How to Play Bowls: Tips for Playing Bowls Indoors and Outdoors
A great sport for those of all abilities, ages, and genders, bowls is a sport that is very simple to learn! Here at Seacroft Holiday Village we have both indoors and outdoors bowls, so you can take part in this simple yet masterful sport whatever the weather. Read on to find out how to play bowls, and our top tips for playing bowls indoors and outdoors!
The aim of the game is simple – players take turns to deliver their bowls from a mat at one end of the rink towards a small white ball, and the object is to get one or more of your bowls closer to this ball, the jack, than your opponents! This is the basics of how to play bowls.
Wondering how to play bowls a little more in depth? The game is played on a square of close-cut grass which is referred to as the green, this area is divided into playing areas called rinks. Around the green is a shallow ditch, designed to catch bowls which miss the green.
Seacroft, Hemsby 2016
Bowls, the balls that players deliver onto the green to get as close to the jack as possible, are shaped in such a way that they take a curved journey when bowled.
Bowls can be played as singles, pairs, triples, or fours. When playing in singles, the first person to get to 21 points is the winner! In groups, the winner is the with the most points after a set number of ends.
The game starts with a coin toss, and the lead bowler sets out the mat and rolls the jack to the opposite end of the rink to act as a target. Once all the bowls have been delivered, the individual or group receives a point per bowl that is closer to the jack than the opponents closest bowl.
After this, the direction of play is reversed, marking the end of an end! Per end, each player (whether singles or groups) has four bowls.
Some simple yet fundamental rules on how to play bowls:
- One foot must stay on the mat when releasing the bowl.
- The jack must travel at least 23 metres and stay within the rink
- If your bowl hits the ditch, then it is removed from play. However, if they hit the jack before heading into the ditch they remain in play.
Find out other sports and activities you can still do over 60 here.