Lawn Bowl Rules for Beginners

Lawn bowls is a traditional sport played in many countries, with the oldest existing green dating to 1299. Popular with all types of people, the game involves rolling a series of balls, known as ‘bowls’, towards a much smaller ball, known as the ‘jack’. The purpose of the game is to get your bowls as close as possible to the jack, while also knocking your opponent’s bowls away from that target. Lawn Bowls 2U can explain the game further.

The bowls

The modern bowls are played using a shape of ball which is very distinctive. The overall shape is spherical, but the walls of the sides are flattened slightly. They also have a weight bias on one side, so that they follow a curved path. The ability to roll the ball in such a way as to create that curve is where the skill of the player lies. Bowls have a colour on the flattened sides which correspond to the colours of the team, so that it is easy to spot who is closer to the jack. Lawn Bowls 2U can help you to find the perfect set for your skill level.


The game may be bowled in ‘singles’ or pairs, with one or two players per team, or in triples or even four-player teams for larger competition. The bowls are played in ‘ends’, which is the period where the bowls are being rolled towards the jack. After all the balls have been played, the end is over, and then the direction of play switches, so that the jack is at the opposite end of the green.

The process of the game

The game begins with the throwing of the jack, which is moved in a straight line to the centre of the green. This sets the target. Players will then start to bowl, with teams taking opposite turns: red, blue, red, blue, for example. Players are trying to get their ball as close as possible to the jack, and to knock out opposition bowls by striking them. Only one team may score in the end, and points will be awarded to them for every bowl which is closer to the jack than the opposition. Establishing the winner varies between competitions, and can be agreed between players before the match starts.

Join in the fun today

If you would like to participate in this game, then you will need a set of lawn bowls. At Lawn Bowls 2U, we deliver across Australia. Simply contact us today to place an order, either through our enquiry form or by calling 07-5437-8886 now.

For more lawn bowls news and advice, read our previous blog on Where To Buy Lawn Bowls Online.