History of Bowls: How to Play Bowls

Bowls is one of the most popular games on earth. I was once told from a very reliable source that there were more registered lawn bowlers in Australia than any other sport. I don’t know if this is reflected in other parts of the world, but I am sure it would be close in the UK and is growing rapidly elsewhere.

The object of the game is to roll the bowl as close to the jack as possible. The jack is rolled the length of the green to start each end. Where it stops, after being centered in the middle of the rink, it becomes the target for the balance of the end.

The bowl is not completely round but in fact has a “bias,” allowing it to curve inward as it slows. The bowl curves either way, depending on which way it is held during delivery.

Bowls is a game that involves offensive and defensive strategy to play the game and has the added challenge that the jack is movable and can be displaced anywhere on the rink by a delivered bowl.

A bowls green, which is 37 to 40 meters, square, and perfectly flat. The green is divided into rinks, which are not less than 5.5 meters or more than 5.8 meters wide, so several games can be played at the same time.

A set of bowls, which includes four bowls and comes in several sizes to best fit the player’s hand. White-, brown-, and black-colored bowls are most often used. However, brightly colored bowls are becoming more prevalent. To help distinguish from opponents’ bowls, colored decals are often put on the bowls.

A jack, which is smaller, white and round, and used as the target.

A mat, which is 600 mm long and 360 mm wide. One foot must be on the mat when a player delivers the bowl.

Flat heel-less footwear, so the greens won’t be damaged.

Comfortable clothes which are within the club’s dress standards. This usually is relaxed and comfortable, with some uniform requirements once you enter higher-level competitions.

There are all kinds of club and local tournaments for people at all levels. Mixed events offer men and women the opportunity to compete in a fun and relaxed environment.


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