The aim of lawn bowls is simple, to roll your bowls as close to the jack as possible. It may sound easy, but the bowls have a bias, which means that they are uneven and weighted on one side. This makes them travel in a curve which gives the game a tactical challenge. The game takes place on a flat surface, which is typically 34-40 metres long, referred to as the bowling green. The bowling green is then divided into six parallel rectangles called rinks. The lead, which refers to the first bowler, is determined by a coin toss. The lead throws the jack, which must travel at least 23 metres once it comes to rest. The jack is then placed at the centre of the rink.
The first set of bowling rules was published in 1864 by William Wallace Mitchell, a cotton merchant from Glasgow. These rules form the foundation of the game as we know it. We will take an in-depth look at the rules that govern the game of lawn bowls.
The equipment required to play lawn bowls is also relatively simple. The first item you need to play with is the jack, which is a small white ball (sometimes yellow). This ball is used as the target in the game. Next, you need bowls or woods, which players use to roll towards the jack. The bowls are weighted on one side, and this allows them to curve when thrown.
The weight of the bowls vary, and it is up to the player to pick a weight that they are comfortable with. The side that is weighted has a stamp to allow you to differentiate the sides. Lastly, we have the mats. Two mats are required, and they are each placed at either end of the playing area. As a general rule, the first player places the mat. It must also be placed at the centre line and be at least 2 metres from the closest ditch and 25 metres from the far ditch.
The number of players on each team determines how many bowls are used and the number of ends. There are four common game formats in lawn bowls, namely singles, doubles, triples and fours. A singles game has one player on each team. Each player receives four bowls, and there are 21 ends to be played. A triples game consists of three players on each team. Each player receives three bowls to play with, and there are 18 ends to be played during the game. Lastly, fours consist of four players on each team, each player receives two bowls and there are 21 ends to be played.
Players are allowed to aim for the jack with their bowls during gameplay. If a player moves the jack by hitting it, it remains in its new position even if it ends up in the ditch. Chalk is used to mark the bowl that moves the jack and it is referred to as a toucher. If it falls in the ditch after this, it is still considered live. On the other hand, if a bowl does not touch the jack and falls into the ditch, it is referred to as a dead bowl. Players can also knock opponents’ bowls out of bounds. This will render the opponents’ bowls out of play.
To win a game of lawn bowls, a team has to receive the most points, which are also referred to as shots, after all the ends have been played. However, depending on the variation of the game, different winning criteria can be used. For example, players can use sets. The first to score a certain number of points, such as seven, wins a set. The set of bowling rules we have discussed above forms the basis of lawn bowls. With these rules in mind, you can be comfortable enough to join any game to improve your skill. It is also worth noting that there are various versions of the game and each one comes with slightly different or modified rules. With these bowling rules in mind, you are now ready to start Bowling in Glasgow.