Condensed from World Bowls’ Guidelines for Markers;, pp 28-40
by Conrad Melton, USLBA National Umpire in Chief. Issued 7/20/09; supersedes all previous markers’ instructions.

“In the absence of an umpire, the marker should make sure that all
aspects of play are carried out in line with the Laws of the Sport of Bowls.”

A. Before arrival, review law 55. The marker’s duties are to center the jack, immediately mark touchers, put dead bowls on the bank, mark the sand in the ditch to show resting position(s) of a live jack and any live bowls, spot the jack 6 feet 6 inches (2 meters) from the front ditch if it is delivered within that distance, and about a dozen other duties. Laws that a marker should be familiar with are: 55, 18.2,19, 23-32, 33.3, 33.5, 35, 39-42, 47.1-47.4, 50-53, and 57.
B. Arrive wearing appropriate attire. Have chalk or spray-chalk, a measure, and learn where the Umpire Kit is located…it should include a 100 foot tape, wedges, and a sideline string. Learn the logos on the player’s bowls immediately. Being a marker requires constant attention to the head, the players, and the adjacent rinks. Do not engage the players in conversation and only chat with them if they initiate it.
C. Markers are required to question a jack that may not have been delivered the minimal legal distance of 75 feet, 5½ inches (23 meters). NEVER block a bowler’s vision of a rink marker.
D. When the jack is being delivered, the best places to stand are on the bank above center line or by center line next to the ditch, being careful to not block the view of center mark. During play, the ideal position to stand is 5-7 feet behind, and 2-3 feet to the side of the jack. Do not let yourself be distracted from the many relevant aspects of the game you are marking. Refrain from moving towards the head to look it over unless a player requests information.
E. Answer questions about who is holding shot if one bowl is obviously closer to the jack than the other. If it isn’t obvious, be safe and smart by signaling “it’s a measure.” Experienced markers sometimes say “it’s a measure, but I favor ____.” In general, do not volunteer information, but when a player asks a question, don’t make them continue asking related questions. For example, if a player asks “am I holding?” your answer should include how many up or down they are. If they ask “am I jack level” you could say “no, you’re 6 inches behind.” Whenever possible use hand signals.
F. Inform neighboring rinks of an imminent running shot. Stop a bowl or any other neutral object from an adjacent rink if it is likely to disturb the head on your rink. When a runner is delivered, move to the front of the head where you will be in a much better position to observe the action and avoid moving objects. Do not stop or catch bowls which are about to enter the ditch. Let them fall in, and be prepared to return a displaced live bowl or jack to its previous position if necessary. If the players ask you to measure, ask them to remove all bowls not in contention.
G. If the players want you to keep score, wait until they mutually agree on the end score, then record it and diplomatically announce the current game score. Do not “broadcast” so that others can hear, especially if the score is lop-sided. Only the players may ask for an umpire to be brought in. There may or may not be an umpire assigned to your green. At the end of each game, report to the head marker or Tournament Director for your next assignment. You may be asked to turn in both players’ scorecards.

And thanks for marking!!

Singles matches are impossible without your generous and knowledgeable service!