To get started in lawn bowls, you'll need a set of bowls and flat shoes/runners (i.e. with no heels or ridges). Railway Union Bowling Club has a set of bowls for use by newcomers, as well as all the other bowling paraphenalia needed for a game (jacks, mats and scoreboards).
The game is played on either a 'green' (a square of closely-mown grass, quite like a golfing green) or a 'mat' (an artificial bowling surface)
The green/mat is divided into several playing areas, each of which is called a 'rink'. It's surrounded by a shallow ditch to catch any bowls that leave the playing surface, and a bank on which the centreline and edges of each rink are marked.
Players deliver their bowls, in turn, from a small rectangular mat placed at one end of a rink, towards a small white or yellow ball (called a 'jack') at the other end, until all bowls have been sent. This is called an 'end'
The object of the game is quite simple: you try to get your bowls closer to the jack than your opponent. But it's not like marbles - the bowls are shaped so that they don't travel in a straight line to the jack. Instead they curve towards it
When all the bowls in the end have been delivered, the arrangement of the bowls around the jack is called the 'head'. Once you and your opponent agree the score for the end, the next end is played back down the same rink in the opposite direction. This continues until the end of the game.
A game of bowls can be played one-on-one (singles), or in teams of two (pairs), three (triples) or four (fours - also known as rinks)
In singles games, the winner is normally the first player to score 21 shots. However, team games are played over a specific number of ends (usually 18 or 21), with whichever team has the highest score when all the ends have been played winning the match