A Summer Game for the Entire Family

How to Play Lawn Bowls

Lawn bowl basics for beginners

Summer is a great time to branch out and enjoy lawn bowls with the entire family. If you have never played before it helps to learn a little of the lingo first.

In order to play lawn bowls you will need a rink. This is typically a flat, grassy area that is surrounded by the boundary pegs. Once you have your rink you will need to mark the centre line. The centre line is where you will place the jack. The jack is a small white ball, and the goal of the game is to get your bowls as close to the jack as possible. Each player will stand on a mat on the centre line to bowl. The bowls themselves are the balls used by each player. They get up to four bowls and each one is weighted on one side so that they curve when rolled.

The bowling process

When you first start to bowl you will stand on the mat with your feet together and your knees and waist bent. Pick up your bowl with your throwing hand and step out with the opposite foot. As you take your step bring your throwing arm into a small back swing. Bend down and roll your bowl along the ground at an angle so it will curve back towards the jack. You don’t want to drop or bounce the ball because that will damage the green. Make sure you take note of other people on the green, they can show you tips and also what lawn bowls clothing is appropriate.

Strategy and scoring

There are also two types of strategic shots you might want to make to help increase your chance at scoring. The first is the draw shot. The draw shot is a slow and measured shot meant to place the bowl close to the jack. The second is the drive shot. The drive shot is a harder, and therefore faster, shot that can be used to hit the other player’s bowl away from the jack.

Scoring is a simple process. Each player is awarded points based on the number of bowls closest to the jack. This is determined by the players who judge the number and distance by sight. In the event of a dispute, players can employ a measuring tape or if necessary an umpire. The winner is the player with the most points.


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