Bowling on the Green: A Beginner's Guide to Lawn Bowls

Sherol S - profile photo
By - Published
Bowling on the Green: A Beginner's Guide to Lawn Bowls

Are you curious about lawn bowls but not quite sure what it's all about? Maybe you've heard about it but haven't fully grasped the details. Don't worry! Lawn bowls is a fascinating game that welcomes beginners and experts alike. It's often described as easy to learn but hard to master, blending strategy, skill, and social fun. Let's explore the world of lawn bowls together and find out why it's loved by people of all ages.

What is Lawn Bowls?

Imagine rolling slightly asymmetrical balls (called bowls) across a pristine green surface towards a smaller white ball known as the jack. The goal? To get your bowls as close to the jack as possible, while strategically outmaneuvering your opponent. It's a game of precision and finesse, played both indoors and outdoors on meticulously maintained greens.

How It's Played

Lawn bowls is played on a green divided into playing strips called rinks. Players take turns rolling their bowls from one end of the rink to the other, aiming to build a cluster of bowls around the jack, which serves as the target. Each end, or segment of play, presents new challenges and opportunities for players to showcase their skills.

Setting Up the Game

To start a game of lawn bowls, players gather on either end of the rink. One player flips a coin to determine who will deliver the jack first. The player winning the coin toss then lays the mat and rolls the jack to the other end of the rink. Once the jack comes to rest, it's aligned to the center of the rink, and the game officially begins.

Rolling the Bowls

With the jack in position, players take turns rolling their bowls from the mat towards the jack. The key is to gauge the speed and direction of the roll, aiming to place your bowl as close to the jack as possible. Bowls can curve outside the boundary of the rink but must come to rest within the boundary to remain in play.

Scoring and Strategy

Scoring in lawn bowls is straightforward yet nuanced. Points, or shots, are awarded based on the proximity of each player's bowls to the jack. The closer your bowls are to the jack than your opponent's, the more shots you earn. It's a game of inches, requiring careful calculation and strategic placement of each bowl.

End of Play

Once each player has delivered all their bowls (usually two, three, or four depending on the competition), the distance from the jack to the closest bowls is determined, and points are awarded accordingly. The exercise is then repeated for the next end, across a designated number of ends, until a winner is declared.

Health Benefits of Lawn Bowls

Beyond the thrill of competition, lawn bowls offers a myriad of health benefits. It's a low-impact sport that promotes improved fitness, coordination, and mental wellbeing. For older adults, in particular, it provides a fun way to stay active and socially connected.

Physical Fitness: While the pace of lawn bowls may seem leisurely, the game actually provides a great workout. Walking back and forth across the green, bending to deliver bowls, and maintaining balance all contribute to improved cardiovascular health, muscle tone, and flexibility.

Mental Wellbeing: Engaging in lawn bowls can also have positive effects on mental health. The focus required to strategise each shot, the camaraderie among players, and the satisfaction of skillfully executing a bowl can boost mood, reduce stress, and enhance overall mental wellbeing.

Social Interaction: One of the greatest joys of lawn bowls is the sense of community it fosters. Whether you're playing with friends at a local club or participating in a casual barefoot bowls session, lawn bowls provides ample opportunities for social interaction and connection, which are essential for mental and emotional health.

Preventing Injury

While lawn bowls is generally a safe sport, it's essential to take precautions to prevent injury. Warm-up exercises, proper technique, and wearing appropriate footwear can help minimise the risk of strains and sprains. Additionally, staying hydrated and practicing sun safety are crucial, especially during outdoor play.

Getting Started

Ready to dive into the world of lawn bowls? Take the first step by joining a local bowling club, where you'll find a welcoming community of players eager to share their passion for the sport. Keep an eye out for "come-n-try" day events or local bowling social play sessions, perfect for newcomers to experience the thrill of lawn bowls in a relaxed setting. And don't forget about barefoot bowls—these casual sessions are a fantastic way to dip your toes into the game while enjoying the company of friends. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your bowls and head to the green for an unforgettable lawn bowls experience!

Suggested Articles

Paddle Power: Eileen's Adventure into Pickleball

Paddle Power: Eileen's Adventure into Pickleball

1 week ago

Join Eileen on an adventure of discovery and camaraderie as she delves into the exciting world of pickleball. From her initial curiosity to becoming a regular player, Eileen's journey showcases the joy and accessibility of this engaging sport. With heartwarming anecdotes and insights into the vibrant pickleball community, Eileen's story is sure to inspire readers of all ages and backgrounds to pick up a paddle and join the fun!

Game On with Gary: Embracing Pickleball

Game On with Gary: Embracing Pickleball

1 week ago

From traversing the vast landscapes of Australia in a caravan to discovering the joy of friendly competition on the court, Gary's story is one of adventure, camaraderie, and active living. Join him as he shares his experiences, tips, and the sheer delight of embracing a sport that's as accessible as it is exhilarating. Get ready to be inspired to pick up a paddle and join the pickleball craze!

Inspiring People: John Day (93) completes 500th parkrun

Inspiring People: John Day (93) completes 500th parkrun

3 weeks ago

Join us on a journey of remarkable resilience and triumph as we delve into the inspiring story of 93-year-old John Day, who has etched his name in the annals of parkrun history. From humble beginnings in 2013 at the Cleveland parkrun near Brisbane, Australia, Day's dedication has led him to achieve an incredible milestone: completing his 500th parkrun.

The Transformative Power of Exercise for Depression

The Transformative Power of Exercise for Depression

3 weeks ago

Discover how recent Australian research is revolutionizing depression treatment. Dive into groundbreaking findings revealing the transformative power of exercise in combatting depression and learn how certain activities can outshine traditional medications alone.

SA Regional Netball League Adopts Progressive Uniform Policy

SA Regional Netball League Adopts Progressive Uniform Policy

4 weeks ago

News: South Australia's regional netball scene as the Mid South East Netball Association leads the charge towards inclusivity with its groundbreaking uniform policy, welcoming players to embrace shorts or leggings.

Looking to get active?

Here is a few options to explore: