Exploring Different Types of Lawn Bowls: Which One is Right for You?

Exploring Different Types of Lawn Bowls: Which One is Right for You?

If you are an avid lawn bowler or someone who is interested in taking up the sport, understanding the different types of lawn bowls available is crucial. Lawn bowls come in various sizes, weights, and designs, each offering unique characteristics that can greatly impact your playing experience. In this article, we will explore the different types of lawn bowls and help you determine which one is right for you based on your skill level, playing style, and personal preferences. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned player looking to upgrade your equipment, this guide will provide valuable insights to enhance your lawn bowling journey.

Types of Lawn Bowls

Traditional Lawn Bowls

Traditional lawn bowls are the most common type of bowls played outdoors on a grass surface. These bowls are made of a hard material such as wood, rubber, or composite materials. They have a bias, which means they are designed to curve or bend towards a certain direction when rolled. The bias of the bowl can be customized according to the player’s preference. Traditional lawn bowls are available in various sizes and weights to suit different players’ needs and playing styles.

Indoor Lawn Bowls

Indoor lawn bowls are specifically designed for playing the sport in indoor venues such as bowling clubs or sports halls. These bowls are typically smaller and lighter compared to traditional lawn bowls. They are made of a material called phenolic resin, which allows them to have a consistent bias on indoor carpets or synthetic surfaces. Indoor bowls have a narrower bias compared to outdoor bowls, making them suitable for the faster pace and shorter distances of indoor games.

Short Mat Bowls

Short mat bowls is a variation of the sport that is played on a shorter and narrower mat indoors. The bowls used in short mat bowls are similar to indoor lawn bowls in terms of size and material. However, they have a much narrower bias to accommodate the smaller playing area. Short mat bowls is a popular choice for players who prefer a more controlled and tactical style of play. It offers a different challenge compared to traditional lawn bowls or indoor bowls, as players need to carefully navigate through a tighter space and strategically position their bowls to gain an advantage.

Overall, the different types of lawn bowls cater to the diverse preferences and playing conditions of players. Whether you enjoy the traditional outdoor experience, the fast-paced indoor games, or the strategic nature of short mat bowls, there is a type of lawn bowl that is right for you.

Choosing the Right Lawn Bowl

When it comes to playing lawn bowls, choosing the right type of bowl is essential. The right bowl can greatly impact your performance and overall enjoyment of the game. Here are some factors to consider when selecting the perfect lawn bowl for you:

Consider Your Playing Surface

One important factor to consider when choosing a lawn bowl is the type of playing surface you will be playing on. Different surfaces may require different types of bowls in order to achieve optimal performance.

If you primarily play on fast, dry greens, bowls with a narrower bias may be more suitable. These bowls are designed to handle faster greens and provide better control and accuracy. On the other hand, if you play on slower, wetter greens, bowls with a wider bias may be more appropriate. These bowls are designed to compensate for the slower greens and maintain a consistent line.

Consider Your Skill Level

Another factor to consider is your skill level. Different types of bowls are designed with different levels of experience in mind. If you are a beginner or have limited experience, it is generally recommended to start with a bowl that has a wider bias. These bowls tend to be more forgiving and easier to control, allowing you to focus on developing your skills.

For more experienced players, bowls with a narrower bias may be more suitable. These bowls require a higher level of skill and precision to achieve the desired line and weight. They can provide a greater challenge and allow for more advanced strategies and shots.

Consider Your Budget

Lastly, it is important to consider your budget when choosing a lawn bowl. Lawn bowls come in a wide range of prices, and it is important to find a balance between quality and affordability.

While it may be tempting to opt for the cheapest option available, it is important to remember that the quality of the bowl can greatly impact your performance. Investing in a higher quality bowl can lead to better results and a more enjoyable playing experience in the long run.

Consider shopping around and comparing prices from different brands and retailers. Some brands may offer bowls with similar performance at a more affordable price point. Additionally, consider looking for sales or discounts to get the best value for your money.

In conclusion, choosing the right lawn bowl is crucial for a successful and enjoyable game of lawn bowls. Consider factors such as the playing surface, your skill level, and your budget when making your decision. By taking these factors into account, you can find the perfect lawn bowl that suits your needs and enhances your overall playing experience.

Maintaining Your Lawn Bowls

Cleaning Your Bowls

Properly cleaning your lawn bowls is essential to maintain their performance and longevity. Here are some steps you can follow to ensure your bowls stay in top condition:

  1. After each game, remove any dirt, grass, or debris from your bowls using a soft-bristle brush or a damp cloth. This will prevent any buildup that could affect the smoothness of your delivery.

  2. Fill a bucket or sink with warm soapy water and gently scrub the bowls using a non-abrasive cleaner. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that can damage the surface of your bowls.

  3. Rinse the bowls thoroughly with clean water to remove any soap residue. Ensure all the cleaning solution is washed away to prevent any potential damage.

  4. Dry the bowls with a clean towel or let them air dry naturally. Avoid exposing the bowls to direct sunlight or extreme heat, as this can cause warping or discoloration.

Polishing Your Bowls

Regularly polishing your lawn bowls not only enhances their appearance but also helps maintain their smoothness and grip. Follow these steps to keep your bowls looking and performing their best:

  1. Start by applying a small amount of specialized lawn bowl polish onto a soft cloth or polishing pad. Make sure to use a polish specifically designed for lawn bowls to avoid damaging the surface.

  2. Gently rub the polish onto the bowls in a circular motion, covering the entire surface. Apply slight pressure to remove any scuffs or marks that may have accumulated during play.

  3. Let the polish sit on the bowls for a few minutes to allow it to penetrate and restore the luster. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended duration.

  4. Using a clean cloth, buff the bowls in a circular motion until they shine. Ensure all the polish residue is removed, leaving a smooth and glossy finish.

Storing Your Bowls

Proper storage is crucial to protect your lawn bowls from accidental damage and maintain their shape. Consider the following tips for storing your bowls:

  1. Use a dedicated lawn bowl bag or case to keep your bowls safe and secure. These bags are specifically designed to protect the bowls from impact and provide cushioning.

  2. Before placing your bowls in the bag, ensure they are clean and completely dry. Moisture can lead to mold or mildew growth, which can damage the bowls over time.

  3. Store the bowls in an upright position, with the larger bowl on the bottom and the smaller one on top. This helps maintain their shape and prevents any unnecessary pressure on the bowls.

  4. Keep your lawn bowl bag in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight or extreme temperatures. Avoid storing them in areas prone to humidity or moisture, such as basements or garages.

By following these maintenance practices, you can extend the lifespan of your lawn bowls and ensure optimal performance whenever you step onto the green.


In conclusion, lawn bowls offer a diverse range of options for players of all skill levels. Whether you prefer the precision and control of a classic lawn bowl, the versatility and adaptability of a mid-biased bowl, or the ease of use and stability of a wide arc bowl, there is a type of lawn bowl that is right for you. It is important to consider your playing style, the conditions of the green, and your personal preferences when choosing the perfect lawn bowl. So, go ahead and explore the different types of lawn bowls available and start enjoying this wonderful sport to the fullest.