure that it is centred before delivering the first bowl of the end,
  • Help to return lawn bowls to a safe position behind the mat at the conclusion of each end.

Objective: Leads are required to draw their bowls as close to the jack as possible. The operative words here are “as close to the jack as possible”.

Gamesmanship: This is the art or practice of achieving the lead’s objective without engaging in a competitive game with the opposing lead. In other words ignore what the opposing lead is doing and achieve your objective.

Control: Most experienced skips will acknowledge the importance of good leads, however good leads must not act independently but remember it is imperative that they understand the tactical reasons they are under the control of the skip throughout the game.

Mat & Jack Tactics: Tactics begin in trial ends; from the toss of the coin, the first placement position of the mat and playing length of the jack. It is therefore vital the lead watches the skip for instructions for the placement and delivery length. It is not the prerogative of the lead to move the mat around at will or vary the length of ends.

Trial ends: During trial ends lawn bowls are played on the forehand and backhand to determine the best side to play. After consultation with the skip, the best side (usually the narrow hand) is chosen and played. This hand is not changed unless instructed by the skip.

Wisdom: Wisdom suggests that the lead should always bowls on the same side of the rink as this obviates the necessity of having to cope with the varying width and pace of the green.

Forehand and Backhand: Do not play “around the clock”, meaning backhand or forehand both ways, the variation does not allow the greatest consistency and the team will be disadvantaged and head-building will be adversely effected.

Self Control: The requirement of leads is to deliver their bowls as close to the jack as possible. Unless specifically instructed by their skip; they should strictly avoid niggling at close opposition bowls, keep their mind clear and focused on their objective. Remember in a team effort, a good close second bowl is just as important as the shot bowl.

Disposition of the Head: The disposition of the leads bowls at the head play an important part in the building of the head. This involves both teams to consider the employment of the tactical skills of defence, attack and recovery.

The Lead, 2nd or 3rd should never give instructions to a player on the mat. This is the job of the Skip. When the Skip is on the mat the 3rd may offer advice, but the Skip makes the decision. Players who do this will make the team look out-of-control, and it will look like the Skip is being undermined, and is not good for team moral. 

 General Duties: The second must be a versatile player for defence, attack or recovery with the ability to;

  • Draw on either hand to the jack or to a position designated by the skip,
  • Be able to play on-shots to trail the jack to designated lengths,
  • Rest on or wrest out bowls from the head.
  • When the lead has failed, re-establish the leads obligation at the head,  
  • Assist in moving the bowls back behind the mat at the conclusion of each end,

Disposition of the Head: The disposition of the seconds bowls within the head play an important part in the building of the head which involve both teams to consider the employment of the tactical skills of defence, attack and recovery.

The Lead, 2nd or 3rd should never give instructions to a player on the mat. This is the job of the Skip. When the Skip is on the mat the 3rd may offer advice, but the Skip makes the decision. Players who do this will make the team look out-of-control, and it will look like the Skip is being undermined, and is not good for team moral. 

Harmony: It is essential the third works in complete harmony with the skip and members of the lawn bowls team. The third’s official duties are described in the Laws of the Sport of Bowls Crystal Mark Third Edition.

  • Be in charge of the head when skips are bowling or in absent of the skip.
  • To measure for shot and decide with the opponent the number of shots and signal the result to skip and the second,
  • Help to return bowls to a safe position behind the mat at the conclusion of each end,
  • Must know and be able to identify the teams and opponents bowls,
  • Answer the skips queries correctly and concisely.

Experience & Ability: Apart from being experienced in all shots from the draw to the drive, they must also be able to quickly indicate the position of the head or bowls when asked for this information.  

Control & Advice: The thirds should not attempt to control the skips play, but only when asked for by the skip for their thoughts.

Other Attributes:

  • Be able to determine the shot quickly when asked,
  • Able to indicate the up or down position after the skips bowls comes to rest,
  • Should always know who holds second and third shots,
  • Must always be aware of the position of bowls in the head when its his turn to play but under no circumstances pre-empt the skips instructions,
  • Must observe all shot measurements and where in doubt recheck the measurement,
  • It is vital that the third has a through knowledge of the laws of the game, conditions of play and the etiquette of the game.

