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Victory Hall, Church Road, Farley Hill, Reading, RG7 1TR


To be able to play well in this position requires you be capable of following very specific bowls delivery instructions given by your skip;  and generally bowling accurately and tactically on both line and length with either the forehand or backhand, as is necessary to help to build a good head .

This position also puts you in charge of the head when your Skip is at the other end.

You must inform the Skip of the situation as it develops; and, when necessary, advise the
Skip as to the shot to be played. You will need a chalk and a measure.

You must agree the score with your opposite number, be responsible for marking your side's touchers, and above all keeping your Skip informed.

Advising the Skip

This is most important when the bowls have been disturbed after the Skip has left the head. It can be assumed the Skip has studied the head before leaving it and does NOT need to be told anything (unless you are asked!) before the skip bowls the first bowl. (Sometimes things look quite different to the skip from the other end!)

Tell the Skip whether the score has changed after each of the skip's bowls, and any relevant information which should influence the choice of his next shot. You cannot convey everything so confine yourself to what the skip needs to know. It can be helpful if you do this by hand signals as well as by verbal information. N. B. The Skip may or may not follow your advice.

Sometimes the skip may not feel confident in making the shot you suggest.
However, if you think the skip is contemplating a risky shot, be emphatic.

Agreeing the Score

This is done with your opposite number ONLY, and other team members should NOT offer their opinions - unless there has been an obvious mistake such as a bowl being wrongly identified.  

Do not allow anyone to kick away or move any of the bowls closest to the jack until you are both satisfied with the score.  It is also good practice to place winning bowls on a towel to avoid any possible confusion with other nearby bowls.

Beware of your opposite number (or anyone else!) indicating the score to his Skip before agreeing it with you - he may be hoping you will not ask for a measure!

If in doubt, always measure rather than waste time looking from every angle.

The one who thinks they are holding shot will ask for the number of shots they think they hold, and it is usual for the other to measure if they don’t agree. If either of you has a disability it is good practice to offer to do all the measuring.

Clearly indicate the agreed score to your skip (who keeps the score card) by pointing the number of fingers up or down as shots won or lost, or by slapping your arm that number of times, as well as calling out – e.g. ”1 up” or “2 down”.

Compiled by Bill Dowling, Club Secretary, April 2014