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Features: Bowl Displacement

By David Phillips on 18 October 2012, 20:22

In recent weeks I have received a number of e-mails regarding the displacement of a bowl or bowls by a participating player and what action should be taken to rectify the position.

Bowl displacement is covered by Law 32 in the World Indoor Bowls Council (WIBC) Laws of the Sport of Indoor Bowls (green book) and Law 28 in the World Bowls (WBL) Laws of the Sport of Bowls, Crystal Mark Second Edition (yellow book). For the purpose of this article I will quote the WIBC laws as we are now into the indoor season.

Law 32B ‘Displacement by a participating player’ is sub divided into three section,
1. Displacement of a bowl in its original course.
2. Displacement of a bowl in motion.
3. Displacement of a bowl at rest

Before we look in detail at each section let us be clear of what we are dealing with by clarifying the definition of each of the above.

1. A jack or bowl in its original course means… a jack or bowl from the time of its delivery until it comes to rest, regardless of how many times in the case of a bowl it may be deflected before it comes to rest or becomes dead.

2. A jack or bowl in motion means… a jack or bowl which is moving as a result of play after it has been at rest as part of the head.

3. Displacement of a bowl at rest means… a bowl at rest on the rink of play or in the ditch prior to being displaced.

Now that we are clear about the three possible types of displacement by a participating
player, let's get back to Law 32B and look at each in detail.

32B Displacement by a participating player.
(i). of a bowl in its original course
(a). If a bowl in its original course is displaced by a player from its own team, it shall be declared dead and any part of the head that has been disturbed after displacement shall be replaced by the opposing skip.

NOTE: So, if one of your bowls is displaced by a member of your team, that bowl is declared dead, and if it has moved any other bowls on the rink those bowls will be replaced by the opposing skip. As the offending team you have no say in the replacement of those bowls.


(b). If a bowl in its original course which has not disturbed the head is
displaced by an opposing player, it shall be replayed.

NOTE: If the bowl is displaced by a player from the opposing side before it disturbs the head, that bowl is returned to the player and delivered again.

(c ). If a bowl in its original course has disturbed the head after it is
displaced by an opponent, the skip of the team that played the bowl
has the option of:
(i). replacing the head and having the bowl replayed or

(ii). declaring the end dead.

NOTE: If the bowl is displaced by a player from the other side and it disturbs the head after it has been displaced, your skip has the choice of the two options. The team whose player displaced the bowl in the first place has no say in the decision making process.


(d). If a bowl in its original course has disturbed the head before it is
displaced by a participating player, such disturbance shall be valid.
The opposing skip shall replace any part of the head moved as a
result of the bowl being displaced and have the option of:
(i). replacing the bowl where the skip believes it would have
come to rest, or

(ii). letting it remain where it rests.

NOTE: In this instance, if the bowl has disturbed the head before a player displaces the bowl, any bowls which were moved before the bowl was displaced is valid and the bowls remain where they are.
If the bowl displaced by a player then goes on and disturbs any other bowls, then the non-offending skip has the choice of the two options stated. Again, the offending player or team has no say in the decision making process.


(ii). of a bowl in motion
If a bowl in motion as a result of play is displaced by a player, then the
opposing skip shall have the option of:

(a). placing the bowl where the skip believes it would have come to rest and replacing any part of the head that as been disturbed after the bowl had been displaced, or

(b). declaring the end dead.

NOTE: If a bowl which has been at rest on the green is hit by another bowl that bowl becomes a bowl in motion. If that bowl in motion is then displaced by a player, the opposing skip has a choice of the two options stated.

(iii). of a bowl at rest
If a bowl at rest or a toucher in the ditch is displaced by a player, the opposing skip shall restore the bowl or toucher as near as possible to its former position.

NOTE: This is the simplest form of displacement. If a player moves any bowl which has been at rest on the green the opposing skip restores it to its former position – the definition of ‘former position’ being: ‘the location of a jack or bowl at rest on the rink of play or in the ditch immediately prior to being displaced.’ So, in simple terms, you put the bowl back to where it was before it was displaced.

Marking The Score Card

Skips across the country will be delighted to hear that during the indoor season they are not expected to mark the score card. Under the WIBC Laws of the Sport that task is still carried out by the second player.

Law 43C The Second.
(i) The second player shall keep a record of all shots scored for and against
his team and shall at all times retain possession of the score card whilst
play is in progress.

(ii). He shall see that the names of all players are entered on the score card.

(iii). He shall compare his record of the game with that of the opposing second
player as each end is declared.

(iv). At the close of the game he shall hand his score card to his skip, who shall
sign the card and record on the card the time of the conclusion of the game.


NOTE: For the remainder of the indoor season all the skip has to do with the score card is sign it at the end of the game and write down the time that play finished.

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