How the Game is played


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           The game of Bowls has been played for centuries and has become  a very social and at times a serious competitive affair.  A Bowl itself is not spherical as in a Ball, because in the manufacturing process one side is deliberately formed wider and is therefore heavier.  Nowadays most Bowls are produced with coloured plastic compounds in various size sets  however, some are still made of hardwood,  engraved marks on each side indicate a light side and the wider, heavier (bias) side that causes a bowl, when in motion, to veer on curve on the surface that it travels on.  Dependent on the players ability the bowl is held in either the left or right hand, with the bias side on either the left or right, then sufficient effort is used to roll the bowl foreward off the hand onto the surface of the rink.  The act of bowling is accomplished by adopting a stance on a mat and physically moving to a crouch and swing the bowling arm backwards then bring that arm foreward fast enough to roll the bowl off the hand onto and along the rink, to maintain balance a step may be needed as the bowling arm propels the bowl foreward, while keeping the opposite foot on or above the mat.  The aim being to Roll the bowl foreward so that under its own momentum it rolls in the direction of the Jack, a 3" white or Yellow solid ball and come to rest touching or adjacent to the Jack. 


Jack:     White or Yellow  6.35cm diameter and must be delivered in excess of 23 m, by a the winner of a coin toss or a nominated  bowler in a team.

Bowls:  In sets of  2, or 4 12-13cm diameter 1.25-1.6kg.  Modern makes are made of a hard plastic composite material in various colours & have imprinted stamps to denote brand, date, weight and size, most clubs have coloured stickers attached to denote their team.


This allows the bowler to deliver and roll the bowl to a specific location without touching or disturbing other  bowls at the 'head', (where played bowls have come to rest). 

Involves delivering the bowl with enough effort to move the Jack or disturb other bowls at the head without stopping further play of that end, by knocking the Jack out of bounds.

 Involves bowling with considerable force with the aim of knocking either the jack or a specific bowl out of play. There is a very little curve in this shot.


For example, the team with their bowl closest to the jack will probably decide not to aim for being any closer to the jack, as it is probably in their interest to opt for a more 'blocking' shot, by setting their bowls up to make it difficult for opponents to get their bowls in towards the jack.  Or players will try to get their bowls in places where the jack might be deflected to if the opponent attempts to disturb the head.   There can be a large number of bowls at the head towards the conclusion of an end, particularly in the team games - and this gives rise to some complex tactics.       

Scoring systems vary for different competitions. It is usually the first player or team to reach 21 shots or the highest scorer after 11, 18 or 21 ends.  Another system used is "set play".  For example, the first to reach seven shots is awarded a set, with the match played best-of-three sets.  When all the bowls have been played, a competitor or team gets one (shot) for each of their bowls that is closer to the jack than the opponents closest bowl.    After the score has been agreed and noted, the direction of play is reversed the team that wins an end starts the next end.  When several teams are competing against each other  the shots may well be converted to 'points'.

Various types and brands of measuring devices are used by persons delegated, for checking the distance when a Jack is suspected as being of a too short delivery or to determine which bowls are accountable, winning 'shots'.

Once all players have delivered their bowls and scores agreed and recorded, the used bowls are collected and the game resumes, the winning team or person  replays the jack to the opposite end to that just used.



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