What Does It Mean to Peel in Lawn Bowls?

  • By: Jack Toucher
  • Date: June 6, 2023

To peel in lawn bowls refers to a draw or a tie in the score. A skip may say: “We need two points in order to peel”, for instance. Or a player say to another player “It’s peels”.

In the photo you can see that the two trips teams peeled on 16 points.

How do you peel in lawn bowls?

When a game has a determinate number of ends (say for instance 18 ends) then when all the ends have been played the score on the board applies. For instance, if the score is 20-20 that counts as a peel.

Peeling does not apply to other scores such as skins or points for a win. When two teams peel they generally share the skin and the points for a win.

Where does the word peels in lawn bowls come from?

The word “peel” in the context of lawn bowls comes from the Scots language. Similar words in Scots are “peal” and “peil’. All these words mean to equal or to match in competitive games, especially lawn bowling.

so to “be peels”, or “lie peels” or to “stand peels” in a game means to be level or quits in a game or competition or the like; to be at the stage of a draw or tie, with equal scores on both sides.

Is a draw in a lawn bowls score desirable?

It’s not totally satisfactory for the score to be equal at the end of a game of lawn bowls. But subjectively a team (or a singles player) may be relieved to tie with the opponent(s) if they were behind in points for much of the game.

On the other hand, a team or singles player might find it frustrating when they are far ahead in points and the opponent(s) suddenly make a comeback towards the end of the game, with the points ending level.

If skins and points-for-a-win also apply, then teams will find a level score frustrating.

In essence, to peel that both teams (or both players in a singles game) simply stay where they are rather than pulling ahead against the opponent(s) and probably also in the competition as a whole.

But there is no way to avoid the situation.

The only way to be better than the opponent is to draw closer and drive more accurately, as the saying goes. And that means practice, practice, practice.