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    2015 Rule Change - changes the way to play two shots
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    2015 Rule Change Has Altered Two Shots

    The changes to the rules made in January 2015 did not seem to be very important. The most significant was a change to the foot fault rule where in the stance position instead of having to have the whole of one foot on the mat you can now have any part of either foot on the mat

    I thought the change was a good idea, because it removed from the rules the situation where some bowlers were foot faulting in almost every game. These were the bowlers who had the toe of one foot off the front of the mat and the heel of the other foot off the side of the mat as shown in this photo. This was always accidental and the bowler could gain no advantage from the practice. I had never seen a bowler actually called for this type of foot fault, but there was the danger from an over zealous umpire

    My initial thoughts on the benefits of the new rule were that
  • There is an increase in the amount you can move across the mat in order to get around a bowl (see this article from the previous edition of gggazette)
  • It increases the possible forward and backward movements on the mat if you use them to send down a longer or shorter bowl (the distance you can move forward or back has been increased by the length of your foot

  • Only recently I discovered that the new rule makes two of the most significant changes for 20 years in the way that bowlers can be coached to play important shots

    Rolling the Jack

    Most coaching manuals say that a good leader will get the weight of the first bowl by the weight of the jack. With the old rule having to have the whole of one foot on the mat prevented the jack from being rolled using your normal bowling action unless you were happy to roll it in a line parallel to the centre line .

    When rolling the jack can have your back foot half on the mat, allowing you to roll the jack straight down the centre line with your normal action. This should increase the number of leaders who can effectively use their jack delivery to get the weight of their first bowl right.

    This photo shows a comfortable stance position for delivering the jack - allowed by the new rule

    The Drive

    These days I most often play second or lead so I do not drive much. At club practice recently I was asked to set up a driving drill and I tried it out. I then realised that the same foot placement as for rolling the jack would allow you to drive straight down the centre line. The bowlers present tried the new foot position and were amazed at the increase in their accuracy.

    If the green is fast enough and you are able to send down a straight drive this should made a difference for you