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New to Bowls?

If you are new to the game of Bowls then this guide will help to get you started and if you click on the picture below, you can access useful advice and information on the game of bowls.

Holding the Woods


There are two recognised grips, or methods of holding the bowl.

Claw Grip

The bowl is placed in the palm of the hand, the middle fingers being spread out under the bowl. The thumb and little finger provide additional support for the bowl, the little finger being level with the bottom of the disc, the thumb over the top, or a little above, the large disc. The bowl is not held tightly, but gripped enough to prevent it slipping at the moment it is delivered from the hand.

Cradle Grip

In the cradle grip the bowl rests in the hand. The middle fingers are placed fairly close together with the thumb much lower down the side of the bowl than in the claw grip. The wrist slightly cupped so that the bowl does not slip from the hand as the arm is swung backwards.

With both grips the middle fingers must be parallel to the running surface. A wobbly bowl is caused by the middle finger being pulled across its running surface.


Points To Good Delivery

  1.  Maintain a good balance in the stance and throughout the movement.
  2.  Do not clutch the bowl.
  3.  Body movement is better than muscular movement and infinitely less tiring.
  4.  Concentrate on smoothness of action.
  5.  Develop the follow through – it eliminates jerkiness of delivery.
  6.  Adjust your length of step with the left foot so that the right hand is opposite it at the lowest point of the forward swing.


A player shall take his stance on the mat and at the moment of delivering his bowl shall have one foot remaining entirely within the confines of the mat. The foot may be either in contact with or over the mat. 

Backward Stance

Swing the right arm backward, at the same time rising on the toes. Keep the left arm raised in from of the body to maintain a perfect balance.

Forward Swing

As the right arm swings forward, advance the left foot and begin to bend the right knee. In turn begin to bend the left knee.


Both knees continue to bend until the right hand is at the lowest point of the swing. This should occur when the right hand is opposite the left foot. Release the bowl.

Follow Through

The right hand arm should follow the forward and upward motion. Follow through with the body also – by moving forward as the bowl leaves the hand and follow the bowl for a short distance up the green. If you prefer to remain stationary after the delivery, bring the left hand down on to the left knee to preserve your balance as the right arm moves upwards.

Foot Faults

At the moment of delivering the bowl, one foot must be entirely within the confines of the mat. The foot may be in contact with the mat or over it.