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Team (noun):

A number of people who act together as a group, either in a sport or in order to achieve something.

Cambridge Dictionary


  1. Be prepared. Ensure all personal equipment is ready and available.

  2. During trial ends, determine wide and narrow sides.

  3. Roll the jack to the length that is going to be the most advantageous to the team
    to be determined in communication with the Skip prior, and during the game
    .  jack and bowls delivery must be practised
    .  minimum = 21m​

  4. The job of the lead and second is to set up the head.

  5. Endeavour to get bowls as close as possible to the jack, ideally one bowl on the jack and the other bowl behind. Two bowls on the jack is a target! Short bowls, or even jack high bowls, should be avoided.

  6. Never change delivery side unless directed by the Skip.

  7. After completing deliveries, Law 12.1 applies.

  8. Be still whilst players are delivering their shots.

  9. Concentrate. Watch all the players' bowls. Learn the line from watching opponents, especially if they are the same brand as your bowls.

  10. Be ready to place the mat so players know where to kick the bowls. Winner of the end places the mat as directed by the Skip, then kicks bowls back.

  11. In Pennants, the Lead keeps a running total of the Aggregate score for the team (all 3 sides) from the 15th end and keeps the Skip informed.

  12. Home games, return the mats and jack to the trolley.

  13. Always observe the Laws of the Game.


  1. Be prepared. Pen/pencil plus a spare, scorecard holder if preferred.

  2. Must be very versatile and able to play every shot.

  3. Must practise and be able to
    draw around short bowls
    .  execute the running shot
    .  promote short bowls
    .  draw on the wide/narrow side if blocked.

  4. Be mentally tough and cover whatever the Lead misses.

  5. Don't take up a stance on the mat in anticipation of the shot to play. Stand just behind the mat and wait for Skip directions.

  6. Never indicate to the Skip the best shot you can see unless you are asked. Trust your Skip.

  7. After completing deliveries, Law 12.1 applies.

  8. Be still whilst players are delivering their shots.

  9. Concentrate. Watch all the players' bowls. Learn the line from watching opponents, especially if they are the same brand as your bowls.

  10. Be a good team member. Back up the Lead and Third. Applaud your team's good bowls.

  11. Be a part of the completed end. The Third needs you close by to give the result of the end.

  12. You oversee the scorecard. Keep a neat and tidy scorecard in case of disagreement. Write the result of the end then kick the bowls. Check with your opponent each completed end. The home team does the scoreboard.

  13. Ensure the scorecard is signed at the end of the game.

  14. Always observe the Laws of the Game.


  1. Be prepared. Have measure, chalk and chocks.

  2. Must be very versatile and able to play every shot.

  3. Must practise and be able to play
    .  around bowls
    .  under bowls
    .  through bowls
    .  to hidden jack or bowls

  4. Be still whilst players are delivering their shots.

  5. Be the team leader at your end. Encourage, and be positive.

  6. Must have a good relationship with the Skip. Always trust their call and judgement.

  7. Understand the Skip's game and game plan. Avoid criticism of their decisions.

  8. Can read the head when the Skip is on the mat.

  9. Do not give advice to the Skip unless asked for, or, when the Head has been changed by the opposing Skip.

  10. In control of the Head from when the opposing Skip's bowl comes to rest until your Skip's bowl comes to rest - then step aside.

  11. Stand still whilst the opposing Third controls the Head.

  12. Must be proficient at measuring.

  13. Be prompt to determine the result with your opponent. Get down quickly to measure if the shot is not obvious.

  14. Never be afraid to call the umpire.

  15. Stand back if an umpire is called. Do not interfere with the umpire as their decision is final.

  16. Clearly signal the score to the Skip.

Skip - positive thinkers and tacticians

  1. Be prepared with chalk and personal equipment.

  2. Supports and leads the team in a positive and friendly manner.

  3. Leads by example. Good etiquette on the green and motivational.

  4. Introduces the team and wishes the opposition "Good bowling".

  5. Sets up scoreboard at home games.

  6. Discusses tactics with the team prior to the commencement of the game - e.g. length of jack/mat to be delivered.

  7. Knows the team members and their capabilities and bowls trajectories.

  8. Proficient at all shots and mentally prepared for any challenge.

  9. Concentrates, keeping her/his mind in the game and avoids distractions from opposing Skip - e.g. continual friendly chatter.

  10. Is always aware of the game - score, ends played, wind changes and team.

  11. Quickly evaluates opposition strengths and weaknesses.

  12. Quickly assesses the Head and decides on the shot to be played. Communicates clearly and decisively using appropriate hand signals if necessary.

  13. Has a good understanding with the Third. It is courtesy to occasionally consult on the cross over.

  14. Acknowledges good play and remains still when players are delivering a bowl.

  15. Understands the Laws of the Game - e.g. Law 37 - Bowl Displacement.

  16. In Pennants, be aware of the aggregate score and play accordingly. Liaise with the team.

  17. Checks the scorecard at the end of the game.

It's not the team with the best players that win,

it's the players with the best team that wins.



Role of the Lead


Role of the Skip


Team Play in Lawn Bowls


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Good teams are built around good leaders and their role can be the strength of the team. Skips should be honest and analyse their leadership performance.

