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Equipment & Clothing

Lawn bowls has some specific equipment and clothing, but if you're new to the game we have plenty of equipment here at the club for you to use. All we ask is that you wear flat shoes to help protect the green.

Here's a summary of the standard equipment used in lawn bowls and some of the clothing you may see players wearing:


The Bowls (Woods)

Historically, bowls were made of very heavy Lignum Vitae wood and are commonly called 'woods' by players. Bowls can also be made of composite plastic resin or rubber. They come in various sizes and weights to suit the bowler. Bowls include a bias to one side which creates the swing a bowl takes en route to the jack.


The Jack

The jack is a white or yellow sphere measuring 63-67mm in diameter. It's what we're all aiming for! The jack is bowled by the starting player to a distance of their liking (within restrictions) and the subsequent play is focused on bowling woods close to the jack.  


The Mat

The mat (or delivery mat) is made from hard-wearing rubber and indicates where the bowlers should deliver from. It is positioned lengthwise on the green by the player who is bowling first.


The Shoes

Shoes worn for bowling are required to have a flat sole to ensure the green is not damaged while playing. Most high street stores stock flat soled shoes, but you can also purchase official bowling shoes from bowls retailers.


Wearing 'Whites'

The full white clothing is worn at weekends (after 12pm) or for competition finals. This will include white bottoms and a Masonian Bowls Club top. Tops can be jackets, jumpers, shirts or t-shirts. Bottoms can be trousers, shorts, or skirts.


Wearing 'Greys'

The 'grey' clothing is worn for midweek games. This will include grey bottoms and a Masonian Bowls Club top. Tops can be jackets, jumpers, shirts or t-shirts. Bottoms can be trousers, shorts, or skirts. This does not apply to roll-ups - feel free to wear what is comfortable.


The Measure

Bowls measures are used to confirm which bowl is closest to the jack where the naked eye cannot make a clear judgement. They come in numerous forms, including as string measures, box measures, or calipers. Perhaps the most popular (pictured) include string that can be locked in place and calipers.


The Chalk

Chalk is used to mark a bowl that touches or moves the jack. If this bowl subsequently lands (or is knocked) into the ditch at the back of the rink it remains 'live' and could be included in the final count. Chalk can come in the form of a stick of chalk or a chalk spray.


The Cloth

Not essential but recommended as bowlers are hardened to all weather conditions! Carrying a cloth to dry your bowls before bowling on a wet green will help you keep control over your bowl and avoid it slipping from your hand.


The 'Swisher'

A very technical piece of kit - a long pole we use to clear the green of any debris that may have been left from wind, autumn or wormholes. We 'swish' the pole back and forth for the length of the green to clear the playing surface.



The scorecard may be carried by your marker or a player in your team to keep track of scores throughout the game. The scores from each end are recorded alongside a cumulative total. 



The scoreboard can be put on display to help team members and spectators keep track of the team scores and how many ends have been played. A marker or nominated player will keep the scoreboard updated.


Bowls Bag

A bowls bag can carry four bowls in the base, as well as room for shoes and clothing in the top compartment. 


Bowls Carry Case

A carry case is useful for transporting one's bowls to the green/rink. 



The roller is used to collect bowls after an end is finished - it is a real time saver!

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