The Jack – confusing situations clarified

With the new season starting here are some situations that you may come across that can cause some confusion.

  1. Having won the previous end player “A” delivers the jack – which goes straight into the ditch. Player “B” then delivers the jack in line with the laws. Play continues and the end is subsequently declared dead. Who delivers the jack when the end is replayed?

Answer is player “A”; Law 20.3.  Dead end.

If the skips or opponents in singles or the umpire declare an end dead, the first to play in that end must also play first when the end is replayed.

  1. The Jack is in the ditch. Under what circumstances is it possible for a bowl in its original course to come to rest in physical contact with the jack, be considered a live bowl, but is not a toucher.

Answer Law 14.3. Touchers.

No bowl will become a toucher if it plays onto, or comes into contact with, the jack when the jack is in the ditch.

Note; A live bowl in its original course though can touch or move the jack in the ditch as long as it stays on the playing surface, but is not a toucher.

There is a general bad habit of players stopping a drawing bowl if it is nearing a jack in the ditch. The bowl has to be left as if it touches the jack and stays on the playing surface it is still alive, if it moves the jack then fall into the ditch then the jack is to be returned to its original position. Law 18.3.2.

  1. What happens when the jack is displaced by a bowl which has been played on an adjoining rink?

Answer Law 38.3.3 Jack Displacement by neutral person or object.

The jack has to be returned to its former position. If the Skips or opponents in a singles game cannot agree on the former position then the end must be declared dead and replayed. Remember that sportsmanship and fairness are important when making those type of decisions.

  1. The measurers agree to one shot to team “A” and a measure for the second shot. They remove the shot bowl and prepare to measure the second shot. The skip from team “B” then notices that there is still a bowl to be played. Both skips want to rest the head to allow the bowl to be played?

Answer Law 29.4.1 Failing to play. The bowl cannot be played.

If the result of an end has been agreed or the process of deciding the number of shots scored has started a player who has failed to play a bowl, will lose the right to play the bowl.

There is a copy of the law book kept in the office, so if you have any concerns re the laws then please use it or ask either of our umpires we will be only too happy to help.


Tom Hogg & Philip Haythornthwaite