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Roles by game format

Roles by game format

How do you cover each role when you’re playing pairs? How best do you divide the roles between the players you do have?

Let’s take a look at the most common formats, and how we could split up the roles.


Let’s start with the easy one! Fours is the format with the most specialised roles. We can take the definitions above and assign them out to each team member.


In triples the role of the skip will remain the same, with the number 2 in the triples team acting like a “Number 3” outlined above.

We will have to split the role of the “Number 2” across the lead and 2.
The role of a triples “Number 2” is therefore quite demanding and the role will vary from end to end.


At face value assigning roles across the the pair should be straight forward. However, it’s not as simple as the lead taking the role of the number two and the skip taking the role of the number three.

The number three role will be split amongst the pair. The skip will need to play more positional shots to help later, more aggressive, shots.


When you’re playing singles you really are on your own! You have responsibility for all the roles, and with so few bowls per end you need to choose your shots wisely.