Whether you’re a novice in lawn bowling and need to find a replacement bowl, or you’re just a beginner starting out, you might be wondering where the best place to buy lawn bowls is. There are actually plenty of options, even though you may wander through sport stores and not find one lawn bowling jersey. But if you ask, they may have a few in stock that they’ll be able to show you or they may be able to point you in the direction of a club or other outlet that has lawn bowls for sale. Clubs of course, are the other obvious choice. There are lots of pro shops within clubs that will have a huge selection of lawn bowls for sale.
But you’ll probably also soon find that lawn bowling clubs are not the cheapest option to finding lawn bowls. And you’ll also quickly find just how pricey lawn bowls can be, if you weren’t already aware. Because of this, the world is beginning to turn more and more to the Internet. And as lawn bowling remains a very popular sport all throughout the world, the world begins to search for ways to find cheaper lawn bowls online – just like they do with everything else!
Simply typing in “buy lawn bowls” into any search engine will pull up a huge listing of sellers that have lawn bowls for sale. This is a great way to quickly compare prices online and because there are so many options, it’s also one of the best ways to find the exact bowl that you want! If you want even cheaper lawn bowls, looking at online auction sites such as eBay are also great ways to save money on lawn bowls. These are used so of course, always make sure that the bowls are in good condition and that the seller is reputable.
Everyone’s going online for whatever they need these days. Why should lawn bowls be any different?
Of course, lawn bowling is a game of etiquette and there are little things that are more important in the game (other than winning of course!) than being courteous to the other players. But it’s also important that you always remain vigilant about the green and make sure that you treat it well.
Start by making sure that you always enter the green by the path provided. If there is no clearly defined path, walk around the sides until you reach your mat or green. Never cross rinks or other playing fields in an attempt to get to your own – even if no one else is playing on it. This will cause excessive wear on the green, which can result in inefficient play.
It’s also important to make sure that you never drop your bowl right onto the green. Doing this could scuff the green and damage your bowl. Also try to notice if you’re causing any damage to the green when you deliver your bowl. This can actually be a common problem, especially for novices, and should be corrected. Also, if there are banks around the green, never sit on them. When people do this, they also tend to hang their feet over the side of the green. This can cause damage to both the bank and the green.
The greens in lawn bowling are obviously very important, because these are the fields on which the lawn bowling will be played. It’s important to always treat them with respect and to never leave any garbage, cigarette butts, or spit on them. Not only are these very impolite things to do, but you can also be seriously fined by a club for doing any of them. Treat the greens right, and chances are that they’ll return the favour!
Many people use the terms ‘lawn bowling’ and ‘bocce ball’ interchangeably, thinking that the two sports are one in the same. And even those who know that there’s a slight difference, think it’s only that bocce ball is what the sport is known as in Italy. And while bocce did originate in Italy, the differences go a little deeper than that.
The first most obvious difference is that lawn bowling is traditionally played on a green, while bocce is played on a field that’s usually sand or asphalt. In both sports, there are usually boards placed up alongside the boundaries and in both cases, the playing fields are usually very long rectangular structures.
In bocce, the team to throw their ball first is chosen randomly and they are then given the chance to throw their jacks into a marked zone, somewhat farther down the playing field. Should they miss twice in a row, the other team is then given the same opportunity. Lawn bowls also use a jack, but in this case, it’s the jack that’s placed somewhere along the playing field. The teams then take turns trying to get closest to the jack, and the rules of play become quite complicated with ‘dead’ bowls and ‘live’ jacks.
Another difference between lawn bowling and bocce ball is the type of balls that are used. Jacks made for bocce are usually made from metal or plastic, whereas lawn bowls are generally made of wood. But one of the most glaring differences between the two different types of balls is that balls used for bocce are perfectly round and smooth and have no bias whatsoever. In lawn bowling, the specific bias or sphere of the bowls is essential to game play and plays a huge part in the player’s strategy.
Bocce ball is more known in Italy, although it’s starting to become very popular in the United States too. Lawn bowling is still known as a sport that’s more popular in areas such as New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland, and Canada.
Everyone knows the basic rules of lawn bowling. Each player must throw a bowl and try to get as close as possible to the jack. Yes, those are the basic rules. But there are even more detailed rules that not everyone might realize. We’ve laid them out for you here so that you can get a really good idea of what to do the next time you step out onto that green.
