Calne Bowls Club



At Calne we have a coaching team who are able to offer advice to any club member along with coaching sessions which are free.

If you are interested in booking a coaching session just click on the following link for  dates and times.

Fixtures/Results – Mixed&Other

Please contact Roy Jennings if you are interested in a session.

These are some notes that new bowlers (and some existing ones) may find useful.


….….. try to complicate. If you are aware of the basic layout of the green and where you can place a mat and the jack then life becomes that much easier.

Our green is square and divided into 6 rinks and is surrounded on all 4 sides by a ditch. As you stand on a rink there are 4 white markers on each side of the green. From the mat end, the first mark is 2 metres from the rear ditch, the one behind you.  This is to show you the nearest point that the front edge of the mat can be placed to the rear ditch. The laws state that the front edge of the mat has to be a minimum distance of 2 metres from the ditch.

The next white marker is 25 metres from the far ditch. This shows you the furthest place that the front edge of the mat can be placed. The reason for this is that if you deliver a jack that comes to rest less than 2 metres from the farthest ditch then the jack is placed with its nearest edge to the players 2 metres from the ditch. As the minimum legal distance for a jack is 23 metres then 2 plus 23 gives 25 metres.

The next white mark is at a point that is 25 metres from the rear ditch. It is used as a guide when delivering the jack. Wherever the mat has been legally placed if the jack does not reach this mark then it is obvious that it has not travelled the required 23 metres. If, in a game, there is uncertainty as to the distance from the front edge of the mat to the jack then it should be checked by measuring. For this purpose a long tape measure is kept in the men’s changing rooms.

The farthest white marker has been mentioned above. It is 2 metres from the farthest ditch and is a guide as to where the jack is placed if it comes to rest less than 2 metres from the farthest ditch. There are poles that are 2metres long available for each rink and these should be used. Laying the pole on the rink with one edge level with the edge of the rink and the other end along the centre line of the rink the jack is placed to the side of this pole with its front edge (the edge nearest the mat) level with the end of the pole.

Remember that if a jack after being centred is not the required 23 metres from the front edge of the mat, or goes outside the side boundaries of the rink or goes in the ditch then it is returned for the other team to deliver. They have the option of moving the mat before they deliver the jack. If the jack after the second delivery is still illegal then it is placed 2 metres from the far ditch. The first player to play can reposition the mat. The correct order of play is not affected by which team delivers the jack.

Remember that when delivering the jack or a bowl part of one foot has to be on or above the mat.



With the season approaching now might be a good time to check through your bowls bag and your wardrobe to make sure that you are ready to get back to playing bowls on grass.

Check your clothing. Does it still fit? Do you have the right clothing? Grey or white trouser/skirt/shorts, if shorts make sure that they are approved ones, club shirt and perhaps a white polo shirt and a white jumper. Are your waterproofs still serviceable? Despite what the weather person may say we do often seem to play in the wet. Do you have a white fleece or warm jacket? Are your shoes still serviceable? Do you have a hat? Do your bowls need a polish or do they need new stickers?

Do you have enough chalk? Is your measure still working and do you have wedges? It does not matter in what position you usually play as you may be called upon to change and play in a position where you need to measure or chalk a bowl so always have these with you. Does your pen still work?

Have you got a cloth and/or a chamois for getting water or grass cuttings off of your bowls?

If you use a bowl lifter is it still serviceable?

Lastly do you know where your sun screen is as one week it may be needed.


Some things to consider when you go to play either in a match or for practice.

Make sure that you know the start time and arrive early. If it is for a match at Calne then you will be able to help get the rinks ready with the correct equipment. Don’t leave it to others to do all the preparations. If a match is involving food or tea & biscuits help getting this set up.

If it is an away match make sure you know who the drivers are and if it is you make sure you know where you are going and that you have enough fuel and importantly make sure that you know the time of meeting.

Know the dress code for the match. Greys or whites below the waist and club or white shirt above the waist.

Make sure that you have the match fee with you as well as money for any raffle and also for buying your opposite number a drink after the game as well as a contribution to the driver for fuel.

Find out beforehand what position you are playing in so that you can kit yourself out correctly and what type of game it is so that you have the correct number of bowls and over how many ends the game will last. Also who is in your team and who is the skip.

Remember to ALWAYS take a spare bowl with you. If the match is a triples or Rink, someone in your team may fail to turn up for the game and you may need to use the extra bowl.


