Are Crown Green Bowls The Same As Flat Green Bowls? | Answered!

  • By: Reece Williams
  • Time to read: 4 min.

Crown green bowling and flat green bowls are not the same. Although crown and flat green bowls are a sport whose goal is to roll little balls as close as possible to a smaller ball called a jack, they have several differences.

The two terms are a variation of a sport called lawn bowls, which looks a little bit like bowling green or bowling on grass. The surface is the primary and most obvious difference between both sports. Crown green bowls require a convex or uneven surface, while flat green bowls are played on flat and even areas.

Let’s get into the details of both sports and explain all the differences between them.     


Crown Green Bowls

As we mentioned earlier, a crown green game is played on a convex, uneven surface. Crown greens are strictly outdoor games and cannot be as played indoor bowls. It takes place on greens between 40 and 45 square yards in size. Crown greens utilize the whole green, and the rules say that a player can roll the crown green jack anywhere on the green. These green areas should be rough and with well-manicured grass.

The balls used in the game are called pride crown green bowls. They weigh anywhere from 2lb 4oz to 3lb. Junior crown green bowlers and ladies usually play with smaller and lighter bowls. Most bowls are made of wood and are typically biased. A biased bowl is a bowl that is slightly off-center, keeps a heavier weight on one side and follows more curved path. Crown bowls are played with two bowls for each player plus one main bowl; the main one is smaller and called a jack, and the larger two wooden bowls are called woods. The bowls playing in crown greens are usually low-density bowls.     

At the beginning of the game, the opponents flip a coin to decide which of the crown green players should start the game by placing a mat and rolling the jack. The jack serves as a target; the goal is to roll all other woods as close as possible to the jack. Once the jack is moved, it cannot be distributed around the field.

There is a difference in the points as well. Each wood takes one point if both bowls that one crown green bowler rolls are near the jack. If only one bowl is nearest, it counts as one point. In case a moving bowl strikes the jack, it must be taken back and replayed. The winner is the one that first scores 21 points.

The jack in a crown bowl is the most valuable wood. It is a 32oz biased bowl that dictates the pattern of the game.   

Flat Green Bowls

Flat green is played on a flat surface on which the bowls are rolled only up and down without any variation. Flat green bowls are much larger than the crown green bowls, starting at around 3lb and going up to 4lb. Aside from the size, these lawn bowls are more biased than the crown ones. They are much stronger, high-density bowls with a more pronounced bias. Unlike the crown green bowl, flat green players can use four bowls each, which leads to more game variations.

In this sport, the strategic placement of the bowls is much more used towards the end of the game. This happens because strategic placing can open more chances for winning in bowls matches. In this game, as well as in crown green, the jack is the most critical bowl since all game revolves around which bowl will be nearest to it.

However, the two games acknowledge a massive difference in the use of the jack. Flat green bowlers use a composition ball, and the mark is set by merely rolling it down the field. At the bowl players ‘ request, the jack can be moved from its original place by the officials.

A flat game can be more interesting since the bowls are rolled much closer to the jack.


Since both crown and flat bowls are variations of lawn bowling, it gets confusing trying to differentiate them. Yet, they have many differences.

Lawn bowls, better known as flat green bowls, are played on flat fields, whereas crown bowls are played on an uneven green filled with mounds (crowns). Aside from this main and pronounced distinction, they have different bowl sizes and slightly different rules.

Yet, they are the same in one thing; they are both fun to play and watch!

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The Jack High Bowls Drill Pack is available now for instant download.

Perfect for beginners and improving players looking to be more consistent and win more games!