What exactly is lawn bowling?

Lawn Bowling is a globally played game that demands high levels of concentration and focus. Unlike traditional bowling, it involves the use of asymmetrical balls, making it a more challenging and engaging experience.

Lawn bowling, also known as “Bowls,” is commonly regarded as a relaxed sport in which the objective is to skillfully roll a weighted ball, aiming to position it as close as possible to a smaller ball called the Kitty or Jack.

In 1864, William Wallace Mitchell, a Scottish cotton merchant, published the initial rules that still form the foundation of modern bowling. While the game has evolved with numerous variations, Mitchell’s rules continue to shape the way we bowl today.

Lawn Bowling consists of three essential components: the mat, the playing area, and the bowlers. The purpose of the mat is to maintain the grass and ensure players’ stability, preventing any unintended slips.

Lawn Bowling encompasses various formats, such as singles, doubles, triples, and fours. At each end of the court, players take five shots. The objective is to be the first player to reach a score of 10 points, thus winning the game.

Is It Similar to Bocce?

Lawn bowling and Bocce share many similarities, as both games demand skill, and attention to detail, and are played outdoors on grassy surfaces. Moreover, they involve throwing a ball towards a target. However, it’s important to note notable differences between the two.

Bocce and Lawn Bowling differ in key aspects. Firstly, Bocce is a team sport, while Lawn Bowling can be enjoyed individually or as a team. Secondly, Bocce employs a unique ball called a bocci, whereas Lawn Bowling utilizes a bowling ball.

Moreover, Bocce is played on a compact wooden board, whereas Lawn Bowling is enjoyed on a spacious rubber mat.


Lawn bowls are a sport played on a flat, smooth surface known as the “green”. Two teams or individuals compete, each aiming to place their ball closest to the jack. This game combines precision, strategy, and skill to achieve the desired outcome.

During the game, players take turns rolling the ball down the green. The player whose roll is closest to the jack earns a point. Points continue to accumulate until a player reaches the jack.

In the event of a tie after the game, another game will commence. Each game will begin with you positioned at the center of the pitch. Rest assured that this revised structure enhances word choice, readability, and eloquence while maintaining the original meaning.

During the game, the ball gradually advances towards the goal line. When each game comes to a close, there is a distinct boundary at the end of the field.

Balls that fall into the ditch are considered out of play and are not used again. It is not permissible to intentionally knock other players’ balls into the ditch. If a ball makes contact with another player’s bowl, the player whose bowl was hit gains possession of the ball.

Lawn Bowling - Quick Guide


In Triples, the game is played over 21 sets with three teams of four players. Within each team, one player takes on the skip role, another serves as the bowler and the third acts as the middleman.

The skip throws two bowls, followed by the bowler who also delivers two bowls. Then, the skip delivers his remaining two bowls, and finally, the bowlers deliver their remaining bowls.

The game consists of 21 ends, with an additional pair of bowls thrown by the middlemen to add excitement and challenge.

In the game of Fours, the rules remain consistent: 21 sets played across 21 ends. The game consists of four teams, each comprised of four players. Within each team, two players hold specific roles – the skip and the bowler.

The skip throws two balls, followed by the delivery of one ball from the bowler. Next, the skip delivers two bowls, after which the remaining bowls are delivered by the bowlers. Finally, the skip throws the additional pair of bowls.

Short mat bowls are another variation of the sport. It is an enjoyable indoor activity during the winter season that doesn’t necessitate any specialized equipment.

Short mat bowls are a versatile sport that can be enjoyed in various venues, such as village halls, schools, social clubs, and sports facilities. It is particularly popular among individuals with limited mobility or physical disabilities. This inclusive sport offers an engaging and enjoyable experience for everyone, regardless of their physical abilities.

In the game of bowls, just like in regular bowls, the jack is positioned at the starting line. The objective for players is to use their balls to topple the jack. When a player successfully knocks over the jack, they are awarded points.

The ultimate objective is to be the first player to successfully reach the end of the track. Short mat bowls come in two variations: singles and pairs.


Lawn Bowls, a game played with a distinctive ball known as a “lawn bowl,” features balls that weigh around one-third the weight of a standard bowling ball. The carefully balanced weight distribution of the lawn bowl contributes to its distinctive and precise trajectory.

A lawn bowler has the flexibility to release the ball at various angles and even impart spin while it glides through the air. With no additional weight, the trajectory of the ball is solely determined by its shape. This unique characteristic allows for precise control and accuracy in the game.


In Bocce, a sport similar to lawn bowls, numerous skilled players employ an overhead throw technique to deliver the ball with precision and finesse.

When performing an overhand throw, it may be necessary to modify your grip to achieve the desired spin on the ball. Additionally, it is important to maintain a straight wrist throughout the throwing motion. By implementing these adjustments, you can enhance the quality and accuracy of your throws.

Ensuring a comfortable grip on a lawn bowler is crucial for players. Moreover, employing a hold that effectively transfers weight through your center of gravity is the key to maximizing efficiency.

To achieve this, ensure that your middle finger is the final point of contact with the ball before releasing it during the throw.

Most bowlers employ three different grips, each offering its own set of advantages and benefits.

The fingertip grip involves gripping the ball with the fingertips, providing enhanced touch for fast greens. On the other hand, the claw grip spreads the fingers apart and creates pressure between them and the thumb. Both techniques have their advantages and offer different benefits for golfers.

This technique is ideal for slower greens that require additional power. The cradle hold involves resting the ball in the palm of the hands, offering extra support for individuals with smaller or weaker hands.

Here Are Some Helpful Tips:

If bowling is a significant aspect of your life, it is beneficial to incorporate balance training and exercises into your routine. This is particularly crucial for older individuals as it can enhance mobility and improve gameplay.

Additionally, it may be necessary to modify your approach to playing lawn bowls to accommodate any existing injuries you may have.

When stepping off a green, it is recommended to switch to shoes with grippy soles. Utilize non-skid bowling mats with a top surface that provides substantial grip, ensuring friction between your shoes and the mats. This will help maintain stability and prevent slipping.

In Summary

Lawn bowling, also known as bowls, is a fantastic sport that offers a multitude of benefits for both physical and social well-being.

Not only does it provide a great opportunity to stay fit and active, but it also encourages social interaction and connection with fellow players. Additionally, the serene outdoor environment and the refreshing breeze add to the overall enjoyment of the game, making it a perfect way to unwind and rejuvenate.

With its combination of physical activity, social engagement, and the pleasure of being surrounded by nature, lawn bowling truly offers a delightful experience that is hard to resist. So what’s not to love about this wonderful sport?

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