Trial ends

Trial bowls up and back can be the most important bowls of the day.

They are the key to:

  • understanding the green
  • your opponent
  • in formulating your match play strategy and tactics
  • in setting the tone for the match
  • assuring maximum preparedness for the competition
  • for loosening up
  • getting into awareness mode and in touch with sense of feel
  • to choose the truest, best hand


Always take the maximum allowed number of bowls.

Observe very carefully how each of your opponents’ bowls travel (and team mates). Will see opponents’ bowling line; maybe preferred hand and length and it will giving lots of information about the green.

Don’t worry about drawing to the jack. Bowl average weight and line on both hands and see the result – this will give you a tremendous amount of information.

i.e. Try to put bowl to the center line. If it is wide or narrow, analyze what adjustment you must make to get on the center line. Attempt to bowl ¾length and just analyze the amount of weight it takes to bring your bowl to its resting place and how much more (or less) weight it will take to get it to the desired spot. Try very hard to hit your aiming point ‘spot-on’ with your average weight, observe carefully how your bowl travels on each side of the rink as opposed to how you expected it to travel.


If you are setting the mat and jack, set the mat the standard 6-feet out from the ditch and roll a medium long jack. Have the precise distance in mind and analyze the weight it will take to roll the jack that precise distance. After the jack has been centered, forget it; the jack has no further useful purpose for trial ends than to get the feel of what it takes to roll the jack a specified distance.


Also important – observe the condition of the green, before you begin your trial ends. Is it damp, is it well maintained? Be alert for variations in the running surface and where they are. (You don’t have to bowl to the jack!)  Check rink markings. Have all items including scoreboard moved to the edge of the rink. Let marker know of any preferences i.e. distances in metric; distances given verbally not visually.

(Never try to beat a green)