Tips and resources to help you become a better bowler

Bowler Q&A

Learning to bowl

Does Cosburn have coaches to help me learn how to bowl?

Yes. When you first tried bowling at Cosburn, you probably met one of our club coaches. These experienced members have completed a special training program in coaching techniques, strategies, and ethics for lawn bowling. Cosburn’s current club coaches are:

Eunice Chaffey
Wendy Dobson
George Ferries
Laila Hassan
Sandy Johnson
Kyle Knoeck
Nancy Lord
Nanci Myers
Keith Park
Tom Trattner
Mary Lou Santos
Stephen Walsh
Martin Zibauer

Feel free to ask a club coach if you have a question about the game, need help with a delivery problem, or just want some ideas for practice drills. You can also email the club’s coaching chair at

Do new Cosburn bowlers play with experienced bowlers?
Yes. Once you’ve learned the basics, you’ll be able to play in games with bowlers of all levels of experience. When you play, watch the other bowlers to see how they deliver the bowl, how the game proceeds, and how the skip uses strategy in the game. You can learn hand signals and bowls terminology from other players. And if you have a question, just ask—most experienced bowlers are friendly and enjoy sharing their knowledge.

Of course, some bowlers have unorthodox delivery styles that may work well for them but won’t work for you. Sometimes, you can learn what not to do from other bowlers.

Can I practise on my own?
Yes. Many bowlers arrive early for a jitney to play a few practice ends before the game starts. Others come to the club specifically for a practice session. If you use club bowls, you’ll need to practice when the clubhouse is open; once you have your own bowls you can practise any time. If the greens are being used for a regular jitney, a tournament, or a special event, you may be asked to move, but there’s almost always a free rink or two for practice.

Coaches will tell you to always practise with intention. Rather than just throwing bowls casually, have a specific goal for your practice session. You could work on your aim or your weight, for example. Perhaps you want to correct a specific delivery fault that is giving you trouble. Or you could practise a certain type of shot, such as a draw or a runner.

Does Cosburn hold coaching sessions or clinics where I can improve my skills?
Yes. During the bowls season, Cosburn’s coaching chair may organize special coaching clinics—a few hours dedicated to helping our members develop their skills and bowls knowledge. We’ve offered clinics for new bowlers, vices, skips and tournament players, as well as clinics that focus on weight and delivery. Clinics will be announced at the club and through email. You can also check our online special events calendar.
What about online resources for lawn bowling?

Online videos are a great resource for bowlers. You can watch high-level competition games, training videos from top coaches around the world, and Nick Brett’s “ridiculous” bowls shot that deservedly went viral in January 2020. Here are some Youtube channels, playlists, and video series we watch:

Auckland Bowls, Bowls Basics Series
Bowls NZ coaching playlist
Build Your Skills channel
Lachlan Tighe’s channel

Many bowls organizations have information and tips for bowlers on their websites. Here are links to a few prominent organizations:
Ontario Lawn Bowling Association
Bowls Canada Boulingrin
World Bowls

What are the rules that govern lawn bowling?
In jitneys and tournament games, Cosburn generally follows rules set by the OLBA, also known as “Conditions of Play.” Those rules are based ultimately on the Laws of the Sport, which are set by the sport’s international federation, World Bowls.

Cosburn’s club bylaws are the rules that guide how the club is run.

I have a friend who wants to try bowling—can I bring them to the club?
Yes! Club members can bring guests to the club. Guests can have up to three free visits before we require that they become members. We’ll ask them to sign a guest waiver, and you are responsible for their behaviour at the club. If you’re bringing a non-bowler, it’s a good idea to arrange to meet a club coach who will give your guest an introduction to the game.

Do you have a question we haven’t answered?
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