Information About The Game of Bowls


There are club friendly games on Saturday afternoons, Sunday afternoons and Wednesday evenings throughout the season (April to September). The Saturday games are sometimes for men only, although on some days they are mixed. The Sunday and Wednesday games are mixed. Details of each of these games can be found in your fixture list booklet.

There are Mens and Ladies Notice boards situated at the opposite end of the clubhouse to the bar and these include selection sheets for the next few games. If you would like to play in any game then enter your name on the sheet for that game. Games usually involve rinks (4 persons per rink) or triples (3 persons per triple) and the captain for each game will make their selections from the people available and then put the sheets back on the notice board showing the selected team. If you have been selected to play, then please tick against your name to confirm you are still available (if you are now not available then please tell the captain as soon as possible so that they can ask one of the reserves to play).

As a new bowler, please DO NOT hold back from putting your name forward for selection because you think you are not good enough.

If selected, there is a match fee (currently £2) which covers the game and snacks after the game has finished. Some fixtures may have a salad or hot meal following the match, in which case the fee will be higher.

After a home game, it is customary to buy your opposite number a drink. At away games, they will reciprocate.


This is for club members only and is recommended for new members, and is selected on the night. All those wishing to take part need to arrive at the clubhouse by 5:30pm to register and then the organiser will select sides to play each other. One “rink” may be designated for coaching, so if you need any help please ask.  



As a club member you have the right to use the green at anytime between 12 noon and dusk. When there is no one at the club the gate padlock is on, please ask the Secretary for the combination for this padlock. If there is no one at the club when you leave please put the padlock back on the gate and select a random combination.


6 “rinks” will be available subject to the agreement of the Green Manager or a member of the Green Committee.


All games, other than rollups (practice), have to be booked in the rink book which is usually situated by the telephone in the clubhouse. “Rinks” are available in three hour slots from 12 noon through to 6:00pm.

As there are many different levels of games played, some have a higher priority than others and this order of priority is fully detailed in your copy of the club rules.


In summary this is as follows :-

  1. National and County Competitions with fixed dates
  2. National and County Competitions with play by dates
  3. Arranged, or rearranged, inter club matches and club/external open competition rounds.
  4. Rollups


Monday Night Triples – Every Monday the rink book will have three “rinks” reserved for Monday Night Triples beginning at 6:00pm.


One of these “rinks” may be used for coaching and the others for bowling.


Normally these “rinks” are NOT available for any other competitions but if a higher priority game has to be played on Monday and a “rink” is not available then the member requiring a “rink” must advise the Monday Night Triples Organiser as soon as possible.


There are various club competitions open to all members. Entry is usually made on a separate form issued with your membership renewal in March each year. There is a small fee for each competition.

Please enter as many competitions as you like as we feel this will not only help improve your bowling ability but also increase your tactical knowledge and understanding of how the game is played.

Singles and Pairs games use four bowls (woods) (unless otherwise stated) and Triples games use three bowls (“woods”).

Competition Name



Club Singles Champion

Carling Cup

Lillian Page

Handicap Singles

Davis Cup

Alice Byland

Novices Singles

(This competition is only open to

any member who has not won

a club singles competition)

Venn Cup

Ethel Simmons

Two Wood Singles

Two Wood

Charlie Brown

Three Wood Singles

Ernie Kelly Cup

100 Points Singles

mixed competition

mixed competition

Drawn Pairs

Parr & Payne

Treasurer's Cup

Nominated Mixed Pairs

Dora Oster

Dora Oster

Men's & Ladies' Singles

(Winners of each section play off

in the final)

A & E Bridge

A & E Bridge

Over 60’s Mixed Singles

Emmie Grant

Emmie Grant

Anniversary Triples: Drawn triples 

Benevolent Triples: Nominated triples the winners of which go on to represent the club in a County Competition


As with all games there are certain basic etiquettes to observe.

Firstly you should make sure your “dress” for the game you are playing is in accordance with club Rule 13.

When arriving (or leaving) at any green and there is/are games(s) in process and you have to walk past a “rink” being played on with someone about to bowl towards you, out of courtesy you should stop and stand still until the bowl has been released before continuing. This is to avoid disrupting the bowlers’ concentration.

