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Answers to Bowls brain teasers – 1

Did you get them right?

These are to keep your brain in bowls mode whilst our activities are restricted. There are no prizes, your reward will be that you’ll know more about the Laws of the Sport. You can email your answers to John McKenzie at, or just keep them to yourself. The answers will be published in about a week’s time. If you have any other questions regarding Laws of the Sport, feel free to send them to John.

Link to World Bowls

The answers to these questions are based on World Bowls Laws of the Sport, Crystal Mark 3rd edition, version 3.1

Mat Position

What is the minimum distance the Mat Line (i.e. the front of the mat) must be from the rear ditch?

The front of the mat, referred to as the Mat Line, must be a minimum of 2 metres from the rear ditch. This is indicated by white markers on the banks at the side of the green. If in doubt, use the 2 m sticks to check.

What is the minimum distance the Mat Line must be from the front ditch?

The Mat Line must be a minimum of 25 metres from the front ditch. In other words, this is how far you can bring the mat up. It is indicated by white markers on the banks at the side of the green.

Delivery of the jack

What happens if a player or the Marker finds that the mat has not been positioned in accordance with these distances –

  • Before the jack has been delivered?

The player who is due to play first must put the mat in the correct position, i.e. a minimum of 2 m from the rear ditch or a minimum of 25 m from the front ditch.

  • After the jack has been delivered but before the first bowl is delivered?

The opposing player must place the mat correctly and re-deliver the jack, but must not play first.

  • After the first bowl has been delivered?

After the first player to play has delivered the first bowl, no-one has the right to challenge the distance of the Mat Line from the rear and front ditches. Play continues with the mat as placed.

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