Etiquette The third should discourage any interruption by the lead or second when directing or measuring at the head.

The Lead, 2nd or 3rd should never give instructions to a player on the mat. This is the job of the Skip. When the Skip is on the mat the 3rd may offer advice, but the Skip makes the decision. Players who do this will make the team look out-of-control, and it will look like the Skip is being undermined, and is not good for team moral. 

Responsibility The skip carries the responsibilities and duties and therefore must be supported by the team. The skip’s official duties are described in the Laws of the Sport of Bowls Crystal Mark Third Edition.

To be in charge of the team, delegate duties and notify opponent when necessary,

  • As applicable instruct the team members which shot to play,
  • Make decisions with the opponent to comply with the laws the game and conditions of play,
  • Ensure that the score card is returned to the appropriate authority/captain.

Duties To build a scoring head using the tactical fundamentals of defence, attack and recovery through the employment of the team member’s individual delivery skills to play any of the required shots of the game.

Ingenuity & Discipline The skip is in charge of the team and must process the quality of being ingenious, be skilful of contrivance or design when building the head. Unfortunately this is an area that can lead to strong criticism by the team when the skipper is not working towards what they have been trained for or when the game plan is being ignored.

Strengths & Weaknesses It is imperative when building the head for the skip to know his players strengths and weaknesses and the bias dimensions of their bowls. Many skips are prone to call for a shot or shots based on their own ability and the track of their bowls.

The Accruing Score In league and cup matches the skip should be aware that the team has a responsibility to the overall side/team and therefore should not adopt an over zealous attitude to the situation that will endanger the sides result.

Facial Expressions The skip should endeavour not to display disappointment if a player performs a bad shot, but should always commend a player who plays a good shot. Try not to look worried in trying situations.

Qualities Expected Be in control of the team and process the following;

Communication Have good communication with the team by;

  • Ensuring the team understands the game plan,
  • Ascertaining appropriate hand signals with the team,
  • Being positive with instructions,
  • Keeping directions short, simple and indicate correctly.

Tactics Being ingenious contrive and instigate tactical know how by;

  • Constructing a game plan (if possible before the game),
  • Knowing and being able to read the head,
  • Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of the team,
  • Ensuring you have control over mat placement and jack length,
  • Knowing and employing the tactics of the game,
  • Knowing when to play the opposition hand or shot,
  • Observing and where possible counter the tactical moves of the opposition.

Skills Improving your own ability to enable you when required to play;

  • Any of the shots of the game e.g. draw shot, on-shots, running and drive shots.

Avoid Detract yourself from being the main distraction to your team;

  • By yelling and bellowing like a bull at a gate,
  • Moving around at the head when a player is on the mat,
  • Casting shade over the head.

Rules Understand and observe;

  • The Etiquette of the game,
  • The Laws of the Game,
  • The Conditions of Play.

Lawn Bowling Etiquette i.e. Good Manners

 

Many older players will say that twenty or thirty years ago much more attention was paid to bowling green etiquette but lawn bowls remains one of the few sports where common courtesy and etiquette is still prevalent. We should be proud of this and in order to make the game as enjoyable as possible bowling green etiquette should be promoted to members old and new. Much of this is common sense but here are some of the main rules of etiquette.

Dress appropriately and ensure that you know the dress code for each game or match in which you are participating. Do not show disrespect for your opponent(s) by arriving late, ensure that you leave sufficient time to change before the game. If you are representing the club on another green you should remember that you are an ambassador for Millwood Bowling Club club.

Enter and leave the bowling green by the steps provided. Do not walk across rinks that other people are using and do not stand or sit on the banks while waiting to play. Note that it is not the banks that are the main problem. People sitting on the banks tend to  place their feet on the edge of the green causing serious damage.

Introduce yourself and shake hands with your opponent(s) both before play commences and after the game is complete.

During the game do not move around the head when your opponent is about to deliver his bowl. Stand well back from the head, keep quiet and do not do anything that would distract your opponent. Wait until the bowl has been delivered before moving.

