Jack Attack Explained

The concept

Jack Attack emulates the style of play of the Bowls Premier League, which is broadcast live on Fox Sports and Sky Sport NZ each February and November.

Jack Attack allows for the BPL format to be played directly at clubs across the nation, capitalising on its social, fast-paced format to help encourage participation with non-bowls audiences, by appealing to people opposed to playing in longer formats like pennant, and providing a more structured competition than barefoot bowls.

It’s intended to be run as a four to eight week competition, staged ideally on a midweek evening, but clubs are free to schedule games any time that suits their club and audiences.

Jack Attack is super easy to play. It’s three players per team (known as triples), each with two bowls, who play two sets of five ends, and if the sets are split then a one-end tie-breaker is played to determine a winner – and it’s all over in less than 75 minutes!

The basics

  • Three players per team
  • Team order can be interchangeable
  • Each player plays two bowls per end
  • Five ends completes a set
  • Two sets completes a match
  • A sudden-death tie-break will determine a winner, should sets be evenly split
  • Players aim to deliver their bowl as close to the jack as possible
  • The number of your team’s bowls closer to the jack than the nearest opposition bowl is the number of points you score
  • The jack is placed wherever the winning team wants at the opposite end of the green
  • Players to wait until all bowls are delivered before changing ends
  • Each team gets to have one power-play end per set. A power-play is where points are worth double.
  • Should the jack be knocked out of play, it will be re-placed back in a central position known as the ‘T’

Information for Clubs

If you’re interested in hosting a Jack Attack competition at your club, you’ve come to the right place.

The Jack Attack program is designed to increase participation in the sport of bowls. Our national bowls census clearly shows that traditional membership is declining in line with modern society. In fact that’s happening in nearly all adult club-based sports. It also shows that there is a large number of bowlers who love to participate in the sport but are not transferring into traditional product offerings.

There is a new and very large audience out there, who are prepared to trial the sport, but making the jump from a corporate or social day to pennant is too significant or simply not attractive for most people. That’s where Jack Attack fits in, right between competitive (pennant) play and social/barefoot bowls.

Jack Attack closely replicates the style of play, through the format and time limits, found in the Bowls Premier League. The format is two-bowl triples with Power Plays and substitutes available.

Host club booklet

Bowls Australia have created a document to assist bowls clubs that wish to know more regarding Jack Attack. The Information for Host Clubs booklet has been developed to provide clubs with all the relevant information they require to successfully run a Jack Attack program.

Details that are contained in the booklet are:

  • What is Jack Attack?
  • Why Jack Attack?
  • How to run Jack Attack?
  • How can Bowls Australia help?
  • How Jack Attack works
  • Promoting Jack Attack
  • Retaining participants
  • Cost of the program
  • Where to now?

Jack Attack Coordinator

It is essential that you have the correct individual at your club to run the Jack Attack program. Some key characteristics that you may wish to look for in a Jack Attack Coordinator are that they:

  • Are always happy;
  • Always have a smile on their face;
  • Are welcoming to all individuals;
  • Have a bubbly personality;
  • Are energetic;
  • Are up for a challenge; and
  • Are willing to interact with a number of individuals.

Bowls Australia have created a position description template for Jack Attack host clubs that can be modified and assist in the recruitment of the ideal coordinator.

Completing a scorecard

It is important that as coordinator of the Jack Attack program you know how to complete a scorecard. Below is an attached image of a completed scorecard as an example. If you need assistance with this, contact your Regional Bowls Manager.