In all team games, it is the skip’s job to direct the play.
Other players should play the shot directed by the skip even if they disagree with it !!
In fours games the ’third’ should direct the skip when required to do so.
In Triples or Pairs, the Second or Lead may do this. Other players should not interfere unless invited to do so.
Here is what rule 37 in the Laws of the Sport of Bowls says about players' roles:
- The skip will have sole charge of the team and all players in the team should follow the skip’s instructions.
- The skip should decide all disputed points with the opposing skip, making sure that any decision reached is in line with the Laws of the Sport of Bowls.
- If the skips need to check any part of the Laws of the Sport of Bowls before reaching a decision, they should ask the umpire for an explanation.
- If the umpire considers that a decision reached by the skips is not in line with the Laws of the Sport of Bowls, the umpire should overrule that decision so that it is in line with the laws.
- If the skips cannot reach an agreement on any disputed point, they should ask the umpire to make a decision. The umpire’s decision is final.
- If the Controlling Body has not appointed an umpire, the skips should choose a competent neutral person to act as the umpire.
- The skip should:
- be responsible for the scorecard supplied by the Controlling Body while play is in progress;
- enter the names of all players of both teams on the scorecard;
- record, on the score card, all shots scored for and against the team as each end is completed;
- compare the scorecard with that of the opposing skip as each end is completed; and
- at the end of the game, record on the scorecard the time that the game finished and then sign it.
- If a scoreboard is used instead of one of the scorecards, the skip of the team which won the toss for opening play should update the scoreboard and the opposing skip should deal with the scorecard.
- Skips can, at any time, delegate their own powers and any of their own duties (except those relating to the keeping of the scorecard) to any other members of the team as long as they tell the opposing skip immediately.
- The third can measure any and all disputed shots.
- The third can tell the skip the number of shots scored for or against their team as each end is completed.
The lead of the team to play first in an end should:
- place the mat; and
- deliver the jack and make sure that it is centered before delivering the first bowl of the end.
In addition to the duties specified in the preceding clauses, any player may undertake such duties as may be assigned to him by the skip.
It is also worth emphasizing that the head must not be disturbed by any player until the shots have been finally agreed upon. When the Thirds or Skips are deciding on the shots the other players should stand well back from the head and give them the space to do so.