How many times have you had a vice that doesn’t pay attention? A lead that can’t throw the jack where you want it? Or even a skip who doesn’t care about anything but themselves?
It happens more often than we’d like to think. I’ve played for 10 years and I would estimate that for the first 5 years of my novice playing I played with many people who didn’t care, didn’t know or just plain didn’t pay attention. After those bouts of playing with people like this I’ve become a lot pickier of whom I play with and I also have become bolder with my need for people to be engaged and focused on the game. It’s frustrating and a big turn off to anyone playing with those who just don’t care.
Every position in bowls has an important role. If a position didn’t matter, then why have it?
My biggest pet peeve was having a vice in fours or triples who thought that by taking the middle position they could simply bowl and not do anything else. They didn’t rake bowls, take score, read heads, throw jacks or place the mat — so they just bowled and didn’t engage anyone and couldn’t tell me any information I needed to skip effectively. I would have to come to the head time and time again, wasting the other players time.
I’ve decided to post a few short articles (with help from some other sources) on each position in a fours team. I hope that these little articles will give everyone an idea of what each position is about and what you should consider if you want to be a GOOD player in that role. Keep in mind that these are just guideline and a framework. Hopefully these will help teams build and give everyone an idea of how the positions interact with each other and how important it is they work together.