Some Bowls Terms

Rink - Area of the green on which a game is played. The name also given to a team of four players.

Head - All of the bowls already played, and still on the rink.

Draw - Delivering a bowl with just enough weight to finish close to the jack.

Running Shot - A shot played with enough weight to keep the bowl running straight but allowing it to bend as it nears it's target ( often used to remove an opposition bowl or move the jack ).

Firing Shot ( in some areas known as Brushing ) - Played with a lot of weight to make sure the bowl runs straight ( used to remove bowls or put the jack in the ditch ).

Wick - An unintentional lucky bowl which bounces (or wicks') off another bowl.

Blocker - A bowl played short of the head to protect bowls in the head.

Back Bowl - This is a bowl - usually played deliberately - that finishes in a position behind the jack. A tactical bowl which is placed there in case the jack is moved back.

Toucher - If, before it stops, a bowl touches the Jack it is called a 'toucher' and is marked with chalk. A bowl which goes into the ditch is 'dead' and is removed but a toucher is left as it can still count.

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The simplicity of bowls is one of its many attractions but there are some rules of etiquette which should be observed.


Do not distract your opponent when he, or she, is playing their bowls.

Be ready to play when it is your turn.

Bowls should not be kicked in until the shot has been decided.

Respect novices as you would an experienced player - you were once a beginner.

When an opponents bowl looks like it may promote one of your bowls don't make remarks such as, 'hit it hard' or 'turn it in'.

If one of your players gets a lucky 'wick' don't congratulate him, or her, as if it was a good shot.

Remember that in a fours game it is the THIRD player that decides the shots.

In all games the second player keeps the score.

Win or lose, congratulate your opponent - keep your frustrations off the green.

REMEMBER. It is only a game, ENJOY IT.

Aberlady Bowling Club - Centenary Year

Centenary Game 1988

It is thought that Aberlady Bowling Club began in 1888. This is based on a copy of the original lease which the club has. Although, in recent years a set of bowls has come to light which, if the inscription has been deciphered correctly ( it says 1887 ), predates the year it is thought the club was established. As this information was not known at the time , in 1988 the club went ahead with a range of celebrations to commemorate the centenary.

This involved a series of special games throughout the season. As there was so many evenings taken up with these extra events as well as the normal league games and competition ties, the Saturday and Tuesday 'hat games' were cancelled for that season.

One of these extra games was a challenge match against the Scottish Bowling Association, which we believe was an unusual event at the time. The above photograph shows all those players who took part in that game.

Since then Aberlady BC has held further celebrations to commemorate their 125th anniversary.

Clubhouse As It Is Today