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                                SINGLES AND TEAM TACTICS                      IMPROVING YOUR OWN TACTICS

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When being outplayed, try and change your opponent from the hand which is playing well for him.  This can be done by changing to your opponents' hand, dropping short, but only slightly in his draw.
jack1.jpg (3304 bytes) Try moving the mat to upset his rhythm of delivery rather than his length can be very helpful.
jack1.jpg (3304 bytes) Sometimes, when a quiet conservative outlook to the game is not paying dividends, become more aggressive.  After all, when a game is being lost a change of tactics might unsettle your opponent.
jack1.jpg (3304 bytes) Build each end to your own particular tactical strength.   Do not allow your opponent dictate the terms on which the game will be played.
jack1.jpg (3304 bytes) If you win the toss it is a tactical advantage to take the jack.  Roll for a three-quarter length and where the jack comes to rest will give you a good indication of the green speed and as a result the amount of draw required.
jack1.jpg (3304 bytes) It is not wise, tactically, to use a straight drive when playing singles and even with a running shot care should be exercised.
jack1.jpg (3304 bytes) Your first and third bowls are tactically of greater importance than the second and fourth.  Your third is invaluable for consolidating a good position, retrieving an awkward one, or for clearing the head for your last bowl.
jack1.jpg (3304 bytes) It is very bad tactics to play your third bowl unless you have a clear picture of the head from the mat.  If in doubt you should walk up to the head and have a look.
jack1.jpg (3304 bytes) Be quick to notice whether the opposition lead is a "niggler".  If so, it is good tactics to keep the jack on or near the 1.8m mark.  The persistent niggler will then find many of his bowls in the ditch, much to his and his Skips' chagrin.  In an effort to correct this, he will probably start dropping short.


jack1.jpg (3304 bytes) It is always good tactics to play the shot offering more than one opportunity of attaining your object.  In other words play the shot that gives the easiest and perhaps an extra chance of success if you happen to be slightly astray with grass or pace.
jack1.jpg (3304 bytes) Fast or running shots should only be played when the position and back bowls are in your favour.
jack1.jpg (3304 bytes) If the scores are favourable to your team, it can be good tactics to play into danger, i.e., play your opponents' shot so that if you are successful, even though you may have given the shot away, you have removed the danger of losing numbers.
jack1.jpg (3304 bytes) After the first two or three ends, choose the side of the rink which is playing evenly in pace and green, and thus gain a tactical advantage over an opponent who bowls around the clock.
jack1.jpg (3304 bytes) Do not allow your opponents' tactics change you from this side if you are in charge of the game.
jack1.jpg (3304 bytes) However you must be flexible enough to change your hand if needed, to consolidate a head or to improve a score.
jack1.jpg (3304 bytes) If your opponent places a bowl short and in the draw, it is better tactics to stay on the same hand when trying to draw to save.  Better the hand you know than the one you don't.
jack1.jpg (3304 bytes) Be aware of your opponents' tactics when the length is altered or when the mat is shifted.
jack1.jpg (3304 bytes) It is good tactics to have two second shots, preferable not together, or at the worst, second and fourth, before playing aggressively into a head.
jack1.jpg (3304 bytes) Tactics means being aware of the ability and attitude of your opponent.
jack1.jpg (3304 bytes) Plan your tactics so that they do not suit your opponent, and not necessarily to your own strengths.
jack1.jpg (3304 bytes) It is poor tactics to pack a head when playing against a good driver.  Counters that are at a distance of 30cms or so are very hard to beat.
jack1.jpg (3304 bytes) Any tactical advantage can be frittered away by poor delivery of the jack.
jack1.jpg (3304 bytes) There is no need to always draw to the jack, but do try to gain the tactical advantage by beating your opponents' bowl.


It is essential in forming your own tactical play, to be aware of your opponents' weaknesses.

Certainly when playing a stranger a number of points should be assessed during the first few ends of the game.

While these may not be a 100% correct, they will surely be of benefit to you during the progress of the game.

jack1.jpg (3304 bytes) Has your opponent a preference for a particular hand.   i.e., is the forehand or backhand preferred.
jack1.jpg (3304 bytes) Does any particular length seem to be favoured.
jack1.jpg (3304 bytes) Is the player showing any particular attitude to the game.  i.e., a conservative or aggressive approach.
jack1.jpg (3304 bytes) How does the opponent select the green or aiming line.   A mark on the bank, spot on green etc.  Movement of the mat might disturb the selection of aiming line.
jack1.jpg (3304 bytes) Delivery style - is it cramped?  Is it a crouch?   Will that style cause difficulty at certain lengths?

PSYCHOLOGICAL TACTICS             head.GIF (896 bytes)

jack1.jpg (3304 bytes) When losing concentration, or to disturb an opponents' rhythm it might be tactical to ask for a toilet break and to use that ten minutes to refocus.
jack1.jpg (3304 bytes) Provided that it does not interfere with ones' own game, keeping up a conversation, in a perfectly innocent way, may hamper your opponents' concentration.
jack1.jpg (3304 bytes) Picking up your opponents' bowl continually, whether wanted or not, might unsettle him.
jack1.jpg (3304 bytes) Take every opportunity to query short ends, when losing, may disturb your opponent and provide time to refocus your own concentration.