Signals Header
Signal Face

Signs or signals are used to communicate silently between players from one end of the rink to the other. The following are samples of signals that are often used at our club. There are sometimes a variety of signs that are employed to send similar messages. Skips should review the signals that are to be used during a game with players prior to a game. Opposing players are permitted to ask for clarification of signals if they are unclear.

Signal Communication

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Bowl Beyond Rink Boundary:

If a delivered bowl comes to rest close to a rink boundary, the player who delivered bowl stands on the bank behind the rink boundary marker and points with an arm away from the centre line if the bowl is outside rink boundary .  The same signal can be used if the jack has come to rest near a rink boundary.

Beyong Rink Boundary
Bowl Inside Rink Boundary:

If a delivered bowl comes to rest close to a rink boundary, the player who delivered bowl stands on the bank behind the rink boundary marker and points with an arm towards the centre line if the bowl is still on the rink.  The same signal can be used if the jack has come to rest near a rink boundary.

Inside Rink Boundary
Bowl On Rink Boundary:

If a delivered bowl comes to rest close to a rink boundary, the player who delivered bowl stands on the bank behind the rink boundary marker and makes an up and down motion with a hand in front if the bowl is on the rink boundary.  A bowl that is on the rink boundary is still in play or alive. The same signal can be used if the jack has come to rest near a rink boundary.

On Rink Boundary
Bowl Touching Jack:

When a delivered bowl is touching the jack, skips hold their fists together after placing a chalk mark on the bowl.

Bowl is Touching Jack
Check Rink Boundary:

When a delivered bowl comes to rest near a rink boundary, skips ask the player who delivered the bowl to stand on the bank behind the white rink boundary indicator and look at the bowl’s position in relation to the opposite rink boundary marker to determine whether the bowl is in or out of bounds.

Is Bowl In or Out?
Dead End Declared:

If a jack is knocked beyond the boundaries of the rink and the end is determined to be dead, the people managing the head hold their hands in front of them with palms down and make a scissor-like motion waving the arms back and forth signifying that the end has been wiped out.

Dead End Declared
Distance to Jack:

To indicate the distance that a bowl is from the jack, skips or vice skips place their hands approximately that distance apart.

Distance to Jack
Distance to Jack Line:

To show the distance a bowl is short or long from an imaginary line through the jack parallel to the ditch, skips or vice skips raise a single hand that approximate distance above the playing surface.

Distance to Jack Line
Either Forehand or Backhand Approach:

When skips or vice skips have no preference as to whether a player uses a forehand or backhand delivery, hands and arms will be stretched out to both the left and right to indicate to their player that the choice is up to them.

Forehand or Backhand Approach:

The skip or vice skip will stretch an arm out to the left or right to indicate to their player about to deliver a bowl which is the preferred approach to the jack or target bowl.

Forehand or Backhand
Jack High:

When the last bowl delivered comes to rest the same distance as the jack is from the mat, skips will waggle the forearm from side to side in a pendulum motion.

Even with Jack
Jack is Aligned Centre:

The lead stands on the mat facing the skip and makes a chopping action with both hands close together from top to bottom to indicate that the jack is on the rink's centre line.

Jack is Aligned Centre
Jack Location Target:

The skip of a team will signal the desired location of the jack by standing there on the playing surface when the lead is getting ready to deliver the jack.

Jack Location Target
Less Weight Required:

To indicate that the player delivering a bowl needs to use less weight, skips or vice skips make a pushing down motion with their hands from the waist downward.

Less Weight Required
Location of Hidden Jack:

The skip or vice skip will either point out or hold a cloth to show the location of a jack that is hidden from the view of a bowler on the mat.

Location of Hidden Jack
Mat Alignment:

To indicate that the mat needs to be shifted in a given direction and distance, the skip stands with hands at shoulder height and about 35 centimetres apart.  The hands are then moved in unison in the desired direction the required distance. Some skips will point towards themselves with the hand indicating the corner of the mat that needs to move towards them.

Move the Mat
Measure Required:

To indicate to the player about to deliver a bowl that it would be necessary to determine which of two or more bowls is closest (or next closest) to the jack, the skip or vice skip will stretch an imaginary measuring tape in front of them.

Measure Required
More Weight Required:

When skips or vice skips raise their hands up at the sides of their bodies as if to show arm muscles, this indicates to the player delivering a bowl that greater weight is required.

More Weight Required
Move the Jack:

The lead that delivers the jack indicates to the skip that it needs to be moved to the left or right by holding their hands the given distance apart on that side of their heads.

Move the Jack
Move the Jack One Roll in this Direction:

The lead that delivers the jack indicates to the skip that it needs to be moved to the left or right one single roll, by holding one hand and making a curling motion in the appropriate direction.

Roll the Jack in this Direction
Our Bowl:

After pointing to a bowl, skips or vice skips tap a hand on their own chest to indicate that it belongs to their team.

Our Bowl
Our Team Scores:

Vice skips indicate that their own team scores with the current position of the bowls is positive, by tapping their shoulder the number of points they are to gain.  This same motion is also employed to indicate a score at the completion of an end.

Our Score
Shot Bowl:

To indicate the bowl that is the current shot (bowl closest to the jack), skips or vice skips point to the bowl.

Shot Bowl Signal
Their Bowl:

After pointing to a bowl, skips or vice skips waves a hand away to indicate that it belongs to the opponents and should be removed if possible.

Their Bowl
Their Score:

Vice skips indicate the opposition team score with the current position of the bowls is positive by tapping their thighs the number of points they are to lose.  This same motion is also employed to indicate a score at the completion of an end.

Their Score
Well Done:

Skips or Vice Skips indicate that the bowl, which has just been delivered has achieved the hoped for results by either clapping or raising a "Thumbs Up" signal.

Well Done!
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