I have played the fascinating game of Lawn Bowls for 43 years.

I say "fascinating" because the more you play this great game the more you want to learn about it!

I thought that I was a pretty fair lawn bowler until I applied to get my coach's license.

When I attended the coaching school, I found that I had picked up a lot of bad habits over the years.

Mainly because I had never been coached but more importantly, nobody ever pointed these problems out to me.

I only learned about my faults because the lecturers took me right back to the BASICS of the game

. Most bowlers are either too embarrassed to ask for help or they believe that they are better than they really are and don't need help.

The important thing is that now I have found out about my own faults (and corrected them), I can help other bowlers with theirs.

Bruce Peterse

The Real Basic Elements of Lawn Bowls

I always stand behind the mat before I go through my set up routine while I get directions from the Skip or, Director if I am Skip. This allows me to check my Grip, The Bias and my Aiming Point, then when I am ready I step on to the Mat.

These are three important parts of your Set Up, the others are Stance, Balance, Comfort, Delivery Stride and Back Swing (Pendulum Action), Delivery and Follow Through.


Grip: Make sure that when you adopt your grip, your middle or long finger is along the centre of the running surface of the bowl. This will ensure that the bowl will follow a true path.


The Bias: Always make sure that the small ring on the bias side of the bowl is pointing to the centre line of the Rink. There's nothing more embarrassing than bowling a wrong bias!


Aiming Point or Line: Everyone will adopt a way of picking a spot either on the green or the bank to set up their aiming point (or line of delivery).

I pick a spot on the green where I know that my bowl will start to turn in, but which ever method you choose, remember, the Aiming Point will remain constant, only your weight or length will change from time to time


Stance: The way you stand on The Mat will determine the success or failure of your delivery.

The recommended position is approximately 4 inches or 10 cms. from the front of the mat.

Your feet should be fairly close together and pointing along your aiming line. Important note, don't Crouch, stand up straight with knees slightly flexed.


Balance: You should be comfortably balanced, with your shoulders just slightly forward of your feet and square to your delivery line.


Delivery Stride or Step off: Should be no more than a normal walking pace, as this will determine the amount of Backswing that occurs when you take that step


Delivery: This is quite obviously the final and most important aspect of bowling because if you have all the other requirements right the bowl will ultimately find the target at which you're aiming and everyone except your opponent will be happy.


Your Arm Position is most important as this will initially determine whether you bowl long or short.

When you are ready to deliver the bowl, make sure that your arm is straight and wrist uncocked.

Your arm should be able to swing back past your body in a pendulum action allowing the weight of the bowl to take your arm back naturally,( don't pull it back).

At the point of delivery, approximately 90% of your weight should be on your front foot.


A few Salient Points to remember:

1.Don't over step as this will cause loss of balance and direction.

2.Concentrate on what you are doing and listen to advice.

3.The recommended point of contact bowl to green is approximately 8 inches (20cms.) past and parallel to the side of your front foot

4.Your follow through should extend no higher than your front knee with palm
facing UP.

5. Stay down till your bowl is about half the distance to the target and then stand up bringing your back foot up to your front foot.

6. Watch your bowl finish, never turn your back because you will not be able to correct if the bowl doesn't go where it was supposed to

Another Point to remember, while you are waiting to bowl, always hold your bowl in your non- bowling hand as this will save your bowling arm from any unnecessary TENSION and will assure an uninterrupted Delivery.


I hope that what I have written will help somebody out there. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at any time. Till then, good bowling.
Bruce Petersen,


Denistone East Bowling Club.


The Coach at Norfolk Island B.C

during 2003 Bounty Fours Tournament


All rights reserved Denistone East Bowling Club 2001-2002.