When does a Delivery Start?

When should a skip tell a bowler what shot to attempt? Logically, that’s when the bowler is ready to start their delivery…but when exactly is that?

A bowler that uses a static stance will position themselves on the mat and then wait for instructions.

But what about the bowler whose delivery is a fluid motion that includes four linked stages – walking onto the mat down the delivery line, pendulum backswing, pendulum forward-swing and follow-through with one or more steps off the mat and down the green?

For this bowler, according to the tutors on the Level 2 BDA Bowls Coaching course, the skip needs to give instructions BEFORE the bowler begins the delivery – which means before they step onto the mat.

Is this realistic? After all, until you step onto the mat you don’t really see the line.

But perhaps you should? Is this part of the concentration that the best bowlers achieve? Could it be a missing link that would improve delivery consistency?

I’ll tell you what – I’m certainly going to ask my skip to give it a try!


Water management wins the game

The BHP Skip had retired with breathing difficulties. One minute I was spectating a Middlesex Triples match between Broomfield and Bush Hill Park. The next I was in the game.

It was a dark and stormy night. The rain came down in torrents. And the number two said to young Jerry “You’re on, leading and the jack has already been cast.”

All three opposition players were County standard or higher. When they saw me come on they must have licked their lips and smelled victory.

That’s now how it turned out. Why? Because despite their experience, they couldn’t handle the water… and I could.

Between ends, I scooped out a dollop of Aero Monkey Grip into my left palm and gently rubbed my hands together. By the time I picked up my bowl for the next delivery my grip was solid and reliable.

They got back to 13-13 on the 16th end, then we got a five. Their consolation shot on the last end was game over. My warm glow lasted for several days …. and I’m bowling better than ever since that night!


Jack high or Waist high?

The first new bowls gadget for 100 years?

A strange and wonderful new sentence has appeared in the yet-to-be-published Fourth Edition of the ‘The Laws of World Bowls’, law 23.3.

In case you haven’t got the Third Edition about your person as you read this (and if not, why not?), law 23.3 bans measuring in the head before the last bowl of an end has come to rest

But the Fourth Edition will clarify that using ‘devices comprising concentric circles within a transparent frame which are held approximately waist high’ during an end will not be deemed to be in breach of Law 23.3

This update is surely most odd. So what could have persuaded World Bowls to introduce this most closely described of exceptions the laws?

Well, it’s not What, but Who? Australian bowler Dave Goode has invented a device which exactly matches the Fourth Edition description. Called the Bowls Eye, it is a piece of clear perspex engraved with concentric circles, and when held above the jack at approximately waist height allows someone at the head to more easily distinguish which bowls are closer to the jack. It looks like this:

, Off-sales?

and here’s a video of it being used.

I can think of one particular circumstance in which this could be very useful. At a recent singles match a bowler with one bowl left to bowl asked the marker ‘What’s the situation?’

The marker, of course, is not allowed to measure. He had several choices, including, but not exhaustively – “It’s a measure” or “You’re holding”, or “You’re one down.”

“You’re holding”, he shouted back down the green. The bowler indicated that he would not bowl has last bowl. But on arriving at the head, his opponent asked for a measure, and won the match.

If the marker had had a Bowls Eye in his pocket, perhaps the outcome would have been different. But there is another Law, 42.2.7, which the Fourth Edition does not clarify. The marker, when asked, must “tell or show the player in possession of the rink which bowl or bowls the marker considers to be shot.”

But can a marker use a Bowls Eye? That is the question!

If you want to try Bowls Eye for yourself, our first shipment from Australia arrives in the first week of October. You can pre-order here at the early-bird price of just £22, but be quick – the normal price of £29.99 will apply to orders placed after October 15th.

Enjoy indoors,



Roll up with Andy Thomson on 16th November

We’re co-hosting a roadshow at Luton Indoor Bowls Club on Monday 16th November, when champion bowler and Taylor Bowls ambassador Andy Thomson will be on hand to coach, provide tips and play with – or against you!

The full range of Taylor bowls will be on hand for you to try – and the address is
Luton Indoor Bowls Club
Co-op Sports Ground
Stockingstone Road
Luton LU2 7NF

There’s no need to book, and the day runs from 11am to 3pm. See you there!

You’re eight shots ahead, your opponent is clearly demoralised. Yet within four ends they’ve caught up, are 17-16 ahead and get a four on the next end to win.

What happened?

What happened was that you empathised so much with their feelings of demoralisation that you eased up and let your empathy for their despair offer them the human gift of comfort.

In other words, you didn’t want to see them suffer.

Well, not all of you. The bowler in you still wanted to win the match. But the human being couldn’t bear the guilt of deliberately inflicting suffering on another human being.

Now imagine this: as the owner of an online bowls store, you see a competitor going out of business and running a closing down sale. He’s offering 20% off everything in his web store until all his stock is sold.

, Off-sales?

Yet you know that even after applying the 20%, customers would get a better deal if they bought the same gear from your web shop – which isn’t closing down!  So do you go out there and press home Bush Hill Bowls’ advantage, flooding social media and your mailing lists with the facts of the matter?

Or does your humanity get the better of your business instinct, and you end up making your point in an obscure blog somewhere where no-one will read it?


A doting father was watching his daughter in a County match. She was bowling beautifully, her concentration was full-on and she was putting bowl after bowl on the jack.

One of the spectators asked the father: “She’s amazing: what size bowls does she bowl with – I thought she used bigger ones?”

“They’re a size 2 now”, said Dad “though at the start of the season, before all her competition rounds, they were a size 7!”

(This is a true eavesdropping. If you’ve got one to share from rinkside or bar, let us know: there’s a £10 shop voucher for every one we publish.)



Need a new idea to raise funds for your club?
Why not take a leaf out of Bush Hill Park’s book and add chalk sprays, measures and grip to your bar stock?
Although the bowls majors (Taylor, Aero, Henselite etc) won’t supply you directly if you don’t have a shop, they don’t mind if you buy from us and sell from behind your club bar.

We will supply you with what you need, and you’ll be able to add the profits to your club funds. Call Jerry on 07973 890368 for more details.


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  • , Off-sales?

    Henselite Grippo Tube 40gm

    The most popular bowls cream for pre-game tuning of your bowls. Best applied after washing and drying the bowls.
    We have had customers who come and say they don't want Grippo because they don't want to polish their bowls and the tube says 'Bowls polish'.
    We at the shop sympathise - after all, when you polish something it becomes all shiny and slippery. Frankly it's a marketing mistake by the good people at Henselite who are losing sales because some customers in our shop think they should only buy this product when they hang up their wets for the last time and prepare to lock their favourite Tiger Pros in a glass case for their great grandchildren to admire.
    HOWEVER - there is a twist - or rather true grit - in this polish as our lab tests have confirmed. As well as looking shiny, bowls which receive an application of Grippo, buffed and rubbed conscientiously, acquire a rubbery friction, as if a monkey from a latex tree had licked the bowl's circumference and set it to dry in the tropical sunshine. In short - it does what it says on the tube.

    Henselite Grippo Tube 40gm

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