Practising before a match on the same day

There has been a lot of discussion in the club on this issue so I wish to clarify it now.  Wanda is our most experienced umpire and I am quoting from her email below:  Cynthia

World Bowls – Laws of The Sport of Bowls.

In the Laws, there is only 1 instance sited where players are entitled to practise on the same day on the same green.

4.1      If a player or team that has not yet played is due to meet a player or a team that has already played on the same day, the player or team that has not   yet played can practice as long as:

4.1.1  the controlling Body gives approval

 I could go on and type out the rest of rule 4 but

The North London Bowling Club  is the controlling body in this instance and does not give approval for practice in our own rules.

This rule needs to be pointed out to the persons debating the matter.

As a region Umpire, I had to study these rules long and hard for my exams.  It was a challenging yet rewarding experience and I would recommend the course to any interested club members.


Please note that it also means that if you go to another club you should not ask to practice on their green on the same day when you have a match there unless you know that your opponent(s) have already played another match on the same day.

Occasionally it is not possible to avoid having more than one match on the same day, in which case a disadvantaged player can request a short practice if that is possible without delaying the game.

There is one club in Middlesex, Century, which has an artificial outdoor green which plays completely differently from a normal turf green.  They are expected to offer opponents a short practice before a match to help compensate for this.  If their players come to our green we would be expected to offer them the same courtesy. This is the advice from Bowls England as regards artificial outdoor greens.

Rules to follow for Markers

Every singles match in a competition needs a marker. As a marker you can make or break a game. Good markers always comply with the following rules of conduct:

  • They know the names of the competitors, know which of them is the challenger and can identify their bowls
  • Remind the players that they will mark touchers immediately after the bowl has come to rest
  • Remind the players that they need the players’ agreement before removing a dead bowl
  • Have measure, chalk and pen handy
  • Keep their attention entirely on the game they are marking
  • Stand still unless required to mark a toucher or to answer a question
  • Ensure the mat is centred, particularly if it has been brought up the green
  • Satisfy themselves that the jack is of legal length
  • Wait until the players have agreed the shot(s) before marking the score card or leaving the head
  • Keep the players informed of the score
  • Alter the score board at every end
  • In a two-wood singles, they ensure that the score board shows the ends as well as the score
  • Walk quickly up the side of the rink so as not to delay the players starting the next end
  • If it is a very tight measure and the players cannot agree on the shot, good markers suggest that the umpire be called – the more often the shot is measured the more likely it is that something will be moved
  • Know what to do when there is an extra end in a two-wood singles
  • Ensure that the players sign the card
  • Try not to stand in front of the same spectators every time – but they know they will always be in someone’s way
  • They are alert, decisive and unobtrusive
  • Never stand on the bank having a cigarette or chatting.
  • Never watch the game on the next rink. Never offer the players advice or declare the shot.