Images of Bowling and Lawn Bowling now on Flickr

There are two types of bowling—lawn and indoor—and both versions of the game can trace their origins to ancient Egypt.

Lawn bowling, or “bowls,” is played outside on a flat lawn known as the “green.” The object is to roll your “bowls” (bowling balls) so that as many of them as possible come as near as possible to the “jack,” a smaller white bowl, as compared to your competitor’s attempts. Lawn bowling was brought to Canada by British officers, and the first green was installed in the garrison at Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia.

Colour photograph of two lawn bowling teams. A woman and man are both in the midst of throwing their bowls down the lawn.

Nine people lawn bowling at Riding Mountain National Park, Manitoba (MIKAN 4292934)

Black and white photograph of a male pinsetter sitting above the alley of a five-pin game as a ball strikes the pins.

Pinsetter at work in bowling alley, No. 2 Convalescent Hospital, RCAF, Young Division, Hamilton, Ontario (MIKAN 3384689)

Indoor bowling consists of a long wooden lane and pins set up at the far end. A player propels a ball down the lane in an attempt to knock down as many of the pins as possible. There are two types of indoor bowling: ten-pin and five-pin. Ten-pin bowling was developed in the United States in the 19th century. Five-pin bowling is a Canadian variant created in Toronto between 1908 and 1909. It uses only five pins, a smaller ball and a modified scoring system. This game quickly gained popularity across Canada along with its American ten-pin cousin.

Canadians enjoy lawn bowling and indoor bowling at numerous clubs and lanes across the country, as well as at international competitions. Both games have a long history as participatory sports in Canada.

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