Developing Controlled Draws in Indoor Bowls

The Importance of Developing Controlled Draws

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on developing controlled draws in indoor bowls. If you’re an avid bowler looking to improve your skills and take your game to the next level, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will provide you with the essential techniques and strategies to master controlled draws, allowing you to consistently hit your target and achieve better results on the indoor bowls green.

Indoor bowls is a precision sport that requires a combination of skill, strategy, and mental focus. The controlled draw is a fundamental shot in the game, allowing players to deliver their bowls with accuracy and precision to reach the desired target. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, developing this skill will greatly enhance your performance and give you a competitive edge.

Throughout this article, we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of controlled draws, provide detailed explanations of various techniques, and offer valuable tips and insights from seasoned professionals. By the end, you will have a solid understanding of how to develop controlled draws and be well-equipped to excel in your indoor bowls journey.

Advantages of Developing Controlled Draws

Controlled draws offer numerous advantages for indoor bowls players. By mastering this essential skill, you can significantly enhance your game and improve your chances of success on the green. Let’s take a closer look at some of the key advantages of developing controlled draws:

  • 🎯 Increased Accuracy: Controlled draws allow you to precisely target specific areas on the indoor bowls green, giving you a better chance of scoring points and winning games.
  • 🎯 Versatility: Mastering controlled draws opens up a world of possibilities in terms of shot selection, enabling you to adapt to various game situations and overcome challenging obstacles.
  • 🎯 Strategic Advantage: By consistently delivering controlled draws, you can strategically position your bowls to gain a competitive edge over your opponents, making it harder for them to score points.
  • 🎯 Confidence Boost: Developing this skill will boost your confidence on the indoor bowls green, allowing you to approach each shot with a calm and focused mindset.
  • 🎯 Improved Consistency: Controlled draws require precise execution, leading to improved consistency in your shots and overall performance.
  • 🎯 Enhanced Decision Making: As you become more proficient in controlled draws, you’ll develop a better understanding of the game and make smarter decisions on shot selection and strategy.
  • 🎯 Enjoyment and Satisfaction: There’s nothing quite like the feeling of executing a perfectly controlled draw and seeing your bowl land exactly where you intended. It brings a sense of enjoyment and satisfaction to your indoor bowls experience.
  • Disadvantages of Developing Controlled Draws

    While there are numerous advantages to developing controlled draws, it’s important to recognize that there are also some potential disadvantages. By understanding these challenges, you can better prepare yourself and work towards overcoming them. Let’s explore the disadvantages of developing controlled draws:

  • ⛔️ Steep Learning Curve: Mastering controlled draws requires time, practice, and patience. It may take a while to develop the necessary skills and consistency.
  • ⛔️ Mental Pressure: The pressure to execute controlled draws accurately can be mentally challenging, especially in high-stakes games or competitions.
  • ⛔️ Environmental Factors: Factors such as rink conditions, humidity, and air circulation can affect the performance of controlled draws, making consistency more challenging.
  • ⛔️ Physical Demands: Controlled draws require a combination of precise body movements, balance, and coordination. It may be physically demanding, especially for players with limited mobility or physical fitness.
  • ⛔️ Limited Margin for Error: Controlled draws require a high level of precision, leaving little room for error. Even minor mistakes in delivery or line can result in unfavorable outcomes.
  • ⛔️ Vulnerability to Defensive Play: Skilled opponents can counter controlled draws with defensive strategies, making it harder to achieve desired results.
  • ⛔️ Adaptability Challenges: While controlled draws are versatile, there may be situations where other shot types, such as drives or weighted shots, are more suitable for achieving specific game objectives.
  • Techniques for Developing Controlled Draws

    Now that we’ve explored the advantages and disadvantages of controlled draws, let’s dive into the techniques and strategies that will help you develop this essential skill. Below, we’ll outline a step-by-step approach to mastering controlled draws, covering everything from grip and delivery to line and weight control.

    1. Grip

    A proper grip is the foundation of a controlled draw. It allows you to have control over the bowl and make precise adjustments during delivery. The most common grip used in indoor bowls is the “claw grip.” This grip involves placing your fingertips on the running surface of the bowl, with your thumb resting on top. Ensure that your grip is firm but not too tight, allowing for a smooth release.

    When gripping the bowl, it’s essential to find a comfortable position that suits your hand size and shape. Experiment with different grip styles and positions to determine what works best for you. The goal is to have a secure grip that allows for control and flexibility during the delivery.

    Once you’ve found a comfortable grip, practice it consistently to develop muscle memory. The more you use the same grip, the more natural and automatic it will become. This will contribute to the overall accuracy and consistency of your controlled draws.

