About The Game


sport in which the objective is to roll biased balls so that they stop close to a smaller ball called a “jack” or “kitty”. It is played on a pitch which may be flat (for “flat-green bowls”) or convex or uneven (for “crown green bowls“). It is normally played outdoors (although there are many indoor venues) and the outdoor surface is either natural grass, artificial turf, or cotula (in New Zealand).

Whether playing competitively or socially it is played in an atmosphere of friendship and sociability. The atmosphere is maintained by a traditional code of behaviour

The Game: The game is started by the Skip tossing a coin to see who wins the right to play first. The lead then rolls the jack to a predetermined length. He or She then rolls a bowl to finish closer than the opponents. The game is made up of Ends—15, 21, 25 or the ringing of a bell. Set play has also been introduced into the sport, especially for televised games. The game is usually played in a East—West direction in the morning and North—South direction in the afternoon. The score: After each end has been played the player/ team with the most number of bowls closest to the jack is the winner, scoring 1 point for each closest bowl. Commonly played games: Singles Pairs Triples Fours


  1. Players should use the steps provided when going on or off the Bowling Green. 
    Bowls should not be dropped on the Green. 
    Do not stand on the verges. 
    Matches, cigarette ends, etc., should be placed in the litter-baskets and not in the Ditches. 
    Bowls should not be kicked in until the shot has been decided. 
    After delivering a Bowl, a player should either retire behind the Mat or advance to the head. He should not take up a position in between. 
    Don’t delay the game. 
    Don’t wander around or move about the head when a player is about to deliver a Bowl. 
    In a Fours Game, the ‘second’ keeps the score; in a Pairs Game the ‘Skip’ keeps the score.
    10. Bowling is a friendly game and all players should show courtesy and good sportsmanship.
    11. All Bowlers should know the Rules as laid down by the World Bowls Board. 
    . Mobile Phones should not be used on or around the green.


The bowls used prior to 1522 were spherical in shape and rolled in a straight line. The bias was introduced in 1522 after Charles Brandon, the Duke of Suffolk, accidentally broke a bowl. Legend says that the Duke rushed indoors and sawed off a large ornamental ball from a staircase. One section of his bowl was flat and followed a curved path as it slowed down, instead of continuing on a straight line.

A British explorer found some roundish balls when he dug up the grave of a young Egyptian. This led him to think that bowls may have started in Egypt over 7,000 years ago. Similar ancient ball rolling games have been found in many other countries, including North and South America, China and Polynesia.

From Egypt, Bowls spread to Greece and Italy. The Romans played ‘Bocce’ and it is still played today. In the early version of the game, stones were tossed at a target stone.

The Romans took the game to England and Bowls is thought to be one of the oldest British sports dating back to the twelfth century. During the fourteenth century a number of English kings passed laws banning sports like Bowls and Tennis. They were concerned that Archery was becoming less popular and that the army would suffer. Henry VIII passed the last of these laws in 1541, but the sport continued to grow………

Phone: 09 827 1368 Email: bowlsnewlynn@xtra.co.nz