About the Game of Lawn Bowling as Played in Hamilton, NJ

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The game is known around the world as BOWLS, LAWN BOWLING or BOWLING ON THE GREEN. It is played on the Kuser Park bowling green which is 120' square. The green is marked off into 7 rinks so that 7 games may be played at one time.

COMPETITION IN BOWLS is in sides made up of one, two, three or four players.


A set of 4 matched bowls each of which weighs about 3 pounds.
A jack - the small white ball which is 2 1/2" in diameter.
A mat - as specified by the uniform rules.

THE OBJECT OF THE GAME is to roll the bowls so that they will come to rest as close as possible to the jack. The side that has the bowl nearest to the jack scores one point for that bowl and an additional point for each bowl that it may have closer to the jack than the nearest bowl of the other side.

WHY DOES THE BOWL CURVE AS IT ROLLS? A bowl curves because of the way that it is made - not because of the way it is delivered by the bowler. The bowl is not uniformly shaped and since it is heavier on one side it naturally curves in the direction of the weighted side as it loses speed.

HOW LONG DOES A GAME LAST? Baseball has innings. Football has quarters. Hockey has periods. BOWLS HAS ENDS. When all players on both sides have delivered their bowls in one direction on the green this completes the play of an end. A game consists of the number of ends decided upon before the start of the game or tournament.

WHAT IF THE BOWL HITS THE JACK? During play the jack may be hit and moved by one or more bowls. There is no penalty for hitting the jack. A change in position of the jack may put it closer to the bowl of the person who is bowling or it may put it closer to a bowl of an opponent. If the jack is knocked out of bounds the end is considered "dead" and neither team scores. If the jack is driven into the ditch the play continues unless the jack is at the same time knocked outside the boundary line of the rink.

HOW ARE THE BOWLS INDENTIFIED? Each set of bowls has a different insignia or marking for easy identification.

WHO CAN BOWL? Men and Women. Young and old. Bowls is a game that can be played and enjoyed by people of all ages. We welcome new players!

  This page was last updated on April 28, 2010 .

Copyright © 2005, John G. Thomas