Answers to the most common questions asked by beginners.
What are the balls called in lawn bowls?
In lawn bowls the balls are called “bowls” or “woods”. “Woods” is reference to the fact they used to be made out of wood, however the more common term these days is “bowls”.
Lawn bowls were originally made of wood, but are now made with composite plastic.
This not only makes the bowls last longer, but also allows for manufacturers to make the bowls to the same specification each and every time.
Lawn bowls are not perfectly round – at least not to the naked eye. One side will be slightly bigger than the other, this is known as the “bias”.
It’s the extra weight on one side of the bowl that generates the curve.
Different models will have different biases, the bigger the bias the more the bowl will curve. This allows a bowler to select a bowl that generates the curve they need.
No, bowls do not have an expiry date. As long as there is no visible damage they should be fine to use regardless of age.
Bowls do need to be “stamped” every couple of years if you want to compete at a high level. The stamp shows the bowls have been tested to a high standard and can be used in competitive games.
The best lawn bowls brands are Aero, Drakes Pride, Thomas Taylor, and Henselite. These 4 brands produce nearly all of the lawn bowls sold Worldwide. Aero and Henselite are the best brands found in Australia, whereas Drakes Pride and Thmas Taylor are the best UK brands.
Lawn bowls, if cared for correctly, can last 20-30 years – if not longer. Lawn bowls can be put through a process called “stamping”, which is a series of tests and repairs. You can see when a bowl was last “stamped” by looking at the markings on the bowl.
“Jack High” refers to a bowl that finishes directly parallel to the jack. Both the jack and the bowl were delivered with the exact same force (or “weight”). This is the ideal result for a delivery in lawn bowl.
No, not all lawn bowls are the same weight. Depending on the size of bowl they can range from 1.1kg through to 1.5kg
Yes, you can play lawn bowls in light rain. However, in heavier rain you will have to stop to protect the green. According to Bowls Australia play can continue “If it begins to rain, play will continue until the Competition Manager deems it unsafe to do so or the greens become unplayable.” (Bowls Australia Weather Policy)
Here is a video showing that lawn bowls can be – and often is – played in quite heavy rain.
The most popular bowls for professionals playing indoor bowls are Taylor Ace, Drakes Pride Professional, Henselite Tiger II and Sero GroOVe. You can see which bowls each of the top players uses by checking coverage from the World Bowls Indoor Championchips World Bowls Tour.
A brand new set of 4 bowls can cost between £219-£350. The price can go higher if you want extras, such as unique grips, or custom logos. Bowls are available secondhand, and a set in decent condition can be found for under £50.