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The Game of Lawn Bowling

Updated  4/14/2011

A game is a test of your skill against your opponent's luck.

BowlHistory of the game of lawn bowls.

This page contains links to several other pages that are grouped into a single category. These include rules on playing the game, the layout of the rink and green, hints for better bowling, player duties, terms or definitions for common expressions, etc.

Lawn bowling -- or "bowls," as the game is known throughout the British Commonwealth -- is played on 120 ft. x 15 ft. rinks within a 120 ft. square green. The object is to roll the bowl so that it comes to rest close to a small white ball (the jack) at the far end of the rink. The three-pound bowl, made of a plastic composite, does not roll in a straight line. Due to its shape (it is biased, not round), the bowl rolls in a curve. A player wins points by placing more bowls closer to the jack than his or her opponent. Games are played by individuals or two-, three-, or four-person teams. The United States has more than 150 community-sponsored bowling greens.


Bowls is a science, the study of a lifetime, in which you may exhaust yourself, but never your subject.  It’s a contest, a duel calling for courage, skill, strategy and self-control.  It is a test of tem­per, a trial of honour, a revealer of character. It affords the chance to play the man and act the gentleman.  It means going into God’s out-of-doors, getting close to nature, fresh air, exercise.  A sweeping away of mental cobwebs, genuine reaction of the tired tissues.

It is a cure for care, an antidote to worry. It includes companionship with friends, social in­tercourse, opportunities for courtesy, kindliness and generosity to an opponent. It promotes not only physical health but moral force.

The Romance of Bowl Manufacture - A detailed history of bowl manufacture from the time they were made of wood until today's composite plastic material.  Henselite published this article and has put it on the Web with permission to use here. The article is in a booklet in the Club's history bookcase.

The Game of Lawn Bowling - The basics of the game.

The Rink Layout.

Key Definitions and Rules of the game.
Here are some key sections on Rules and Regulations of the game from the 2011  booklet "Laws of the Sport of Bowls" from the USLBA..

Terms Used in Lawn Bowling - Common expressions like bowling "heavy" or "light".

Principal Rules of Lawn Bowling.

Player Duties - For lead, vice and skip.

Proper Dress - An article about attire for lawn bowling with emphasis on shoes.

The Organization of lawn bowling clubs and how they relate to the World Lawn Bowling Association.

The rules of etiquette on the green.