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Markers Code of Conduct

As a marker you can make or break a game. Remember the game belongs to the players; the Marker is there to assist the smooth running of the game and to help players.

A good marker always:

  • Is suitably dressed and has his measure, chalk and pen handy

    Tip: On a cold day dress warmly, the marker moves less than the players and can get quite cold.  On a wet day have a pencil handy as well as a pen. It writes better in the rain. An umpire’s kit should be handy or such things as callipers, string measure, feeler gauges, and measuring tape, so that the marker doesn’t have to go searching for them if they are needed.
    A coin for tossing and a couple of wedges in your pocket are also advisable.
    Don’t forget to have your “Laws of the game” book with you.  If it is wet it is also a good idea to have a piece of matting to kneel on when measuring.
  • Ensures right from the start that he knows the names of the competitors, which one is challenger, what the competition is and the rules appertaining to the duration of the game (number of ends, shots, points) and scoring (as in 100 up and 2 woods).  He should satisfy himself that he can identify each of the player’s bowls.

Tip: make a tiny note on the scorecard indicating any distinguishing mark of each player’s bowls so that you can immediately identify them.

  • Inform the players that he will mark “touchers” immediately they come to rest
  • Remind the players that he needs their agreement that he may remove dead bowls.
  • Keep his attention entirely on the game which he is marking
  • Stand still unless required to mark a toucher or to answer a question.
  • Ensures that the mat is centred, particularly if it has been brought up the green

    Tip: If he asks the players to leave the mat down at the conclusion of an end, he can then walk up the green, collect the mat and place it correctly on the bank, and is in a position to ascertain that the mat for the next end is centrally placed (i.e.: he is already standing in front of the number on the front bank). This also means that the player should wait until he has removed the mat before he bowls the Jack, and this also gives the marker more time to mark the card and register on the scoreboard.  Remember that after making sure that the mat is central, not to stand in a position that could be interpreted as indicating the length to which the player should bowl.
  • Satisfies himself that the Jack is of legal length
  • Waits until the players have agreed the shots before marking the score card or leaving the head.

    Tip: Don’t wander around the head when the players have finished bowling, wait until they arrive at the head, and don’t let the head be disturbed until both players are at the head and in agreement. Don’t offer your opinion unless you are asked. If you want something to do whilst the players approach the head, perhaps lift the pusher onto the green in the proximity of the head for them, this can save time and help keep you warm. You may be asked to measure and immediately after the last wood of the end has come to rest you should note the time , remember the 30 second rule.  After 30 seconds have elapsed after the last wood has come to resta player may request that a wood be wedged to avoid it falling, have your wedges ready.  In addition if you are asked to measure and there is a danger of any of the woods in contention falling then wedge them before measuring,
  • Keeps the players informed of the score
  • Alters the scoreboard every end.
  • In a two woods singles game ensures that the score board shows the ends as well as the score.

    Tip: Whilst it may not be necessary to show the ends in some games, it doesn’t do any harm and is a very useful check with the card that for some reason ad end hasn’t been missed or recorded twice both of which can happen,  
  • Walks quickly up the side of the rink so as not to delay the players starting the next end.

    Tip: If the player delivers the Jack before you reach the other end; ensure that the mat is central and correct before centring the Jack.
  • In the case of a very tight measure upon which the players cannot agree the shot, suggest that the umpire is called.  Remember that the more often the shot is measured the more likely it is that something will be moved.
  • Know the laws of the game

    Tip: Know the rules applying to the particular competition which you are marking. There are often local rules, and such things as how often someone can visit the head etc.
  • Knows what to do if there is an extra end.

    Tip: Know also the difference between a dead end & a tied end and how they are shown on the scorecard.

    An end is declared dead if the jack leaves the confines of the rink, or comes to rest less than 20 metres, as measured in a straight line, from the centre of the mat. No score is recorded and the end is played again.

    Tied End: If the nearest bowls of both sides are exactly the same distance from the jack at the completion of the end (eg both bowls are touching the jack) neither side scores, but it is a completed end and should be entered on the scorecard with no score to either side,
  • Ensures that the players sign the scorecard.
  • Tries not to stand in front of the same spectators every time
                  – but remember that you will nearly always be in someone’s way.
  • Remembers to be alert, decisive and unobtrusive
  • Answers all questions fully but being careful not to give extra information
                   and remaining completely neutral without hinting at any advice.

    Tip: If a question is not clear, don’t be afraid to ask the player to repeat it or if it is ambiguous ask them to rephrase the question.  Be sure you are answering what is being asked.  If you do ask them to rephrase the question be careful that you don’t give additional information at the same time.
  • Never stands on the bank (or elsewhere) chatting or watching the game on the next rink (even if  someone known to them is playing a game there), Never gives the player advice or declares the shot except in the case of the latter when he is asked by a player in possession of the rink.

    The above does not cover every eventuality.  We are all learning from every game we mark and situations will occur where only common sense and the good will of those involved will find an acceptable solution.

Some Useful Information

Minimum mat position:                        2 m

Minimum length for Jack delivery          23 m

Minimum length for bowl delivery          14 m

Maximum Jack length                           2 m from back ditch