Bowls FAQs


Does one get much exercise during the game?

Here is an interesting fact. The green is 34 metres long and a player walks up and down several times during a game. If the playing lasts all day, a player can walk 3 to 8 kilometres. During the play the player may also do over 250 knee-bends. Of course not all play lasts all day but one has to be relatively fit to play.

Do lawn bowlers have to wear white?

At Mann Park whites, or club colours, are only worn for visitations, club tournaments, competitions, holiday events, and Saturday afternoon teas.  Regular clothing can be worn at all other events.

At all times a player is expected to wear flat soled shoes to avoid damage to the playing surface.

What is a draw?

This is a time when players show up and enter their names so that they can be put on a team to play.

Is a new player allowed to turn up to play without a partner?

Absolutely yes! Lawn bowling is a time to socialize and meet new people as well as get some exercise.  Anyone interested is welcome to come by the club anytime.
Many players have come because they are new to the district and have found friends who have helped them with bowling and settling into the area.

But isn’t lawn bowling an old-fashioned game?
The sport of lawn bowls is the forerunner of curling.  Today there are lawn bowling greens all over the world including Canada and the US.  People of all ages play.  There are fun leagues and extremely fierce competitions between clubs, provinces and even internationally. Lawn bowling has a very long history.  The oldest lawn bowls site still played on is in Southampton, England. Records show that the green has been in operation since 1299 A.D.  

Today’s game reflects a lot of the courtesy of a time developed sport. At the beginning of the game the players all shake hands and wish one another a good game. At the end of the game people thank one another for the play and again shake hands.


Green  The playing surface, grass or outdoor carpet, where the teams play. Each game is played on a portion or lane of the green called a rink.

Mat  The small mat on which a player stands when delivering a bowl.

Groundsheet  A large mat placed under the small mat to help protect the green during the delivery.

Jack  A small solid ball rolled on to the green as a target.

Head The group of bowls that have come to rest and are in play within the boundaries of the rink.

Bowl This is a biased, almost round, ball which varies in weight and size in order to accommodate different sizes of hand.

Bias This prevents the bowl from rolling straight on the green causing it to curve.

Speed How long it takes a bowl to travel on the green which can have a fast or slow surface according to weather conditions.

Weight The amount of effort required to place to the ball a certain length along the green.

Skip The person who directs play for the team.

Vice Advises the skip of any changes in the head. After the end has completed, measures any disputed shots and determines the count.

Lead The first player on the team. The two teams alternate positional players until they have played all their bowls.

Toucher A bowl which touches, and may move, the jack.