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The Game of Lawn Bowls

The game is played with an even number of players with 1 to 4 players on each side. Depending on the number of players, each player uses 2 to 4 bowls or woods. The game is played on grass or a green carpet, which is approximately 40 metres long and 6 metres wide. A green usually consists of 6 rinks side by side.

Players from each team take it in turn to roll their woods towards a small white ball which is called a jack. The object of the game is to get your sides bowls nearer to the jack than the bowls of your opponent. When all the bowls have been delivered, the end is over.

Points are scored by counting how many of one side's bowls are nearer to the jack than the other side's nearest bowl. The winning side, depending on the number of players, is decided either by playing an agreed number of ends or the first to reach a given number of points.

Other Information

The woods (or bowls) are basically spherical but with the sides cut away. One side is cut away further than the other. The bowl therefore is biased. This means that they it doesn't run straight, but rolls in a curve. As the bowl slows down, the curve is more apparent. The amount of curve depends on the type of bowl being used and also on the resistance of the playing surface. For example on wet grass, the curve may be slight, but on very dry short grass or on an indoor green, the curve will be considerably more.

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(This page was last updated on 29th September 2002)