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How is lawn bowls played?

The object of the sport of lawn bowls is essentially simple. It is played on a square of closely cut grass called ‘the green’, which is divided into parallel playing areas called rinks. The green is surrounded by a small ditch to catch bowls which leave the green, and a bank upon which markers indicate the corner and centre of each rink.

Players take turns to deliver their bowls from a mat at one end of the rink towards a small target ball, often referred to as ‘the jack’, at the other end. Bowls are shaped so that they take a curved path towards the jack. To be successful the bowl must be delivered with the correct weight, along the correct line.

Play progresses as a sequence of 'ends'.  When all players have delivered their bowls, they walk up to them on the far side of the rink, and a new end commences in which they play in the reverse direction back to where they started from.

The object is to get one or more of your bowls closer to the jack than those of your opponents on each end – one point is scored for each counting bowl.

How do I get started?

The best way is to come along to one of our roll-up sessions.  For roll-ups, dress is informal but you do need a pair of flat soled shoes - a pair of old trainers without much tread left would be OK - so that you don't damage the green.  Open sandals are not suitable, for safety reasons.  Other than that, we can lend you all the equipment you need.  You don't need to pay any membership or other fees until you decide that you want to take up the game. Club coaches are available by appointment during roll-ups and at other times.  Please get in touch with us first, so that we can arrange that there will be a qualified coach on hand to show you the basics.

Loudwater Bowls Club FAQ

What's a roll-up?

They vary a bit from club to club, but at Loudwater they are very informal sessions for club members held on Thursday evenings starting at 6pm.  You just come along and play with whoever else has turned up.  There is no dress code and no charge.

Will I need special clothing and expensive equipment?

Not at first, if you are a beginner, apart from suitable footwear.  It's best not to buy your own bowls straight away, but get a feel for the game and what suits you first, as there are different sizes, weights, and styles of bowls.  Second hand sets of bowls are fairly easy to come by at a reasonable price.  There is a dress code for matches which will be explained when you join the Club.

How much does membership cost?

Members pay a subscription proposed annually by the Club Committee and approved by the members, which is currently £70.  A match fee, usually £2.50 is payable when playing in Club matches.

I have a question which isn't covered here

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