Player Development

Player Development—tips to improve your game

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Updated January 26, 2018 with a new section on choosing your bowls. Links directly to each section now appear at the top of the page.

On this page you will find useful links to help you improve your game and to assist you when acting as drawmaster, marker, coach or umpire. You can read through this complete webpage, or click/tap on one of the section titles immediately below to go directly to that section.

Choosing your bowls
Coaching
Laws of the Sport
Lawn Bowling Etiquette
Player Rating Committee
Novices Program
Drawmaster
Marking
Hand Signals

Choosing your bowls

Bowls come in a variety of sizes, colours and performance characteristics. Two videos can help you select a suitable set of four bowls. The first video, from South Africa, runs through the main points for picking the right bowl. The second video, from Australia, goes into more detail. Our club coaches can advise you at any point during the selection process.

The club has a number of sets of used bowls of various sizes. In your first year at the club, you can experiment with those bowls to find the right size for your hand. Other members may also be prepared to lend you their own bowls to help you finalize your choice.

In your second year at the club, you will be expected to provide your own bowls.

You may be lucky enough to find club members willing to sell you a set of their bowls at a bargain price. Used bowls are always available online from various sources.

A new set of bowls can cost in the region of $500 from the major manufacturers/dealers. They will be stamped with a date ten years into the future and warrantied for top-level competitive until then. Bowls of any age can be used in club competitions and social bowling. Your new bowls will probably outlive you! 

Coaching

The club currently has 17 coaches who are available to teach you the game and assist you with improving your play. You can attend scheduled coaching clinics, which are run by the coaches from time to time for groups of players, or you can contact one of the coaches to arrange for a personal coaching session.

If you are interested in qualifying to be a lawn bowls coach or umpire, see the Coaches Portrait Gallery page.

Online videos are also available to help you:

This description of the roles of a team of players and the various shots in lawn bowling will help you improve your playing tactics.

Laws of the Sport

This link takes you to the latest edition of the official Laws of the Sport, Crystal Mark Third Edition. Here is a Summary of Amendments to the Laws that have been incorporated into the Third Edition. This summary was prepared by Nick Watkins formerly of the nearby Victoria LBC.

Lawn Bowling Etiquette

Lawn bowling etiquette harks back to an earlier age of good sportsmanship and good manners. The slightly ritualized behavior adds to the charm and inclusiveness of the game, and also helps move the game along.

You can find many versions of lawn bowling etiquette on websites of other clubs. The Code of Bowling Etiquette published by Bowls USA gives a quick summary. A more detailed and useful description occurs in Lawn Bowls – How to Play the Game: Etiquette, Strategy, Rules, Guidelines, from the Doncaster Bowling Club. This document provides a comprehensive review not only of etiquette but pretty much all you need to know about the game, condensed into six pages.

Player Rating Committee

The prime responsibility of the OBLBC Player Rating Committee is to rate each playing member in one of the following levels:Skip; Third; Second; Lead.

Here are the Terms of Reference for the Committee.

Novices Program

If you are new to lawn bowling, you can improve your game with a number of training sessions organized by the club for you, and also some novices-only competitive events. See the Novices Program webpage.

Drawmaster

The drawmaster is responsible for organizing the Daily Draw. Our club is always in need of new drawmasters and we should all volunteer from time to time, since we have all benefited from our well-organized daily draws.

Here is the Drawmaster Checklist describing exactly how to organize a draw at our club. The drawmaster needs to know the rink layout for the day.

Marking

A “marker” assists the players in a singles game by centering the jack, marking touchers, identifying shot bowls and various other duties that speed up the progress of the game. A supply of markers is always needed for singles tournaments.

Becoming a marker is the first step towards becoming a coach and/or an umpire. We would like all serious bowlers to take a markers course, when they are available, and volunteer to mark as often as possible. The marker is expected to know the laws of the game and to carry out a marker’s duties correctly.

 

The Duties of a Marker

Hand Signals

This video clip reviews the common hand signals.