Lawn Bowling

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Sport & Social Club General Rules

Score & Spirit Point Reporting

  • Game Scores (account for 75% of total points): Team captains are responsible for reporting the scores after your game by logging into your player profile and clicking on ‘My Team’ tab and selecting ‘Report Score/Spirit Points’.  Teams have a 48 hour window to report scores after the completion of the game.  Please be timely with your score reporting so league standings can remain updated for playoff positioning.
  • Spirit Points (account for 25% of total points): Spirit points are awarded to a team from their opponent after each game to encourage sportsmanship, honesty, integrity and fair play.  For more information and how to properly award spirit points, please see our section ‘All About Spirit Points’.


  • Players can view league standings & schedules by logging into your player profile and clicking on ‘Standings/Schedule’.

Player Eligibility

  • All players must be added to the team roster by the team captain.  This process confirms that all players have electronically agreed (checked the box) to our policies and online waiver.
  • Substitute players are allowed, however they must be added to the roster (check the online waiver).  Adding a substitute player from another team in the same league is allowed, however, regular/consistent use of a substitute player in the same league is considered unsportsmanlike and not encouraged.
  • Players must play a minimum of two regular season games in a 6-10 week season, or three regular season games in an 11-14 week season to be eligible to play in a playoff game.  Players can only play for one team per league/pool in playoff games.


  • A default will occur if a team cannot field a squad by 15 minutes after the official start time.  If a team does not meet the standard eligibility requirements, team captains must confirm the outcome prior to starting the game.  Captains may agree to waive the rules regarding minimum players.  IF IT IS AGREED THAT THE GAME COUNTS, IT COUNTS!  In the event there is a default dispute and the game was played, the SSC ruling is that the game counts.
  • In the event of a missed game due to inclement weather, games will not be rescheduled. To view our foul weather policy click here.

Rough Play & Player Conduct

  • It is recognized that incidental contact between players is inevitable – however, all players should go out of their way to avoid creating unsafe play.
  • Any unsportsmanlike conduct may result in immediate expulsion from the league.  This includes, physical or rough play, verbal abuse, damage to facility property and/or loss of facility permit.  Fighting will result in immediate expulsion from the league.  To view our Unsportsmanlike Conduct policy click here. 
  • Drinking alcoholic beverages, use of drugs and smoking at your game site before, during, or after your game is strictly prohibited.  Offenders will be asked to leave the league without refund. No Exceptions. 

Game Coordinator (GC) On-site SSC Staff

  • A GC presence is dependent on sport, season, and/or facility locations.  They are not referees, as all games are self-officiated.  They are on-site to be a neutral supporter of both teams, clarify rules, manage equipment, start/stop games, and to inform players of league news.
  • Game Coordinator may stop a game before the full time has expired due to overly aggressive play, persistent unsportsmanlike conduct or a general violation of the rules of the game.

SSC Official Lawn Bowling Rules


  •  To score the most points over 14 ends. Points scored by bowls ending up closest to the jack.
  •  The bowl closest to the jack scores one point until an opponent’s bowl is closer and cancels it out.
  •  Each bowl on that team scores a point until a rival bowl is deemed closer.
  •  Bowls in the ditch which have been marked with chalk count.
  •  If Seconds cannot agree a skip from another rink or Club Member can measure.

Game length

  • Games are comprised of 14 ends (or when time runs out).
  • Games start and end according to the official schedule.
  • If games start late, games must finish at the scheduled time (e.g. 6:45pm-8:00pm).


  • Players are required to wear flat soled shoes.
  • All rinks will be set-up with mats and flip scoreboards.
  • Players must pick-up scorecard and appropriate set of bowls from Clubhouse.
  • Teams are required to keep score.

Players on Rink, Gender Ratio and Defaults

  • Teams are comprised of 3 players - a skip, a second, and a lead.
  • The skips set-up at the far end of the rink where they will manage the head (terminology for bowls gathered around the jack)
  • The lead of the winning team sets the mat anywhere before the yellow marker and bowls the jack to where their skip indicates.
  • The skip centers the jack in the rink.

Game Set-Up

  • Games begin with a coin flip to determine which team has first bowl.

General Game Rules

  • The lead of the team who won the coin toss bowls first, while the skips stand behind the head (other end of the rink) and direct bowls for their team.
  • Back of Mat must be placed a minimum 2m out from ditch, but can be positioned up further.
  • Jack must be delivered 23m from mat; however, any jack delivered within 2m of the opposite ditch is centered at the 2m mark. Jacks delivered out of bounds, into the ditch or too short are returned for the opposing team to deliver. They may re-set the mat before doing so.
  • One foot must be on the mat while bowling.
  • Each lead alternates bowls until all 3 are done.
  • Seconds wait their turn in behind off the rink.
  • Once seconds have bowled, skips come down and bowl their 4 bowls, while seconds control the head and leads watch from the side.
  • The winning team’s lead sets the next mat while the losing team’s lead rakes in the bowls.
  • After four ends are complete, skip becomes lead, lead becomes second, and second becomes skip.
  • Bowls which finish outside rink boundaries are removed by that player’s Skip.
  • On the line is in. (Players on the mat end of rink stand on marker and advise).
  • Bowls which land in ditch are also removed... unless it touched the jack when first delivered.
  • If the jack is knocked out of bounds it’s re-centered at the 2m mark.
  • If the jack has been knocked into the ditch within rink boundaries it remains there. Scoring bowls are measured from where it lies.


  • A game can end in a tie during the regular season. 
  • During playoffs, if tied at the end of 14 ends then a 15th tie-breaker end should be played.

Remember… Always have fun!