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Syston Bowling Club

"At the heart of the local community for more than 80 years"



The Club has two fully-qualified County Coaches - Ken Renshaw and Gary Kilbourne who are Club Captain and Club President respectively in 2017.  Both are always ready to arrange individual (or group) coaching sessions.  Regular advice and guidance is also regularly featured in the Club Newsletter in the Club Newsletter "Syston Green",  copies of which can be found on the appropriate page of thise site.

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
        Bowling shoes
        Blazer, to be worn in the clubhouse after the match

2.     Evening matches – representing the Club
        Club shirt and grey trousers
        Bowling shoes
        Blazer to be worn in the clubhouse after the match

3.     Club/County Competitions
        Club shirt and grey trousers**
        Bowling shoes
        Blazer to be worn in the clubhouse after the match
        ** White trousers to be worn for all Competitions Finals

4.     Melton & Loughborough Triples League 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 Executive Committee.
Revised Code approved at the AGM December 2012



(As approved by the English Women's Bowling Association and Leicestershire Ladies' County Bowling Association)

  1. BLUE BLAZERS to be worn when attending all matches.  No badges other than the County badge, if applicable, allowed on pockets.

  2. BLOUSES & CARDIGANS must be all white or cream with set-in sleeves.

  3. SKIRTS must be white or cream with two inverted pleats at the front and two at the back. (White or cream trousers of regulation design may be worn as an alternative)

  4. SHOES worn on the green must be white or brown, smooth soled and with no heel.  The sole must be of a maximum one inch thickness.

  5. SANDALS, which may be worn at the wearer's risk during Club games, the Patron;s match and the Benevolent match, are not permitted for County matches.

  6. SHOES or sandals for walking out away from the green while the player is in uniform must be navy blue

  7. HATS, which must be of regulation style, are optional at all times.

  8. RAIN HATS should be of regulation type.

  9. TIGHTS/STOCKINGS are optional at all times but, if worn, should be in shades of brown only.

  10. SCARVES and GLOVES are optional at all times.

  11. No SMOKING or ALCOHOL is allowed on or off the green at any time while play is in progress.


  • Check that you know and comply with the correct dress for the occasion.

  • Make sure that you know the starting time of the game and arrive in sufficient time to change and be on the green accordingly.

  • In a team game, be there to welcome your guests.

  • Enter and leave the green by the steps when they are provided.

  • Do not drop your bowls onto the green.

  • Shake hands with your opponent(s) before and after the game.

  • Do not sit on the steps or the bank.

  • Do not drop litter in the ditches.  Use the receptacles provided.

  • Stand still and be quiet while your opponent is about to play.

  • Do not infringe the laws of rink possession.

  • Wait until the result of the end has been decided before breaking up the head.

  • If you are responsible for keeping score, compare your card with that of your opponents at regular intervals.

  • Unless you have been delegated to decide the shots at the completion of an end, do no interfere in any way with this process.

  • If an umpire has been called, stay clear of the head until a decision has been made.

  • If you have lost the game, remember to congratulate your opponent.

  • Never be heard to criticise the green or your opponent.

  • Acknowledge any "fluke" and commend an opponent's good bowl.

  • Do not run on the green.

By courtesy of English Bowls Coaching Scheme