Bias is the amount of curve that a bowl will take during its course
to the jack. Bowls are available with several different biases
for use in different conditions and competitions.
A Burned or "burnt" End is one where the Jack has been
moved outside the boundaries of the rink by a bowl in play. In
normal competition Burned Ends must be replayed.
Deliver is the term used for throwing or rolling a bowl. The delivery
is the action of delivering a bowl. A bowler with a good delivery
can be compared to a golfer with a good swing.
The term draw can have several meanings in bowling. As a noun
it can refer to the type of shot being played. A "dead draw"
is an attempt to deliver the bowl as close as possible to the
target (generally the jack). It can also be used as a verb. You
may hear a skip issuing an instruction such as, "Just draw
to the jack".
A drive is type of shot in bowling where the player delivers the
bowl with maximum force toward the target. Otherwise know in Scotland
as a "blooter"!
An end of bowls is 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.
A Guard is a bowl played to a position that restricts the opposition
from getting to the target.
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.
You may also hear it referred to as the "Kitty" or the
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. E.g. "You
are a yard short but your line was good."
The Second in a triples or rink game is the player who plays second.
In the rinks game the second is responsible for marking the score
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, and 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.
The third is the third player to play in a rinks game. The third
is normally responsible, with his opponent, for deciding the result
of an end, i.e. who is lying the shot and how many shots have
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.
Weight is the term used to refer to the power applied to a delivery.
Before the introduction of plastic composition bowls they 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.