How many ends are there in lawn bowls?

Lawn bowls is proving as popular as ever at the Commonwealth Games (Picture: Getty Images)

The 2022 Commonwealth Games are underway, with more than 5,000 athletes in the battle for medals at the event in Birmingham.

And while most of the 20 sports being played at the Games will be familiar to most, there will inevitably be some which aren’t quite so well-known – and which might leave viewers puzzled when it comes to the rules of the game.

Among those is lawn bowls – which always proves popular when it features in any major sporting event, even if it does leave us with questions.

Just how many ends are there in the game, and what are the rules? If you’re not quite sure how it all works, read on for more…

How many ends are there in lawn bowls?

The number of ends played in a game of lawn bowls depends on the type of match and who is playing.

A singles game is decided by whoever reaches 21 points first, while those playing in pairs will have the result decided after 18 ends., and teams of four will play 15 ends.

According to the Olympics website, the Commonwealth Games matches will see each bowler allowed to roll four bowls from each end during a singles match, while those playing in pairs, triples or fours will roll two from each end.

It’s harder than it looks (Picture: Getty Images)

If there is a tie in sectional play at the games, both teams will be awarded a point – but if there is a tie in the knockouts, extra ends will be played until there is a winner.

The points are totted up after each end has been completed by either the players or teams, depending on who is taking part, with points awarded depending on whose bowls are closer to the jack than their opponents.

For example, if a team of four has two bowls closer than their opposing team, they will receive two points for those bowls.

At the Commonwealth Games, single bowlers and teams are divided into groups known as sections, playing in a round-robin format, with match-winners getting three points, while a bowler or team gets one point each for a sectional tie.

What are the rules of lawn bowls?

The rules of the game are actually pretty simple – a bowler, or team, has to roll their bowls from one end of the bowling green, getting them as close as possible to the jack (a much smaller ball, usually yellow or white in colour), which is rolled along the course at the start of play.

The green is usually divided into a number of sections called rinks, which have boundary markers – and these can be important in deciding whether or not a shot counts or whether it should be played again.

The first team or player to bowl is decided by a coin toss, and they are the one who rolls the jack down the bowling mat – it has to be at least 23 metres in order to be in play.

The bowling green is surrounded by a ditch, which can also make a difference to the game.

If a bowl falls into the ditch it doesn’t count, unless it touched the jack first in which case it is considered in play – while if the jack is knocked into the ditch but remains within the boundaries of the bowling rink it is still in play.

However, a shot can be replayed if the jack crosses the side boundary of the bowling rink, whether it falls into the surrounding ditch or not.

Oh and in case you were wondering, other players can knock their opponent’s bowls – this will not result in a disqualification.

In Birmingham for the Commonwealth Games? Visit these Midlands gems nearby

Follow Metro across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Share your views in the comments below


Leave a Reply

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.