Umpire with Joan Brotherton

by bqmedia on September 2, 2021

I do hope you are all well and taking care during the various lockdowns that we have been experiencing.

At present, I am writing this during one of our lockdowns and thought that it would be a convenient time to set out some questions and answers to give you all the opportunity to look through your law books.

I have listed the questions first with the answers at the end of article.



In a time limited game, the lead has rolled the jack out of bounds as the bell sounds. The lead’s side is leading by one shot and the skip claims the game is completed as the bell has rung. The opposing skip objects and the umpire is called to resolve the dispute.
What is the decision?


A bowl comes to rest, then falls over and touches the jack whilst the next bowl is in course. The skip moves forward to mark it as a toucher to which the opposing skip objects.
Is this bowl a toucher?


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


Skip A is the last to play and has one bowl left. Skip A tells the opposing skip that he/she is not going to bowl the last bowl and requests that measuring of the head commence. The third suggests that they are one shot down, to which the skip replies that he/she had better play the last bowl.
Is this in order?


Play is in progress in a singles match when the green is closed due to bad weather. The match is continued the following day and one player decides, because the speed of the green has slowed, to play with a different set of bowls. Is this permitted?


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 at the 2-metre mark. Skip B objects.
What should happen now?


A player is unable to play in the third round of the club’s championship because of work commitments. A substitute is approved by the controlling body. During the game, the player arrives because his/her work has finished early. As the team is well in the lead, the player decides to retire to the bar and to allow the substitute to finish the game.
Is this permissible?

Following are the full laws covering the above questions and I hope that they are of assistance to you all.



Law 10: Improper delivery of the jack:

• 10.1: The jack has been improperly delivered if it comes to rest:
• 10.1.2: Completely outside the boundaries of the rink:
• 10.2: If a player improperly delivers the jack, the opposing player will place the mat as described in Law 6.1.1 and redeliver the jack, making sure that it is centred, but must not play first.


Law 14: Touchers:

• 14.2.1: For the bowl to be a toucher – it falls and touches the jack before the next bowl is delivered.


Law 17: Dead Bowl:

• 17.1: A bowl is a dead bowl if:
• 17.1.2: It is not a toucher and rebounded onto the rink after contact with the face of the bank or with the jack or a toucher in the ditch.


Law 25: Delivering the last bowl of an end:

It is not compulsory for the last player of any end to deliver the final bowl of the end, but the player must tell the opposing skip or opponent in singles of the decision not to deliver the final bowl before the process of deciding the shots scored starts (as described in Law 23.1). This decision is final.


Law 29.3: Changing Bowls:

• 29.3.2: If a game that has been stopped as described in Law 32 is continued on another day a player can use a different set of bowls to the set they used during the game that was stopped.


Law 38: Jack displacement:

• 38.1.1: Jack displacement by another player:

Law 38.1.1: Displacement of a jack in its original course:

• If a jack in its original course is displaced by a member of the team that delivered the jack, the opposing lead must place the mat as described in Law 6.1.1 and re-deliver the jack, making sure that it is centred but must not play first.


• D.R.2.4.6: A player for whom a substitute is obtained, will, if they become available and are physically capable, rejoin the team in the player’s original position at the start of the next end and the other players must revert to their original positions.