Prior to a game against another club starting the skip on your “rink” will introduce his team to their opponents and a courteous handshake is offered to your opposite number. Also at the end of the game handshakes and congratulations/commiserations are given to all members of the opposition as well as your own team members.

At the beginning of each game there will usually be two “trial ends”. This is to enable all the bowlers to try out, in each direction, the “rink” they will be playing on and make initial judgements about “weight” and “line”. Each bowler, your team and the opponents, will take it in turn to deliver a bowl – leads first, then the 2’s, 3’s and skips. Each person will bowl a minimum of two bowls. After the “trial ends” have been completed the game commences.

When you are playing a game and are standing waiting for others to bowl you should remain still until the bowler has released their bowl. You should always stand behind the mat/jack length (ie between the mat/jack and the bank, but not directly behind the mat/jack).

Do not make any audible comments about any of the bowlers or their bowls as there will be times when an advantage may be gained, or lost, by a “lucky” bowl. These situations will occur in most games but have to be accepted by both sides as part of the game.

On leaving the green at the end of a game offer your opposite number a drink from the bar.

After the game, the home side should put away the equipment.


Lead: The player who starts each “end” by rolling the jack. This is an important part of the game as usually the skip will want the jack to be rolled to a specific length they indicate. The lead will try and get their bowls as close to the jack as possible. When the lead has bowled they will then stand quietly behind the mat length until all the others have bowled. As a new bowler, lead is the position you're most likely to play.

No.2: This player will look to the skip for instructions and then bowl accordingly. When the No.2 has bowled they will then stand quietly behind the mat length until all the others have bowled. If the No.3 has been standing with the skip they will now return to the mat to bowl whilst the leads and No.2’s walk to the “head” and stand quietly behind their skip.

No.3: This player may stand with the skip in some games and then return to the mat when it is their turn to bowl. Having been at the “head” they will know the precise position of each of the bowls played so far (you will find that the view from the mat can be deceiving until you are at the “head” yourself) and will have taken the skips advice on which type of shot to play. When the No.3, and his opposite number, has bowled they will return to the “head”. When the “end” is complete if there is any “measuring” required this is done by the No.3.

Skip: These players are usually the most experienced in your team and fully understand all facets of the game.

As each bowl of his team is bowled they will advise the bowler (lead, No.2 or No.3) where their bowl has finished so that, if any adjustments are needed to “weight” or “length”, these can be made.

They have the ability to play any shot that is required to win the “end” as well as being tactically aware of what the opposition may try to do.

If they ask for information about theirs, or their opponents bowls, it is only the No.3 who will reply (leads and No.2’s should remain quiet unless specifically requested for their opinion by the No.3)

They have a scorecard which they update each “end” and occasionally ask their opposite number to confirm the current score. They will instruct the No.2 to ensure the scoreboard at the end of the rink is kept up to date.


  • Wood – a bowl

  • Jack – The small white/yellow ball that is the target.

  • Rink – One of six “lanes” on the green as marked 1 to 6

  • Weight – the strength/power with which to play the bowl

  • Line – the correct bowling line to reach the jack taking into account the bias in the bowl and the characteristics of the rink

  • Length – the amount the bowl is either short of, or past, the jack

  • End – When all players have played their bowls in one direction on the green.

  • Shot(s) – the nearest bowl(s) to the jack

  • Head – The configuration of bowls around the jack

  • Measuring – Using a bowls tape in a situation where it is not clear which bowl is nearest the jack

  • Rollup – Practice

  • Four Wood Singles Competitions – First player to score 21 shots wins
  • Three Wood Singles Competitions – play 18 ends (maximum), highest shots wins
  • Two Wood Singles Competitions – play 21 ends (maximum) highest shots wins
  • 100 points Singles Competition – play 20 ends (maximum) 4 points for shot, 3 points for second wood, 2 points for third wood and 1 point for fourth wood, first player to 100 points.
  • Pairs Competitions - play 21 ends (maximum) highest shots wins
  • Triples Competitions - play 18 ends (maximum) highest shots wins