Game Formats

What is Lawn Bowls?

Lawn Bowls is a game that’s easy to start playing but hard to become really good at.

It’s a game where players try to roll their balls, called bowls, as close as possible to a smaller white or yellow ball called the “jack” or “kitty”.

You can play it inside or outside on a special grass or fake grass area called a “green”. The green is divided into sections called “rinks”.

In a singles game, one player starts by flipping a coin to decide who goes first. They lay down a mat and roll the jack to the other end of the green.

Then, players take turns rolling their bowls from the mat towards the jack. They’re trying to make a group of bowls around the jack, called the “head”.

If a bowl goes outside the playing area, it’s out of play.

If a bowl touches the jack or stays in the ditch at the end of the green, it’s still in play.

But if the jack goes into the ditch, it’s still in play unless it goes beyond the side boundary.

After each player has rolled all their bowls, the one whose bowls are closest to the jack scores points.

They get one point for each bowl that’s closer than their opponent’s closest bowl to the jack.

This keeps going for several rounds, or “ends”, until the game is finished.


Lawn Bowls has many format variations, here are just a few. If you have a format you would like to share, please Contact Us and we’ll get it added.

Social Formats

Singles – 4 bowls each

Pairs 2x2x2x2 or 3×3

Triples – 2 bowls or 3 bowls each



Quick Draw

Jack Last

2 Jacks