Indoor and Outdoor Bowling in East Devon

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Honiton Bowling Club,

Bowling Green Lane,

Off Streamers Meadows,

Honiton, EX14 2DP

Tel: 01404 46168

Tony Tooley | Honiton Bowling Club| Copyright © 2021 | Privacy Policy  


The history of Bowls goes back to ancient times, at least 5,000 years.

The Egyptians played a version using rounded stones, and possibly also a form of skittles.

Bowls has evolved over the centuries, and today it has many variations; the French Boules and Canadian Curling being extreme examples. In the U.K. there are Skittles, Ten Pin, Crown Green, Lawn and Short Mat versions.


In England, the flat green lawn game, as played today, comes under the control of two national bodies, one for the outdoor game, Bowls England and for the Indoor game the English Indoor Bowling Association. Scotland has its own controlling bodies. In turn, each County has its own controlling bodies. In Devon it is Bowls Devon for the outdoor game. For the indoor game there isone for the ladies, the DCLIBA, and for the men,the DCIBA.

Bowls basics

The object of the sport of bowls is essentially simple. It is played on a square of closely cut grass or in the case of indoor game, carpet  called ‘the green’, which is divided into playing areas called rinks. The green is surrounded by a small ditch to catch bowls which leave the green, and a bank upon which markers indicate the corner and centre of each rink.

Players take turns to deliver their bowls from a mat at one end of the rink towards a small target ball, often referred to as ‘the jack’, at the other end. Bowls are shaped so that they take a curved path towards the jack. To be successful the bowl must be delivered with the correct “weight” (push), along the correct line.

The object is to get one or more of your bowls closer to the jack than those of your opponents on each end – one point is scored for each counting bowl.

There are many different formats to the game, but the most common in England are singles or in teams of pairs, triples or fours. In singles, the winner is usually the first to score 21 points. In the other three formats, the winner is the team that scores the most points over a set number of ends.

There are a number of websites that both sell equipment and  also have excellent advice sections about the game. One in particular worth looking at for information is