What Size Lawn Bowl Should I Use? | A Helpful Guide

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

Since size can determine how you play, it is advisable to consider essential aspects like its size, weight and grip. Many factors will determine the suitable bowl for you, but it ends on how the bowl is comfortable. This article is about how to choose the right lawn bowl size for you.

What Size Lawn Bowl Should I Use? | A Helpful Guide

If you are new to lawn bowling, buying a set of lawn bowls can be intimidating, especially when choosing the right size. Since size can determine how you play, it is advisable to consider essential aspects like its size, weight and grip. Many factors will determine the suitable bowl for you, but it ends on how the bowl is comfortable. This article is about how to choose the right lawn bowl size for you.

What size should I choose

There are numerous bowls brands, but they come in standard sizes (00-6). A majority of men use a size between 3 and 5 and ladies between 00 and 2. However, the best way to determine what works for you is to try all the available sizes. Trying different bowls will help you feel how comfortable they are in your hands. If they are too large, you won’t hold them properly, and the small ones will be hard to control.

Some ways of testing bowls sizes include:

  • Wrap your hands around the bowl – the thumbs should be at the bottom and the middle fingers at the top. If the fingers meet without straining, the bowl could be the right size for you. Ladies can combine this method with others as there are female bowlers who successfully use bowls that they cannot wrap their hands around.
  • Hold the bowl like you are about to deliver it and swing your arm back, then forward. If you can’t maintain the grip, then the bowl is too big for you.
  • Try holding the bowl and stretching your hand; if you can hold the bowl for half a minute, then it is the right size. Try a smaller size if you can’t.
  • Hold the bowl and turn it upside down. If it is slipping or too painful, the bowl may not be the right size for you.
  • To check if you can comfortably handle the bowl when wet, you can dunk it in a bucket of cold water and try holding it upside down. The best bowl for you is the one you can comfortably handle in both dry and wet weather, as you may be required to play on a wet lawn when it rains.

It is also important to consider the bowls’ weight when choosing the right bowl size for you. A heavy bowl makes it easier to move your opponent’s bowl, whilst also making it harder for the opponent to move your bowl. Additionally, since a light bowl requires more effort to deliver, it is advisable to choose the largest and heaviest bowl you can handle without straining. However, comfort holding the bowl should always be your priority.

Myth Busting

The general advice when selecting a bowl is always “get the biggest bowl you can hold”, however I don’t believe this to be true.

Whilst it is true that a bigger bowl can carry more momentum ( as pointed out above), that is really the only major benefit for a bigger bowl.

Other myths I have seen include:

  1. “A bigger bowl is less affected by the wind”. This may be true, but the benefit is so small a club player wouldn’t notice it
  2. “A bigger bowl stays in the head more often” – It is true a bigger bowl takes more effort to remove, but a bigger bowl is also a bigger target. I have used some rather small bowls in the past and was quite happy with the number of times firing shots missed my small woods!
  3. “A bigger bowl is harder to remove” – again, probably true, but this also means a harder bowl is harder to “push up”. I lose count of how many times short bowls get knocked up into the head. This is especially true at club level

There are undoubtedly benefits to having bigger bowls, however the majority of the benefits are either too small for a club player to notice – let alone being able to take advantage of!.

The main point here, is always ALWAYS go for comfort.

Choosing Grips

After you have decided the suitable bowls’ size for you, you can consider the grip for utmost comfort when bowling. Bowls have indented rings around the side to offer users a secure grip when delivering. A good grip will also offer better control, especially in wet conditions or sweaty hands.

You can choose your favourite grip from the available options, like the shallow dimple, deep dimple, crescent grooves, progrips and vertical grooves. Grip options will vary between brands, so trying a few will help. Most bowlers try out different bowls before choosing their favourite grip. For example, if you are a member of a bowling club, you can ask several members if you can try their bowls to get an idea if it is suitable for your bowling style.

I would recommend a simple dimple grip for newer bowlers. They are very common, with all the major brands offering some variation.

Conclusion

If you are a newbie, choosing the best size for lawn bowls can be a challenge, especially when choosing the best size. While most men use bowls of size 3-6 and women 00-2, selecting the best bowls should depend on an individual. The tips provided above will help you choose the best bowls size for you.