Lawn bowls is usually played on a large, rectangular, precisely leveled and manicured
grass or synthetic surface known as a bowling green which is divided into parallel playing strips called rinks.. An indoor
variation on carpet is also played. In the simplest competition, singles, one of the two opponents flips a coin to see who
wins the "mat" and 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 to serve as a target. Once it has come to rest, the jack is aligned
to the center of the rink and the players take turns to roll their bowls from the mat towards the jack and thereby build up
bowl may curve outside the rink boundary on its path, but must come to rest within the rink boundary to remain in play. Bowls
falling into the ditch are dead and removed from play, except in the event when one has "touched" the jack on its
way. "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 though according to international rules the jack is "respotted" to the center of the rink and
the end is continued. After each competitor has delivered all of their bowls (four each in singles and pairs, three each in
triples, and two bowls each in fours), the distance of the closest bowls to the jack is determined (the jack may have been
displaced) and points, called "shots", are awarded for each bowl which a competitor has closer than the 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 shots. The exercise is then repeated for the next end, a game of bowls typically being of twenty one
bowls is played on grass and variations from green to green are common. Greens come in all shapes and sizes, fast, slow, big
crown,small crown etc.Bowls are designed to travel a curved path because of a weight bias which was originally produced by
inserting weights in one side of the bowl. This is no longer permitted by the rules and bias is now produced entirely by the
shape of the bowl. A bowler determines the bias direction of the bowl in his hand by a dimple or symbol on one side. Regulations
determine the minimum bias allowed, and the range of diameters (11.6 to 13.1 cm), but within these rules bowlers can and do
choose bowls to suit their own preference. They were originally made from lignum vitae, a dense wood giving rise to the term
"woods" for bowls, but are now more typically made of a hard plastic composite material.
Bowls were once only available coloured
black or brown but they are now available in a variety of colours including a range of fluorescent hues. They have unique
symbol markings engraved on them for identification. Since many bowls look the same, coloured, adhesive stickers or labels
are also used to mark the bowls of each team in bowls matches. Some local associations agree specific colours for stickers
for each of the clubs in their area. Provincial or national colors are often assigned in national and international competitions.
These stickers are used by officials to distinguish teams.
Bowls have symbols unique to the set of four for identification. The side of the bowl
with a larger symbol within a circle indicates the side away from the bias. That side with a smaller symbol within a smaller
circle is the bias side toward which the bowl will turn. It is not uncommon for players to deliver a "wrong bias"
shot from time to time and see their carefully aimed bowl crossing neighbouring rinks rather than heading towards their jack.