Useful information for beginners
New to the club? That’s alright, read on to know all about bowls, where you can buy them, our recommendations for suitable footwear and clothing and some information about how to play the game, including the etiquette and dress code.
CLOTHING & FOOTWEAR
Shoes must be flat soled – no ridges or heels.
Club branded polo shirts can be ordered through the Club, as can branded waterproof and windproof jackets. Non club jackets must be predominantly white.
Bowls, clothing and footwear can be bought from B&H Midland, Melton Mowbray and The Bowls Shop in Nottingham. Other suppliers are Burton Bowls Centre and Shotbowl, Market Deeping.
You should also note that items can be bought online from websites, i.e. Amazon and good quality second hand items can sometimes be found at Club level.
BRUSH BOWLS CLUB SHIRT
The Rules of the Game
Bowls is played on a square of grass called a green, which is divided into lanes called rinks. Players take turns to deliver their bowls from a mat at one end of the rink towards a small target ball, referred to as the ‘jack’, situated near the the other end. The bowls are shaped so that they take a curved path towards the jack, known as the bias.
The aim of the game is to get your bowls closest to the jack. One point is given for each bowl nearer the jack than the nearest bowl from your opponent. For example, if you or your team has three bowls closer tote jack than your opponent’s nearest bowl then you will score three for that end.
Each game is spilt into individual ends. After playing all the bowls in one direction and agreeing the score, the next end is played back down the rink in the opposite direction. The winner of the previous end will cast the jack.
There are different formats of the game. You can play singles or as part of a team, and a match can vary in lengths. The winner can either be the one who scores the most shots after a specified number of ends or the first to reach a designated score.
The Basic Technique
The Position on the mat and stance
Before delivery you should stand on the mat. Face forward with your feet pointing towards the jack, but to one side of it depending which way you are planning to curve the bowl. The bowl should feel comfortable in your favoured hand and be placed outside the hip to enable an unimpeded backswing. You should be looking where you’re aiming.
Most players combine a forward stride with their backswing. On completion of your backswing, swing your arm forwards whilst bending your knees so, at the moment of release, the hand holding the bowl is almost touching the ground. This helps the bowl roll smoothly. At the moment of delivery, make sure one of your feet is on the mat. Simple as that!
To make it easy, bowls have a large disc one side and a small disc on the other. The bowls curves towards the side with the smaller disc. So, if you are a right hander holding the bowl with the small disc on the side nearest your thumb, the bowl will curve from right to left so you need to aim to the right of the jack.
For newcomers playing social bowls, the dress code is usually relaxed and whatever makes you feel comfortable. A t-shirt or polo shirt, together with casual trousers or skirts or shorts.
If you start playing more competitively and go on to represent the Club, you will be asked to buy some Club kit so you look part of the team. details on clothing are in the section above this.
To keep the playing surface in good condition, it’s important to wear a pair of flat-soled shoes. A pair of trainers is OK when you are starting out.