Why do they spray bowls in lawn bowls?

  • By: Jack Toucher
  • Date: June 10, 2023

There are two occasions that players spray lawn bowls: 1) They use a spray-on gripping agent to make the bowl less slippery by adhering to the fingers; and 2) When a bowl touches the white ball (also called the jack or kitty) a player may mark the bowl with a white spray from a small canister to indicate that the bowl will still be live if it lands in the ditch inside the rink.

Why is the ball sprayed in bowls

Some players spray their bowls prior to play beginning to improve the grip on the bowls when delivered. And instead of marking a “toucher” with a piece of chalk, modern bowlers use a small spray canister that makes a clear white mark on the bowl.

A toucher is a bowl that has touched the white ball (also called a kitty or jack) while in play. The reason it is marked is that should it land in the ditch, inside the rink lines, then it will still be regarded as live. Unmarked bowls are declared “dead” once they land in the ditch and are immediately removed and placed on the bank. Once the end is over (when all the bowls of both teams have been played to the opposite end of the green) then the white spray-mark should be wiped off the bowl.

Why does the umpire spray on bowls?

In lawn bowls, the umpire does not spray the bowls. However, in a singles game a Marker (a sort of Assistant Umpire who helps the bowlers) does spray a bowl if it touches the white ball (also known as the kitty or the jack). Should the marked bowl land in the ditch inside the rink lines during that end, it will remain in the ditch and be regarded as being live. Bowls with no spray markings that land in the ditch are regarded as “dead” and are removed by the Market and placed on the bank until the next end. (An end is when all the bowls have been played by the players from one end of the green to the other. There are typically 12 to 21 ends in a game of lawn bowls.)

What does a toucher mean in bowls?

A bowl that touches the jack (also called the kitty or simply the white ball) during play is marked by a player with a piece of chalk, a small canister on white spray or a white or coloured marker pen). The mark on the bowl indicates that the bowl touched the live jack during play and should be considered a “live” bowl if it lands in the ditch inside the rink. Bowls that land up in the ditch without touching the jack are considered “dead” and are removed from the ditch and placed on the bank.

What’s the spray in bowls?

There are tiny spray canisters available in lawn bowling shops that deliver a small spot of soft chalk when a toucher needs to be marked. A toucher is a bowl that has touched the jack (the whtie ball) during play and will therefore be counted as “live” if it lands in the ditch during that end. An end is the interval in which all the bowls of both teams (or both players in a singles match) are delivered to the other end of the green.

Recently manufacturers have come up with a gripping spray as well. Players spray this slightly tacky substance on their bowls in order to maintain a better grip during the game, particularly in wet conditions.

What advantage is a toucher in bowls?

A toucher in bowls is an advantage because if the bowl that is the toucher lands in the ditch during the end, then the bowl will be counted as being “live”. If a bowl that is NOT a toucher runs into the ditch, it is regarded as “dead” and is removed from the bank. However, the toucher in the ditch will count for points if lying near enough to the kitty.

A toucher is indicated by receiving a chalk mark when it touches the jack. The mark gets wiped off once the end is finished. An end in lawn bowls is the process of all the bowls of both teams being delivered to the opposite end of the green.