a)   Assist with getting out the equipment – mats, jack, sticks, scoreboard etc.;

b)   Establish the names of the competitors, which of them is the challenger, make sure that you can identify their bowls and if no umpire is present check their bowls (matching set, stickers etc.);

c)   Have a coin, chalk (and or a puffer), measure, wedges, pen and scorecard filled in correctly; (plus have other equipment available).  A spare scorecard is useful and pencil if it is raining. Opponents toss the coin and usually challengers call (The marker DOES NOT toss the coin).

d)   Have a copy of the rule book to hand and know the regulations for the competition being marked e.g. number of shots or ends, handicapping system, what to do when both players are on 100 in ‘100 Up’ (there is always a toss before an extra end).

e)   Request the players to allow time for touchers to be chalked as they come to rest (indicate ‘unstable’ touchers if not using a puffer).

f)    Ask players permission to remove dead bowls.

g)   Ask for a warning if a firing shot is to be played and for time to warn players on adjoining rinks.

h)   Inform the players that you will check that the mat is centred every end BEFORE the delivery of the jack.

i)     Ask the players how many bowls they are having in the trial ends.



 j)    Ensure that the jack is not less than 23m and place a full length jack 2m from the ditch (beside the end of the stick).

k)   Concentrate totally and exclusively on the game; be alert, decisive and unobtrusive.

l)     Stand still about 2m behind and to the side of the jack (unless required to mark a toucher or to answer a question). Be aware of your shadow and don’t always stand in front of same spectators.

m) Indicate the position of the jack and touchers in the ditch with the markers (white for the jack, coloured for the touchers).

n)   Answer only the questions that are asked by the player in possession of the rink, without giving additional information (possession of the rink changes when the bowls comes to rest). It is generally accepted that you can be more helpful with your replies than answering a “yes” or “no”.

o)   When asked which is shot, check carefully before indicating the shot (by putting an open hand clearly above the bowl) and, if in any doubt, say that “it is a measure”. It is up to the players to come and look at the head if they want to check (as long as competition rules allow visits to the head).

p)   Wait until the players have agreed the shot(s) before changing the scoreboard, marking the score card or leaving the head {THE MARKER DOES NOT DECLARE THE SHOT(S)}.

q)   Measure carefully when asked to do so by the players and know how to use all the measuring equipment. Ask permission of the players to remove any bowls not involved in the measuring. Do NOT move any bowls that have been involved in the measure in case an umpire is called.

r)    If it is a very tight measure and the players cannot agree on the shot, the marker calls for an umpire (not the players).

s)   Stand with the players away from the head while the umpire is measuring, unless the umpire requests the marker for assistance.

t)    Alter the score board every end and regularly inform the players of the score.



u)   Shake hands with the players; congratulating the winner and commiserating with the loser.

v)   Ensure that the players sign the score card, record the time the match has finished and dispose of the card in the required manner.

w)  Help put away the equipment.



ü  Have chalk/puffer ready in your hand.

ü  Anticipate questions and, if you are asked to look at the head to answer a question, quickly observe other relevant situations.

ü  Once the players have agreed the score change the scoreboard.

ü  Get up to the other end and check the mat (have the score card ready).

ü  Mark the score card while the jack is being delivered.

ü  Centre the jack.

ü  Establish (if possible) the same routine for each end – it is very easy to make simple mistakes!
  Site Map