Why do you chalk a bowl?

  • By: Jack Toucher
  • Date: June 11, 2023

So why do you chalk a bowl in lawn bowls? There is only one reason a bowl is chalked and that is when a bowl touches the jack (the small white target ball) when the jack is in play.

A bowl that’s been chalked is called a toucher.

If a bowl lands a jack when the jack is in the ditch, the is not counted as a toucher. It is a dead bowl and is removed from the ditch and placed on the bank.

There is an exception to this rule: when the bowl is still on the green and touching the jack in the ditch. But this infrequently happens, to put it mildly.

Who marks a toucher in lawn bowls?

The team’s most senior player in the head marks the bowl. Sometimes as a courtesy the opposing senior player will mark the opposing team’s toucher (the bowl that touched the jack) with the permission of his or her opposing counterpart.

What does it mean when a bowl is chalked?

When a bowl is chalked after touching the in-play jack, the bowl will still be “live” should it go in the ditch. That is the advantage of having touched the jack. Conversely, when an unchalked bowl lands in the ditch is it “dead” and is therefore removed from the ditch and placed on the bank. It counts for nothing for the rest of the end.

Is bowling chalk literally a piece of chalk?

Yes, you can use ordinary blackboard chalk for marking lawn bowls. But now there are little canisters of marking spray also available, as well as special lawn bowl marking pens.

Why do they spray chalk on bowls?

A piece of chalk will suffice to mark a bowl that touches the jack while it is in play. But recently very clever companies have come up with tiny canisters that spray chalk onto a bowl. Marking the bowl this way is quicker, easier and makes a clearer mark.

What do they spray on the balls in bowls?

Instead of marking a toucher with a piece of chalk, players can buy small spray canisters that spray chalk onto a bowl. It’s quicker than marking a bowl with conventional chalk and makes a clearer mark.