How the game is played
The game is played in broadly the same way, and provides the same enjoyment and has the same attractions as lawn bowls and, indeed, many players participate in both games. The bowls themselves, and the smooth soled heel less footwear are the same as those used outdoors.
The object is for each player in a singles game or each team in a pairs, triples or fours to gain as many shots as possible by getting their bowls nearer to the jack than their opponents, and so outscore them.
The main differences in the playing conditions are the size of the playing area, the block that occupies the mid-position of the rink mat, and the ditch, which is actually a defined area of the mat surface. The presence of the block, which prevents players from playing with force directly towards an opponents bowl to knock it out of a scoring position, and the narrow playing area, requires players to develop skill in using the natural bias on the bowls to bowl round the block. Bowls that touch the block, and those that come to rest in the dead area or in the ditch (other than those that touch the jack before going into the ditch) are declared “dead” and removed from the mat before the next bowl is delivered.
The primary skill requirement is in the fact that no two mats perform identically and all village halls have floors that are not perfectly flat therefore every competitive match is a measure of the ability of the visiting team to conquer an unfamiliar playing surface.