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Player Roles & Positions

Within the various games of bowls each player has a different role. For example, in a fours game the players will be known as lead, second, third and skip. These roles can also be applied to pairs and triples.

Here's a summary of the roles and their responsibilities:


The Lead

The lead will place the mat and deliver the jack to the length of their choice. This player should be adept at jack delivery and the ability to draw close to the jack. 


The Second

This player will hold the scorecard throughout the game and must record player names, record all shots for and against their side, and compare and confer with their opposing number. They will hand their scorecard to the skip after the game. As a bowler they must be skilled to protect a lead from the Lead or draw to overturn a negative position.


The Third

This player may be required to measure any disputed shots once all bowls have been delivered. As a bowler they should be very flexible and able to play a variety of shots to impact the outcome in their team's favour. This player will also give direction and communicate to the Skip when they are bowling.


The Skip

The skip is in charge of their team and rink. They will position themselves at the head while their team mates play their shots. They will centre the jack after it has been delivered by their Lead. They will give instructions to their players such as which side to bowl, and whether is should be a drawing or controlled weight shot. They will decide on tactics and strategy while in the game.


The Marker

When playing a singles game a marker may be enrolled to keep score, measure and communicate to the players. They will centre the jack once it has been delivered. They will only communicate when asked by a player, only answer the question asked, and remain impartial. 


Where to Stand

All players should stand behind the active bowler during play, and avoid any distractions (noise, shadows etc). At the head-end, all players should remain behind the jack and remain still while a bowler is active. The skip and third man can move forward to assess the head and communicate to team mates.

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