Quiz - Laws of the sport of bowls

Questions about Lawn Bowls


While we have plenty of time on our hands and you have worked out what the Skipper is going to play we are going to ask questions relating to our bowls and hopefully you can answer them correctly.


REF: The Laws of the Sport of Bowls – Crystal Mark Third Edition, Version 3.1 

These questions will be about all aspect of the game of bowls and not pennants alone:


(9) A player takes a stance on the mat with the player’s toes protruding over the front edge of the mat. The bowl is delivered from this position without moving the rear foot back on to the mat.

Is he foot-faulting?



The lead in team A delivers the jack which passes the 2 metre mark. Before it comes to rest Skip A picks it up assuming that it will not reach the ditch and places it on the 2 metre mark. Skip B objects.

What should happen now?



A delivered bowl comes to rest on the green and in contact with the jack which is in the ditch. It is claimed that, as the bowl is a live bowl and is in contact with the jack in the ditch, it is a toucher.

Is this correct?



The skip of team A drove at the head and displaced a number of bowls. The three team members of team B, who were standing together at the head, were unable to move quickly enough and some of the bowls in motion were displaced by their feet and caused further displacement of the head.

What action should be taken?



Previous questions with answers below


Where a player must be positioned before delivery of a bowl or the jack? 

During a game, a player stood two metres behind the mat and took two steps forward onto the mat and delivered a bowl, all in one continuous action. The umpire warned the player that they were foot-faulting, as they were not standing on the mat before commencing delivery of their bowl.  

Was this the correct decision?



Law 7.1 states that “Before delivery a player must be standing on the mat with all or part of at least one foot on the mat.” Law 7.3 states that “Any player not meeting the terms of this law is committing a foot-fault, and law 8 will apply.”

Law 8 describes the procedures to be taken by an umpire who decides that a player has not met the terms of law 7. “The umpire must, on the first occasion, warn the player in the presence of the skip and advise the coach when they are present that a warning has been given.” On all subsequent occasions, the player’s delivered bowl is stopped and declared dead.


The lead of team A rolls the jack in to the ditch. The jack is returned to the lead of team B who moves the position of the mat. Lead A objects saying the mat cannot be moved.

Who is correct?



Lead B. If a player improperly delivers the jack, the opposing player must place the mat as described in law 6.1.1 and re-deliver the jack, making sure that it is centred, but the opposing player must not play first.

Laws 6.1.1 & 10.2


A bowl, which had been a toucher in the previous end, is delivered with its chalk mark still on the bowl. It does not touch the jack but the chalk mark is not removed. As a result of play, several bowls later this bowl is forced into the ditch within the confines of the rink.

What should happen?



If a player fails to remove a mark from a bowl before delivery and that bowl does not become a toucher, a member of the opposing team or the marker must remove the mark as soon as the bowl comes to rest.

Law 15.5

A bowl is dead if, not being a toucher, it comes to rest in the ditch.




A bowl finishes near the boundary line of the rink. Both Skips look at the bowl and allow play to continue.

When the players change ends the thirds agree that the bowl is out of bounds.

What is the position?



The thirds must refer the matter to the Skips. By looking at the bowl and allowing the game to continue the skips, being in charge of the teams, have indicated that they agree to the bowl being in play.

The Skips will agree whether or not a bowl is dead. No member will remove any bowl prior to the agreement of the Skips. Once their attention is drawn to the matter, the Skips must make a decision. If they cannot reach agreement they must ask the umpire to make a decision.

Laws 17.3 & 40.1.2


A player drives and the bowl, which is not a toucher, rebounds off the face of the bank, coming to rest within the rink and 19.4m from the mat line. The opponent says that it is dead, but the player claims that it is live.

What is the position?



As the bowl is not a toucher it is dead bowl and should be removed immediately.

Only touchers rebounding from the face of the bank into the ditch or on to the rink shall remain in play.

Law 17.1.2



The jack is right against the boundary. The last bowl of the end comes to rest on its own rink very close to the jack. Before the thirds start to measure the bowl falls and pushes the jack over the boundary line. One third wishes to replace the bowl and jack whilst the other calls the end dead.

Which third is correct? 



A jack is dead if it passes completely outside a side boundary of the rink of play.

Laws 19.1.2



A jack in the ditch is moved by a non-toucher played by team A entering the ditch. The team A third says:

"We have to agree on the replacement of the jack or the end is dead". The team B third disagrees saying "It is my duty to re-position the jack".

Who is correct?



The third of team B is correct. The third of the opposing team must restore the jack in the ditch displaced by a non-toucher entering the ditch to its former position.

Laws 18.4 & 38.5.3



As a result of a drive the jack flies into the air, rebounds off the rink number and finishes on the rink 20m from the mat line. What is the position?



The jack has passed above the face of the bank to strike the rink number therefore the end is dead.

Law 19.1.1



In Pennant when 3 v 4 players who carries the card?



Usually the thirds do. You must make sure that the duties are transferred to players whose positions, in order of play, are the same in each team. A player required to keep the card under these circumstances cannot refuse to do so. As per duties, whoever carries the scorecard signs the card at the end of the game.

Law 40.1.9 

 The Laws of the Sport of Bowls – Crystal Mark Third Edition, Version 3.1

The Laws of the Sport of Bowls – Crystal Mark Third Edition, Version 3.1