What is a Rink in Lawn Bowls?

  • By: Kitty Driver
  • Date: November 12, 2023

A rink in lawn bowls is the lane on the green in which you are permitted to roll the jack and your bowls. If your jack or a bowl leaves the rink, then it is out of bounds and certain procedures kick in according to the Laws of the Sport of Bowls and / or the Conditions of Play for that particular competition or tournament.

How many rinks are there on a bowling green?

Usually there are six rinks on a public bowling green, but some clubs start out with a bowling green with one, two or three rinks. And some clubs make the rinks narrower to accommodate seven rinks for competitions and so on. Note that rinks run both ways across a green. Generally the green is played one way in the mornings and another in the afternoons to keep the wear on the green (particularly the areas at the edge of the green near the ditch) even.

How are rinks demarcated on a bowling green?

White or coloured pegs at even intervals on the bank or clear marks on the bank indicated the bounds of the rink. (A boundary peg is indicated in the photo above.) In the old days the players used to run a string from one peg to another across to indicate the rink boundaries. These days one estimates whether a bowl or jack is in or out of the rink visually. In competitions, players can ask the umpire to use a mirror to establish if the bowl or jack is out of bounds.

The official line on rinks

World Bowls in the Laws of the Sport of Bowls (you can see the full document of Laws here) defines a rink as follows:

C.28 Rink and its boundaries
C.28.1 Rink: the section of the green on which a game is played.
C.28.2 Rink of play: the section of the green between two adjacent side boundaries, the corresponding sections of the end ditches and the corresponding faces of the banks on which a game is played.
C.28.3 Side boundaries of the rink of play: the imaginary straight lines connecting the centres of the boundary pegs on opposite banks that show the limits of the rink of play.

World Bowls

Another meaning of “rinks”

The term for “rinks” is the game of fours in lawn bowls, which is the original and most challenging game format with four players in a team playing two bowls each.