How to Play

  1. A normal club game consists of 12 ends and lasts less than 2 hours
  2. It’s a lot like curling on grass, only MUCH WARMER (and many would say more challenging)
  3. Bowls are not round, the sides are flattened.  The running surface is also asymmetrical with one side of the surface being more round than the other which makes the bowl “curl” to one side or the other.
  4. The amount of “curl” depends largely on the speed of the green, and can range from as little as a foot (on a very soft green), to as much as 20 feet on a hard, fast green
  5. Games can be played with 1-4 players per team
    1. In singles and pairs each player plays 4 bowls
    2. In triples each player plays 3 bowls
    3. In fours each player plays 2 bowls
  6. The first bowler can choose the position of the mat on the centerline of the green
  7. The first player (lead) rolls a 3″ white ball (called a “jack” or “kitty”) towards the opposite end of the green to become the target
  8. Provided the jack is bowled far enough (21 meters) and remains in play, it is centered on the green and the same player then rolls a bowl from the mat, trying to stop it as near as possible to the jack
  9. Players take turns, by position, delivering their bowls until all bowls have been played
  10. A bowl is permitted to strike and move the jack, or to knock it out of play (causing the end to be replayed)
  11. A bowl is permitted to strike and move other bowls, or to knock them out of play
  12. A bowl (during its original course) that strikes the jack becomes a “toucher”
  13. A jack or a “toucher” that goes into the end ditch is LIVE provided it stays inbounds
  14. The team whose bowl is nearest the jack counts one point for each bowl they have nearer to the jack than their opponents’ best bowl
  15. The team that last scored must deliver the Jack.

Have more questions? Click here to find out answers about costs, how to get started and what a club can offer you!

Want to know where you can play? Look for the club nearest you!

Short Mat

Short Mat Bowls is an indoor version of lawn bowling, with slightly different rules, played on a 45 foot long x 6 foot wide mat with regular lawn bowls, and a heavier jack. It is ideally suited in Canada because it is not affected by heat, sun, wind, rain, or snow! Short mat clubs in Saskatchewan generally operate October through April.

For short mat club locations near you click here.