This volume of Ask an umpire covers Jack Delivery, Mat positioning, and Law 8

Q: In the situation where Team 1’s jack needs to be re-rolled, does the lead for Team 2 get to reposition the mat, or does it stay where Team 1’s lead originally placed it?

A: If the jack is delivered and comes to rest on the rink at a distance that is less than 2 metres from the front ditch, it must be moved out to the 2 metre mark on the centre line, before play commences. The first player to deliver the jack at the start of an end can place and centre the mat on the rink anywhere between the 2 metre mark and the first hog line. If the jack is delivered improperly, it is returned, and the opposing lead or player can reposition the mat and re-deliver the jack. If both players have improperly delivered the jack, the jack is placed at the 2 metre mark. The player who first delivered the jack can also reposition the mat before they deliver their first bowl. If portable groundsheets are in use, the groundsheet may be moved so that it is in the correct position at the front edge of the mat (i.e. the mat position determines the position of the groundsheet, rather than the reverse). This is permitted under the BCB Domestic Regulation (approved April 2015) regarding the use of groundsheets, unless the greenskeeper directs otherwise.


Q: During an end I noticed that the mat had moved from where it was originally placed. Should we have moved it back to where it was originally placed at the beginning of the end?

A: During an end, if a player notices that the mat is crooked or is off the centre line, the mat must be replaced to its former position on the centre line, without changing the original distance from the mat to the jack.


Q: What laws would an umpire consider if called upon because a player took their bowl to the head and placed it there (or dropped it, without disturbing the head)? Would law 8 apply?

A: There are two aspects to consider regarding the delivery of a bowl (or a jack). First, the delivery must be a “deliberate” action, as covered by the definition C.3 Delivery. Second, before delivery, a player must be standing on the mat (law 7).

It is allowable for a bowler to carry a bowl in their hand when they walk to the head. This is stated in law 17.2.1 as one situation where a bowl is not dead. Nothing changes if the bowler temporarily places the bowl in the head, or drops it, without disturbing the head. This is not considered to be a delivered bowl, and it is not declared a dead bowl.

Law 8 Foot-faulting comes into play when a bowler delivers the bowl or jack from the mat without having all or part of at least one foot on or over the mat, either before delivery, or at the moment of delivery of the jack or bowl.

From past editions of Extra Ends, as well as questions bowlers had for umpires that have never been published. All questions were answered by the National Officiating Committee


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