- When an opponent is on the mat, it’s most courteous to be as quiet as possible. Jeering, insults, and anything else that could be considered to be derogatory are definitely not permitted. But even talking and light conversation should be saved until after the opponent has finished his throw.
- Players at the head should always stand at least two feet behind the mat. Players too, should also stand at least two feet behind the mat. This isn’t just lawn bowling etiquette, it’s actually a rule.
- As players are traveling from the mat to the head, they should never interfere with another rink or its players.
- Running commentary while the bowl is traveling across the green is not only annoying, it’s also improper etiquette.
- At certain times during the game, an umpire might need to come out and measure the distance between the bowls. Should this happen, all players are to leave the head until the umpire has finished measuring. Once that is done, the umpire will make his ruling and this ruling is final.
- No game should be raked until both teams have agreed to how many bowls were conceded.
Adhering to the rules of etiquette is not only a polite thing to do but it also makes the game of lawn bowling much more fun. No one wants their opponents calling out to them and interfering with their play. Just as you want people respecting your play, they do too. And lawn bowling is so much more exciting when the game doesn’t need to always be stopped so that the rules of etiquette can be abided by.
We brought you all kinds of terminology in our first post about lawn bowling language, which you can find here. But it seems that we missed some of the lingo that’s commonly tossed around the green so, we’ve brought another installment of our Lawn Bowling Glossary to give you a better idea of what you’re talking about if you’re a beginner, or to brush up on some old terms if you’re a novice!
Block – This is a bowl that sits right in the line of fire. Bowlers will strategically block their opponent to keep them from scoring or winning.
Bowl in Course – This can also be thought of as ‘any bowl in motion.’ From the moment you release the bowl from your hand, to the moment it rests somewhere so it is no longer moving, the bowl is in course.
Covered – This is what it’s called when a bowl is in front of another bowl, or in front of another bowl. In this instance, the bowl in front would be ‘covering’ the other bowl.
Dead Bowl – A dead bowl can occur on the green for many reasons. One instance of a dead bowl is if any bowl, with the exception of the toucher, should come to rest in a ditch. A bowl can also become dead if it touches any side of rink and comes back to the green, or if it touches any jack or toucher that sits in a ditch. If a bowl stops 15 yards or less from the mat, this bowl will also be considered a ‘dead bowl.’ Any bowls that come to a stop anywhere outside of the boundaries of the rink are also considered to be dead bowls.
Dead end – Any end that has within it a dead jack is considered to be a dead end. The jack becomes dead if it has rolled outside the boundaries of the rink. Should an end become dead, the two skips will decide mutually in which direction the end should be played out. Traditionally, the round is replayed in the same direction that it was originally being played.
Fast Green – A fast green refers to the conditions of the actual green being played on. If the grass has been cut too close or the green has been allowed to dry out, it will be a fast green. The bowls will have a wider curve on them and the ironically, the course will take longer to play.
Four – This is the type of team that is playing the round. Four members logically enough, make up a Four and within this Four, each member has a specific role. Within a Four are: the lead, the second, the third, and the skip. Each player delivers two bowls each round.
This time, we’ve found too many new terms to bombard you all at once with them! Check back soon for another installment of our Lawn Bowling Glossary. And if you have any suggestions on terms that we’ve missed, drop us a line and let us know!
If you’re just starting out in the game of lawn bowls, or you want to find out how you can improve your game, there’s a simple drill that can be done called the 4-Jack Drill. This drill will show you what flaws lie in your drawing, and will give you more confidence when it comes time to play in competition.
To begin, place a jack at the 2-meter mark, at each hog line. Center them and draw a chalk line underneath each. Place a mat at the near-two metre mark and then draw two bowls to the short jack and two draws to the long jack. Then take your mat and leave the jack at the 2-metre mark where you had been standing. Then gather all four bowls at the other end. Once you’re finished, repeat the entire drill in reverse by going to the other end and starting from there.
Even if you’re doing this drill on your own, it’s still a good idea to keep score. Scoring is easy. Give yourself one point for everything within one metre, and no point for anything else. When you’re finished the drill, tally up your points and see how you did!
If you really want to make your lawn bowling better, you can do this drill several times and keep track of your progress. Not only will you know what you need to do to beat your personal best, but it will also let you see how far you’ve come!
