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Bowls can be played in singles, pairs, triples or four-player teams. In singles and pairs, each player has four bowls, triples play with three each, while four-player teams have two bowls per player.  All the action takes place on our bowling green, a flat grassed area approximately 35m square.  This is divided into six playing areas called 'rinks' - a bit like lanes in a bowling alley.  This means that up to six different games can be played at the same time. 

After a coin toss, the first bowler (the lead) places a mat at one end of the rink and rolls a small white or yellow ball called the 'jack' to the other end of the green as a target. The players then take turns to bowl and the aim is simply to get your bowls as close to the jack as possible.

When all the bowls have been played, a competitor or team gets one point for each of their bowls that is closer to the jack than the opponent's closest bowl.  This passage of play is known as an 'end' and once completed, the direction of play is reversed for the second end and so on until the match is complete.

It might sound easy, but the fact that the bowls are not quite round means they don't travel in a straight line.  Instead, they will curve as they slow down and getting the right 'line', combined with judging the right length, makes for a great tactical challenge.  


Little wonder then, that Bowls can take minutes to learn, but a lifetime to master!

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