In the northern hemisphere, on slow rinks, the most frequently adopted strategy in lawn bowling contests is to deliver very long jacks when the opposing team seems to prefer something shorter.
Even so many bowlers underestimate the effectiveness of this strategy because they do not realize how dramatically the average bowler’s line control falls off as the jack length increases. As jack length trends towards full length each additional meter of length is responsible for a greater and greater decline in accuracy.
That is to say, many bowlers underestimate the significance of jack length because they confuse ‘longish ends’ with ‘really long ends’. I would characterize ‘really long ends’ as being only those within 1 meter or less of full length (T to T). It is on these ‘really long ends’ that the performance of many bowlers falls off precipitously.
“Aha,” you may say, “but to gain the advantage you claim, your lead must be able to consistently deliver these ‘really long jacks.’ “
“Well,” I say, “practice it.”
Delivering a small white ball to within 3 meters of the forward ditch without any substantial need for line control is really not very hard for anyone. Besides, all that happens if your side does ditch the jack is that the other side gets their chance, and from what I have seen they don’t pay much attention to their delivery at all!
So the situation is this. You get a chance to deliver the jack for a ‘really long end’ for which your side has trained or is naturally advantaged. If you succeed in getting the jack you desire, you are odds on to win the end and furthermore you retain the jack. On the other hand, if your side makes a mistake rolling the jack it suffers no significant penalty!
Where can you find odds like that?