Did You Know?

  • The bowls have been made of various materials throughout the history of the game. In more recent history, made out of a very hard wood Guaiacum officinale a small slow growing tree that produce a very hard wood known as lignum vitae ‘wood of life’.
  • Bowls were once only available coloured black or brown. They have unique symbol markings engraved on them for identification. Since many bowls look the same colour, adhesive stickers or labels were used to mark the bowls of each team in bowls matches.
  • More modern bowls went on to be made out of ‘Bakelite’ an early form of plastic. This method has now mostly superseded by the use of Melamine. The properties of melamine another type of plastic are ideal for making lawn bowls and are made in a multitude of different colours. Stickers are still used to identify teams because there are so many colours available it is hard to tell which team they belong too.
  • The bowl is not completely round but in fact has a ‘bias,’ allowing it to curve inward as it slows. The bowl curves either way, depending on which way it is held during delivery.
  • The bias is given to a modern bowl, not by any form of weighting but by its shape, which is that of a sphere. Although circular it has one side slightly flattened and the other protruding. This shape effectively moves the centre of gravity from the centre, causing the bowl, when rolled to take a curved path during its progress and is often more pronounced when the bowl slows down.
  • Bowls come in a range of sizes to suit different players hand size and also come in a range of weights. Bowls can have a different bias, some have a wide curve, some with more of a hook curve towards the end and others much more straight. All these bowls can have advantages and disadvantages when playing a game.
  • Bowls is a game that involves offensive and defensive strategy to play the game and has the added challenge that the jack is movable and can be displaced anywhere on the rink by a delivered bowl.
  • A bowling green is between 31 to 40 meters, square, and ideally perfectly flat. The green is divided into rinks, which are not less than 5.5 meters or more than 5.8 meters wide, so several games can be played at the same time.

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