Although still having a limited following in continental Europe this sport, of English origin, played everywhere throughout the Commonwealth is developing at great pace, and is increasingly attracting interest! At the Domaine Les Ranchisses, a top-of-the-range campsite in the Ardèche where the chic mingles with the unusual, we have chosen to offer our holidaymakers a top level facility, the leading “Bowls Social Club” designated by the FFLB (French Lawn Bowls Federation) in France, so that they can discover and play this sport!
Before understanding the rules, it would be useful to give you an overview of the equipment necessary to play this sport. Firstly, the ground upon which the sport is played is called the “bowling green”. It is a flat area which may be indoor or outdoor, laid to lawn or carpeted. The perimeter of the bowling green consists of a sand ditch. To be regulation, the green must measure a minimum area of 36.6 m², and be divided into 6 parallel playing rinks. A small mat is placed upon the rink to provide a marker to make your delivery.
The bowls (woods) used for Lawn Bowls are indeed different from those used in other games of boules (such are French boules or boule lyonnaise - the latter involving a run up). Indeed, you will notice a difference in their shape as they are flat at the two poles of the sphere, giving rise to an asymmetrical shape. This is an unusual shape and has an unequal weight division, which makes for a curved trajectory on the bowl. To understand how to deliver the bowl, what better than taking advice from a seasoned player, and a little patience! This game of bowls also has a small ball called the jack. It is placed on the given rink at a sufficient distance from the mat to throw.
The aim of the game is fairly simple. Players each take turns to roll their bowls. Once all bowls have been rolled, you count up the points. For each bowl closer than the bowl of your opponent to the jack, you win a point. For the next “end”, you have to change ends and reverse the direction of play, and move the mat accordingly. During the delivery of the bowl, the player must keep their foot on or above the mat. Any bowl which falls into the ditch is declared a “dead” bowl. There is a reason why this sport requires a degree of technical skill. Nevertheless, it remains accessible to everyone and we are sure that you will quickly become great players of Lawn Bowls!
Lovers of Lawn Bowls and English tradition will be fond of wearing their bowling whites to play this sport. This is one of the most chic atmospheres on our Lawn Bowls green in the Ardèche! Fully dressed in white, you will be completely immersed within the “so British” customs of Lawn Bowls. Attention, this is not compulsory, you can wear what you wish but your shoes should be acceptable!
One thing is for sure, to discover and play lawn bowls in France, go to the Domaine Les Ranchisses - the leading designated bowling green in France! With Lawn Bowls, you are guaranteed to spend unforgettable times as a family or with friends at the heart of the Ardèche, in one of France’s loveliest campsites.