Bowls Bash - what is it?
The challenge is simple – roll your bowl at the target, called the Jack. The closer you get, the more points you can earn for your team. Bonus points are awarded if your bowl kisses the Jack – bowls-eye!
Bowls Bash is normally played in teams of two, with players delivering 30 bowls each per match. If the scores are level, a sudden-death tie-break determines the winner – one extra bowl per player to add to the drama!
A Bowls Bash Match lasts just an hour with everybody involved throughout, leaving plenty of time for a relaxing drink!
What are you waiting for? Just give it a bash!
It couldn’t be easier to try Bowls Bash. There’s no dress code and equipment will be provided. All you need to remember is to wear flat shoes or trainers to look after the green.
When you arrive at the bowls club, a friendly Bowls Bash coordinator will be there to help you get started and provide any guidance you need. The equipment will be ready and you’ll be given a reminder of the rules and a scorecard.
If you’re a beginner, you’ll be given a very quick demo, but it might be helpful to take a few seconds to look at our simple guide on how to deliver a bowl.
You, your team-mate and your two opponents are on the green. You have three bowls each at your feet, the Jack is placed on the Spot at the far End of the green and you have a scorecard in hand. You’re now ready to roll! Here’s how you play the game.
- Pick your team colour – yellow or red – and decide which team goes first – scissors/paper/stone, toss a coin, the youngest player – whatever is easiest. Whoever goes first places the delivery Mat down on the green anywhere in line with the Jack.
- Game on! Alternating teams and keeping one foot on the Mat, take it turns to deliver your bowl towards the Jack. So, one team bowls the first bowl, the other team goes second and so on. The order of play within a team can be interchangeable as long as each player bowls three times during the End. Each End should last about 5 minutes.
- Once all bowls are delivered, put the delivery Mat on the side of the green, leave the other Jack on the Spot ready for the next End, walk up to the bowls and tot up your scores.
- The nearest bowl to the Jack scores 3 points, the second nearest 2 points and the third nearest bowl scores 1 point.
- A bowl that touches the Jack (a ‘Kiss’) earns two bonus points – and plenty of bragging rights!
- If your team has declared that End as your ‘power-play’, all points earned that End are doubled. Could be a game-changer!
- The person who got closest to the Jack earning 3 points, starts off the following End and can choose where to place the Mat for the next End. Keep a running total of your scores and, after 5 Ends, the team that has scored the most points wins the Set. If scores are level, the Set is a tie.
- After the second Set of 5 Ends, if one team has won two Sets, or won one Set and the other is tied, they are the outright winner. If the score is 1-1 or both Sets were tied, a sudden-death tie-break End is played. Time to be a hero!
- In the tie-break End, each player bowls just one bowl and the team with the bowl nearest the Jack wins. There are no points for a Kiss.
- Your team can choose one ‘power-play’ End per Set where points earned that Set are worth double. Your team must nominate its power-play before the start of the End.
- Should the Jack be knocked off the Rink or in the Ditch, it will be re-placed back on the Spot. If your bowl lands in the Ditch, it cannot score.
- If you are playing with people of very different abilities, such as small children, you can allow them to deliver their bowls from closer to the Jack…until they start getting too good!
- Smiling, celebrating and friendly rivalry are all compulsory.
Use the scorecard provided. Tot up your scores after each End and keep a running total. The team with the most points after 5 Ends wins the Set.
- Nearest the Jack – 3 pts
- Second nearest to the Jack – 2 pts
- Third nearest to the Jack – 1pt
- A Kiss – 2 pts
- Power-Play – all points that End count double. Don’t forget to nominate your power play End before the End starts!
The rules in brief
In a hurry? Not a problem! A Bowls Bash match last just an hour, and here’s a quick guide on how you play the game.
- 2 teams of 2 – Reds and Yellows
- 3 bowls each player per End
- 5 Ends complete a Set
- 2 Sets complete a Match
- Scores 1-1, or both sets tied, a tie-break (TB) determines the winner
- Decide which team goes first
- Players take it in turns to deliver their bowls closest to the Jack
- Closest bowl 3 pts, second 2 pts, third 1 pt
- Your bowl touches the Jack (a Kiss), 2 pts bonus
- Each team can nominate 1 Power-Play End per Set, which scores double
- The player who scored 3 pts places the Mat and starts the next End
- Tie-break is 1 bowl per player, nearest bowls to the Jack wins. Time to be a hero!
- Any bowls in the Ditch do not count
- If the Jack is knocked out of play, it returns to the Spot
All sports have their own language but not to worry! Now you’re ready to get started, here are a few terms that will help you understand how to play.
- Rink – the lane on which you’ll play your Match. There are 6 Rinks on most bowls greens.
- Ditch – the trough surrounding the outside of the green
- Jack – the target ball to which you are trying to get close
- Mat – from where you deliver the bowl
- Kiss – when your bowl touches the Jack either when you bowl it or it is knocked into the Jack by another bowl
- End – when all players have bowled their 3 bowls at the Jack
- Set – this is made up of 5 Ends, whoever scores the most points wins the Set
- Power-play – a chance to earn double points on an End
- Tie-break – one End to decide the winner if the Sets are tied at 1-1, one bowl per player
- Spot – the position on the Rink where the Jack at the start, and if the Jack is hit off the Rink