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Lawn Bowls - The Colonial Gold Coast

Tips for Beginners

Lawn bowling is a target sport, with the game being played by singles, doubles or even quadruples depending on the number of players in each group. Though the game is simple enough to understand but it is by no means easy to master.

The game is played using lawn bowling balls. The balls are asymmetrical in shape, with a grooved side which is smaller than the opposite side. The shape of the ball enables it to be rolled in a curved arc towards the jack in the same direction as the smaller target ball. Seasoned players use this feature to their advantage by manoeuvring the ball in a tactical manner.

The Equipment

  • The mat is the launch pad from which the ball is delivered
  • The lawn bowls which are perfectly shaped pieces of equipment and are manufactured with a diamond cutting technology to provide the perfect arched shape.
  • The jack which is known as the kitty is a small white ball and is the target of the game. Keep in mind that getting close to the jack is much more difficult than it appears.

It is necessary that a proper grip is used to grab onto the ball. The grip should be such that it transfers the weight through the centre of gravity of the ball. This is done when the middle finger is last to leave the ball after the throw.

Players make use of the following three methods of gripping the ball:

  • The fingertip grip which means using the fingertips to grip the ball. This is better for faster bowls
  • The claw grip where fingers are widely spaced and the pressure is all on the fingers and the thumb, better for slower balls
  • The cradle grips wherein the weight of the ball rests on the palm. This is an ideal grip for players with smaller hands.

When delivering the ball it’s necessary to have the perfect stance. Stand on the meet with two feet together. Hold the bowl with the correct bias facing the direction in which you aim to bowl.

You can choose either the forehand or the backhand shot. For someone who is right handed the forehand shot is the right side approach to the jack and the backhand is the left sided approach.  You would need to lunge forward with the weight resting on the opposite leg to the hand which is holding the bowl.

The delivery of the ball is based on working around the gravity. Though muscles are involved when throwing the ball, the best throw is one which has a pendulum like motion and remains on the same delivery line as the target. Over throwing the ball will result in an off throw.

One of the most challenging shots to master is the draw shot. It can only be achieved by those who have become pro at the game. It requires the perfect amount of momentum and the ball should be thrown in such a way that it comes to rest right next to the jack.

With the right tips and techniques you can easily master lawn bowls.