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Bowling Terms

  • Green - the overall playing surface

  • Rink - the part of the green on which each game is played

  • Mat - the small mat (36 cm by 60 cm) that is used when delivering your bowl

  • Groundsheet - the large mat that is regularly used to protect the grass during the delivery

  • Jack - a  small solid ball rolled down the green as a target

  • Head - the group of bowls that have come to rest and are in play

  • Bowl - an almost round ball of different sizes and weights

  • Bias – the "almost round" part of a bowl that causes it to travel a curved path

  • Emblem (large and small) - used to determine the bias direction of the bowl

  • Forehand - for the right-handed player, the bowl is delivered so that the curve of the bowl is from right to left

  • Backhand - for the right-handed player, the bowl is delivered so that the curve of the bowl is from left to right

  • Weight - the speed of the bowl as it is delivered

  • Toucher - a bowl which has contacted the jack and is "chalked" to indicate this status

  • Back Bowl - a bowl that has come to rest beyond the jack or the main body of bowls in the head

  • Measure - device used to determine which bowl is nearest the jack.

  • Skip - the person who directs play for the team

  • Vice - directs the play when the skip is on the mat and also measures the bowls in the head when required

  • Lead - the first player on the team

Get Started On Time

Play starts at a specific time, either morning or evening. The start times are set by the league convener. All bowlers are requested to arrive promptly 15 minutes prior to the start time. This allows time for the convener to organize the teams and for the players to get the equipment (two mats, two rakes and one jack) set up on the rink.

Lining Up The Jack

A flip of a coin decides which team goes first.  The leading edge of the mat is placed a minimum of 2 meters (6 feet) from the ditch in front of the rink number. The jack must be rolled past the hog line to a minimum of 21 metres and centred to the other end rink number. At the end of play, the players that did not bring out the equipment are responsible for putting the equipment away in the equipment storage shed.

Stretching Exercises

Warming up with stretching exercises can prevent injury. There are nine exercises pictured in the glass case on the veranda. We want to thank FreeFlo Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Centre in Lakefield for recommending these stretches. We encourage all members to take the time to do them. If not, then you may be calling FreeFlo for their services!

Game Interruption & Cancellations

In the event of rain, lightning or thunderstorms, the decision to call the games will be the responsibility of the game convener. The decision will be communicated by phone or text. Email is discouraged because not all members are online all the time.

Bowling Equipment

To assist new bowlers and people who just want to give it a try at one of our open leagues, our club provides a suitable set of bowls of various sizes. We encourage players to eventually purchase their own bowls. Club bowls are stored in our equipment shed along with the rakes, mats, jacks and ground sheets.

Bowling Shop

We have arranged for members to shop locally online for shirts, grip and shoes with For new bowls please contact the OLBA website for the closest distributor.

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Bowling Availability

The greens are open for use by our members every day of the week other than daytime league play and tournament days.

Shoes & Dress Code

All members are required to wear flat (no raised heel) and smooth soled shoes (no treads) in order not to damage our playing surface. Open backed sandals are permitted but only with a back strap. Our OLBA insurance requires all players to comply with safe footwear.


Dress is casual. Loose clothing is most popular, since freedom of movement is desirable. For league play and club tournaments members are encouraged to wear casual dress shirts, polo style shirts or blouses, skirts, dresses, slacks or walking shorts of any colour. For district open tournaments and OLBA play downs at our club, whites or matching outfits for a team must be in the same colour.


Remember before, during and after each game that our club is built on fellowship, good clean sport, and a lot of fun. It matters not if you win or lose, but how you play the game.

Player Safety

By its very nature, physical activity can present some risk of injury. Members are encouraged to stretch and warm up before bowling and to disclose any existing health condition. Please note that there shall be no smoking on the playing rinks, in the clubhouse or on the veranda. If a member has an emergency medical situation or is injured, please call 911.

Volunteer Expectations

Throughout the season there will be events, both on the green and in the clubhouse, that require volunteers. If you are asked, please be prepared to do what you can to support our club activities. When asked to volunteer, it will be for a specific role, or job or task for a specific time period. Being a volunteer adds to the fun, as well as both the social and physical health of being a lawn bowler. Every member is expected to volunteer at something to be part of the club. Working together, we can maintain an excellent clubhouse and greens.

Hearing From You

If you have some ideas that will improve the lawn bowling experience, please send us a note. A director from the board may contact you for further information. Alternately, if you have a comment or concern, please call or email our President Betty Wade at 705 930-1116 or After review by the board, a response will be provided as quickly as possible via email. 

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