We are slowly coming to the limit of my experiences and knowledge of the game but this week I would like to take a look at the role of the second, as I see it, and experiences in playing that role.

Before going into the role, may I say in my opinion each role and position in the team is equally important, but in most situations at our level and more than often in the lower divisions compromises have to be made due to the abilities of the players.  Six bowls have now been delivered and the Skip will have read the “head”.

He will now instruct the second as to where he needs bowls, for example, if the lead has got his bowls on or near the jack, then the skip might ask for blockers or cover at the back. With goods skips a close relationship is developed with the second   as with the lead, and he will have a good idea of his skills.

An understanding or “reading of the head “ is a great advantage for the second as he will have assist with the skip’s delivery after his own. The head is changing all the time now as the opposition will be trying to promote or take out some of your teams bowls.

It’s always a disappointment when you see your bowl sitting on the jack nudged out but that’s the game. We need to talk a bit about the rink and possession of it.

First something to clarify. Whilst the lead and the second are delivering their bowls the two skips have been at the other end positioning the jack to the centre line and directing play in general.

When the second has played his bowls the lead and second change ends so that the skip can deliver the final three bowls.  We need to look at the rule mentioned last week again with a view to its impact at the head end.

Possession of the rink: Rule 13.1 Possession of the rink will belong to the player or team whose bowl is being played. 13.2 As soon as each bowl has come to rest, possession of the rink will transfer to the opposing player or team after allowing time for marking a toucher as soon as it comes to rest.

It is important now as this also means whilst the player is on the mat the skip has possession of the head and he alone can stand by the jack. The opposing skip must stay back out of the head. The head is defined as any bowls in play or any marked bowl or jack in the ditch.

This means that by the rules the opposing skip should step out of the rink onto the bank, but for practical reasons, he normally stands well back so he does not obstruct his opposite number. On the change of the end for delivery of the skip’s bowls the second takes the place of the skip and can come up to the jack to direct play or advise the skip. All other players must, by the rules, stay out of the rink, as mentioned before again, it is normally not practical and they should stay as far back as possible.

However when playing second  I have experienced several times that the opposing second has come up to stand alongside me or in a position to obstruct me standing close to the jack whilst giving directions or advice to my skip. When diplomatically asking them to move back they have stated they are entitled to stand 1.5 metres from the jack(as per the rules) in fact a pompous lady “declared” after playing for 40 years and she had always done it.

Again at another club I had the same problem and excuse from an ex member of my club who , again after I diplomatically requested him to stand back , quoted the same 1.5 metres and then started to rant that I was spoiling his game. In both occasions I just got on with it and made no complaint, as I was not sure of the rules.

But after speaking to one of my club umpires and the club captain I was assured there was no such rule and since doing these takes and reading the rules I can say “THERE IS NO SUCH 1.5 METRE RULE” it is just gamesmanship! If it happens to you, or any other action you think is not correct, talk to your skip and he will sort it out. Don’t let them get away with it. Next week I will do a take on the skip and some other rules. Take care.

 Vistabella Bowls Club is sponsored by: Venture Fleet Services, TV Choice, Oneway Services, Serenity Insurance, Carpet Heaven.  The Winter league is sponsored by Laguna Tavern Entre Naranjos

How about coming and have a go at bowling we would be pleased to see you. We can arrange a free session and lesson . You could get hooked it’s a fabulous game and a very sociable one you’ll meet lots of new friends.

Also bowlers are most welcome, we have a brand new green and are looking for new members. Please contact:  Club Captain – David Jenkins  pacadasu@yahoo.com or Charlie Watkins charlieatpathways@yahoo.co.uk.  Reported by : Montestan