Lawn Bowls Game: How to Play, Lawn Bowls Rules & Equipment

Lawn Bowls Game

Lawn Bowls Game is a game that involved bowls that are usually spherical in shape and also flat in size then there is a smaller bowl called Jack that is placed at a certain distance where the former is rolled towards later in the bowling green (an area where the event is played).  

The game has a long-term history as it started in the 13th century and the rules of this sport were formalized in the year 1800. England is considered the most successful team in lawn bowls.  Recently teams like New Zealand and South Africa have done wonders in this game and India recently created history after beating South Africa with a score line of 17-10 and winning the gold medal in Commonwealth Games 2022

Lawn Bowls Equipments

Types of equipment needed to play lawn bowls – 

  • Bowl
  • Jack
  • Mat


A bowl in lawn bowls is a bigger ball that a player rolls in the direction of a jack. Lawn bowl is played in sets and there is a fours ball required in each set. Every set is unique and also has its own unique symbol which is engraved in the center circle of both sides.

The bowls are called biased bowls as they are heavier from one end and will not allow to roll the bowl in a straight line but a little curve when it goes to a certain distance.

World Bowls organization said that the bowl is made up of wood, rubber, or plastic resin with a diameter of 112mm-134mm and with a weight of around 1.5 kg and should have indentations to help the player to grip the bowl properly.


The Jack is the main target for the lawn bowls players, the Jack is made up of a solid spherical ball with a diameter of 63 and 67mm. The color of the Jack is either white or yellow.


In the Lawn bowls game, the mat is a piece of cloth on which the player stands and rolls the bowl in the direction of Jack. According to the world bowl organization, the mat must be 0.60 meters long and a width of 0.36 meters.

Lawn Bowls Rules

The sport “Lawn Bowls” can be played in four categories – 

  • Singles
  • Pairs
  • Triples
  • Fours

Singles, Pairs, Triples, and Fours categories depend on the number of players in each category. Singles is a solo player event and others are team events.

Rules of Lawn Bowling
  • In the lawn bowls games, the player who rolls first is called the lead and the player who rolls at the last is called the skip. 
  • In the game, the team has to roll all their bowls from one end towards the jack with the aim of hitting the jack. 
  • The match starts with a coin toss, the leas who will roll the bowl first will decide the end from where to begin. After that player will put the mat and roll the jack towards the other end.
  • To be considered in the play, the jack needs to travel at least 23 meters and once its stops, the jack is again moved to the center of the rink after which the player can starts bowling again
  • For the Singles match of Lawn bowls, each player has to roll four bowls from one end and for the pairs, triples, and fours, each player in the respective team is allowed to roll two bowls from one end.
  • Each category has a different scoring points system, The Singles match is decided by the first player to score the 21 points.
  • Pairs and triples matches are decided after the first team scores 18 points and the fours match is over after 15 points.
  • In case of a tie in the group matches, both the teams get a point each, However, if there’s a tie in the knockout stages then the extra ends are played or the games continue until a winner is declared.
  • In the lawn bowls match, points are given after all the bowls are rolled by both team players from each end.

Also Read: Commonwealth Games 2022: India Schedule for Day 6 | Fixtures | Timings IST