Lawn bowling is a game where players roll a ball closest to a jack. It requires little equipment and is played outdoors on a grass or synthetic surface. The game consists of multiple lanes, and each team controls the position of the mat and jack. Bowling has a history dating back to Roman times and is similar to the Italian game, bocce.
Bowling is a popular game all over the world and suitable for participants of all ages. The object of the game is to roll a ball, or bowl, closest to the target ball, a small white ball called a jack. The design of the ball, slightly flattened on one side, creates the challenge of the game. The shape of the ball causes it to travel a curved path, or polarization.
This game requires little equipment: a set of matching balls; a pair of flat, smooth shoes; a jack; and a mat. Two teams compete, each with one to four players. Usually, lawn bowling takes place outdoors on a putting green — a grass or synthetic surface — that measures 120 feet (11.15 m) square. A green contains multiple lanes and each lane has marked boundaries.
A rubber mat is placed at one end of the track and the jack is placed in the center. Players shoot each of their balls towards the jack. The player must keep one foot on the mat when he releases the ball.
After each player has bowled all of his balls, the game has reached an “over” — similar to an inning or period in other sports — and the score is tallied. The team whose ball is closest to the cue ball receives a point. Any ball belonging to the same team that is closer to the cue ball than any competitor’s ball is also awarded a point. If a ball hits the cue during play, there is no penalty. However, an out-of-bounds jack results in a “dead end” and is replayed.
Before a bowling game begins, the teams determine its length, i.e. the number of endings for that particular game. In tournaments, most games consist of 21 finals. Throughout the game, the placement of the jack varies in distance. Each team controls the position of the mat and jack based on who won the previous end.
Players can roll the ball using a forehand or backhand motion, and many learn to measure the curve. A set of balls, or bowls, has a distinctive mark so as to be recognisable. Sets may vary in size, weight and curvature. Rules, ball weight and dress codes may vary by country of play.
Bowling has an ancient history that most likely originated with Roman soldiers throwing stones at a target rock. It is similar to the Italian game, bocce. In the United States, the United Lawn Bowls Association governs the game.