Lawn Bowls Equipment List

Lawn Bowls Equipment List

Lawn bowls, or bowls, is a very old sport that was first played all the way back in the 12th century in Europe. This sport is very similar to bocce where the objective is to roll a ball as close to a target ball as possible. What makes it different is the type of balls that are used and this sport is played on a lawn or field. The beauty of this sport is it does not take a lot of equipment to be played, so acquiring the goods to play this sport will not take very long. The challenge will be learning how to properly roll the bowls which weigh differently on both sides resulting in the ball having a natural curve when it is rolling.

Lawn Bowls Equipment

Lawn Bowls Equipment

Lawn bowls require very particular pieces of equipment, especially when it comes to the type of ball that is used. They are called bowls and they are very unique to this sport. The weight displacement and shape of the bowl is what makes it different from both bocce and boccia. The object of the game is to roll those bowls as close to the target ball, which is called a jack. The location of the game is important as well, as it must be played on a lawn or a field called the bowling green. This game is very precise, and sometimes it is hard to determine which bowl is closest to the jack, so make sure that you have a tape measure to figure out which ball is closest. A mat from where the ball is tossed and the color of the clothing that is worn are very important, as well.

Bowling Green

The bowling green is the field in which lawn bowls is played on. The green is typically a large, rectangular field with some sort of boundary built around it to ensure that the bowls do not roll off the field. These fields must be manicured well, as the grass must be short for the bowls to roll on. The field is divided into sections or strips called rinks, so a clear playing field for each game is easily visible to all of the players.



All lawn bowls players should have a full set of bowls, including four bowls of the same color. The majority of bowls typically weigh around 3 pounds. These balls are very unique, as one portion of each ball weighs more than the other. This results in the ball curving to one side, making this sport a very precise and hard thing to perfect due to the bias caused by the weight displacement of the ball. These balls come in different weights and sizes, so make sure to hold different sized balls in order to determine the bowl that feels best in your hand, and especially when you roll it. A good way to determine the correct ball size is to palm the ball and make sure that you can almost wrap your entire hand around the ball.

Lawn bowls are not inexpensive, so make sure that you are comfortable with how they feel in your hand before any purchase. They are designed to last a long time, so no need to worry about continually purchasing new bowls.


Clothing for this sport is very strict in competitive leagues, particularly in Europe, but more relaxed when no one is really keeping score. The most important thing about attire is the color of the clothing. Players in competitive leagues must wear all white or cream-colored clothing when playing the sport of lawn bowls. Lawn Bowls is not a particularly physically demanding sport, so no need to purchase polyester-based performance clothing. A collared shirt and pants for men and either a collared shirt or nice shirt alongside a skirt or pants are required for women. If you want to fit in with the expert and traditional players, purchasing all-white clothing will help you fit right in at the bowling green. Footwear should be a comfortable shoe and, as long as they are white, there are no other specifications that must be met when it comes to footwear. Hats are also recommended for the hot and sunny days, but not required. Just make sure that the hat is white!


The mat is used to mark the location of where the players roll their bowls from. The player must keep one foot on the mat the entire time that they are rolling the bowls to ensure that all players are rolling from the same position. This game is all about precision, so make sure that you are following all of the rules, even seemingly minor details like keeping one foot on the mat at all times.


In competitive leagues, a scorecard may be used to keep track of the score in a game of lawn bowls. In a singles tournament, the first player to record 21 points is the winner. The scorecard is there to keep track of the score and ensure that an honest round is being played by all competitors.

Short Mat Bowling

For those who are experiencing weather where it is too cold or pouring rain, short mat bowling is a great alternative to lawn bowls. The beauty of this sport is that it is played on a long mat that can be rolled up and transported anywhere, including indoors. This sport does not require as much space or a large field like traditional lawn bowls does. The same bowls are used, but it is played inside and on a mat. No need to worry about finding a large field with perfectly cut grass, all you need is a bowling mat and the rest of the equipment for lawn bowls and you are all set!

Tape Measure

The game of lawn bowls is very precise. Sometimes, when the two players are approaching the jack to see who’s ball was closest, it is impossible to determine by just using their eyes. This is when a tape measure comes in handy. Sometimes the winning bowl can be decided by a difference of centimeters, so a tape measure must be used to determine which bowl is closer. The tape measure is used to measure the distance between the bowls and the jack and the bowl closest to the jack is the winner.

The Jack

The sport of lawn bowls is different from conventional bowling because rather than rolling a ball towards ten pins, you roll the bowl towards a smaller white ball called the jack. At the beginning of a round of lawn bowls, the jack is rolled out in order to create a target for where the players should aim their bowls. A jack is similar to a billiards ball, as this ball is unbiased and does not curve when it is rolled out at the beginning of a round. The bowls are able to make contact with the jack and even move the jack. The goal is to get the bowls as close to the jack as possible. This is not as easy as it sounds though, because the bowls are biased as the weight is not evenly distributed, causing the bowl to curve drastically as it is rolled.