Lawn Bowling: A Lot More Fun Than Lawn Mowing!

a close up of a football ball on a field

Lawn Bowling is something like bowling as you may know it, but instead of in a bowling alley, a bowling green is used instead. While it is meant to be an outdoor lawn game, there are indoor versions around as well.

Short History Lesson On Lawn Bowling

Lawn Bowling has been traced back as far as the 13th century where a sketch of the game is found in a biography written by William Fitzstephen of Thomas Becket, Saint Thomas of Canterburyand Thomas of London, and Archbishop of Canterbury. The Angilican Community and Catholic Church both recognized him as a martyr and a saint. He was known conflicts with the King of England, Henry II about the rights and privileges of the Church.

 In this biography, Mr. Fitzstephen wrote of how young men were amused during the summer and on holidays by casting stone, leaping, shooting, and wrestling, as well as throwing javelins that were fitted with Loops. The young men would endeavor to fling these things before the mark, sometimes using bucklers.

It is assumed that Mr.Fitzstephen was speaking of the game of bowls, and that possibly round stones were used in various versions of the game. It has been recorded that iron bowls were used at a later date at festive occasions.

Mr. Fitzstephen would refer to this as jactus lapidum, the same to be as our understanding of the sport shotputin a somewhat rudimentary form. There are drawings found from the 13th century in the royal library of Windsorthat depict 2 players taking aim at a small cone, not a ball or jack as we would know it today.

A Patent For Lawn Mowers In Preparation For Lawn Bowling

In 1830, the first lawn mower patent was issued in Britain. What does that have to do with Lawn Bowling? It is believed that the lawn mower was a worldwide catalyst in preparation of grass courts, greens, playing fields, and other modern-style greens.

Lawn Bowling is not just a lawn game to occupy the kids either. There is the National Bowling Association that was established at the end of the 1800s. And in 1880 the Victorian Bowling Association was formed with The Scottish Bowling Association being established in 1892.

The Game

Lawn Bowling objective is to roll predisposed balls toward a jack or kitty, (a smaller ball) so that it stops just before hitting it. This is played upon either a convex/uneven green or a flat green that is referred to as a bowling greenthat is is large and rectangular. Today, it is played in the backyard with simple manicured grass as not everyone is going to convert their backyard to an official lawn bowling arena.

A simple competition of lawn bowling is played by 2 people who flip a coin to determine who will start the competition. The starting player will roll the jack to the opposite end of the green and then centered it, create a target. The two players then take turns rolling their bowls towards the jack and build the "head".

A bowl must stop within the boundary but may curve outside that boundary on the way and still be considered fair play. Andy bowl that falls in the ditch is called a dead bowl and is taken from play, unless it touched the jack on the way. A "toucher" is marked with chalk, left in the ditch and considered till alive. Likewise, if the jack gets knocked in the ditch, it is considered to still be alive unless it is knocked out of bounds. It is then considered dead and the bowl is replayed.

Scoring With Lawn Bowling

After all players have rolled all of the bowls, the score is determined by the which bowls are closest to the jack. For example, if a player has bowled two bowls closer than the other player to the jack, they are given 2 shots. This is repeated until one of the players reaches 21.

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