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Beginners Guide to Bowls

The Club would normally expect a beginner to attend the basic coaching sessions offered by the club coach, usually between mid May to the end of August, before applying for membership.  These sessions, allow the Club to get to know potential members, aim to teach the rudiments of bowls in approximately 5 sessions and enable the individual to determine if bowls and the Club are for them, before committing themselves to significant expenditure.  All we ask is that participants wear flat shoes without heels. 

Bowls for Beginners – The Basics Explained

Bowls is one of the easiest games to take up and the game itself is basically very simple to understand.  The Bowling Green is divided into equal strips (usually six) called Rinks and a match is played within the confines of a rink. It is played as singles or between teams of two, three or four a side. 

A small white or yellow target ball called a Jack is placed towards one end of the rink and each player rolls their Bowls (or Woods) from a Mat at the other end of the rink. The main aim is to get their Bowls as close to the Jack as possible. Once all the Bowls have been delivered the player or team that has the nearest Bowl to the Jack scores one point, with extra points for any more of their Bowls that are nearer the Jack than the opposing team's nearest bowl.

When the score for that round or End has been agreed, the players repeat the process from the other end of the rink, until either a set number of Ends have been played, or 21 points or shots have been won by one player or side.

Simple, and it is, but there is a one small catch! The Bowl does not travel in a straight line, but is biased so that it rolls in a curve. How wide that curve is depends on the type of Bowl being used. Obviously by using the bias a player can avoid hitting other bowls that would otherwise be in the way of the target.

Needless to say there is more to the game of Bowls than this - every game has its rules, and there is an etiquette of who does what within each team - but the beginner will pick this up in due course, and initially doesn't need to know anything more than the basic principals as set out above.

Bowls isn't an expensive sport anyway, but at Castle Cary we'll be delighted to give you the chance to see how you take to the game before you have to lay out any cash.  All you need is a pair of flat soled shoes (trainers are fine), and we'll provide everything else, including friendly advice!

Tuesday evening is Club Night, members arrive to ‘roll-up’ with others or just to practice on their own.  Casual dress can be worn on Club Night.

You will find a friendly welcome awaits you at Castle Cary and we can’t wait to meet you.

The Club Captain maintains a fair play policy so that all members play about the same proportion of matches for which they make themselves available.  An exception to this policy is provided to allow the captain to select the strongest side available for some County/National games.


Reproduced with the kind permission of Wargrave Bowls Club, Berkshire