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.


More info

There are a lot of different bowls on the market. A range of sizes and weights are available from all manufacturers.




Drakes Pride




It is advisable to try different makes and types before buying. Once a make and size has been decided upon, local suppliers can be found via the internet. Second-hand bowls are a good first buy and these can be bought readily on EBAY.

Ready to bowl?

There are several ways to hold the bowl in the palm of the hand and it will very much depend on individual comfort. Each bowl has a bias. This means that the bowl can bend either to the right or the left, depending on whether you bowl forehand or backhand. The side of the bias is indicated on the bowl by the smaller emblem.


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 and good quality second hand items are available form the Club at much reduced prices. Please contact Lesley McAuliffe or Ann Burrow.    




The Game Of Bowls

Below you can find out more about how the game of bowls is played.


There are some do's and don'ts when playing bowls. Here you can find out how to get the best out of your game experience.

Dress Code

Depending on what type of match you are playing, there is a dress code that should be followed. This has been relaxed more recently, but here is the current advise.

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. 

The Delivery

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!

The Bias

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.

The Kit

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.