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BOWLS turf is the best of all. It wears longest, and keeps its rule to appoint a “green rota ” of members, who undertake “ spring ” to the last. At one time the clubs in Glasgow a superintendence of the green week by week, and who and Ayrshire obtained turf from the coast near Ayr or have, amongst other matters, occasionally to decide whether Irvine, but after the shore had been stripped of the most or not, having regard to the state of the weather, play suitable grass, clubs of later date went as far as Islay and should be allowed. the Solway to procure good sea-turf. Much of the latter Bowls has now been provided with a code of laws as is under water every tide. It answers its purpose excel- full and as far-reaching as the laws which govern cricket. lently in Glasgow, but possibly does best in some such The rules and regulations of the Scottish Bowling “ soft ” climate as the West of Scotland too consistently Association, so far at any rate as principles are offers. Turf like this is not generally obtainable, and concerned, have been cordially accepted. In certain becomes so costly an item in the contractor’s tender that details, as has already been indicated, modifications have poorer clubs have to be satisfied with much commoner and been introduced which do not, however, imperil the more ordinary turf. The mere difference in turf, however, cardinal features of the game. The dimensions of a rink measures the difference between a Glasgow green and a are laid down, the maximum circumference of the bowl is London one, or, in other words, between a game of skill fixed at 16| inches, and unbiassed bowls are forbidden. and a game largely of luck. A game consists of any number of ends or points agreed It is the rougher green in many parts of London and upon, or for a specified length of time. In clubs followthe South of England that has necessitated a modification ing the Scottish code, 25 ends, or heads, a rink is the of the Scottish practice of play, which otherwise would ordinary practice; but most of the London and many unquestionably govern every club in the world. In Scot- English provincial clubs prefer 21 points a rink for match land the custom is to play rinks of four a-side—the players play, championships, and handicaps. There are obvious being called leader, second player, third player, and driver objections to playing matches by time, and this is conor skip—which gives rise on a fine green to a beautiful sequently seldom adopted. In Scotland a full rink display of keen and accurate Bowling. On the inferior consists of four men a-side, each playing two bowls, but in greens of the majority of London clubs, though such a a “pairs” game (two against two) each player uses four system would be quite possible—and is often adopted in bowls. Thus the same aggregate number of bowls (8) is friendly games—it cannot be said that the play would be employed in both games. But, as we have said, many either scientific or satisfactory. In these cases, accordingly, London clubs, for good and sufficient reasons in their case, the rule is to play rinks of only two a-side in matches. play only two men a-side in matches, and in “friendlies” it On the other hand, in the Colonies, where the greens is rare indeed to see players use four bowls each on English closely approximate the quality of the Scottish greens, the greens. Probably most difference of opinion has arisen Scottish practice is almost invariably followed. over what constitutes a minimum and maximum jack. In theory the game of Bowls is simplicity itself, the aim In the Scottish rules the former is fixed at 25 yards, but of the player being to deliver his ball from the “footer” several English clubs prefer a shorter distance. The latter or mat with sufficient strength and bias to cause it to rest is usually fixed at six feet from the ditch, but the Scottish nearer to the jack than his opponent’s bowl. But in rules seem to be singularly lax on the subject, for they practice there is plenty of scope for skill. The leader’s declare that “when thrown less than two yards from the business is to “be up.” There is no excuse for short play ditch it should be moved out to that distance,” and if it on the part of the first players; their bowls would be far run to the side “ it shall be moved out and placed in a better in the ditch. It is their plain duty to be on the straight line between the pins numbering the rinks.” This jack, the ideal position being a bowl at rest immediately handling of the jack by any person but the thrower is, in behind the tee. It is customary for the skip, or driver, to the view of the South London Association of Bowling direct his men from the end that is being played to, and Clubs, itself an illegal act, and neither logical nor sportsthey must do precisely as they are bidden. The player manlike, and it is difficult to reject this contention. who disobeys orders, whatever his individual merits, will It is of interest, in this connexion, to note that the be of little use in a team. The skip, having carefully Australian Bowlers who visited the United Kingdom noted the lie of the different bowls, then takes his place in 1901 considered that the practice of bowling to at the footer, and acts according to the position of the jacks of uniform length was far too common on British “ wood ” around the jack. It may be that he has to throw greens and did not make for the best possible game. away his bowl, or to draw a shot with the utmost nicety, Another question upon which doctors differ is as to the or even to “fire.” Judgment and nerve are all-in-all in a condition of the jack after it has been driven into the skip. When the foe are lying massed around the jack, ditch. Unless it has been forced clean out of bounds, and the draws are all blocked, it is sometimes the wisest such a jack is still alive, according to Scottish rules. On plan for the skip to “ fire ”—that is, to deliver his bowl nearly all English greens it is a dead jack, and the end almost dead straight, and with enough force to kill the “no end.” English practice here seems preferable. Nor bias for the moment—and scatter his enemies. Ignorant has the Scottish doctrine of “ touchers ” proved generally onlookers or irritated players- may describe this as acceptable south of the Cheviots. A bowl which, during its “ skittles,” but there are situations in which it is absolutely original course, touches the jack, is called a toucher, and the correct thing to do; and the skip who has the pluck counts in the game even should it run into the ditch, or be to do it deserves to be commended for his indifference to driven in by another bowl. For the purpose of this and sneers and his desire to win the end. other laws, the Scottish Association holds that the ditch In a general way the Bowling season runs from May- within the limits of the rink is part of the green so far as day till the end of September or the middle of October. the jack and touchers are concerned. It is a comparatively When the season is closed the green should be carefully easy feat for early players in a rink to touch the jack, and examined. Weeds must be uprooted, worn patches re- no special reward seems called for by this exhibition of turfed, and if the whole can then be laid under a winter commonplace dexterity. Moreover, the ditch seems to be blanket of silver sand, by the following spring this will the ditch and not the green. The last law in the Scottish all have been absorbed and the elasticity of the pitch code might be universally adopted and rigidly enforced. restored. During the season the ground-man will of “ Persons not engaged in the game,” it runs, “ must confine course be on duty constantly, and in most clubs it is the themselves to the banks and preserve an attitude of strict