How Many Players Are There in a Game of Bowls?

  • By: Jack Toucher
  • Date: June 18, 2023

There are between two and eight players in the game of bowls. The number of players varies depending on the format and type of competition or social game.

What is a side in lawn bowls?

In a game of bowls, a side refers to any agreed number of teams or singles players, or a combination of both. The combined scores of these players determine the outcome of a competition. The number of sides can vary depending on the tournament or match requirements.

What is a skip in bowls?

The skip is a crucial player who assumes the role of team captain or leader. This player is in charge of the team’s overall strategy and decision-making during the game. The skip plays a pivotal role in directing the team’s shots, analyzing the game’s progress, and making tactical decisions.

Team Play

In team play, different player configurations are employed: pairs, triples (also called trips), and fours.

Pair (also called pairs)

A pair consists of two players who work together as a team. These players have designated positions, namely the “lead” and the “skip.” The lead player takes the first position in the order of play, followed by the skip. The pair collaborates closely, strategizing and executing shots to gain an advantage over their opponents.

Triple (or trips)

A triple comprises three players who form a cohesive unit. Each player has a specific position in the order of play: “lead,” “second,” and “skip.” The lead plays first, followed by the second, and finally, the skip. The triple players coordinate their efforts, utilizing their skills and teamwork to achieve success in the game.

Four (or fours)

A four is a team of four players, each with a designated position in the order of play: “lead,” “second,” “third,” and “skip.” The lead takes the initial shot, followed by the second, third, and finally, the skip. The four players work collaboratively, combining their abilities and strategic thinking to outmaneuver their opponents. In the photo you can clearly see two teams of four.

Flexibility and Adaptability

The game of bowls offers various player configurations to cater to different preferences and levels of competition. Whether it’s singles play, pairs, triples, or fours, each format presents its own set of challenges and opportunities. Teams and players must adapt their strategies accordingly to maximize their chances of victory.

Rules about Teams

The World Bowls Laws of the Sport of Bowls says the following about the configuration of teams:

B. Players

B.1 Side: any agreed number of teams or Singles players (or a combination of teams
and Singles players) whose combined scores decide the result of a competition.
B.2 Skip: the player who is in charge of the team.
B.3 Team play
B.3.1 Team: a Pair, a Triple or a Four.
B.3.2 Pair: a team of two players whose positions, in order of play, are ‘lead’
and ‘skip’.
B.3.3 Triple: a team of three players whose positions, in order of play, are ‘lead’,
‘second’ and ‘skip’.
B.3.4 Four: a team of four players whose positions, in order of play, are ‘lead’,
‘second’, ‘third’ and ‘skip’

Section B in Laws of the Sport of Bowls

Conclusion

The number of players in a game of bowls varies depending on the format being played. Whether it’s a singles match, pairs, triples (also called trips), or fours, each configuration has its own unique dynamics and player roles.

The skip plays a vital role in leading the team, while the other players contribute their skills and teamwork to achieve success. Understanding the different player configurations and their roles enhances the overall enjoyment and competitiveness of the game of bowls.