Bias Carpet Bowls
Bias Carpet Bowls.
There does seem to be a slight Northern
- Southern hemisphere divide when it come to the size of the bowls
used for this game. However the entry shown below from a 1935 Bowls
catalogue seems to suggest that 'Miniature Bowls for indoor bowling
on small rinks' were made to 3 15/16 inches. That this game was
popular in New Zealand is also mentioned and it states that the
game can be played on carpets 30ft x 6ft and
The other rules are basically the same
but in the U.K. and where there has been a U.K. influence bias
carpet bowls are 3 7/8th Inches (98mm) in diameter.
However in Australia and where they have had an influence the bias
carpet bowls are 4 inches (100mm) in diameter. Another difference
was that in the Australian bowls the set was more likely to
comprise four pairs of black and four pairs of yellow bowls rather
than the U.K. tradition of 4 pairs black and four pairs brown.
However in recent years other colours for U.K. bias carpet bowls
have been accepted so Red, Yellow and Blue bowls are
The following pictures were taken by Mr.
T. Brophy at the Championships held in Blackpool in 2011. The
carpets are 30ft long by 6ft wide.
The centre 'block' can be circular as
seen in these pictures which is placed to stop players firing and
ensure they use the bias of the bowls. Also shown are the delivery
blocks which are used to delineate the delivery
English Carpet Bowls
The Rules for Playing Carpet
1.1 A carpet shall be a minimum of 1.83m (6ft) and a maximum of
1.98m (6ft 6in) wide and a minimum of 9.14m (30ft) and a maximum of
10.06m (33ft) long.
1.2 A jack placement line 0.91m (3ft) long shall be marked
centrally, 0.91m (3ft) from each end of the carpet.
shall be a delivery space at the centre of each end of the carpet
which shall be 457mm (18in) wide marked by two guidelines which
measure 457mm (18in) in length.
delivery are shall be demarcated as follows at each end of the
carpet. A lateral line 457mm (18in) in length shall be drawn to
connect the two guidelines that mark the delivery space. (As show
in the diagram below).
lateral line shall be drawn across the carpet equidistant from each
& Delivery Blocks
1.6 A block (which may be circular, a spar, a diamond or similar),
457mm (18in) across and 50mm (2in) high, hard edged and of a
contrasting colour to the carpet, shall be placed in the centre of
the carpet equidistant from each end and each side.
blocks of wood of a contrasting colour to the carpet, being of size
152mm x 101.6mm x 50.8mm placed two blocks of wood, shall be placed
on the delivery guidelines. The blocks shall be placed such that
the height shall be 152mm (6in), that the 101.6mm (4in) side shall
be along the edges of the carpet and the 50.8mm (2in) side along
1.8 16 bowls, 8 of each colour, all made by the same manufacturer,
shall not exceed 96mm (3 7/8 ins) in diameter, or 737.09gm (1lb
10oz) in weight, nor be of a less bias than a no.3. No bowls other
than this matching set shall be used in a game. Stickers may be
used to distinguish between the bowls.
1.9 The jack shall be 63.5mm (2.5in) in diameter and weigh 283.5gm
(10oz) or be within the manufacturers stipulated tolerance for this
size and weight of jack. (Currently 15% plus or minus)
the commencement of the game the skips shall toss a coin. The
winner has the option to play first or second and if not previously
decided which colour woods to bowl.
2.2 The team
playing first will place the jack on the jack placement line not
less than 0.91m (3ft) nor more than 1.83m (6ft) from the end. In
subsequent ends the team winning the last end places the jack and
that team bowls first. (In the case of a tied (dead) ends the
player who bowled first on that end shall again bowl
trial end in each direction may be played before a game. A game is
not deemed to have commenced until the first wood is bowled after
the trial ends.
facilities allow, players will stand well back from the carpet when
others players are bowling.
third player of each team may, when it is their turn to bowl, be
invited to visit the head.
3.3 When it
is the turn of the Skips to bowl the remaining players go to the
other end of the carpet.
Substitutes may be made in the cases of illness/emergency. Such
substitutes may play in any position other than Skip.
shall have control of the play of their team but may delegate this
responsibility at any time during the match to another member of
that team. However once a game has commenced the team positions
cannot be changed.
4.2 In the
absence of an independent umpire the two Skips shall be the judges
of all disputes and, when they agree, their decision shall be
measuring is being carried out the jack shall not be held nor
touched by hand.
measuring shall be between the nearest points of the jack or wood.
If a wood requiring to be measured is resting on another wood which
prevents its measurement, then the best possible means available
shall be taken to secure its position whereupon the other wood
shall be removed. No measuring shall be carried out until the last
wood on an end is bowled.
