Below you will find the basic game description, information about our awesome Friday night BBQ & Bowls-an open to the public event that runs during the summer, and some skill building resources.



(also known as Lawn Bowls or Lawn Bowling) is a precision sport where the goal is to roll slightly radially asymmetrical balls (called bowls) closer to a smaller white ball, the “jack” than one’s opponent is able to do. It is related to Bocce and Petanque. Bowls is most popular in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and in other UK territories.

Click HERE to see the Seattle Channel Video about bowls.

Game Play

The game of lawn bowling is usually played on a large, rectangular, precisely leveled and manicured grass or synthetic surface known as a bowling green. There is also an indoor variation on carpet. In the simplest competition, singles, one of the two opponents begins a segment of the competition (in bowling parlance, an “end”), by placing the mat and rolling the jack to the other end of the green as a target. Once it has come to rest, the players take turns rolling their bowls from the mat towards the jack and thereby build up the “head”. Bowls reaching the ditch are dead and removed from play, except in the event that the bowl has touched the jack on its way into the ditch. “Touchers” are marked with chalk and remain alive in play even though they are in the ditch. Similarly if the jack is knocked into the ditch it is still alive unless it is out of bounds to the side resulting in a “dead” end which is replayed. After every competitor has delivered all of their bowls (four each in singles), the distance of the closest bowls to the jack is determined and points are awarded for each bowl of which a competitor has closer than their opponent’s nearest to the jack. For instance, if a competitor has bowled two bowls closer to the jack than their competitor’s nearest, they are awarded two points. The exercise is then repeated for the next end.


Scoring systems vary from competition to competition, with some being the first to a specified number of points, say 21, or the highest scorer after say, 21 ends. Some competitions use a “set” scoring system, with the first to seven points awarded a set in a best-of-five set match. As well as singles competition, there can be pairs, triples and four-player teams. In these, teams take turns to bowl, with each player within a team bowling all their bowls, then handing over to the next player. The team captain or “skip” always plays last and is instrumental in directing his teammate’s shots and tactics.

The information above comes from and is used under the GNU Free Documentation License.

Guests are welcome to visit during any Open Bowling activity.

Open Bowling activities are open to members, guests and the general public. All play is casual (no draw). Our only request is for all bowlers to wear smooth, flat-soled shoes to protect the greens. Barefeet are ok too!

While most events, leagues, and tournaments are “members only” (for information on membership, see the membership page), our Friday Night BBQ and Bowls is open to the public. Hosted by JPLBC members who will teach you how to get started playing the game.

You are invited to bring your dinner, maybe something to put on the grill, and enjoy the game and the view. Barbecue grill is available.  A $5 greens fee is a suggested donation non-members, no one is turned away for lack of funds.

Members are on hand to teach you the game, the barbecue is hot (bring your own grillables!), all the while enjoying a Friday night in one of the most beautiful parks in the city and learning how to lawn bowl with your family and friends!

What should you bring?

  • Flat-soled shoes to protect the greens
  • Family and friends (kids welcome, no pets please!)
  • Dinner, including something to throw on the grill
    (no alcohol at this public event)
  • $5 suggested greens fee

Questions? Email

Tune up your technique and sharpen your game just as the Jefferson Park bowling calendar kicks into high gear. Coaches will guide you through a series of drills designed to improve your delivery, line, weight, and finesse. As Uncle Tony taught us: the best bowlers practice with a purpose.

Sorry, no Boot Camp dates scheduled in 2017.

Tony Scott’s Skill Drills

These are tips and drills provided to us by Tony Scott, Australian lawn bowling coach extraordinaire, during his visit in May/June 2010.

Tony has been playing bowls for twenty-five years and actively coaching for ten. The winner of many lawn bowling tournaments and titles, Tony currently coaches two of Australia’s hottest talents.


Draw Shot

Ditch Drawing

Conversion Skills



Set of Skill Drills

40 Bowl Test