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Lawn Bowl



Lawn Bowls, outdoor game in which players roll balls, called bowls or woods, over a flat lawn. The object is to get as many bowls as possible nearest a target called the jack. The game is played mainly in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa and to some extent in the United States, where it was introduced by English settlers in the late 17th century. There is an indoor variety of lawn bowls and other forms more popular in continental Europe. Among the latter is boccie (or bocce), played in Italy and also in the United States. World lawn bowls competition is administered by the International Bowling Board, which was established in 1905.

 The lawn, or green, on which the game is played must be at least 40 yd (at least 36 m) square, surrounded by a ditch 12 in (30 cm) deep and 12 in wide, enclosed by a sloping bank. The green is divided lengthwise by strings into six "rinks," or alleys, 18 to 21 ft (5.4 to 6.3 m) wide. Bowlers must stand with at least one foot on a rubber mat in the center of the rink being played; the back edge of the mat must be 4 ft (1.2 m) from the ditch. Matches may be played by either individuals (singles) or by teams of two to four players (pairs, triples, and fours).

 The bowls may not be more than 16.5 in (41.9 cm) in circumference or 3.5 lb (1.6 kg) in weight. They are made of wood, hardened rubber, or a synthetic composition and are flattened (biased) slightly on one side so that they roll with a curve. In singles and pairs, each player has four bowls while in triples, each player has three bowls and in fours competition, there are two bowls per player. The bowls are rolled alternately by the opposing players toward the jack, a smaller white ball, 2.5 in (6.3 cm) in diameter. Each bowl nearer the jack than any bowl rolled by an opponent scores a point. Bowls are termed dead if they travel less than 15 yd (13.5 m) from the mat, come to rest outside the rink, or go into the ditch without touching the jack. Bowls that hit the jack on their initial roll are called touchers; they remain potential scorers wherever they land. An end is completed when all bowls have been rolled. Matches may be played for a certain number of ends, usually 12 or 14, or until a particular point total is reached.