Beginners Guide to the Rules of Lawn Bowls

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This is I hope a simple guide to how to play lawn bowls. For a start "lawn" is a misnomer, as there are now artificial greens outdoors and the rules more or less apply to the indoor variety played on carpet.


Rather than list all the definitions for words used in these rules I have attached them here and will try to link from any word listed below to that site.


The object of the game is to score more
than your opponent in the number of
specified or reach a designated score first.


The length of games depends on the number of players for each team. Generally games last for 21 ends for Rinks, 18 ends for Triples
1, 21 ends for pairs, and first player to 21 shots
for singles. These are the internationally recognised durations for top level play, although club and qualify games may specify a different duration or operate a handicap system for singles.

Indoor Variation

Duration is either the number of ends/shots as above or a time limit whichever is first. The standard season indoors tends to be two hours but for national championships this is extended to three hours or more.


The team or player who wins an end has the pleasure to deliver the Jack
first at the next end. The first end is decided by coin toss either for the team or the rink.

Each team or player then delivers their
bowls alternately, until all have been delivered then the end is over and a score agreed between the two teams.

Both teams are constantly trying to make the
head turn to their favour and will use the full variety of shots to acheive this.

to be continued......
1Because there are 9 bowls delivered each end.225 for the Commonwealth Games

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