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Commonwealth Games 2022 | Understanding Lawn Bowls – sport that has been part of CWG since its inaugural edition

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India women’s fours team – Pinki, Lovely Choubey, Nayanmoni Saikia and Rupa Rani Tirkey – will play the historic Lawn Bowls final against South Africa at the 2022 Commonwealth Games on Tuesday (August 2).

The Indian team scripted history, ensuring the nation’s first-ever Commonwealth Games medal in the sport after defeating New Zealand 16-13 in the semi-final. Ahead of the final against powerhouse South Africa, let’s understand the sport, its rules and scoring system.

Lawn Bowls, which depends on precision and athlete’s judgement, has been part of the Commonwealth Games since its inaugural edition in 1930. England (51 medals), Australia (50 medals) and South Africa (44 medals) are the all-time top three most dominating nations in the history of Lawn Bowls. India, who have competed in the discipline in the 2010, 2014 and 2018 CWG editions, have a best finish of fourth position, which was achieved in the women’s triples event in 2010 and the men’s fours event in 2014.

RULES

Lawn Bowls can be played in four categories – singles, pairs, triples and fours. The one who rolls the ball first is called the lead and the one who rolls it last is known as the skip. The vertical ends of the rink are called the ends. An individual lawn bowler or a team has to roll all their bowls from one end with the aim of hitting the jack. Points are awarded after all the balls are rolled from each end.

The lead gets to choose the end from where to begin after the coin toss. A mat is placed and jack is rolled towards the other end. The jack has to travel at least 23m to be considered in play. At the 2022 Commonwealth Games, in a singles match, each player has to roll four balls from one each.

The outcome of a singles match is determined by whoever reaches 21 points first. Meanwhile, in pairs, triples and fours, each lawn bowler gets to roll two balls from one end. The result of pairs and triples matches is decided after 18 ends, while a fours match is determined after 15 ends. At the 2022 Commonwealth Games, if there is a tie in group matches, both teams share a point each. But if a tie occurs in the knockout stage, then extra ends are played until a winner emerges. In the singles, there cannot be a tie.

SCORING SYSTEM

The points are calculated after each end is completed by both lawn bowlers and or teams. Each singles bowler or team is awarded points for the number of bowls that are closer to the jack when compared with their opposition.

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