If you are at the same end as the player delivering a bowl you must stand behind the mat thus staying out of the player’s line of vision, more than 1 metre away. “Players of each team not in the act of playing or controlling play shall stand behind the Jack and away from the head or 1m behind the mat.”

Bear in mind that some people like to see the rink boundary markers and the centre pin while playing so make sure that you are not obscuring them. On sunny days you must also ensure that your shadow does not fall on the jack.

Spectators who are in the player’s line of vision should also keep still while bowls are being delivered and they should not distract payers on the green. For example if you need to arrange a tie with another member don’t try to do this while he is playing someone else!

Don’t drop your bowls onto the green and ensure that your delivery is not causing scuff marks or otherwise damaging the green.

Observe the rules for possession of the rink!

Possession of the rink shall belong to the team whose bowl is being played. The players in Possession of the rink for the time being shall not be interfered with, annoyed, or have their attention distracted in any way by their opponents.

As soon as each bowl shall have come to rest, possession of the rink shall be transferred to the other team, time being allowed for marking a ‘toucher’. “

How many times have you been on the mat, ready to play your bowl, when you have had to wait for your opponent to complete his stroll up the green or back to the mat? If your opponent is guilty of this you should ask him to stop. Remember that it is he who is in the wrong.

BOWLING ETIQUETTE HINTS TO BEGINNERS

  1. Players should use the steps provided when going on or off the Green.
  2. Bowls should not be dropped on the Green.
  3. Do not stand on the verges.
  4. Matches, cigarette ends, etc., should be placed in the litter-baskets and not in the Ditches.
  5. Bowls should not be kicked in until the shot has been decided.
  6. After delivering a Bowl, a player should either retire behind the Mat or advance to the head. He should not take up a position in bet
  7. Don’t delay the game.
  8. Don’t wander around or move about the head when a player is about to deliver a Bowl.
  9. In a Fours Game, the ‘Skip’ keeps the score; and in a Pairs Game the ‘Skip’ keeps the score card.
  10. Bowling is a friendly game and all players should show courtesy and good sportsmanship.
  11. All Bowlers should know the Rules as laid down by the World Bowls Board.
  12. Mobile Phones should not be used on or around the green.
  13.  Nobody should undermine the Skip by making calls to a player who is about to take their shot. The Skip controls the play. Players can offer ‘thoughts’ to the Skip, but the skip makes the ‘call’.

After the Game you should once again shake hands with your opponent(s) and congratulate/commiserate with them appropriately.

It is also customary to offer to buy them a drink if you have won the game, or are the home team. Where a marker has been involved in a singles game you should also offer him a drink.

Knowledge of the above will make you a more respected bowler, keep things friendly and contribute towards the enjoyment of the game for everyone involved, both on and off the green.

 Etiquette for Markers of Bowling matches

During the season, when we are heavily involved in singles ties, markers are required. Consider making yourself available as a marker whenever you can. It is not good etiquette to watch games from the sidelines or from the clubhouse while there are people playing without markers. If you have the time get out there and mark.

A marker is serving two people. If we all marked one tie for every two we played there would not be a problem.

If you are marking a tie the following rules should be observed.

When a player has delivered the jack the marker should centre it then stand back and to one side, ensuring that all rink markers are visible to the players.

He or she should answer any specific question (from the player in possession of the rink) about the state of the head. He or she should not offer any additional information that has not been requested. When asked, he or she should tell or show the player in possession of the rink which bowl or bowls the marker considers to be shot.

If you are unsure of the situation, for example you cannot decide who is lying, don’t guess. You can offer an opinion but make sure that the player who is asking the question is made aware of this.

The marker should mark all touchers immediately they come to rest and remove chalk marks from non touchers. He/She should also remove all dead bowls from the rink with the players’ agreement. He should also mark the position of touchers and or the Jack which are in the ditch.

The marker should not move any bowls until the end is complete and the players have agreed the number of shots.

He/She shall measure disputed shots when required but once again he should not move the bowls until the players agree. If an Umpire is available then he may be called upon for a decision. Where no Umpire is available the marker may select one. Both players may also agree that the marker should make the decision. This is acceptable at local level.

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