New to Bowls?
The club welcomes new players of all ages.
It is never too early too start playing the game and it is never too late. Contact the club and arrange to have a roll-up on our artificial green to see how you like it - we will provide the bowls free of charge.
The club has three Bowls NZ Approved Coaches to help you improve your game or just give you a few tips. Contact the club and they will put you in touch with one of our coaches, Steve Beel, Dennis Grice, Mrs Lennie Simons or Wayne Barlow.
They are here to help so don't hesitate to ask.
Many members of the club have commented with tips for beginners, some of which you may find helpful. Everyone seems to have their own style though, and what works for one person may not be right for another.
The Bias of the bowl
Lawn bowls are shaped so that while they are almost round, they are not a perfect sphere. This causes the bowls to curve as they are rolled down the green.
One side of the bowl has a small circle marked on it, and the other side has a larger circle marked on it. The bowl will curve towards the side with the small circle on it, so you want to have the side with the small circle facing towards the kitty to get the bowl to curve in towards it.
Placing the mat
When bowling each player stands on a white mat, keeping at least one foot on or over the mat as they deliver the bowl. The mat is lined up with the number of the rink you are playing on, and the kitty is initially lined up with the same number at the other end of the green. When placing the mat it is usefull to turn and face the bank at the end of the green you are playing from to line the mat up with the closer number.
Adjusting the kitty
At the start of the game when you have rolled up the kitty, it is normal for a player at the other end of the green to move it sideways for you to get it lined up with the rink number you are playing on. When telling the player which way to move the kitty it can be useful to show them an approximate distance with your hands you want it to be moved. It is often not too important to have the kitty lined up exactly, but just close enough. If you ask for too small an adjustment there may be expectations that your bowls will be within the same degree of accuracy.
Straight line bowling
While the bowl curves as it rolls down the green, many bowlers look down the straight line of the angle that the bowl is initially delivered on. Some bowlers use a marker on the far bank for the line such as; the number of the rink beside the one you are playing on, an orange rink boundary marker peg, the edge of a seat, or a fence-post behind the green you are playing on. Other bowlers prefer to use a pattern on the grass about three metres in front of them on the angle they desire to bowl on. Once you deliver a bowl, remember the marker you used and watch where the bowl ends up. If it curves too far past the kitty, try delivering your next bowl to a wider marker, and if it stays out wide of the kitty try delivering your next bowl to a narrower marker closer to the kitty.
Bowls is a Game of Corrections
Don't waste any bowls you deliver, every one is important. By watching where you bowl ends up you get an idea of how much correction the next bowl requires, both in terms of the green it takes (how wide an angle to deliver the bowl on), and the weight which the bowl was delivered (how fast the bowl leaves your hand). You are allowed to stay standing on the mat watching your bowl until the bowl stops moving.
The three L's
Line, Length, and Luck (all at the same time, and not bad luck) are all you need to play good bowls.
Take your time delivering a Bowl
Once a bowl leaves your hand and is rolling down the green there is nothing you can do to change where the bowl ends up. Take your time as you deliver a bowl. Ensure it is sitting comfortably in your hand and the bias is facing the correct direction. Look for your marker of which angle to bowl on if you use one, making any adjustments from where your last bowl ended up, and allow for any wind you think may affect the bowl. If people are walking down the green on the rink beside you, or someone on the rink beside you is about to play a bowl at the same time, you may wait for them before you deliver your bowl.
If someone is worth bowling with, they will give you the time to deliver your bowl.
To get the bowl to roll where you are trying to bowl it, it is useful to follow through forward in the direction you deliver it. Pulling back at the end of the delivery can cause the bowl to end up short of the kitty and cut narrow across the kitty.
Keep looking at your "Sighter Mark"
As you deliver the bowl, not at the kitty. By looking at the kitty it is easy for your hips to swing around towards the kitty and cause the angle that the bowl is delivered on to become much narrower, cutting across the kitty.
Bowls is a Game of Character
While you are bowling and things are going well the game seems easy. But when the tables turn and things get tough, people's character comes out. Be careful, your words and actions in the game of bowls say a lot about you.