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The terms and vocabulary associated with lawn bowling can be confusing to novices. The following set of terms is by no means exhaustive, but is provided as clarification to new bowlers who wish to understand and take part in the conversations of the more experienced. Terms, discussions, and photographs are offered as guides. Please submit additional vocabulary, definitions and pictures, which you believe would be helpful.

Terms & Vocabulary Q & R

Quiet Head:

If all the bowls delivered during an end come to rest without connecting with other bowls or the jack the situation is known as a quiet head.  The name probably comes from the lack of the clunking sound made when bowls strike one another during play.

Quiet Head

A wheeled tool used to collect the bowls when an end is finished is called a rake. A rake is also known as a pusher.  The lead of the team that failed to score is usually the person who collects the bowls using the rake.  All team members can help to line up the bowls for the lead. Notice how in the illustration the player with the mat is kicking a bowl towards the path of the rake.


Players are ranked by bowling proficiency using a rating system wherein the higher the rating the better the bowler.  In our clubhouse a tag board is employed to signify a players rating.  In a draw bowlers with a rating of four are more likely to be skips while bowlers with a rating of one are probably going to be leads.  The tag board uses different coloured nametags.  As players arrive for a draw match they take their nametags from the rating board and place them in the draw room.

Release Point:

The lowest spot in the pendulum swing that a player makes during the delivery of a bowl is known as the release point.  The release point should be approximately one centimetre from the playing surface and in front of the lead foot.  When players let bowls go higher than the release point they may tend to bounce and are less likely to follow the planned draw line.

Release Point

The space on the green used by two teams to play a game of bowls is called a rink.  It is about fifteen feet wide.  In the illustration the imaginary rink boundaries are shown in white.

Rink Boundaries:

White markers are used to signify the left and right edges of the rink.  These markers are placed equidistant from the rink number on or above the bank.

Rink Boundaries
Rink Number:

The number naming a rink is named the rink number.  The same number is placed at either end of the rink.  This number is used to centre the mat and the jack.

Rink Number
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