Lawn bowls is an easy game that anyone can play. The challenge, like many other sports, is being good at it. Lawn bowls requires a high level of skill, touch and strategy to execute the right play. Although skill is required, luck also plays a huge role in the game! Luck can result in unpredictable outcomes and make this game highly fun to play. So, if you want to gain that competitive edge over your work colleagues, read on for some handy tips and tricks.
The Playing Surface
Lawn bowls is played on a grass surface that is very similar to a putting green. The green is a huge square area that is surrounded by a sand ditch. The green is divided into ‘rinks’ so that separate games can be played simultaneously. It’s similar to a bowling alley, without the gutters. Now you know where all the action takes place, let’s move onto some more interesting information.
This is the launch pad from which you deliver a bowl.
This may look simple, but the ‘bowl’ is one of the most intricate and difficult pieces of sporting equipment to manufacture. They are perfectly shaped with a computer programmed diamond cutter which gives the bowl its bias and makes it turn. They come in various sizes and colours to suit preferences and different hand types. They weigh between 1kg – 1.5kg.
As you read on, and play the game, you will understand that getting close to the jack can be more difficult than anticipated. The ‘jack’, otherwise known as the ‘kitty’ is the little white ball that is basically the target of the game.
The Aim of the Game
The aim of the game is to beat your opponent by having the closest ‘bowl’ to the ‘jack’ after all ‘bowls’ have been delivered. There are a number of ways to achieve this, but for now we will stick to the basics.
The main thing here is to ensure that the grip feels comfortable and that your middle finger is positioned in the center of the bowl. For smaller hands, find the smallest size possible. Sizes range from zero for small hands up to size five for larger hands.
The Stance and Delivery
To achieve the correct stance, stand on the mat with two feet together, holding a bowl with the correctly aimed bias, and face in the direction you want the bowl to travel. Now you are prepared for the delivery.
Like tennis, Lawn Bowls also has a forehand and backhand shot. If you are right handed the forehand shot is along the right sided approach to the jack, and the backhand is along the left sided approach. Make sure your stance reflects whether you are attempting a forehand or backhand shot. As depicted in photo, the delivery of a bowl requires you to lunge forward with the opposite leg to the hand you are holding the bowl with.
As your arm reaches the end of the backward swing, your body should begin to lunge forward in preparation for delivery. Once your leading leg is planted on the ground, your body will naturally shift momentum to a down swing and release. Try to release the bowl around 20cm in front of your toe. The secret here is to let the bowl go as close to the ground as you can, to ensure a smooth release.
The Draw Shot
The draw shot is ‘the money shot’. It requires you to release the bowl with the perfect amount of momentum so that the bowl comes to a stop when it reaches the ‘jack’. The draw shot travels in a slow continuous turn and is the most challenging shot to master.
The Drive Shot
When your opponent’s bowls are closer to the jack, the drive shot can be used as a last resort. The ‘drive shot’ requires power and accuracy to be affective, but is the perfect tactic for knocking your opponent’s bowl off the rink. The ‘drive shot’ travels in a fast, straight line towards the desired target. Much like playing ten pin bowling, your aim here is to knock things around.
VERY IMPORTANT FOR SAFETY
Never play a drive shot if someone has their back turned to you! As stated, the drive shot is a powerful shot. It can break ankles or cause someone undesired pain if hit. Please exercise common sense.