5.3 The Skip
shall nominate which of their bowlers shall measure and all other
members shall stand well clear of the carpet whilst the result of
the end is being determined.
5.4 In the
case of a dispute then agreement should be reached between the
skips on what is to be measured and by whom.
6.1 If a
wood from each team is equidistant from the jack then neither side
will score but the end will count as an end played.
in these rules shall make it mandatory for either skip with the
last wood in the end to bowl it. However, the Skip must declare
their intentions to the opposing Skip before determining the result
of the end.
playing or directing bowlers must not stand, kneel on or touch the
carpet. Should a bowler, after having been warned by the opposing
Skip, persist in infringing this rule then one shot shall be
deducted on that and each subsequent occasion. The only exception
to this shall be when it is necessary for deciding the end after
the last wood of the end has come to rest.
7.2 If a
bowler shall bowl an opponent's wood in error then after it has
come to rest the opposing Skip will replace it with one of the
player's own side's woods.
7.3 If a
player bowls before their turn or before their opponent's wood has
come to rest then that wood shall be declared dead.
7.4 Any wood
which does not completely pass a lateral line level with the centre
of the centre block or which touches or passes over that block
shall be declared dead.
7.5 No wood
may be carried past the centre block and no wood must be picked up
before the preceding wood has been delivered. If this occurs then
the wood will be declared dead.
bowler, when delivering a wood, must have both feet entirely behind
the end of the carpet. Should a bowler, after having been warned by
the opposing skip, persist in infringing this rule then the skip
shall cause that wood to be declared dead.
shall not be allowed during the course of the game by that taking
part in it. After a warning from the opposing skip one shot shall
be deducted from the offending team score for each end
8. DISPLACEMENT OF WOODS OR JACK
8.1 If a
bowl whilst in motion or at rest be interfered with or displaced by
one of the bowlers then the opposing skip shall:
(i) Leave the woods/jack to remain as they are or
(ii) Replace the woods/jack as near as possible to their original
(iii) Replay the end unless any live wood so moved is the only
the jack be driven by the bowl in play wholly beyond the limits of
the carpet, whether it be the end or side of the carpet, it shall
be counted dead. The opponents shall receive 2 shots and a new end
begun by the opponents. If during the course of the game the jack
is driven to the end or side of the carpet, then the two players in
charge of that end should agree that the jack has stopped moving.
An agreement should be reached within a reasonable time consistent
with the time it would normally take to deliver the next wood. If
after reaching the said agreement and subsequently the jack should
fall off the carpet without any contact being made with the jack,
then that end should be declared a dead end and replayed without
penalty. If this happened on the final end of a timed game and the
whistle to signal the end of the game went before the jack was
placed then you would not be allowed to replay the end.
8.3 All dead
woods in motion shall be stopped and removed where possible before
disturbing any other wood or jack. In the event of a dead wood
resulting in a live wood or jack being moved then the opposing skip
(i) Remove the dead wood and leave the woods/jack to remain as
they are, or
(ii) Remove the dead wood and replace the woods/jack as near as
possible to their original position, or
(iii) Replay the end unless any live bowl so moved is the only
during the course of play any neutral object disturbs the position
of the jack or any wood then the end shall be declared dead unless
otherwise mutually agreed by the skips.
8.5 If a
wood is mistakenly declared dead and removed from the carpet then
that wood shall be replayed
forward motion on which a wood is released must pass between or
through the 457mm (18in) delivery space, which is demarcated by the
guidelines and the blocks.
woods must be released within the demarcated delivery area. Should
a bowler after being warned by the opposing skip or a referee
continue to infringe this rule then the wood shall be declared
dead, stopped and removed from the carpet.
during delivery of a wood either block is touched in any way then
the wood shall be declared dead. If, however, the block is touched
after the wood has been released this would not class as a foul.
Delivery of a wood shall be considered as being from the point of
presenting the wood, in the hand, to the carpet until it is
released from the hand. A player may however, put their wood down
on the carpet, to either get a better grip or to go and check the
end, then that wood shall not be classed as a dead
bowlers must be allowed to adopt a comfortable stance and method
when delivering their woods although they should not be allowed to
gain an unfair advantage.
not taking part in a game shall be situated clear of and beyond the
limits of play. They may support a team but only in a way that will
not offend nor disturb their opponents.
coaching of a player whilst a game is in progress is forbidden. The
opposing skip shall bring any offence to the notice of the
independent referee who will assess the situation and may ask the
offender to leave the playing area.
English Carpet Bowls Association
retain the copyright to
'The Rules for Playing Carpets
Bowls', which may not be
reproduced without permission.
© Peter Clare 2011 - © E.A. Clare
& Son Ltd. 2018.This Article can be reproduced only with the
permission of E.A. Clare & Son Ltd.