Lawn Bowling Tips and Rules

Quick video link:  



need one jack per lane (small white ball)
(Located on the shelf along the back wall of the facility)


typically 2 bowls per person with teams of 4 people (8 bowls per 4-person team)
(Located on the shelf along the back wall of the facility in totes each containing 4 bowls)


need two, one for each end of a lane. Note – keep 2nd mat off the green until you play from that end
(Located in the shed to the left of the back door of the facility)


need one per lane. Push into the grass behind the green above the lane marker
(Located in the shed to the left of the back door of the facility)


Flat soled shoes (runners, deck shoes) are a must. No heels are allowed on the greens, and bare feet are discouraged due to lawn care chemicals.

Traditional lawn bowling attire is white or cream. However, we encourage players and teams to be creative.


Teams comprise 4 players each (Lead, Second, Third and Skip). In the event that you cannot field a full team of four players, your Lead will throw 2 bowls and your Third and Skip will throw 3 each.

Basic Bowling Etiquette

  • The Club has recently purchased quite a few new sets of Bowls. Please treat them as you would your own. Do not let them smash into the wooden boards and do not let them sit in the sand.
  • Be aware of who is bowling, be polite, and don’t walk through another team’s game.
  • Please make sure that your cans, bottles and recycling get put into the appropriate recycling containers.
  • The bowls must be returned to the totes in a set of four (matching symbols).

Basic Lawn Bowling Rules for the Beginner

Object of the game = get closest to the jack

The Green:

  • Has 8 rinks (lanes). Set your teams up before you arrive

The Bowls:

  • Bowls have a bias (weight) to them. Instead of aiming at the jack, you aim at the side, and then watch the bowl turn itself into the jack
  • Each bowl has rings on each side. The smaller ring has the bias which is the direction the bowl will roll.

Some Basic Rules

  1. To begin the game a coin toss will determine which team will ‘Toss the Jack’.
    The winner of the coin toss has the option of tossing the Jack and bowling first, or bowling last (the hammer).
  2. The Jack must cross the hog line and then will be picked up and positioned in the center of your lane.
  3. If the jack is thrown into the gutter it may either be put out onto the lane 6 feet from the gutter or re-thrown by the other team. This is something that both teams must agree upon. The order of team bowling does not change.
  4. Four players shall play in the same order for the whole game, but may switch order prior to beginning a new game.
  5. After each end the Jack is tossed by the First of the team which won that end, and they bowl first (loser of the previous end gets the ‘hammer’).
  6. The team which throws first shall set down the mat which stays in place until the end is finished. When delivering, players must ensure that one foot remains on the mat.
  7. Any Bowls that fall in the back gutter or outside of the lane do not count. In the instance where a Bowl hits the Jack and continues into the gutter, that Bowl remains in play.
  8. The Jack may be hit by a Bowl and be moved. It remains in play unless it is hit outside of the lane. If the Jack is knocked out sideways of the lane, a ‘dead-end’ occurs and the end must be replayed from the beginning using the same starting mat. In the instance where the Jack is knocked into the gutter, it is live and the game continues to be played. If the ball that hits the jack also goes into the gutter, it is also a live ball.


  1. Begin scoring by determining the Bowl that is closest to the Jack. This counts 1 point. If the next closest Bowl is from the same team, this also counts as a point, but if the next closest Bowl is from the opposing team further counting is blocked.
  2. Identify all Bowls that will count by determining them to be closer to the jack than any opposition Bowl (which would block further scoring). Record this score for each end.
  3. In the event that you cannot decide which Bowls are closest to the Jack, you may need to measure. Borrow a measuring tape from one of the other members (or bring your own) and make an accurate measurement to determine the closest Bowl.
  4. At the completion of 5 ends (this may vary), tally the game score.

Have fun!