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Lawn Bowling History



The sport of bowls is an ancient one, dating back to at least 13th century England.  (The body language of the observers in this medieval illustration would be familiar to any modern player pleading for a bowl to do their bidding.)  So popular was the sport that it was outlawed under more than one English monarch lest it supplant the more strategically essential pastime of archery.

Today, the sport of bowls is played in more than 50 countries worldwide, but the global centre of the modern game is generally acknowledged to be Scotland.

General Rules

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.

Click on the short YouTube video on the right to see more on the basics of lawn bowling.


Bowling at Dunbar

We believe lawn bowling is as much about friendship and socialization as it is about the game itself.  We have a wide range of players at our club, from beginners to bowlers who compete regularly in the men's and ladies leagues and tournaments around Vancouver.  Our objective is to make bowling convenient and fun for all of them.


We have therefore adopted more of a “drop-in” approach to club play.  We schedule at least 4 regular playing “slots” throughout the week, with a balance of evening/afternoon and weekend/weekday timings.  

Cheering Bowlers_edited.jpg

Image by Lindsay Elliott Photography (

Members are free to participate in 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.

We also like to hold special events throughout the season by combining potluck dinners with fun, mixed-team events.  It's one of the most pleasant ways to enjoy those long, warm summer evenings.

Last, but not least, we hold open sessions every Saturday morning from 1000 to noon during which anyone, member or non-member, can drop by to work on their skills or just try bowling for the first time.  There is no obligation and we provide the equipment and coaching free of charge.  Come by and try it!  We think you will be surprised by how fun and easy-to-learn the game is!

Useful Web Links

Below is a list of links to other sites that provide additional lawn bowling information and resources.


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