The 4 Different Types of Shots in Lawn Bowls: A Complete Guide

  • By: Jack Toucher
  • Date: August 3, 2023

Lawn bowls is a game of precision and skill, where players compete to roll their bowls as close as possible to the target ball known as the “jack.” To excel in this sport, players must master the different types of shots that can be employed during a game. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the four main types of shots in lawn bowls and offer insights on how to execute them effectively to gain a competitive edge.

1. The Draw Shot

The draw shot is one of the fundamental techniques in lawn bowls, and it involves rolling the bowl with a smooth and gentle delivery to reach a specific target. Players use the draw shot when they want their bowl to follow a straight and predictable path towards the jack. To execute a draw shot successfully, keep the following tips in mind:

Focus on Line and Length: The key to a precise draw shot lies in finding the right line and length. Adjust your delivery angle and the amount of force applied to the bowl to achieve the desired trajectory and endpoint.

Weight Control: Controlling the weight of the bowl is crucial in a draw shot. Players must gauge the appropriate force to apply so that the bowl reaches the jack without overshooting or falling short.

Observation: Pay close attention to the greens and the playing surface. Factors like wind, moisture, and slope can influence the bowl’s path, and being observant will help you make the necessary adjustments.

2. The Running Shot

The running shot is a high-risk, high-reward technique used when a player’s bowl is away from the jack, and they aim to remove the opponent’s bowls from play. This shot requires a significant amount of force and precision. Follow these guidelines to enhance your running shot skills:

Correct Stance: Position yourself with a stable and balanced stance. A proper stance is essential for generating the required power and accuracy during the shot.

Grip and Delivery: Hold the bowl firmly with a comfortable grip, and ensure a smooth delivery. Aim to hit the target bowl accurately and with enough force to displace it from the playing area.

Risk Assessment: Assess the situation carefully before attempting a running shot. It might not always be the best option, especially if it puts your own bowls in jeopardy or the jack at risk of being moved.

3. The Blocking Shot

The blocking shot, also known as the defensive shot, is employed to obstruct the opponent’s path to the jack. Players use this strategy when they have a bowl positioned near the jack and want to create obstacles for their opponents. To master the blocking shot, follow these steps:

Choose the Right Position: Consider the angles and possible trajectories your opponent might take to reach the jack. Position your bowl strategically to impede their progress.

Weight and Line Control: Similar to the draw shot, weight and line control are crucial in the blocking shot. Aim to deliver the bowl with the appropriate weight and line to create the desired obstruction.

Mind the Gaps: Ensure there are no easy gaps or spaces left for your opponents to exploit. Cover potential paths to the jack and force them to attempt more challenging shots.

4. The Drive Shot

The drive shot is the most forceful and aggressive technique in lawn bowls. It is used when a player needs to clear the head or scatter the bowls to change the game’s dynamics. The drive shot requires precision, power, and careful planning. Here’s how to execute it effectively:

Focus on Technique: The drive shot demands a combination of technique and power. Work on your stance, grip, and delivery to maximize the force transferred to the bowl.

Target Selection: Identify the bowls that need to be moved or the specific area of the head you want to clear. Focus on accuracy, as even a slight deviation can result in an unintended outcome.

Avoid Overconfidence: While the drive shot can be a game-changer, it also carries the risk of unintended consequences. Assess the situation and consider the potential outcomes before opting for a drive shot.


In conclusion, mastering the different types of shots in lawn bowls is essential for any player looking to elevate their game. Whether it’s the precision of the draw shot, the power of the running shot, the strategic blocking shot, or the aggressive drive shot, each technique has its place in the player’s arsenal.

Developing these skills through practice, observation, and continuous improvement will undoubtedly lead to success on the greens. So, lace-up your bowls shoes and hit the green to refine these shots, gaining a competitive advantage and increasing your chances of victory in the enthralling game of lawn bowls.