Activity 50/150

Lawn Bowling

Lawn bowling is a target game played with weighted balls (known as bowls) on a flat grass surface.

Bowls Canada Boulingrin

Records of organized lawn bowls date back to the 12th century in Great Britain. The game of Bowls owes its organized existence to the Scots.

Lawn bowling is usually played on a four sided square of grass or synthetic playing surface known as a ‘green’ surrounded by a ditch. Greens are normally between 31 and 40 metres in length, in the direction of play. The green is divided into parallel rinks, being between 4.3 and 5.8 metres in width.

How to play
The object of the game is to roll the bowls so they come to rest as close as possible to the target, which is a smaller ball called a ‘jack’. Players stand on a rubber mat when ‘delivering’ their bowls. Bowls do not roll in a straight line, as they are designed to curve as the bowl slows down. Players can use a curved forehand or backhand bowl when delivering to try and reach the jack at the other end of the green. The bowl must come to rest inbounds to be considered in play. A standard game consists of a predetermined number of shots, a predetermined number of ends, or is played within a time limit. The popularity of lawn bowls lies in its unique accessibility to people of all ages and abilities. For more information visit Bowls Canada.

Suggested equipment
- Lawn bowling bowls
- Jack (small white ball)
- Flat-soled shoes

Physical activity in Canada includes everyone, regardless of any ability or circumstance. Some sports and activities may, however, require a few adaptations to make them as accessible as possible. Below you’ll find recommendations and suggestions on how to accommodate individuals that may have limitations or different needs. With a positive attitude and a little ingenuity, any activity can be made enjoyable for all.


For a visually impaired person to play lawn bowling, the following adaptations could be made. Players could bowl closer to target area. Sighted person or teammate could stand behind target area to provide audible signals to bowler to help improve accuracy. Blind bowlers could bowl with assistance of sighted director.

Learning/Cognitive Disabilities

Adjust the rules of the game to best suit your participants.

Mobility Limitation

For a person with mobility limitation to play lawn bowling consider allowing players to be closer to the target, play in pairs and play from a seated or standing position. Another option could be to use a bowling delivery aid to assist with playing the game.


Benefits of Lawn Bowling

The Canadian Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines outline the amount and type of physical activity you need at every age and stage of life. And, for the first time, the new 24-hour Movement Guidelines for Children & Youth also include sleep. Following the guidelines will help reduce the risk of chronic disease, lead to a more focused mind, a stronger, fitter body, and all in all, a more enjoyable life.

See Benefits and Guidelines

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