Lawn Bowls has been a part of the Commonwealth Games since the first edition of the quadrennial event in 1930 and has featured in every edition except for 1966. In the 2022 edition of the Games, the sport has gained more popularity as the Indian team is doing really well and is almost certain to win a medal. Both men and women’s teams have reached the knockout stage now.
But, as the sport is not so famous in the country, people are left wondering about how is it played. What are the rules and how does a team or player win? So, to answer all those questions here is a guide to Lawn Bowls.
What is Lawn Bowls?
Lawn Bowls is an outdoor sport that involves rolling a ball towards a stationary ball called ‘the jack’ on a ground referred to as a Lawn. A form of Lawn Bowls was played in Ancient Egypt and slowly became famous in continental Europe.
Lawn Bowls Rules
As mentioned above, the basic objective in a game of Lawn Bowls is to roll a biased ball towards the jack. The game is played in four formats- singles, pairs, triples, and fours. Only two teams can compete in a single Lawn Bowls game. The game kicks off with a team rolling the Jack to the opposite end. The Jack must travel at least 23 meters for the game to proceed. The point where the Jack settles becomes the target for the players.
Teams then roll balls towards the target in turns. The number of attempts per team from each end depends on the format. A team gets four attempts in the singles format. On the other hand, in the multi-player formats, a team gets two throws per player. The scores are calculated after each team completes the allocated number of throws. This marks the completion of that particular end or round, and the game moves on to the next end.
Lawn Bowls Points System
Scoring in Lawn Bowls is simple. The team which manages to put more balls closer to the target wins the point for that end. The number of points awarded is determined by the number of bowls a team has managed to place closer than its opponent. For example: If team A manages to put two balls closer to the target than team B’s closest ball, they get two points for that end. Had it been three balls closer to the target for team A than team B’s closest ball, they would win three points for that end.
In the singles format, a team is declared the winner if it reaches 21 points before its rival. Meanwhile, in other formats, the team with more points after 18 ends of throws will take the contest.
Note: A Lawn Bowls ball weighs around 1.5 kgs. It is called a biased ball because it is heavier on one side which allows a player to curl it.