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What you need to know about the game of Lawn Bowling
What is it?
The game is known around the world as Bowls, Lawn Bowls or Bowling on the Green.
• It is played on a bowling green which is 120 feet square. 
• The green is marked off into 8 rinks so that 8 games can be played at once. 
• Rinks are 14 feet wide.

Are there teams?
Certainly. It wouldn’t be much fun without competition. Each team is made up of between one and four players.  They are designated as:
• Singles  One against one.  Each player delivers four bowls.
• Pairs  Two against two.  Each player delivers four bowls.
• Triples Three against three.  Each player delivers three bowls.
• Fours  Four against four.  Each player delivers two bowls.

What equipment do we need to play?
Playing equipment consists of:
• A set of 4 matched bowls each of which weighs between  3 to 3 1/2 pounds.
• The jack.  A small white ball approximately 2.5" in diameter.
• A mat. Approximately 14" wide, by 24" long, no more than 1/4" thick.
The Club owns bowls which are available for use by beginning players for a limited time. When players determine they will continue participating in lawn bowling they purchase a set of new or used bowls which become their personal property.  Jacks and mats are furnished by the club.  Flat rubber soled shoes are required and each player must furnish his own. 

What’s the object of the game?
The object is simple and straightforward.  Each player takes turns rolling his or her bowls down the rink in such a manner as to come to rest as close as possible to the jack.  After everyone on both teams bowls, the team with the bowl nearest the jack scores one point for that bowl and an additional point for each bowl closer to the jack than the nearest bowl of a player on the other  team. 

The bowls curve as they roll.  Why?
A bowl curves because of the way it is made, not because of the way it is delivered by the bowler. The bowl is not uniformly shaped and since it is smaller on one side, it naturally curves in that direction.  This is called "bias."

How long does a game last?
Baseball has innings, Football has quarters. Hockey has periods. Lawn bowling has ends.
After all players on both teams have delivered their bowls on the green, this completes the play of an end. A game consists of a number of ends decided upon before the start of the game or tournament, or sometimes, as in a singles match, to a predetermined number of points. 12 to 14 ends are the usual lengths of a game. A typical 12-end game lasts about two hours.

 

How does the game proceed?

The game of triples is most commonly played in the United States. In triples each player delivers three bowls. The three bowlers on each team are called the:
• Lead
• Vice skip or vice
• Skip or team captain.
Before the game; the leads flip a coin to determine which team will deliver the jack on the first end. The game starts with the lead placing the mat at one end, and then rolling the jack from the mat toward the other end. The jack is then centered on the rink.  The leads and vices stay at the mat end and the skips are positioned at the jack end, or "Head."  The leads then deliver their 3 bowls alternately. Then the vices deliver theirs.
The leads and vices then proceed to the opposite end of the green and the skips go to the mat end and bowl their three bowls. Then the score for the end is determined and entered onto a score card or score board. The team winning the end sets the mat and rolls the jack to start  the next end.

What if the bowl hits the jack? 
During play the jack may be hit and moved by one or more bowls. There is no penalty for hitting the jack. A change in position of the jack may put it closer to the bowl of the person who is bowling or it may put it closer to a bowl of an opponent. If the jack is knocked out of bounds, the end is played over. If the jack is driven into the ditch, the play continues unless the jack is at the same time knocked outside the boundary line of the rink. The bowl that hits the jack is marked with chalk and is a live bowl if it is subsequently knocked into the ditch.

How are the bowls identified? 
Each set of bowls has a unique insignia or marking for easy identification.  Bowls have traditionally been black or brown in color, but in recent years, they have been manufactured in many colors, such as blue, red, yellow, and pink.

Who can bowl?
Men and women. Young and old. Bowls is a game that can be played and enjoyed by people of all ages. The game is a constant challenge because of the ever changing position of the jack and bowls which have come to rest. While most bowlers play for fun and recreation, many others participate in the many competitions held within and between clubs. Many lawn bowling tournaments are held throughout the year, at district and national levels and even between countries at the International level.