Bowls is an ancient sport, traced back to the 13th century in England, and the world's oldest surviving bowling green is the Southampton Old Bowling Green, which was first used in 1299.
It is a lawn game in which the objective is to roll slightly asymmetric balls so that they stop close to a smaller "jack". It is played on a pitch which may be flat or convex.
Bowls is normally played outdoors although there are some indoor venues and the surface is either natural grass or artificial turf. Each game usually consists of 21 turns, or 'ends' and the players have to roll their bowls from the starting mat towards the jack.
Each player has a set number of bowls (4 in singles & pairs, 3 in triples and 2 each in fours) and points are awarded for each bowl closer to the jack than the opposing team.
In flat green bowls the game is played on a large, rectangular and precisely levelled surface called a 'Bowling Green' which is divided in parallel playing areas called rinks
In Crown Green Bowls, the entire green area is used, and the player can send the jack anywhere that they choose on the playing area. The green in this game is more akin to a golf green, with lots of undulation and uneven ground. Crown Green Bowls is very popular mostly in the North of England but also in Wales, West Midlands and Shropshire.