Bowls Basics & FAQs

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Object of the Game

The object of bowls is essentially simple. It is played on a square of closely cut grass called ‘the green’, which is divided into playing areas called rinks. The green is surrounded by a small ditch to catch bowls which leave the green, and a bank upon which markers indicate the corner and centre of each rink.

Players take turns to deliver their bowls from a mat at one end of the rink towards a small target ball, often referred to as ‘the jack’, at the other end. Bowls are shaped so that they take a curved path towards the jack. To be successful the bowl must be delivered with the correct weight, along the correct line.

The object is to get one or more of your bowls closer to the jack than those of your opponents on each end – one point is scored for each counting bowl.

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Formats

There are many different formats to the game, but the most common in England are singles or in teams of pairs, triples or fours. In singles, the winner is usually the first to score 21 points. In the other three formats, the winner is the team that scores the most points over a set number of ends.

Further Information

For further game information, click here.

To learn more about the health benefits of bowls, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

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I've never tried bowls before, can I have a go?

Yes certainly! We welcome anyone who wants to have a try at bowls - no experience is necessary

What do I need to bring?

You only need to bring flat soled shoes or trainers for wearing when playing on the green. We will provide all necessary equipment

Do I need special clothes?

No you don't - just turn up in anything you feel comfortable that allows for bending when bowling

What about coaching, is that costly?

We have free coaching available at Welwyn Garden City Bowls Club

Is there an age limit?

Not at all - the ages of our members ranges from 18 to 85

How do I join?

If you are interested in joining Welwyn Garden City Bowls Club, click here to complete a membership application enquiry