Tips for Selecting the Perfect Lawn Bowl Size

Understanding the significance of using the appropriate size of lawn bowls is crucial. Yet, determining the right size can prove challenging, even for seasoned players.

Choosing the right size of lawn bowls is crucial for long-lasting enjoyment without any concerns about grip. With a carefully selected set, you can savor years of playing this delightful game.

I have assisted numerous new players with this decision, and I can assure you that it is much easier and simpler than you may imagine. Only a few tests are standing between you and finding the perfect bowl size.

Quick Overview

  • The size of the lawn bowl is crucial as it can impact your delivery, potentially leading to complications.
  • To test a bowl, hold it using your regular grip and then turn it upside down.
  • If holding it is difficult, the bowl may be too big. Consider using a smaller bowl instead.
  • Continue trying until you discover the largest bowl that you can comfortably grasp.
  • Typically, men commonly opt for a size 3, while their choices usually fall within the range of 2 to 4.
  • On average, women typically wear a size 1, with the majority falling between sizes 0 and 2.

Let’s look at this in a bit more detail.

Why size matters

There’s no denying it – size does matter. But remember, bigger doesn’t always translate to better!

Typically, it’s advisable to choose a bowl that you can comfortably hold, making use of the largest one available. Opting for a bigger bowl comes with various advantages, including:

  • Adding extra weight on heavy greens can assist in controlling weight, and enhancing the pendulum motion during delivery.
  • Using a heavier lawn bowl can enhance weighted shots. The increased weight propels the bowl with greater force, simplifying the task of displacing smaller bowls.
  • A bowl with substantial weight will necessitate a greater amount of force to be displaced from its position. Consequently, this compels your opponent to exert additional pressure when executing their shot, potentially surpassing their comfort level.

Although these reasons may be valid for opting for a heavier bowl, they do not adequately justify using a bowl that is too large for you to comfortably hold. Using an excessively large bowl can lead to various problems with your delivery, such as:

  • One common issue when handling bowls is their tendency to slip out of your hand, resulting in them abruptly hitting the ground. This occurs when the bowl is released prematurely, causing it to bounce straight into the ground.
  • Inefficient delivery technique. Bowlers who use oversize bowls often face difficulties in maintaining a proper grip, leading them to make adjustments in their actions. This includes shortening their delivery and eliminating their backswing.
  • Inadequate grip on the bowl can have several negative consequences. It can be uncomfortable, leading to a lack of focus during the game. Moreover, it can result in issues such as bowl wobbling and potential strain injuries to your fingers. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure a proper grip to avoid these drawbacks while playing.

Now that we understand the importance of getting the correct size, let’s explore methods for finding the perfect fit for you.

Hold the bowl upside down

How to do the test:

  • Hold the bowl and grasp it as if you were preparing to bowl.
  • Rotate your hand in a way that the bowl is held upside down, with your palm facing downwards.
  • Hold the position for a duration of 10 to 15 seconds.

If you can effortlessly hold the bowl throughout the entire duration, then it is of the right size for you. However, if the bowl slips out of your grasp or if you have to strain your fingers to hold it, then the bowl is too large.

Wrap Hands Around The Bowl

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to perform the test:

  • Place both hands around the rim of the bowl.
  • Attempt to bring your thumbs and fingers together, aiming for them to touch.

If you can successfully wrap your hands around the bowl and your fingers and thumbs meet, it indicates that the bowl is a suitable size for you. On the other hand, if your fingers and thumbs do not touch, it suggests that the bowl is too large for you.

How To Play

Determining the size of a bowl can be effortlessly assessed through a game or a simple roll-up. While the mentioned tests serve as useful guidelines, it’s important to note that there isn’t a definitive measure of what constitutes an “incorrect” bowl size. As long as the bowl feels comfortable to play with and satisfies your needs, it can be considered suitable.

When To Check Your Size

You should always check the size of the bowl to use. This isn’t just a process you need to do when you first start.

Things change, and you may find that a size you used for a few years may become uncomfortable or tricky to use over time.

Instead of waiting for issues to arise, take a proactive approach to your testing. Here are some excellent opportunities to assess the size of your lawn bowls:

  • When you begin playing the sport
  • When you are considering purchasing a new set of bowls
  • At the commencement of both outdoor and indoor seasons
  • Whenever you sense your grip is not as secure as desired

If you experience discomfort in your grip or notice finger pain after playing a game, it may be beneficial to consider downsizing your grip by a size or two. Simply follow the steps mentioned above and evaluate accordingly.


Choosing the right size of bowling balls is crucial for enhancing your performance and enjoyment of the sport. Consider factors such as your skill level, weight preference, and the type of bowling game when making your selection. Most importantly, savor the experience of playing and experimenting with different ball sizes. So, step out there, knock down those pins, and have a remarkable time bowling!

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