Delivery The Head The Clubhouse

Syston Bowling Club

"At the heart of the local community for over 85 years"



The Club has two fully-qualified County Coaches - Ken Renshaw and Gary Kilbourne.  Both are always ready to arrange individual (or group) coaching sessions. 

In addition, players might find something of use as they seek to improve their game, from the advice and guidance offered below:


For Beginners: How Bowls is played
The following introduction covers the basic aspects of the game, as normally played in the UK. It is not intended to be a complete definition of the game or the rules.)

Like many games, the object of Bowls is essentially simple. It can be played by almost anyone, but to play consistently well demands determination, concentration and practice.

The game of Bowls is played on a 34 to 40 metre square of closely cut grass called the green. The green is divided into playing areas called rinks.   The green is surrounded by a small ditch to catch bowls which leave the green, and a bank upon which markers indicate the corners and centrelines of each rink.

Matches may be mixed or single-sex.  Bowls is a game in which men and women can play on virtually equal terms

Players deliver their bowls (sometimes called “woods”) alternately from a mat at one end of the rink, towards a small white ball called the jack at the other end.  The bowls are shaped so that they do not run in a straight line, but take a curved path towards the jack.

To be successful, the bowl must be delivered with the correct weight, along the correct line. The bowl can be delivered either forehand (curving in towards the jack from the right) or backhand (curving in from the left).

Bowls can be played as singles, or in teams of pairs, triples, or fours (a team of four is also known as a 'rink'). In fours or rinks games, each team member has a particular role to play:

The first, or lead, places the mat, delivers the jack and centres it before attempting to bowl as close as possible to the jack.

The second or two keeps the score card and scoreboard up to date. The two will normally be required to improve or consolidate the position achieved by the lead.

The third or three may be called upon to play different types of shots in order to score more, or to place bowls tactically to protect an advantage. The three also advises the skip on choice of shots, and agrees the number of shots scored, measuring if required.

The skip is in overall charge of the rink, directs the other players on choice of shots, and tries to build the 'head' of bowls to his or her advantage.

The normal game formats are as follows:
In Fours or Rinks play, the lead, two, three and skip each deliver two bowls for 21 ends.
In Singles, the two opponents deliver four bowls alternately. The first to reach 21 shots is the winner.
For Pairs, the players deliver four bowls each. The team scoring the most shots after 21 ends is the winner.
In the Triples game, the lead, second and skip deliver three bowls each, for 18 ends.

Although these are the most common formats, variations are allowed by the controlling bodies.


Each end, after all woods have been delivered into the head (above), all woods belonging to one player or team that lie closest to the jack are counted as shots.    In this illustration, two blue woods lie closet to the jack.  A red wood lies a close third.  The blue player/team therefore adds two shots to the cumulative score.  Red scores nothing.  In case of doubt, a measure can be used to determine the outcome.



         1.      Afternoon matches - representing the Club
Club shirt and white trousers/tailored white shorts/white skirt
                 Bowling shoes
                 Blazer optional

          2.     Evening matches – representing the Club
Club shirt and grey trousers
                  Bowling shoes

           3.    Club/County Competitions - including Markers
Club shirt and grey trousers** Ladies: White skirt
                 Bowling shoes
                 **Whites to be worn for all Club Competition Finals

           4.    Loughborough Triples and Corson Shield matches
Club shirt and grey trousers
                  Bowling shoes

           5.     Casual bowling/Roll-ups
                  Club or plain white shirt and grey trousers
                  Bowling shoes

No jeans, jogging trousers, track suit (or similar) bottoms allowed at any time on the green. 
Any complaints should be drawn to the attention of a member of the Management Committee.

Non-members undergoing coaching need only wear flat shoes (no heels)


            1.     Check that you know and comply with the correct dress for the occasion
            2.    Make sure you know the starting time of the game and arrive early.

             3.    If necessary, allow time to change before the arrival of guests
                   and always be on the green in timely fashion.
            4.     In a team game, be there to welcome your guests.
            5.     Enter and leave the green by any steps or other aids provided.
            6.     Do not drop your bowls on to the green.
            7.     Shake hands with your opponent(s) before and after the game.
            8.     Do not sit on the steps or the bank.
            9.     Do not drop litter in the ditches. Use any receptacles provided.
           10.     Stand still and be quiet while your opponent(s) are about to play.
          11.     Do not infringe the laws of rink possession.
          12.    Wait until the result of the end has been declared before starting to break up the head.
          13.     If you are responsible for keeping score, compare your card with that of your opponents at regular intervals.
          14.    Unless you have been delegated to decide the shots at the completion of an end, do not interfere in any way with the process.
          15.    If an umpire has been called, stay clear of the head until a decision has been made.
          16..    Do not run or smoke on the green.
          17.    Deliver your woods in a manner which does not damage the green and draw the attention of the Captain to any breach
                   of this practice.
          18..   When leaving the green for any reason, take great care that you do not walk across the line of sight
                  of any player occupying the mat at the opposite end of a rink in preparation for a delivery.
          18.   At the end of the game avoid changing out of your playing uniform while guests remain in the clubhouse or
                  while you are a guest at another Club.