How do you score in lawn bowls?

  • By: Jack Toucher
  • Date: June 9, 2023

When all the bowls have been delivered to the other end of the green, the players at the end where the bowls are lying must agree on the score. The bowl that lies the closest to the jack is important. It indicates that the team whose bowl it is will be the only team that will score points for that end.

The closest bowls counts one point. If the next closest bowl is from the same team then the team gets two points, and so on. Lawn bowls has a rare type of scoring in that only the team with the bowl closest to the jack stand to win points for the end. The opposition team gets nothing.

The score is then written on the scoreboard (see photo). The score of the team that got no points carries forward while the points of the winning team for that end gets written down and added to its previous total.

There are some bowling formats, such as Pro 10 and 3-2-1 award points to bowls near the jack no matter what team they are from, but these scoring systems are for informal competitions. These formats are designed to encourage players to draw close to the jack and not to run the head (i.e. play strong shots).

How do you mark a scorecard in lawn bowls?

You mark a scorecard in lawn bowls by adding the latest points to the appropriate team’s side of the card and updating the total. To the other team’s side of the card you pencil in a stripe to indicate “zero” and carry down the team’s previous total.

NOTES: It is important to make the stripe for “zero” completely straight so it does not look like a “1”. In a conventional lawn bowls game, only one team (or an individual in a singles game) at a time picks up points so there will always be a stripe on one side of the ledger.

With this type of lawn bowls scorecard you don’t have to keep adding up the points. When the game ends, take the end totals from the score board to complete the card.

Simply add the end scores namely: Points For, Points Against, Points (according to the Competition Rules e.g. 4 points for a win, 2 for a draw, etc. and Aggregate (the points difference between the winner and the loser e.g. +6, -4 or whatever).

How do you win in lawn bowls?

To win in lawn bowls, a team (or an individual in a singles game) must score more points than the opponent in the course of the game. Points are won by the team that has a bowl closest to the jack (the white target ball) while the opponent gets no points for that end. An “end” is when all the bowls have been delivered to the other side of the green, when the points for that end are settled and added to the scoreboard and/or the scorecard. Each game consists of anything between 10 and 43 ends, depending on the format.

How many points is a set in lawn bowls?

The set concept in lawn bowls is most commonly used in a singles game where the winner is the first player to earn 21 points. The players divide the game into three sets of seven in their minds and play the game accordingly. Therefore each player divides up the game into bite-size chunks i.e. three mini-games of seven. Psychologically this helps to keep the game in perspective.

When playing skins, a game of twenty ends may be divided into four “sets” of five. The winner of each set then earns points according to the Rules of Play for that competition. Usually the team that wins the most points in the skin wins the skin, but sometimes the Rules determine that the team that wins the most “ends” in a skin wins the skin and earns “skin” points accordingly.

Who keeps score in lawn bowls?

The team that wins the toss keeps score on the score board while the team that loses the toss keeps score on the scorecard. The Third of the team that keeps score on the board ensures that the score is brought up to date after each end.

The Skip of the team that keeps score on the card carries the card with him and updates it after each end. Both score keepers must cross check intermittently with each other to make sure the scores on the board and the card do match.

In a singles game, the marker keeps score for the players on the board and the scorecard. In the semi-finals and finals there might be a score keeper who keeps score on a flip board for the convenience of the spectators. She communicates with the marker to check the score.