At the beginning of the game, this is normally decided by the toss of a coin. The winner gets to deliver the Jack, and once it is centred, blows the first bowl. After the first end, then the person who won the previous end, gets to deliver the Jack and bowl the first bolw.
Delivering the Jack:
First the jack must be properly delivered. (over 23 metres from the mat and at least 2 metrs from the front ditch..). Once it has been delivered it must be centred at that distance.
Note:If the Jack is delivered within 2m of the front ditch, the jack must be spotted on the centre line at a point 2m from the ditch.
Improper Delivery of the Jack
If the jack is not properly delivered it must be returned and given to the opposing team to deliver. Following are examples of a jack improperly delivered:
- When the the jack is delivered less than 23m from the mat.
- When the the jack is delivered too long and falls into the front ditch
- When the the jack is delivered outside the side boundary of the rink
Note: If both teams fail to deliver the jack properly, it's spotted on the centre line at a point 2m from the front ditch. Regardless of who delivers the jack, the winner of the previous end remains the lead bowler.
The jack can be moved by the bowls during play. When a bowl moves the jack it is left in the new position provided it remains within the rink boundary markers. It can also be pushed into the ditch by a bowl. In this case it remains in the ditch and the players must try to play their bowls as close as possible to the jack, at the edge of the green, without falling into the ditch. A bowl which moves the jack is marked with chalk and classed as a "Toucher". If it touches the jack before falling into the ditch it stays there, remains "live" and may feature in the final shot count. A toucher that remains on the rink and is later driven into the ditch by another bowl is also a live bowl.
A bowl that goes into the ditch and that has not touched the jack is classed as being "dead" and it is removed. All bowls which finish outside the side boundaries of the rink are also dead and should be removed.
Dead / Burnt End
A "Dead End" is one where the Jack has been moved outside the boundaries of the rink by a bowl in play. In normal competition Dead Ends must be replayed.
At the completion of an end, only the player/team with the closest bowl to the jack is entitled to score points — one point for each bowl closer to the jack than the nearest opponent bowl. Sometimes it's difficult to eyeball which of two bowls is closer to the jack. For this reason, players usually carry a measuring device devised for this purpose, but bowls can't be measured until the end is completed.