Bowls Explained

Brush up on your bowls knowledge.

Bowls or lawn bowls is a game that involves balls with flat sides and a weight bias known as bowls and a smaller set of balls known as jacks. The aim of the game is to roll your bowls as close to the jacks as possible, and whoever has their bowls closest to the jacks wins.

It’s a game that you can play both indoors and outdoors. It is, however, more common for the game to be played outdoors on green grass. When it is played indoors, it is played on an artificial surface that gives a feel of mowed grass.

The game can be played by singles, doubles, triples, and in fours. It is played on a large rectangular playing field. The surface of the playing field is known as the bowling green.

When singles play the game, one of the two players has to flip a coin to determine who wins the mat. Whoever wins the mat gets to begin the competition. If you happen to win the coin flip, you roll the jack to the opposite end of the bowling green, and this serves as the target for you and your opponent’s bowls. Each bowling green has parallel strips known as rinks, and the rolled jack has to align to the centre of the rink.

Your bowls have to stay within the rink to remain in play. The only instance where your bowl remains in play even after it has rolled if it happens to touch the jack on its way out of the rink. Overall, bowls is an exciting and engaging game, and it is pretty easy to learn too.


The game of lawn bowls dates as far back as the 13th century. There is a bowling green that dates as far back as 1299. The Southampton Old Bowling Green is the world’s oldest bowling green, and it is located in Southampton, England. It was perceived as a game for royals in time past, and a lot of cultures have referred to dated versions of lawn bowls. The versions, however, vary with just a few differences.


Lawn bowls is a common game in many parts of the world. It is so widely recognised that it has been one of the core games included in the Commonwealth Games since 1930. This competition is held once in four years. It also makes provisions for both genders to be actively involved; however, women didn’t begin to compete until 1982.

Apart from the Commonwealth Games, bowls also has a lot of competitions dedicated to it. An example of the World Outdoors Bowls Championship. This competition makes room for men and women alike. It first came into play in 1966, and since then, it has been played every four years.

Qualified countries present a team of 5 members, and the best team wins a trophy. Singles, doubles, triples, and fours play the games. There are also gold, silver, and bronze medals for winners and runners-up.