How To Play Lawn Bowls and Why You Need to Get Involved

Lawn bowls is a game for all ages to enjoy. It’s a sport that combines skill, fun, and socialisation all into one. No previous experience is necessary, and you’ll need limited equipment, and the best part is you can start today! Let’s discover why over 500,000 Australians participate in social lawn bowls nationwide.

How Did Lawn Bowls Originate?

The origins of lawn bowls began with the Egyptians. The ancient pharaohs would often play with skittles and round stones. The first documented artifacts were found in tombs dating back to circa 5000 BC. Even the oldest bowling green is still in operation today, located in Southampton, England. Now, that’s a lot of ongoing maintenance for a lawn that dates to 1299 A.D.!

In fact, over the years lawn bowls was so popular that King Henry VIII (1491-1547) banned the sport among everyday workers as he found they were spending far too much time bowling rather than dedicating their time to their trades. Lawn bowls manifested into a sport for the wealthy, for those privileged enough they could afford to spend their time in bowling bliss. Luckily, in 1845, the ban was lifted, and lawn bowls became a game for everyone— the young and old, rich and poor, and everyone in between.

Today, the sport has evolved into a highly skilled art form and has manifested into various cultural interpretations. Some call it Bocce, Bolla, Bolle, or Boules, but at its heart is the pursuit of leisure and amusement. So much so that it’s become entrenched in our Australian culture. You might be familiar with the perfectly landscaped bowling green, and perhaps aware of the tailored white bowling hat, but how exactly do you play?

How Do You Play Lawn Bowls?

Learning how to play the game is child’s play; becoming a master can take a lifetime.

Lawn bowls is a tactical sport based on precision. The game is based on radially asymmetrical bowls aimed and rolled along the green in a parallel strip known as a “rink” towards the smaller ball (the Jack or Kitty) and other bowls. The aim is to get the player’s bowl as close as possible to the jack. Sounds easy, right? Well, there’s a little more to it. Bowls Australia highlights the finer guidelines and game formats.

Watch Some Basic Tips On How To Play Lawn Bowls

What Are The Health Benefits of Playing Lawn Bowls?

It’s more than just a social game, as many of our members will attest. Many health benefits can be associated with a game of lawn bowls, including.

  • Physical benefits, such as improved balance, coordination, fine motor skills and fitness.
  • Mental health benefits, including stress reduction, confidence and self-esteem.
  • The social act of lawn bowls has proved to have a positive impact on overall well-being and a sense of connectedness.

Lawn Bowls at Engadine Bowling Club

Engadine Bowling Club built its first bowling green in its inaugural year of 1959 with the help of many volunteers. It was known in the early days as the ‘club on the edge of the bush.’ Today it is still marked as a gathering place on the border of some of Australia’s most beautiful national parks, such as the famous Royal National Park and Heathcote National Park.

The original list of club members and their professions is still in our possession and an important part of our history. It included a diverse range of people, including a wholesale grocer, plumber, railway employee, postmaster, clerk, public accountant and even a poultry farmer. The tradition of our space being a place for all walks of life still rings true today. Find out more about our weekly social bowls schedule and community events here.

Engadine Bowling Club now has a membership base of almost 10,000 and some of our bowling members are well regarded as some of NSW’s finest. We are home to the famed Engadine Cougars with members spanning a range of ages and abilities. We love that many of our staff, such as our young greenkeepers Jordan and Lachlan represent the Cougars and continue to put Engadine at the forefront of the game in events and representative sides.

The last few years have seen members achieve some notable accomplishments including:

  • Three junior players in the 2024 NSW Junior Blues Squad.
  • Jack Lewis winning 2023 Male Breakout Bowler of the Year.
  • Samantha Ferguson winning Bowls NSW Female Bowler of the Year.
  • Anne Johns and Mason Lewis won the Mixed Pairs State Title and Jack Lewis won the Singles State Title to progress to the Australian Championships.
  • Australian Championships – 2023 Bronze Mixed Pairs (Anne Johns & Mason Lewis) and Bronze Singles (Jack Lewis).

We love welcoming new members to the Club, and there’s always a team of experienced coaches available to teach the game’s finer details. In fact, local schools such as Engadine High School and St John Bosco College participate in school sport activities with us, benefiting from the expertise of our more seasoned players. Some students even continue on to compete. Whether it’s an individual or group coaching session, there’s a wealth of wisdom to tap into to elevate your game to the next level.

So, how about gathering your friends for a friendly game of lawn bowls. You might just have found your new favourite hobby. Please contact our friendly reception team to get started today.

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