Back Bowl: A bowl that comes to rest beyond the Jack.
Backhand Draw: When the bowl is aimed to the left of the Jack, and curves to the right '
Be Up: Instruction from Skip to bowl longer (don't be short of Jack).
Bias: Weighted offset to make the bowl curve. The bias side of the bowl is noted by the
smaller circle. Bias is correct when the bowl curves towards the Jack.
Blocker: A bowl that blocks someone (usually an opponent) from reaching the desired
Dead End / Burned End: When the Jack has been knocked out of bounds. The end is not
counted and is played again.
Draw Shot: Shots where the bowl is rolled to a specific location without causing too much
disturbance of bowls already at the Head. (See Hand).
Drive: This involves bowling with considerable force with the aim of knocking either the Jack
or a specific bowl(s) out of play.
Dead Bowl: When a bowl either goes in the ditch without touching the Jack or rests outside
the rink field of play (Lane).
Down: When your team does not have the Shot Bowl, you are considered to be Down. You
may be down by one or more points.
End: Means playing of the Jack and all bowls of both opponents in the same direction on a
Rink. Bowling all of the Bowls to the Jack is called "one end." The number of Ends
played is decided by Club Rules. A typical game has 14 ends in social games, 18 in
Foot Fault: A foot fault occurs when the bowler does not have one foot over the mat on
release of the bowl. A Foot MUST be on or over the mat when the Bowl is delivered.
Forehand Draw: When the bowl is aimed to the right of the Jack, and curves to the left .
Grass: Apart from the surface, the directional line the bowl takes in order for it to curve
towards the Jack. So a "too much grass" bowl will be too wide.
Green: Lawn bowls is played on a square "Green" of grass, with directions being alternated
on a daily basis to protect the playing surface.
The Hammer: The final bowl of the end. Newer rules allow the winning team on an end to
give away the mat and so to retain control of the End with the last Bowl played.
Hand: The side on which the bowl is delivered: either Forehand or Backhand.
Head: Bowls resting near the Jack and such bowls that have come to rest within the
boundary of the Rink and have not been declared dead during thee End.
Hog Line: Special markers (often flags for tournaments) that dictate the minimum line
beyond which the jack must be rolled for the end to be valid.
Holding Shot: Team with their bowl(s) closest to Jack (see also Shot Bowl).
Hook: The direction Bowls take as they slowly roll to a stop, especially older Classic bowls
with extreme bias.
Jack: ( approx 2.5" )White ball or "kitty" used as a target to play to, this determines point
scoring (see Points).
Lead: The person who starts off the play. Also places the Mat and rolls the Jack if their team
"has the mat".
Mat: The actual mat that is placed by the team losing the last end, to start the next end. This
is also known as having the Mat. The team with the mat always rolls the Jack. Newer
rules allow the winning team to give away the mat, thereby losing control of the Jack, but
ensuring they have the final bowl of the end (the Hammer).
Measure: When bowls are too close to visually decide which one is closer, it is known as a
measure. Players carry special lawn bowls tape measures to do this. The distance
is irrelevant so the tapes are only used to see who is closest.
Narrow: Bowler didn't start out far enough from centerline to the Jack.
Pairs: Bowls games in which each team has a pair of players ( a Skip and a Lead)
Points: Whoever gets their bowl(s) closest to Jack at conclusion of an End.
Potato Bowl: A badly thrown (or released) bowl that hops, skips and jumps.
Promoting a Bowl: Pushing up one of your team's bowls to a better position.
Rink: The space on the Green's playing surface. Often 15 feet wide from one end to the
opposite end. The Rinks for a given game or tournament are designated with markers
on the edges of the green. This way, multiple games can be played simultaneously on
Rinks bowls: A bowling game in which there are 4 players per team a Skip, a Vice,2nd
Lead and a Lead. Typically then players only use 2 bowls each.
Skip: Team captain or Skip who always plays last. This person is usually the most
experienced player, who also guides the strategy.
Shot Bowl: The bowl closest to the Jack.
Tie: When the two closest bowls are both exactly the same distance from the jack and belong
to opposing teams, even after measurement, the end is declared a tie.
Touchers: Bowls that hit the Jack. These bowls are marked with chalk and remain "alive"
even if they are in the ditch.
Trial Ends: Formal practice ends, usually only allowed at the start of a tournament, in which
each team rolls 2 bowls down and back to get a feel of the green. Such ends do
not count in the scoring.
Triples: A game in which each team has 3 players on their team - a Skip, a Vice and a Lead.
Typically each player then only uses 3 bowls each.
Up: When your team does have the Shot Bowl, you are considered to be Up. You may be Up
by one or more points.
Vice: The person who plays after the Lead and is responsible for deciding the winner of a
head, and recording the results.
Weight: The amount of speed applied in delivering the bowl from the mat to the Jack.
"Heavy" weight means that the bowl stops beyond the Jack, while "Light" means
that it stops short of the spot desired.
Wide: The bowl is started too far out of the centerline to the Jack (also called taking too
Wick: When a bowl bounces off another bowl. (This term is derived from curling).
Woods: An old term for bowls.
Yard On: A shot delivered with an extra degree of speed to displace or disturb other bowls in
the Head with intent of killing the End.