- Watch Your Opposition
- Study the Green!
- One hand wider/narrower than the other hand?
- Are there irregularities on either hand that could be avoided?
- Is the pace of the green fast, slow to moderate?
- Does your opponent favour one hand more than the other?
- Even his/her badly played Bowl, position- wise, can provide you with information-you may have to play there.
Six Basic Playing Strategies
Refrain from over-building a head
- When several shots are already held, you create a larger target & risk the chance of losing your built-up head by an easy-to-hit drive,
- By adding bowls to the head your position is weakened elsewhere on the green, should the jack move back
Vary the length of the Jack
- Exploit your opponent’s weaknesses by playing a length beneficial to you & troublesome for the opposition
Vary the length of the mat
- May confuse the opponent
- May change the way the green works in your favour
Get a second shot in the head
- If you have already shot, a second shot will serve as insurance against the removal of your only shot
- If you are down two or more shots in the head, a second shot will minimize your loss, especially if the position is such that it is virtually impossible to get shot bowl.
Match a cluster of your opponent’s bowls with one of your bowls
- Reduces the possibility of losing a big end either intentionally or accidentally
- If the cluster is behind the jack, a matching bowl will deter your opponent from moving the jack back.
- Such a bowl may force your opponent to change his shot to the more skilful & more difficult draw shot.
Back bowls are better
- Jacks move back far more often than they go forward
- Can avoid the loss of a big end if a back bowl is put into position early in the end
- Watch experienced bowlers play & try to guess the next shot
- Ask experienced bowlers about their strategies
- Practice-playing pickup games is not practicing
- Practice-adding weight or subtracting weight
- Two teams of 2, 3, 4 bowlers & each one take turn adding weight or subtracting weight-point For each one that goes further or is closer if subtracting weight.
- Setting up a simulated end – e. three bowls in a triangle within 15 feet of the ditch
- Practice drawing with mat closer to the hog line
- Draw to the jack – two players & a coach or friend with a measurement (piece of string), any bowl further from the jack to be removed.
- Everyone likes to drive – should be left to the vice to break up head – two bowls set a mat apart score 3 points for going between bowls; one if you hit the bowl.
- As the skip you must have confidence in your draw weight, if not, it really does not matter what strategy you have in mind. Winning will be a challenge.