Lawn Bowling is a game that demands both your presence of mind and heavy concentration to win a match. Though, from outside, the game seems easy, but it takes several years of practice for the players to become champions.
The balls used in Lawn Bowling are biased which means they are unsymmetrical in nature. It is a very challenging game as one side of the ball is not proportioned and the ball travels in a curved path. The main objective of the game is to place the ball as close as possible to the target which is called as jack.
History of Lawn Bowling
The history of Lawn Bowling is very old. It is believed that this game was played in Europe during the 12th century. It became very famous in England because in lawn bowling, physical stress is minimum. Since in those days there was always a war with the neighbouring countries, the same proved to be a stress reliever.
As there are different types of lawn bowling, the short mat bowling made lawn bowling very famous. Short mat bowls can be played in hotels, schools and colleges, social clubs and even in village hills because of its versatility. Short mat bowls is famous in such areas because there is a space restriction and this sport is perfect for such a situation. It is also seen that this sport is played at the North Sea oil rigs where the space is very less.
As the game of Lawn Bowling became famous, it eventually came under a ban by the order of King and the Parliament because they feared that the game of bowling may jeopardise the practice of archery and other war-related sports.
At that time, England was always in battle with the other countries so archery was considered as a major sport in that era. But eventually the ban was lifted from this sport and it was played by every part of the society.
The first association of lawn bowling was the National Bowling Association, which was established in the late 1800s. In Australia, Victorian Bowling Association was the first association which was formed in 1880. Today, there are more than 50 countries who are participating in Lawn Bowling matches.
We have already mentioned that lawn bowling has stood with time. After its invention, it became so popular in England that the king and the parliament passed a law to ban the game because archery was considered as a prime sport during that era. But currently it is very famous and is being played in more than 40 countries.
Other countries like USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Belgium, Netherlands and Germany are at the top in this sport. As this game is a prime sport in the Commonwealth Games, maximum teams from the subcontinent also play lawn bowling which includes India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
The equipment needed in this game are listed as follows along with a brief description for each one of them for better understanding of its usage.
The Bowls or Balls
Lawn Bowling is played in sets and there are four balls in each set. Each set is not only unique but also has its own special symbol which is etched in the center circle on both sides. In lawn bowling, the game is played with four balls. We can either call it as balls or bowls.
In Lawn Bowling, the bowls are biased and these are not perfectly round bowls. So, when a player rolls the bowl, it moves in a path which is curved in nature. It means it curves when we roll the ball. So this forces the player to roll his bowl in an outward direction with an angle to reach the target.
Lawn Bowling is much like alley bowling where the players or the bowlers roll the ball towards a target or a goal. In lawn bowling, the target is a small white ball, whose size is like a billiard ball and is known as ‘jack’. The points are awarded to the player who can locate his ball as near as the jack. This is the main aim of the game as to roll the bowl and get as close to the jack as possible.
As we have mentioned above, the target is a small white ball which is as big as a billiard ball. This ball is known as the jack. Before the match starts, the jack is rolled out on the field where the match will be played and it becomes target for the game.
Then each player will roll the ball on the field and will try to place the ball as close to the jack as possible. The lawn bowls are biased but the jack is unbiased. The person who begins the game will roll the jack on the field in a straight line, unlike the bowling balls the jack’s movement path is straight line as it is unbiased.
When the jack stops, it becomes a target for the players. The players while rolling the ball are allowed to hit the jack with their own bowl and can also move the jack. So this little white ball is the center of the play.
As many players will roll the ball in the competition and they all have a competitive approach, so there might be instances where more than one ball will be placed near the jack.
At such times, it will be impossible to tell which is the closest with a naked eye. At this moment, this equipment the measuring tape plays a big role in finding who the winner is.
The Score Cards
Normally, on pre-printed cards the score of games is kept. Many clubs have stands with clips, which hold the score cards in place. A red can is used to collect chips and these chips are used to determine where and with whom a player will play.