Indoor bowls is popular throughout Britain and in many other parts of the world, including as far afield as Malaysia.

The game is played in a similar way to lawn bowls and although there are slight differences between the two, it is essentially an indoor version of the outdoor game. Indoors it is played on strips of replica green of a comparable length to lawn bowls.

So what makes it so popular? One of the attractions of indoor bowling is that it can be played by all ages, including men, women, juniors and seniors. People of all abilities can play, including wheelchair users and blind bowlers.

Most clubs would start juniors at aged nine-years-old, which is where the popular indoor bowl saying ’anyone can play aged 9 to 90’ comes from.

How is it Played?

A full-size rink is 40 m long and 100 m wide and much bigger than the space needed for short mat bowls, which uses a 45 ft x 6 ft carpet.

The game can be played in singles, doubles, triples and there are also four player games. Its purpose is this: you must aim your bowling ball as near to the white ball (called the jack) as you can.

The game starts with the toss of a coin and the lead player rolls the jack which is moved to the centre of the rink.

Bowlers take it in turns. Once all the bowls have been played, each team gets a point for every bowl landing closer to the jack than their rival’s nearest ball. Once all the bowls have been played, the direction of play changes.

The Sport’s Rules

Any bowls ending at the ditch (the game boundary) are disqualified unless the bowl has touched the jack first.

If the jack rolls into the ditch, the game continues on unless the jack crosses the boundary to the side of the rink, which is out of bounds. If it does this, the player bowls again.

How is it Scored?

The scoring system depends on the type of competition. However, in most games the winner is declared the first player to score 21 points or the one that gets the highest points after 18 or 21.

Bowls Equipment & Clothing

Bowls World are a leading supplier of indoor bowls equipment from top manufacturers such as Henselite Bowls, Almark Bowls, Taylor Bowls and Drakes Pride Bowls.

We sell a wide range of bowls clothing and equipment for all levels including beginners, intermediate and professional players. Our range of clothing for men, women and juniors includes bowlsshoes, jackets, trousers, skirts and tops. We also have gift vouchers, bags and other accessories such as measures, score card holders and grip wax.

If you are just starting out as a beginner player, you just need a minimum of equipment to play, so only bowls and shoes are required. However, we also sell bowling starter packs which are ideal for the beginner and will help get you on the right track.