Lawn Bowls

Lawn bowls is a sport played outdoors on a well-kept, level lawn area measuring 120 feet by 120 feet. The game involves a fair amount of walking, bending, and stretching. It is similar to curling and boccia.

The object of the game is to roll a biased ball (similar in size to an oversized softball) down the lawn attempting to get it, close to a smaller white target ball. When playing a game of singles or pairs, each player bowls four balls, alternating with an opponent.

There are many outdoor clubs throughout Canada where bowlers who are sighted play. Bowlers who are blind/visually impaired are members of a large number of these clubs.


There are four different types of games in Lawn Bowling:

Singles — One against one. Each using a matched set of 4 bowls played alternately.
Pairs — Two players against two players each playing a matched set of 4 bowls played alternately.
Triples — Three players against three players each playing 3 bowls of a matched set played alternately.
Fours — Four players against four players each playing 2 bowls of a matched set. The positions are named respectively, Lead, Second, Third and Skip.


  • singles may be up to 15 points or 21 or 25
  • pairs is usually played to 18 ends or 21 ends
  • triples is usually played to 18 ends
  • four is usually played to 21 ends

Number of points and or ends are set by the organizing committees for that event and may vary from the points and ends listed above.


  • The bowls and bowlers are arranged on either side of and behind the mat by the directors
  • The first player is brought to the mat by his or her director and delivers the jack. The director will center it with the assistance of the marker.
  • The player will then play his first bowl. After the bowl travels down the green and while the player is still on the mat, the Director will describe its path and its final resting position in the head as well as any action it might have caused. The director will then return the player to the position behind and to one side of the mat. The other director will then take the player to the mat to play.
  • Alternate play will continue until all bowls have been delivered
  • The directors will then escort the players down the center of the rink and position them in their places.
  • The directors will be responsible for assessing the head, measuring any doubtful shots, recording the score and informing the players of the results and keep the players continually informed of the progress of the game.
  • The directors will rake in, sort and set the bowls for the players.
  • At the end of the game, the directors sign the score cards, give them to the Marker and assist the players to gather up their bowls and escort them from the green.
  • The director will discuss with the player, the placement of the mat, the player will make the decision on the distance it will be placed from the ditch.
  • Through verbal instruction and guiding, the director ensures that the player’s feet are in the correct position on the mat and that their grip, bias and alignment are correct for the shot being played. The director must be satisfied that all are as correct as possible before allowing his player to deliver his bowl.
  • The director will describe any changes that have taken place in the head when the player again comes to the mat and advise him on what shot is best to play. The final decision of the shot selection is to be the player’s.

Please call the British Columbia Blind Sports and Recreation Association office at 325-8638 for further information.