Isle of Man Flat Green Bowling Club | Official Website

IOMFGBC | Introduction To The Game

Because of the intricacies of the game and the many variables that can be applied, I will only submit a basic grounding of the rudiments of the game on this page.

There can be no substitute for experience, and the only way to get that experience is by playing the game. Although most of the information may sound strange to you at first, it did for all of us when we first started and you will soon pick up the jargon.

  • Lawn bowls is played outdoors on grass and indoors on artificial surfaces. 
  • A match may be for singles, pairs, triples, or fours.
  • In singles and pairs each player has four bowls (colloquially known as "woods").
  • In triples each player has three woods.
  • In fours, also known as 'rinks', each player has 2 woods.
  • Phew!..... That's the first part done. Still hanging in there? OK. Here we go with rest of it.
  • The bowls may not weigh more than 3½ lb (1.59 kg) and their circumference may not exceed 16½ in (41.9 cm).
  • Bowls are flattened slightly on one side and this causes a bias. The bias will make the bowl tend to move on a curving path as it "draws" towards the jack or object ball.
  • Woods are delivered alternately by opposing players who must have at least one foot on a rubber mat or footer at the moment of delivery.
  • The bowl is aimed towards the jack (a small white ball with a diameter of 2½ in 6.35 cm), which must be cast a minimum of 25 yd (22.9 m) up the green.
  • WOW!.... But, that's about as technical as this game gets.
  • The object is for the player (or team) to get his or her woods as near the jack as possible, and in any case nearer than those of the opponent.
  • One point is won for each bowl nearer the jack than one's opponent's best bowl.
  • An end is completed when all bowls have been rolled.
  • Your score is accumulated and checked by your opponent as the game progresses.
  • Nothing could be simpler!

It needs to be stated again that there is no substitute for actually getting the bowls in your hand and having a go. Everyone has to start somewhere. Our members will be only too pleased to help.

Please don't feel as though you have to be at a certain level of skill before you come up to the green and join in.