FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What are the general rules of lawn bowling?


The game is played on smooth, closely mown grass called a "green". Players take turns rolling "bowls" as close as they can to a small white ball, known as the "jack", which may be up to 110 feet away. Much like curling or bocce, you earn a point for every bowl your team has that is closer to the jack than any competitor's bowl. And, much like curling, bowls will curve up to 6 feet on their way down the green, enabling you to thread your way around your opponents' bowls that may be "guarding" the jack. For a more detailed description of the terms, rules, and tactics of lawn bowling, as well as links to "how to" resources, visit the Lawn Bowling page under the Club Activities menu option of this site.




Isn't lawn bowling just for older people?


No. For reasons that are unclear, this is a common perception in Canada and the US. By contrast, in Australia, there is a large cohort of younger bowlers and the sport is an increasingly popular TGIF activity after work.

Because lawn bowling is a game of precision and tactics rather than strength and speed, it is suitable for all ages from 9 to 90+. And, because there is no gender advantage, it is an ideal sport for mixed teams. It is indeed common to see older people playing lawn bowls, but this is mainly because it is one of the few sports that is gentle enough on joints and muscles to play for one’s entire life.




Do you always have to wear white clothing?


No. Our members wear regular casual clothing throughout the week. We bring out our whites on Sundays and for special events.




How long does it take to play a game of lawn bowls?


A general rule of thumb is to allow about 8-10 minutes per "end". Club games are typically 8 to 12 ends -- about an hour-and-a-half long. Rental groups will often play a series of 4-end games (30-40 minutes each) to allow for more of a "round-robin" type of event.




Do I need to purchase equipment to play?


No. All you need is a pair of flat-soled, low- or no-tread shoes and clothing that lets you move and bend comfortably. The club has a wide range of bowls and equipment that you can use at no charge.




Is lawn bowling hard to learn how to do?


No. If you can roll a tennis ball smoothly down a hallway without hitting the walls, you can almost certainly lawn bowl. It is one of those sports that is relatively easy to learn but takes a lifetime to master. Most newcomers to the sport find that, even in the first game they play, their bowls will be “in the mix” when it comes to influencing team tactics and scoring.




What if I can’t commit to play always at set times throughout the week?


We know this is a key concern for many people. We have therefore adopted more of a “drop-in” approach to club play. We have scheduled at least 4 regular playing “slots” throughout the week, with a balance of evening/afternoon and weekend/weekday timings (see the Weekly and Annual Schedule page for more detail). Members are free to participate at as many or as few of these slots as is convenient for their personal schedule. We create teams on the day of play based on who is in attendance. This gives a nice balance to club games and enables members to play and socialize with a wide variety of people.




How long is the season?


Our lawn bowling season is about 5 months -- from the beginning of May until the end of September. Depending on the weather, croquet play can go on all year round.




What is the cost of membership?


First year membership: $125 Subsequent year membership: $200 Social membership (i.e. no playing privileges): $40 Student membership: $125 We also collect $2.00 in green fees for each game day to help defray the costs of maintaining the green.




How do I join?


Visit the Becoming a Member page on this site for downloadable forms and instructions on how to join the Dunbar Lawn Bowling Club.




Can I play/try croquet or lawn bowl without becoming a member?


Yes. You don't have to join to our club to try either activity. We offer a number of ways for you to try your hand without being a member. During the May-September season you can come out to the club on any Saturday between 10:00 AM and noon and try croquet or lawn bowling for free. Club members will be on hand to set you up with equipment and provide you basic coaching. We limit these casual drop-ins to 3 times per person. You can book yourself and a group of your friends or coworkers to rent club facilities for an afternoon or evening. The club will provide equipment and coaching as well as use of our kitchen and clubhouse facilities for preparing and serving meals and refreshments on a "bring your own" basis. Rental costs are $20 per person per event. Visit the Group Rentals page on this site for more info and resources on this topic. You can also visit the Event Calendar page to check available dates or visit the Contact Us page to get directions to the club, make a booking, and/or submit any additional questions you may have.




Can I just pay a drop-in fee to play?


If you are a full member at another lawn bowling club, then you can join us in our club games for a green fee of $5.00. We limit these drop-ins to 3 times over the course of a season. Additional playing privileges are only granted if you become a DLBC member. If you are not a member at another club, you may drop in casually up to 3 times on Saturday mornings to try the games of croquet and/or lawn bowling. See the previous FAQ above for further information.





Team Event at Dunbar Lawn Bowling
A Green Oasis in Dunbar

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