About Lawn Bowling

The Players, Their Positions and Related Duties


The lead of the team that scored the end is responsible for:

  • Placing the mat where his/her Skip wants it.
  • Rolling the jack toward where his/her Skip is standing.
  • Delivering the first bowl to start the end.
  • Developing the head using the same hand for delivery unless changed by his/her Skip.

Both Leads are responsible for:

  • Helping round up the bowls for the raker at the end of an end.
  • Being involved in the game at the "head end" and standing behind or next to your Vice-Skip.


  • The Vice-Skip always plays second and continues to develop the head at the Skip's direction.
  • The Vice-Skip is the one who measures when necessary.
  • The losing Vice-Skip is responsible for posting the score of the completed end.
  • The Vice-Skip should stand approximately six (6) feet behind the jack when the opponent has the mat.
  • When the Vice-Skip's team has possession of the mat, he/she can stand anywhere to direct the Skip (if the Skip asks for the direction). However, once your Skip has released the bowl, the Vice-Skip must return to approximately six (6) feet behind the jack.


  • The Skip is the captain of the team.
  • The Skip is responsible for directing his/her teammates in the development of the head, by showing them where the bowl is to stop, then return to approximately six (6) feet behind the jack when the bowl is released.
  • The Skip can ask his/her Vice-Skip for direction, or come down to look at the head before bowling.
An old newspaper photo
From The Hamilton Spectator, circa 1960

The positions referred to above are for a TRIPLES game. This is the usual format for bowling at our club

Lawn Bowling Etiquette

Etiquette may be defined very simply as "GOOD SPORTSMANSHIP"

  1. Begin each game with a friendly handshake, and end the game with the same. Be a gracious winner and a good loser.
  2. Be ready to step to the mat and play when it is your turn. Possession of the mat is yours only until your delivered bowl comes to rest.
  3. Wait quietly behind the collection of bowls and be prepared to take your next turn. A bowler who is delivering his/her bowl should not be distracted by noise or movement.
  4. Remain quiet and still on the green behind the head and away from sideline markers until the score has been agreed upon by both teams. You are a team member! Stay in the game!
  5. Never openly criticize the condition of a green. You must adjust your bowling to the conditions.
  6. Never criticize a team member for a poorly played bowl. Criticism should always be constructive and given privately.
  7. Be sure to compliment a good shot from either your team or an opponent. "Nothing said about a poor shot is the best policy - especially if it gives your team the count!"

Additional Resources

Ontario Lawn Bowling Association
Wikipedia - Lawn Bowling Infor
Bowls Canada

Any additional information or links that may be appropriate

Getting In Touch with Roselawn

Mailing Address:

50 Lawerence Rd
Hamilton, Ontario
L8M 3E3

Phone Numbers:

May to October - Club House (905) 547-4806
Nov to April - Ken Cowling (Membership) = (905) 538-4861
Eileen Zielonka (President) = (905) 389-4487

Or Use Our Web Contact Form