What Does Re-Spotting the Jack Mean in Lawn Bowls?

  • By: Jack Toucher
  • Date: July 20, 2023

When the jack leaves the rink on the left or the right of the rink boundaries, or if it rebounds from a point above the bank or even gets stuck in the bank but within the rink boundaries, it must be replaced on the rink so that play can continue. This is known as re-spotting the jack.

How to re-spot the jack in lawn bowls

Always consult the Conditions of Play to see what the Controlling Body for that particular competition or tournament says about what to do in the event of a burned end.

Sometimes the Controlling Body calls for the end to be declared dead and played over from the start. But often re-spotting the jack is required in order to keep the game moving so it can be completed in the required time.

If the Conditions of Play do not specify what to do, then ask the Controlling Body or the Umpire at the start of the competition what the rule is for that particular contest.

Importantly, a bowl that leaves the rink during play is not a dead bowl in the way that a jack entering the ditch is dead unless it is a toucher. If the Conditions of Play do not call for restarting the end then the bowl is still live and must be respotted.

The standard way to respot the jack is called the “one respot position”. By this method the jack should be placed on the two metre mark, that is two metres from the ditch on the centre line.

There are also another “three respot positions” that are “legal”:

If the jack leaves the rink on the left or right of the rink respectively, it may be placed 2 metres from the edge of the ditch and 1.5 metres to the right or left of the centre line. And in the case of a rebounding jack (the jack hits against something and bounces backward less than 20 metres from the mat line) then it should be placed back in the rink at the same point either left, right or on the centre line, as described above – or on the centre line if it rebounded on the line.

Whether the “one spot” or three spot” positions are employed all depends on the Conditions of Play for that particular match or competition.

World Bowls rules for respotting the jack

This is what World Bowls Rules for Lawn Bowls has to say about re-spotting the jack:

56.5 Re-spotting the jack
56.5.1 If a jack is dead, as described in law 19.1, the end must not be declared dead. Instead, the jack must be placed with the nearest point of the jack to the mat line at the appropriate re-spot position described in either law 56.5.2 or 56.5.3, or as close as possible as described in law 56.5.4, and play must continue.
56.5.2 Three re-spot positions
56.5.2.1 If the jack passes outside the side boundary on the right of the rink, it must be placed with the nearest point of the jack to the mat line at a spot on the rink which is 2 metres from
the front ditch and 1.5 metres to the right of the centre line.
56.5.2.2 If the jack passes outside the side boundary on the left of the rink, it must be placed with the nearest point of the jack to the mat line at a spot on the rink which is 2 metres from the
front ditch and 1.5 metres to the left of the centre line.
56.5.2.3 If the jack passes above the face of the bank that is within the side boundaries of the rink of play, or comes to rest in any hollow in the face of the bank, it must be placed with the nearest point of the jack to the mat line at a spot on the rink which is 2 metres from the front ditch and on the centre line.
56.5.2.4 If the jack rebounds to a distance of less than 20 metres from the mat line, it must be placed:
56.5.2.4.1 with the nearest point of the jack to the mat line at the appropriate spot described in laws 56.5.2.1 and 56.5.2.2; or 56.5.2.4.2 with the nearest point of the jack to the mat line
at the spot described in law 56.5.2.3 if it comes to rest on the centre line.
56.5.3 One re-spot position
A single re-spot position which is 2 metres from the front ditch and on the centre line can be used as an alternative to the three re-spot positions described in law 56.5.2.
56.5.4 If any of the spots mentioned in laws 56.5.2 and 56.5.3 are partly or completely covered by a bowl, the jack must be placed as close as possible to the covered spot, between and in line with that spot and the corresponding spot at the opposite end of the rink, without touching a
bowl.
56.5.5 The spots mentioned in laws 56.5.2 and 56.5.3 must be marked using chalk or some other suitable method (see diagrams B.2.3.1 and B.2.3.2
in appendix B.2).