What is my game plan?

Have I explained the game plan with the members of my rink?

Do the members of my rink understand and agree?

Does the game plan change from home to away games?

Has the game plan achieved the desired results? If yes, how? If not, why?

Do I communicate well?

Are my instructions clear?

Do my rink members understand what bowl result I am requesting?

Am I concise or do I create indecision by giving too many options?

In my communication am I inclusive or closed?

Is my body language and tone of voice acceptable?

Do I acknowledge, encourage and support my rink members?

What are my expectations of each rink member's position?

Have I communicated my expectations to each rink member individually?

Have I communicated my expectations to selectors?

Do I evaluate?

My own game performance and that of each rink member?

Do I question the tactics used, and the results?

Am I honest with my evaluations?

Do I provide the necessary feedback to selectors which may assist them in their efforts to evaluate and  
develop a stronger selection processs?

Am I a captain?

Am I seen as a strong player?

Do I contribute?

Can I build better relationships with team members?

Do I lead by example?

Do I do the team things, not only for my rink, but also for the entire division?

Do I encourage rink practice?

Do I encourage team members to get coaching to address specific inconsistencies?

Further reading

Lawn Bowls Tips for Skips


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The most successful teams play for each other. Each player needs to go out and play their selected position the best way they can for their team mates. Mutual respect, good communication, trust, acceptance and encouragement are traits that will foster team spirit.

A game plan

  • must be simple enough so that each player can realistically play their part

  • should allow for changes should particular tactics prove to be unproductive. Flexibility is a positive attribute for a game plan, but it must be done as a whole team approach.

  • can be simplified to

- mat positions (know your players and their strengths​)

- jack lengths

- shot tendencies

- building position.



Pennants is usually played over 21 ends and it is best to break down each game into sections.


Ends 1 - 5  

Settle in, get pace and draw lines. Observe the opposition and see what they want to play,
e.g. long ends; skips and thirds drive a lot; mat placement; which hand are they playing.


Ends 6 - 10

Play within yourselves and take a few risks with appropriate shots.


Ends 11-15

If behind - concentrate hard on every bowl to peg the opposition back.

If in front - continue to play the way that got you there. Don't go too defensive.


Ends 16-21

If in front - set a target to pick up another 5 to 6 shots.

The only time to take risks in this section is to
try to gain an aggregate win for the club.

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  • commit to becoming the best bowler you can be

  • commit to helping your team mates and club achieve success

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  • have confidence in your own ability

  • have the confidence to play the shot your Skip asks for - trust he/she has a better view of the head and understands your strengths


  • give every bowl absolute concentration

  • don't dwell on the previous bowl . . . . this is the important one!

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  • have control over what you do; especially on the mat . . . once the bowl leaves the hand it's too late to change anything


  • getting the 4 "C's" right will give you the consistency to achieve success

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Lawn bowls is a game that is described as 'taking a second to learn, but a lifetime to master'.

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Warwick Bowling Club By-Laws

5. Playing Members

     5.1.2   Players

     All players must aim to:

  • ​Be prepared to work on assessed bowling weaknesses and to undertake set practice as determined by Club Coaches and/or selectors.

  • Practice at least once a week.       

To practice is to work repeatedly at something so as to become proficient. Every training session should have a goal of improving either your technical, physical or mental game.

Close enough is not good enough, and how you train is how you play. A drill done 90% correct is 100% wrong. In order to be at our best when we play, we must practice, practice, practice.

Gary Player, a successful South African professional golfer is famously quoted as saying
"The more I work and practice, the luckier I seem to get."

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Everything is practice.  Pele

If you don't practise, you don't deserve to win.  Andre Agassi

Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice make perfect.  Vince Lombardi

Don't practise until you get it right, practise until you never get it wrong.  John Flanagan

Practise like you've never won. Play like you've never lost.  Michael Jordan

There are many informative articles and videos on the internet regarding Lawn Bowls practice.

Perhaps start with


Every bowler is capable of delivering a world class bowl
- the best simply do it more often.

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The difference between achieving success, or not, can be that of mental strength. Many athletes are equal in physical abilities, it's the mental strength that sets them apart.


Everything starts in your head. When physical meets mental, you will feel unbeatable.

Napoleon Hill, an American self-help author, is attributed to the well-used quote in sport,
"What the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve".

Suggested reading

Pre-shot Routine by DR. DJ (Zung Dao)

Psychology in Lawn Bowls by Rob Judson


Reprogram Your Mind to Become a Champion Nev Rodda

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Adapted from 'The Holy Grail in Sport - Selecting Athletes for the Best Team'.

  1. Can the athlete perform from a physical and technical perspective in the selected position?

  2. Is the athlete willing and able to contribute to the team, beyond their physical and technical role? For example, encourage others, offer constructive advice and support.

  3. Is the athlete willing and able to perform their role for the entire season?
    That is, stay focussed on what is required and make adjustments if necessary.

  4. How does the team come together - what does the 'team dynamics' look like?​​

Great teamwork chemistry happens when those on the team have a philosophy of being the best person for the team rather than the best
person on the team.

Further reading

The Holy Grail in Sport - Selecting Athletes for the Best Team

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