• 2022.02.08
  • English-style bowling: as fancy as it gets!
Lawn bowls, also nicknamed bowling green among friends due to the name of the field on which you play this sport, is a game that originated in England and that is widely practiced throughout the Commonwealth of Nations.
Unfortunately, it remains virtually unknown in other countries.
It is a game of bowls that is similar to lawn curling and Italian bocce, but lawn bowls is distinguished by the shape of its balls and by the type of its lawn or green carpet which must be more than 30 meters long.
This game is believed to date back to ancient times and, by establishing its colonies, England made this sport become famous in its colonies from Australia to Canada.
Games are often mixed, with lawn bowls being played by both women and men together.
It is a sport that aims at being somehow posh and in which it is important to play as a team.
Lawn bowls is one of the most played bowling sports in the world and Australia is one of the most popular lawn bowling countries, with many professional players under its belt.
The bowling green field is a flat grassy or carpeted area (which can be both outdoors or indoors) and it must measure at least 35 meters in length.
The field is surrounded by a sand ditch and is divided into six tracks which allow you to play six games simultaneously.
A mat is placed on the track to mark the spot from where the players must throw their balls.
This mark is moved at the end of each turn.
Lawn balls or bowls come in different sizes and must weigh a maximum of a kilo and half.
They are slightly crushed at both poles: one side is heavier than the other, giving them a curved path when thrown.
The goal or jack is a little white ball and the object of the game is to have as many balls as possible that are closer to the jack and therefore more than your opponents.
Traditionally, lawn bowls players are dressed in white (traditionally wearing trousers, a shirt and a cap) but today these dress codes are not always respected, although it is still necessary to wear a neat and chic outfit like you would to play golf for instance.

Lawn bowling in teams of two

Lawn bowling can be played in singles or in teams of two, three or four players (women and men together or one gender only).
The game is divided into turns: a turn ends when all the players have launched (in turn) all their balls. The points are then counted: each ball placed closer than those of the adversary/adversaries gives you a point.
For the following turn, the direction of play is reversed, and the carpet is moved.
Team games are played in 18 turns and players play three or four throws each.
In singles, the game ends when a player scores 21 points and each player has four balls to start with.
A couple of years ago, I attended a pop-up lawn bowling day called Festibowl with my colleagues in which I could learn about this sport.
Pop-up event meant that everyone was welcome to play lawn bowls on a makeshift field at this local event.
A famous public lawn bowls field is in Hyde Park and, being it public, it means you don’t have to be a member to play here, you just pay a fee and rent the equipment which is all provided.
Most lawn bowls fields are members-only fields though which require a membership and you normally have to come with your own equipment to play.


  • GianFranco Belloli
  • Jobblogger/musician

I moved to London over 2 years ago but only last year I started writing for a local newsletter for Expats in London telling about my experience in this big city and giving advice to newcomers. London is a very dynamic city and has a lot for everyone but it’s important to have a local point of view to navigate it without getting lost. Let me be your guide to hidden London!

View a list of GianFranco Belloli's

What's New


What's New