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EBF "Laws of the Game"

The Green 

The standard bowling green is not less than 37 metres long (nor more than 40 metres square – with banks and ditches). Note although the length is obligatory, the words in parenthesis are optional with regard to the Stamford League.  

The green will be divided into spaces called RINKS not less than 4.8 metres nor more than 6.4 metres in width and numbered consecutively. The side boundary of the rink shall stretch from bank to bank, joined by a string of such thickness that it will not influence the movement of bowl or jack.


 The two skips shall be the judges of all disputed shots. Also whether the jack or bowl is in or out of play. If they cannot agree - and in the absence of an umpire - a neutral person (mutually agreed) will adjudicate.      

The Mat

The mat must be laid lengthwise and centred in line with the centre pins marking the rink. For the first end the front edge of the mat must be placed 2 metres from the ditch, and not less than 2 metres nor more than 4 metres from the ditch in any subsequent end(s).

Delivery of the Jack

The minimum cast of the jack shall be 23 metres from the front end of the mat.

Delivery of Bowls

A player, after delivering his bowl, must not follow it up in such a manner as to obstruct the view of his opponent. If, after being cautioned, he persists in so doing his opponent shall have the option of playing out the end or declaring it void.

A bowl played by mistake shall be replaced by the offender’s own bowl.  When a player has played before his turn his opponent(s) may stop the bowl in its course.   

No player shall change his bowls during the course of the game without the consent of his opponents.

If any part of the bowl comes to rest on or over the dividing line it shall be considered dead and remain so.

When delivering the jack or bowl the player must have his right or left toe (or both) on or over the mat. Failure to observe this rule constitutes ‘foot-faulting’.     

Jack or Bowl Rebounding

If, during the course of play, the jack is moved and it runs against the bank or side of the green and rebounds onto the green without going beyond the boundaries of the rink play shall continue as if the jack has never left the  green.

Any bowl which runs against or strikes the bank or edge of the green and rebounds onto the green within the boundaries of the rink shall be declared dead and removed.

A bowl which, in its normal course, returns to the rink after crossing the dividing line shall be in play.


If the jack is struck off the rink, i.e. over the dividing line or over the bank, the end shall be declared dead and must be replayed in the same direction.

Result of an End

When, at the conclusion of an end, a tie for the first shot occurs or there is not a bowl within 2 metres of the jack, it shall be declared a tied end  and, in a game of ends, be counted as a played end (with no score to either side).

Uneven Teams

In the event of circumstances compelling two players to play against three the order of play shall be - lead, lead, number two, (for the full team) followed by the two skips.

Objects on the Green

Under no circumstance is any object to be laid on the green, placed on the bank, or on the bowl, or on the jack but it may be displayed in the hand for the guidance of the players and this instruction must be given behind the lay of the jack.


All persons not engaged in the game or rink that is being played must confine themselves to the bank and preserve an attitude of strict neutrality.

Full details of the Laws of the Game are available on the EBF & EWBF website at fed