What is a Back Toucher in Lawn Bowls?

  • By: Jack Toucher
  • Date: June 8, 2023

A back toucher in lawn bowls is quite rare and is a sign of an experienced bowler. The bowl approaches the jack at the perfect speed, maybe “kisses” the side of the bowl and then curls neatly around the jack and then touches the back of the jack once again.

The photo above shows the final resting place of the bowl where it achieves a back toucher.

A back toucher is a tough bowl for the opponent to beat. Only a perfect, dead draw or a firm shot that shoots the jack away from the touching bowl can beat a back toucher. Often experienced players will get out of this situation by “attacking” the jack with his bowl an burning the end so that the end gets played over.

How rare is a back toucher?

A back toucher is very rare as it relies on extreme skill on the part of the bowler and a helping of luck as well. This writer plays bowls socially or in competition yet sees this phenomenon only every six months or so.

What is a side toucher?

A side toucher rolls neatly up to the jack and touches it exactly level with the target bowl (the jack) and usually does not move the jack.

A side toucher is a very good bowl as it creates a small target. If the opponent’s bowl makes contact with the touching bowl, the jack is likely to “stick” to the bowl when it moves.

What is a front toucher?

A front toucher ends up touching the jack right in front. This is an excellent shot to achieve as it unnerves the opponent. The touching bowl obscures the target bowl completely and so it is hard to beat. Accomplished players usually try to attack the lying bowl to dislodge the toucher from the jack so it becomes visible again.

Is there such a thing as a double toucher?

A back toucher in particular usually touches the jack twice: first, when it “kisses” the side of the bowl and again when it curls around the jack and touches it once again.

What is a secondhand toucher?

When a bowl hits another bowl in the head, and the bowls that has been struck then touches the jack as a result, that is counted as a non-toucher because it is secondhand. Only bowls that arrive in the head after being delivered and then touch the jack before coming to a standstill count as touchers. A bowl that is a toucher will count as being live should it be hit into the ditch at any point later in the end. That is the purpose of a toucher in lawn bowls.