Maybe it’s due to the long history and sophistication that’s attached to the game and maybe it’s just that lawn bowling is so much fun – either way, the important role that sportsmanship plays in lawn bowling cannot be overlooked. In each move that the players make, they must always keep in mind that they have an opponent who is to be commended and respected.
Much of the etiquette regarding the opponents in lawn bowling dictate small courtesies that most people would pay to others, even without an official rule book! Things such as greeting your opponent properly, not making rude comments, and congratulating them on nice moves, are all expected niceties in lawn bowling. However, some etiquette rules in regards to opponents are a little less subtle. Here’s one of them!
It ’s a rule of etiquette in lawn bowling that, should you be playing an opponent on a particular day, that you do not practice on the green at any time during that day. There are certain instances in which this rule is waived, such as if someone has a bye or a walkthrough pass, but even then, opponents are to be respected. Even if the opponent is also on the green, one should never try to get in the opponent’s way or cause their practice to be disrupted.
It’s always a good idea to read over the rules of etiquette in lawn bowling before entering any competition. This is especially true if you’re new to competitions and aren’t completely familiar with all the rules of etiquette in lawn bowling.
Lawn bowling is such a popular sport that many different versions and spins are continuously being put on the game by bowling enthusiasts. Some of these versions of the popular game are created to include more or less players, and some are simply tributes that pay homage to the way the game was once truly played by royalty. But some versions, such as short mat bowls, are created so that people can still enjoy their love of the game, without worrying about such practicalities as not having enough space for the greens!
In traditional lawn bowling, the greens are very long and have ditches around them. Because of this, in order to enjoy the game, you need to not only have access to an outdoor space, but a space that will be able to accommodate those greens. Short mat bowls is a game that brings the game inside so everyone can enjoy it all the time! The greens are of course shorter and because of this, they need to bring their own challenges to make it a true test of skill.
Short mat bowls are played on small strips which make up the greens. The mats usually measure 45′ – 6′ and are rolled out side-by-side. When the game is finished, they can then easily be rolled up and stored out of the way. Because these indoor mats obviously don’t have ditches along the side, a block is placed in the centre, with the purpose being that the jack is never allowed to touch the block. This makes the player responsible for using their bias and not simply throwing their bowl straight down the mat. Along both ends of the mat are white fenders, to not only keep the bowls from rolling off the mats but also to provide boundaries that would already be in place on an outdoor green.
Short mat bowls were first brought to Britain by two men who came from South Africa. Because they were not accustomed to the climate, or the long off-season in Britain, they created the version of short mat bowls. It picked up very quickly and is now widely played in Britain and Ireland.
Choosing your own set of bowls is one of the most exciting, and most important, part of the sport of lawn bowling. Keep in mind that when it comes to buying your own bowls, you will first have to choose whether or not you should purchase a used set. Used sets are significantly cheaper than new and if you inspect them carefully and they don’t have any serious flaws such as deep scratches, nicks, or dents, they should be fine for what you need.
If you decide to invest in a new set, be sure to bring along a fellow bowler, especially if you’re not very experienced in the sport. They’ll be able to show you how you will be holding the bowl, as well as different techniques, and from this you will be able to determine if you are really comfortable holding different bowls. Also, make sure that wherever you’re buying it from will let you have a few practice shots with the bowl first so that you can really get a good feel for the bowl.
Also if you’re buying new bowls, try to buy a complete set all at once. This has the distinct advantage over buying individual bowls because they will all be identical in shape and weight and they will all also have the exact same biases. This will give you a more consistent throw and will help you better perfect your game!
If there is anything that will prove that lawn bowling is not a stoggy sport that’s only played by retirees, it’s the World Championship. The World Championship in lawn bowling is much like the Olympics in that lawn bowling organizations (which are usually represented as countries) send their best to represent them and try for medals and, the event is held every four years.
The event first began in Australia in 1966 and it was just at the 2008 World Championships that men and women competed together. Lawn bowling organizations, such as Bowls Australia, first hold national competitions to determine which players they will send to the World Championships. Each organization is represented by 5 players who will play first as singles and fours, and then will play as pairs and triples. The top three winners of each category are awarded a gold, silver, or bronze medal and the best 5-player team will also win an award. For men, this is called the Leonard Trophy and for women it’s called the Taylor Trophy.
The last lawn bowling World Championships was held in Christchurch, New Zealand in 2008 and the next event will take place in Adelaide, Australia from November 24, 2012 to December 9, 2012.