Bowls generally involves rolling a large, fairly heavy ball, down a
prepared pitch or lane, towards a target of some kind. The latter
may be a small ball (as in lawn, crown or carpet bowls) or a series of standing
pins to be knocked down (as in ten pin bowling).
Various version of
the game exist, on different surfaces and outdoor and indoors.
Petanque is a similar game which originated in France; it involves
throwing not rolling smaller heavy balls on a sandy surface. Ten pin
bowling in special indoor centres is a modern variant of older games
detailed information on these variations can be obtained from the
specialist organisations listed below.
Bowls is generally played between two or four people (the latter often in
pairs). The competitive aspect of
these activities is important.
British Crown Green Bowling Association www.bowls.org/
English Bowling Association 01903 820222
English Bowling Federation 0114 247 7763
British Petanque Association www.britishpetanque.org/
English Boccia Association
0115 987 2002
English Indoor Bowling Association 01664 481900
British Tenpin Bowling Association www.btba.org.uk/
Woods & Jacks
Find a local bowls group
or club (see organisations above).
See if there are
introductory sessions at your local club or centre.
Consult books or magazines
on different types of bowls.
Check in your local library/paper
or sports centre for more information.
Skills and people
Bowls can be played by people of all ages and both sexes and is
a fairly easy game to pick up. The physical effort required is not
great, and traditional bowls is often played by older people; ten pin bowling is
generally more popular among younger age groups.
You can practice bowling on your own but to play you need at least one
other person. Many players belong to a group or club to get access
to the necessary facilities as well as appropriate opponents. The
social element of club life is also important.
It is better if the people you play with are of roughly
the same standard as yourself. But they need not be of the same age
Equipment or clothing
A set of the appropriate bowls and the target are essential.
These are often provided by the club or centre at which you play, though
serious players may have their own bowls.
Special footwear is
generally needed to protect the playing surface. For club
competitions, special clothing may be required.
A place or facilities
Special surfaces are needed for indoor and outdoor bowls.
There are facilities
for some variants of indoor bowls in many village
and community halls, as well as most sports centres. Some of these
are provided on a temporary basis using more general spaces.
bowls grounds may be in local parks; local clubs often own their own
grounds. There are regional differences in the most popular
forms of bowls and so in the main types of facilities to be found.
There are national networks of commercial ten pin bowling