Members Guide

Information For New Members


  • When practising, or playing in a roll up, casual attire is permitted

  • Flat i.e. no 'heel' shoes must always be worn on grass

  • Club matches require navy trousers, shorts or skirt and club shirt


Arrive at ground about half an hour before time of start, identify changing rooms and change into match gear. Don't wear bowls shoes on the street.

  • Find person in charge of your team to ensure they know you are there, and pay any fees required.

  • Shake hands or fist punch with opponents before and after match, don't criticize or belittle opposition or your team mates. Acknowledge 'flukes' with good grace.

  • Be ready to bowl at your turn, but stand at least a metre behind the player bowling. Leave the mat as soon as your bowl has stopped, but not before. Watch its path until it has stopped.

  • Stand still behind the head. Be aware of rinks to left and right and minimise distraction.

  • Don't interfere with the scoring / measuring. You may point out to your no. 3 something they may have missed but don't 'get involved'!

  • After a match it is a friendly gesture that you offer, and purchase a drink for your opposite number when playing at home. Not usual in Ladies, Over 55's or RMTL but frequently in MDL and Friendlies.


Bowls (aka woods) - don't buy until you know the game is for you and you have tried different sizes to see what's comfortable. The club has various sets, and it's always worth asking other members for advice. Sets are often available for purchase from other members, at other clubs, eBay as well as dedicated sports shops. Prices can start from as little as £15-£20.

  • Spray chalk - at some time you'll play in a position that requires you to mark bowls that have touched the jack on their route. Ordinary chalk is favoured by some.

  • A measure - again, in those positions you will need a measure to ascertain who's closest to the jack.

  • Scorecard holder - not obligatory but handy, and a pen.

  • A small towel (often from a bar!) to clean / dry bowls.

The Set Up

In 'Rink' play teams consist of 4 players, 2 bowls each, whose roles are:

  • Lead - who has the job of setting and centring the jack and of getting their 2 bowls as close as possible to the jack. The Lead also collects the bowls with a 'pusher' if the opposition is setting the mat.

  • Number 2 - again trying to get as close as possible to the jack and thus build a 'head', the term for the bowls surrounding the jack. #2 may be given the card to score.

  • Number 3 - might be trying to move some opposition bowls away, or move own team's bowls nearer. It may be necessary to put bowls in the way - blockers - or to use weight to disturb the head and allow the skip to have access to the jack. The number 3 will be responsible for directing the skip after his first bowl as to what direction to come with final bowl. It is also the #3 role to measure and agree score at end of end.

  • Skip - goes last and tries to improve the situation if his/her team is nearest - holding- or to rescue situation if team is 'down'.

In 'Triples' the role of #2 is removed and each player has 3 bowls.

If a bowl touches the jack before it stops it is chalked to identify it and remains 'live' even if it goes to the rear ditch. Any others that go in the ditch are removed as are bowls that leave the sides of the rink.


Mid Devon League - Four rinks of four players are needed. Games are played over 21 ends. Sheets displayed on board.

  • Riviera Mixed Triple League (RMTL) - a league to give new players opportunities to develop their skills, practice under match conditions and try different roles. Three rinks of three players which must have both genders per rink. Matches played on Thursdays at 10:00am. Games are played over 18 ends. Sheets on board. Small charge for refreshments at home.

  • OVER 55s - Two teams, Men only, each have two rinks of three players. Matches played on Wednesdays at 10:00am. Sheets on board. Games are played over 18 ends. Small charge for refreshments at home.

  • Ladies league - a Ladies only league Sheets on board. Games are played over 18 ends.

  • Friendlies - visiting teams, either local or on tour, usually afternoons, mid-week or weekend. Mixed, number of rinks vary. Sheets on board in main room. Games are played over 18 or 21 ends dependant on type of match.

To play you register your availability on sheets on the board from which the Captains choose the players and their rink positions. If selected it is imperative that you acknowledge your own selection with a tick so the Captain is aware.

Club Competitions

These are open to all members, names to be offered on forms on board. The Competition Secretary will do a random draw and post matches on board.


For more information, advice and guidance, please email Mike Gagg: