Types of Shots
Bias is the amount of curve that a bowl will take during its route to the jack. Bowls are available with several different biases for use in different conditions and competitions. As part of the manufacturing process all bowls are tested against a "Master Bowl", which defines the limits of this bias.
A Burned or "burnt" End is one where the Jack has been moved outside the boundaries of the rink by a bowl in play. Burned Ends are either replayed or spotted at the 2 meter mark.
Deliver is the term used for rolling a bowl. You always try to release the bowl smoothly aiming at a distinct point that you hope will bring the bowl to rest at its target.
An end of bowls comprises the placing of the mat, the delivery of the jack and the playing of all the required bowls of all of the opponents in one direction on the rink.
The head refers collectively to the Jack and the bowls that have been delivered and come to rest within the boundaries of the rink.
When a player unintentionally delivers a bowl beyond the jack or the intended target it is described as being Heavy.
The Jack is the small white ball that is the target in bowls.
If a bowl is Jack high it means that it has reached a position such that its nearest part is laterally aligned with the jack. Effectively it means that the bowl and jack are level.
A Lead is the person who plays first in pairs, triples, or fours (rinks) game. The lead is responsible for setting the mat and delivering the jack to start the end.
line or road
The Line or Road is the curved route taken to the jack.
The 1' x 2' rug placed on the green upon which each bowler stands to deliver their bowl.
The Second in a triples or rinks (fours) game is the player who plays after the lead. In the rinks game the second is responsible for marking the score card.
A bowl that does not reach the jack or the intended target is described as being short.
Shot can have several meanings. The shot or shots are the number of points scored in an end. It can also mean the type of delivery, e.g. a drawing shot. During an end, the bowl that is currently nearest the jack.
The Skip is the captain of a team in pairs, triples or rinks play. The Skip is always last to play and is responsible for directing the play during an end. The other players in a team must follow the Skip's instructions.
A Toucher is a bowl that during its course touches the jack before finishing within the boundaries of the rink. A Toucher remains live even if it finishes in the ditch. After coming to rest a Toucher is marked with chalk to distinguish it from the other bowls.
The vice is the third player to play in a rinks game. The vice is normally responsible, with his corresponding opponent, for deciding the result of an end, i.e. who is lying the shot and how many shots have been scored. The skips however have the final say in this in the event of any dispute.
Weight is the term used to refer to the power applied to a delivery.
Before the introduction of plastic composition, bowls were made from the heaviest most dense wood available, Lignum Vitae. At this time bowls were often called Woods and some people still use this as a generic term for bowls.
A block is a bowl played with less weight than the basic draw shot, so that it comes to rest in a position that impedes the path of the opponents bowl.
A draw is the most common shot and it is really what the game is all about. This shot is the one in which the player attempts to deliver the bowl with the exact weight required to finish closest to the jack or to a point on the green dictated by strategy or tactics.
A drive is when the player delivers the bowl at high speed and with maximum weight almost straight up the green. The objective is to completely remove opponent's bowls from the head or from the rink or to drive the jack into the ditch. It is also commonly used when a player has a few shots against him. In this case the object is to destroy the head or to "burn" the end by driving the jack out of the rink.
A draw shot played to a specific location, often away from the jack, in hopes that it will be advantageous either defensively or for scoring.
The Running Shot is one which uses more weight than the yard on. The object of this shot is to remove opponents bowls from the head, to move the jack to the ditch or to seek some other result that requires the bowl to be played with weight. This can be a difficult shot to play as the line (bias) required to get to the target changes with different weight.
A bowl that hits the jack and follows close behind it as the jack is moved out of the head.
The term used to describe a bowl that hits and glances, or wicks, off another bowl moving into the head from a different angle.
YARD ON, CHOP AND LIE or WRESTING SHOT
The "Yard On" shot is when the player plays his bowl with the weight that will carry it a yard or two past the target. The objective of this shot is usually to drag the jack away from the opponent's bowls towards your own or to push a bowl out of the "head" and take its place.