How To Deliver The Jack In Lawn Bowls | A Beginner’s Guide

  • By: Reece Williams
  • Time to read: 3 min.

“Where do you want the jack?” The question of whom is delivering the jack excites some while striking fear into others. Like breaking in pool, how the jack is delivered can heavily impact the game. But there is more pressure than in pool because it isn’t just about you, but your entire team. Thus, many lawn bowl players consider delivering the jack one of the game’s most crucial elements.

The jack should be delivered as one would typically bowl a shot. The jack must sit on the fingertips and roll-off at the same height, weight, and rhythm speed as a player bowls. Doing this ensures you can bowl consistently. However, lifting or dropping while delivering the jack will create challenges.

It is common for players to discuss lines in lawn bowls. While following your line is important, delivering the jack relies more on consistency. The player lying the shot has a distinct advantage for themselves and their team if they execute the maneuver correctly. For this person, unlike everyone else, has the opportunity to replicate their own bowling rhythm.

Delivering The Jack: The Crucial Element Of Lawn Bowls

Delivering the jack is one of the most crucial elements of lawn bowls. If done correctly, it gives the team a distinct advantage over their opponent. But to deliver the jack with skill, a player must understand the rules and the fundamentals of executing the maneuver.

Rules For Delivering The Jack

In lawn bowls, the jack must be delivered within certain parameters.

When preparing for delivery, the player must have at least one foot fully on the mat, and it must remain on or above the mat throughout the course of the delivery.

The jack will only be considered in play if it has traveled a minimum of 21 meters. Note that this is different from a bowl, which is only required to travel 14 meters to be in play.

In the event that the jack is improperly delivered, the opposition is permitted to reposition the mat. But they must do so before play, not after.

If the opposition also fails to deliver the jack, then the jack is to be placed on the 2-meter mark. The first to play is permitted to reposition the mat.

Holding The Jack

The first step to delivering the jack is holding it correctly. The jack should sit on the tip of the fingers, balanced on the index and middle while supported by the other two. The thumb pad holds it in place on the side opposite the fingers.

Swinging The Jack

The delivery of the jack must be performed with the same arm swing as you use with a bowl. Any lifting or dropping during the motion will cause the jack to fall outside your typical performance. But if you deliver the jack as you would a bowl, you significantly increase your chances of achieving a touch.

Rhythm Speed And Weight

Like the arm swing, the body positioning and weight transfer must mimic a bowl. This will enable a rhythm speed that mimics your bowl. If you can regulate the rhythm speed and weight, then you are in control of the most influential factor in your bowl.

A consistent rhythm speed will ensure you can deliver a bowl close to where you placed the jack.


Successful delivery of the jack in lawn bowls can give a team a distinct advantage. The player lying the shot has an opportunity to replicate their bowling style, making it easier to place a bowl near the jack or touch. Thus, it is crucial to keep everything consistent, including the swing, transfer of weight, and rhythm speed.