Go to the correct rink. It does not give a very good impression if someone is walking around asking where they need to go, someone might just tell you!

Place your bowls on the rink – do not drop them.

Be aware of whose mat it is and whether there are 2 trial ends or it is straight in with only one shot being scored on the first 2 ends.  Also be aware of how many ends the match is over. If it is a match in a club competition then it may be first to 21 shots or played over a set number of ends.

If you are playing as lead then place the mat legally and deliver the Jack to where your skip indicates. Be clear and precise with your directions to the skip or marker as to the direction the jack needs to be moved and by how much.

Always be ready to bowl so pay attention. Other players can get annoyed if the game is slowed down. Remember that all players at the head help to round up the bowls once the outcome of the end has been declared.

When at the head keep still whilst someone is on the mat and make sure that your shadow does not fall on the jack or bowls. It is the responsibility of the threes (two in triples) to decide the outcome of an end so if that is not you then keep out of the way. Do not disturb the head until the result of the end has been decided or you have been given permission to move bowls not involved in the outcome.

NEVER sit on the surrounds to the green with your feet in the ditch or on the green. If you need to sit down then do so on the seats provided.

Always be polite. Never applaud misfortune of the opposition or luck by way of wicks for your team. Keep your thoughts to yourself.

Be aware of other rinks. If you need to walk past another rink then make sure that no one is on the mat to bowl before you walk past on the path. Do not walk on any other rink unless it is to collect a wayward bowl and then only if you will not be interfering.

If it is your responsibility to chalk “Touchers” then do so before the next bowl comes to rest. Do not hold up a player who is on the mat and waiting to bowl. Remember that if a “Toucher” has not been marked or nominated before the next bowl comes to rest then it is no longer a “Toucher”.

If you use a bowl lifter make sure that when you are not using it you put it somewhere so that other people will not fall over it. It is best to stand it on the surround to the green.

published 8th July 2020


A person acting as a marker should be competent and have an understanding of the laws of the game. They should be suitably dressed in a club shirt and grey trousers/skirt/shorts.

The marker will need a pen, chalk, measure and a set of wedges. In addition have water, hat, a cloth, waterproof clothing and sunscreen.

The Laws that the marker primarily needs to know include;-
What is a legal mat
What is a legal Jack and what to do if a jack is delivered to an illegal position
What is a legal bowl

Before the start of the game introduce yourself to both players. Examine both sets of bowls and identify which player is playing with which set. If both sets of bowls are identical or not easily identifiable then the marker will need to find a way of differentiating the bowls. This could be by removing any club stickers from one set or by adding a sticker to one set. Know who has won the toss and what they have elected to do.

Know the rules of the competition. For example, is it 21 ends or 21 shots or is it a different format.
Are there trial ends and if so how many bowls will be used.

For the trial ends let each player know how far short of or beyond the jack their bowl is and then remove it before the next bowl is delivered. After the trial ends wish each player good luck.

During the match keep well away from the head and make sure that you do not cast a shadow over the head. Frequently change the place where you are standing. Remove any illegal bowls before the next bowl is delivered.

Chalk any touchers before the next bowl comes to rest. Do not chalk a bowl if the next player is standing on the mat. Wait for them to deliver their bowl and then chalk the toucher.

If the Jack or any toucher goes into the ditch then use the markers (coloured wooden blocks) to indicate their position. Remember it is a white marker for the jack.

Either player can ask the Marker questions whilst they are in possession of the mat. These can be questions concerning what the present score of the end is or distances that bowls are away from the jack etc. You are not allowed to answer any question concerning the making of a shot, for example if a player asks if there is room to get through a gap then you cannot answer that, or to answer a question from the player who is not in possession of the mat.

At the conclusion of each end you wait until the players have agreed the score and advised you of their agreed decision. If you are asked what you think then you reply honestly as to the score that you see. It is up to the players to request that the outcome of an end is decided by measuring. It is not your decision. When you measure any bowl ask both players to confirm that your measure is accurate and that they are both happy before moving on to measure another bowl. Never move any bowls without both player’s permission. Once the score is decided then it is the player’s responsibility to gather up the bowls. It is also their responsibility to remove the mat after the last bowl has been delivered.

The marker is responsible for keeping the scorecard up to date and any scoreboards that may be in use.

At the end of the game, congratulate the winner and commiserate with the loser. Give the completed scorecard to the challenger for them to deal with after making sure that both players have signed it to signify that it is correct.

updated 31st May 2021