Is Crown Green Bowls The Same as Lawn Bowls? | Answered!

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

Crown green bowls is an outdoor game that uses the same equipment as lawn bowls, but the rules are slightly different. The main difference between crown green bowls and lawn bowls lies in the shape of the bowls themselves, with crown green bowls having rounded bottoms while lawn bowls have flat bottoms. However, they’re both played in similar ways and even use a similar set of rules – at least to start with!

What Is Lawn Bowls?

Lawn Bowls is a sport that developed from Bowling in medieval times. Bowls are played on a flat green, crown green, or astroturf. The game is popular in Europe and Commonwealth countries. In English, it’s often called bowls for short, whereas in Wales (Cymru) and Scotland (Scotia), it’s called Bowls. Crown Green bowls are a variation of lawn bowls on a specially prepared man-made grassless pitch.

What Is Crown Green Bowls?

Crown Green Bowls is a version of Bowling where a flat, thick piece of plastic replaces grass. The flat surface has been described as similar to putting green, which explains why some people call it a flat green or flat ball. In most versions of crown green bowls, players stand on one side of their pieces and roll them down toward their opponents—much like you would see in lawn bowling. 

The Difference Between Them

Crown green bowls is the game version popular in Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland. Crown green bowls is most closely related to the game of bowls that was developed on British lawns. Crown green bowls, however, is played on grass that has been specially cut and mown like putting greens. In addition, the crown green game is unique due to its use of an iron-less, thumb-operated bowl that can roll farther than those used in most other games and a smaller jack (target) ball. 

How It’s Played

One of the biggest misconceptions about crown green bowls is that it’s simply a different version of their grassy counterpart. However, the two games are different. Although both sports are played with wooden balls and feature ten players each, the playing surface and equipment are dissimilar. Crown green bowls take place on a larger pitch than traditional lawn bowls, and the jack weighs 14 pounds—more than twice the weight of a standard bowling ball. Additionally, crown green bowlers play from higher tees than those in traditional lawn bowling.

Table Bowls and First Bowl

Both table bowls and the first bowl game are played on smooth, short-grass greens. In both games, players attempt to roll their bowls towards a jack or kitty ball at one end of the green, with each bowl trying to come closest to that target ball to reach its own goal.

Difference Between Indoor Bowls and Wooden Bowls

Indoor bowls and wooden bowls both play a bowl similar to outdoor bowls (or boules), but the former is played on shorter and narrower mats indoors. Also, unlike its outdoor counterpart, the indoor version doesn’t require players to wear shoes or socks. Another difference between the two versions is that indoor bowls use different balls, which are heavier than their counterparts for outdoors (and travel at a slower speed) and are made of wood instead of the rubber used in most bowling alleys.

Should I Play Crown Green Bowls or Lawn Bowls?

It can be hard to choose what kind of Bowling you want to play. Lawn Bowls or Crown Green Bowls? In many ways, they are the same—both games revolve around scoring points by rolling a ball over a flat surface toward smaller balls called pins; each point is called a frame. Both games originate from England and feature a similar equipment set.

Flat Green Bowls

Each end of a bowling lane is marked by a flat, vertical board in crown green bowls. Two feet past that headpin are small bumps (called crowns) extending from each side of that flat board. When you throw your bowl in Crown Green Bowls, it must touch one of those crowns before landing on any other surface.

Bowling Green

Crown Green Bowling was invented in Wales around 1700 and is considered the world’s oldest form of lawn bowling. The game came to America when Welsh miners moved to Pennsylvania, where they played Crown Green Bowling with German immigrants already there. The two groups merged their games and called it American Flat Bowling because all play took place on a flat grassy surface instead of a raised platform like most European lawn games.


Lawn bowls and crown green bowls are two different sports. However, they share a lot of history, so, understandably, some people might get confused. For the most part, the biggest difference between these two game types lies in the equipment that players use to bowl. 

Crown green bowls can be enjoyed by anyone, regardless of skill level. With just a handful of players, you can start crown green jack – and all it takes is one corner and a set of five white balls. Crown Green Players also host competitions across England throughout the year, so there will be one near you. So, we would suggest giving both of the games a chance since the main difference is in the equipment.

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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!