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Why Play Bowls


If you're looking for a chance to keep active and socialise with people in your community, then bowls is for you. 

Bowls provides a low-impact, therapeutic exercise that can improve fitness, coordination and confidence. It also offers a mental challenge through the development of skills and tactics.

Lawn bowls is played for the challenge and competition, personal enjoyment, activity, the pleasure of spending time outdoors and for social interaction.

Lawn bowls is a great game for people of all ages: 

  • Keeps you active; 
  • Helps improve muscle strength (arm, shoulder, leg muscles), flexibility and endurance;
  • Gets you out into the fresh air; 
  • Helps improve co-ordination and concentration and problem solving skills;  
  • Gets you out and about and meeting people;
  • Being part of a team gives you a sense of belonging.

What does Lawn Bowls involve?

Lawn bowls is a game of concentration, precision and accuracy. It has been a popular sport in the UK for centuries and there are thousands of bowls clubs up and down the country. As the sport does not involve periods of prolonged and intense activity, it can be played by pretty much anyone. The game is either taken up as a social activity - strictly for leisure - or it can also be played at competition level, for those who want to give themselves more of a challenge.

What's the aim of the game?

The aim of the game is to get your bowls as close as possible to the "jack". The fact that the bowls don't travel in a straight line adds to the tactical challenge!

All the action takes place on a standard bowling green, which is a flat square with sides of 34-40m. The first player to bowl rolls the jack to the other end of the green as a target. Players then take turns to bowl. When all the bowls have been played, a competitor or team gets one point for each of their bowls that is closer to the jack than the opponent's closest bowl. 

What equipment do I need?

Initially, all you need is some flat soled shoes.  Spare bowls are always available at the Club.   When you begin to play ‘friendlies’ you will need some white trousers and a club top.  When you become more involved you may want to buy your own bowls, waterproofs etc.  (see Dress Code)

How often would I have to play?

You can play as much or as little as suits you.  Members indicate their availability week by week for the selection committee.  You can choose whether to play only social, mixed, ‘Friendlies’ or to put yourself forward for the Mens or Ladies League teams.   One of the joys of bowls is that you can begin to play competitively after only a few lessons.

What will it cost?

The cost elements are for equipment and clothing, subscription, and competitions.  Equipment and clothing costs can be minimal, ie. some flat soled shoes, a pair of white trousers, and a Club top (£25 at North Tawton).  You can play with club bowls or buy secondhand bowls – or splash out on new bowls.  Many local clubs have secondhand clothes rails, and our local supplier Bonds Bowls at Crediton also has a sales rail.  You are able to come to practice sessions for several weeks, with free coaching, before a subscription is due, and first year subscriptions are at half rate.  Competition costs are also low – a friendly home game will cost you £2 plus 50p for the raffle, and this includes a bowlers’ tea.

Would you like to join North Tawton Bowls Club?

We are located in North Street.  Our outdoor bowls season begins in mid to late April and we close the green in mid-September.

Monday evenings are ‘Roll Up’ sessions, when new members and experienced players roll up for informal bowls from 6pm.

Our Club coaches John Kinsey and Anita Lamey are on hand to provide support to new bowlers.  Sets of bowls are available for practice, and dress is casual.  The only rule is to wear flat bottomed shoes suitable for bowls – most trainers and flat soled shoes are fine.  Absolutely no stilettos!