In team matches such as pairs, triples or rinks, there is always one of your team at the head end of the rink. It is vital that communication can take place between the players at either end of the rink. To this end, a number of hand signals are used by the players at the head end.
In the description below, it is assumed that it is the skip at the head end giving the hand signals.
Please bowl to the left or right of the jack.
To request that a wood be delivered on a particular side (or “hand”), the skip raises their arm just below the horizontal, indicating which side they want the wood to be bowled. To indicate that either side is acceptable, the skip raises both arms.
These are our / their bowls.
The skip indicates which are their own team’s woods by pointing at a wood with one hand and patting their chest with the other.
The skip indicates which are the opposition’s woods by splaying their hand just above the wood and twisting their wrist backwards and forwards.
Here is the jack.
If the bowler about to bowl cannot see the jack, the skip indicates where the jack is by holding their hand just above the jack, with a flat palm pointing back down the green and the fingers closed.
Your wood ended up this far short of / beyond the jack.
If the wood is at the same distance up the green as the jack (“jack high”), the skip extends their arm straight down and swings it back and forth across the front of their body.
If the wood is close to the jack, the skip indicates the distance up or down the green from the jack by holding their hands the appropriate distance apart. The hands are held flat with the fingers closed.
For longer distances, the skip extends one arm to the side and indicates the distance up or down the green from the jack by holding their hand the appropriate distance above the ground. The hand is held flat with the fingers closed.
We are currently ahead or behind in this end.
The skip holds up the appropriate number of fingers, one for each shot. If they are ahead, the skip points their fingers up. If they are behind, the skip points their fingers down.
If it is too close to see who is currently closest without actually measuring, the skip indicates this by holding their hands up and moving their hands together and then apart. Each hand should look as though it is holding either end of an invisible piece of string.
We scored or conceded so many shots on this end.
At the completion of an end, the score is agreed by the designated player from each team and this is communicated back to the skip.
If they have won the end, the player puts an arm across their chest and taps their shoulder once for each shot scored. They may also point a finger up to the sky.
If they have lost the end, they tap their thigh or wrist once for each shot conceded. They may also point a finger down to the ground.