What Does It Mean to Nominate in Lawn Bowls?

  • By: Jack Toucher
  • Date: August 7, 2023

To nominate in lawn bowls means to agree with the opposing skip on the status of a bowl. There are two main kinds of nominations:

  • If a bowl touch the jack and requires to be marked with chalk but neither skip has a piece of chalk handy then they can simply agree verbally that the bowl is a toucher my saying, “Alright, we nominate that bowl that as a toucher” or some such wording. The skips should then get the toucher marked as soon as possible, by asking the third or second to mark it when they go up to the head. Or one of the skips can open a bowls bag or get on the bank and fetch a piece of chalk in order to mark the nominated bowl. It is done but is really unacceptable for any player other than the skip to nominate a toucher. They should have their equipment with them i.e. measure, chalk and gums. (The same can be said of the skips!)
  • If the marker, or any of the players, believe that marking a bowl would move the bowl (such as if it is lying on its side) or alter the head, then the bowl should be left alone and not marked. Instead it should be nominated (as above).

In the image, three bowls are very close to the jack. They may or may not be touching the jack and may need an expert measure. In this case it would be wise to nominate any of the bowls that have not yet been marked.

What World Bowls says about nominated bowls

World Bowls rules about touchers in general include a couple of paragraphs including nominated bowls.

15 Marking a toucher
15.1 A toucher must be marked with chalk by a member of the team that delivered the bowl or the marker as soon as it comes to rest.
15.2 If, in the opinion of either skip or opponent or the marker, a toucher comes to rest in a position in which marking it would be likely to move the bowl or alter the head, the bowl must not be marked but nominated as a toucher instead.
15.4 If a bowl has been nominated as either a toucher or a non-toucher, and both skips or the opponents in Singles agree that further movement of the bowl means it must no longer be nominated, the bowl must be marked or have its mark removed as appropriate.

World Bowls, Crystal Mark Laws of Bowls

An unusual nomination in lawn bowls

The reverse is also true. Sometimes it is necessary to nominate a bowl as a non-toucher, although this is a relatively rare occurrence. Here is the rule:

15.6 If, in the opinion of either skip or opponent or the marker, a wrongly marked bowl comes to rest in such a position that removing the mark would be likely to move the bowl or alter the head, the mark must not be removed and the bowl must instead be nominated as a non-toucher.

World Bowls, Crystal Mark Laws of Bowls