    2. Delivery

    The delivery is where the controlled draw comes to life. It’s essential to maintain a consistent and balanced stance throughout the delivery. Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, perpendicular to the target. Hold the bowl at waist height, keeping it close to your body.

    As you prepare to deliver the bowl, take a step forward with your non-dominant foot. This step helps generate momentum and aids in a smooth delivery. Keep your body aligned with the target and avoid excessive movement or shifting during the delivery.

    As you bring the bowl forward, maintain a relaxed grip and a fluid motion. The delivery should feel natural and comfortable, without any jerky or forced movements. Avoid gripping the bowl too tightly, as it can restrict your ability to release the bowl smoothly.

    As you release the bowl, ensure a controlled and fluid motion, maintaining your grip and following through with your arm. The follow-through is crucial for accuracy and control. Allow your arm to continue its natural path even after releasing the bowl, ensuring a smooth and complete delivery.

    3. Line

    The line refers to the path the bowl takes from your hand to the target. To achieve a controlled draw, you need to aim for a specific line that will guide your bowl to the desired location. Visualize the line you want the bowl to follow and adjust your stance and delivery accordingly.

    The key to achieving a consistent line is to develop a reliable point of reference. Find a spot on the indoor bowls green that you can use as a guide for your line. It could be a spot on the carpet, a mark on the rink, or even an imaginary line between two specific points.

    During your setup and delivery, keep your eyes focused on this point of reference. Make a conscious effort to align your body, grip, and delivery to ensure that your bowl follows the desired line. Consistency is key, so practice delivering bowls along the same line repeatedly to develop muscle memory.

    4. Weight Control

    Weight control is the ability to deliver the bowl with the right amount of force to reach the target. It’s a delicate balance between too much weight, causing the bowl to overshoot, and too little weight, causing it to fall short. Developing weight control requires practice and a keen understanding of the speed of the indoor bowls green.

    One effective way to improve weight control is by observing and adapting to the speed of the indoor bowls green. During warm-up or practice sessions, pay close attention to the speed of the green. Take note of how far your bowls travel with different levels of force. Adjust your delivery accordingly to achieve the desired weight.

    Another technique to improve weight control is by practicing with different bowl sizes and weights. Experiment with bowls of varying sizes and weights to gain a better understanding of how each bowl behaves on the green. This will help you develop a better feel for the required force needed to achieve specific distances.

    Consistency is crucial when it comes to weight control. Practice delivering bowls with the same level of force repeatedly, targeting different distances. Over time, you’ll develop a better sense of the required weight for different shots, enhancing your overall control and accuracy.

    5. Reading the Green

    To enhance your controlled draw skills, it’s essential to read the indoor bowls green accurately. Factors such as carpet speed, bias, and rink conditions can significantly impact the path and behavior of the bowl. Take time to observe and analyze the green before your game or practice session.

    Start by walking the rink and observing any irregularities or variations in carpet speed. Look for areas that may affect the line or weight of your controlled draws. Pay attention to any slopes, bumps, or inconsistencies on the green, as they can influence the behavior of your bowls.

    Once you have a good understanding of the green’s characteristics, adjust your shots accordingly. Adapt your line and weight control to account for any factors that may affect the bowl’s trajectory. This adaptability will help you make more accurate and successful controlled draws, even in challenging conditions.

    6. Practice Drills

    Consistent practice is key to developing controlled draws. Incorporate specific drills into your training routine to focus on improving various aspects of the shot. For example, you can set up targets on the indoor bowls green and aim to consistently hit them with your draws.

    One effective drill is the “Target Practice” drill. Set up a series of targets at different distances on the indoor bowls green. Start with shorter distances and gradually increase the difficulty as you improve. Focus on delivering controlled draws that consistently hit the targets, both in terms of line and weight.

    Another useful drill is the “Weight Control” drill. Place a target at a specific distance and practice delivering bowls with different levels of force. Start with a light draw and gradually increase the weight with each delivery. The goal is to develop a better feel for the required force needed to achieve specific distances accurately.

    By incorporating these drills into your practice routine, you’ll be able to focus on specific aspects of controlled draws and improve your skills more effectively. Consistent practice and repetition are essential for developing muscle memory and achieving greater accuracy and control.

    7. Mental Focus and Visualization

    Developing controlled draws also requires mental focus and visualization. Before each shot, take a moment to visualize the line, weight, and landing spot of your bowl. Clear your mind of any distractions and focus solely on executing the shot.

    Mental focus plays a crucial role in achieving consistent and accurate controlled draws. As you approach the delivery, block out any external distractions and concentrate on the task at hand. Visualize the bowl following the desired line and reaching the intended target. This mental imagery helps reinforce the muscle memory and improves your ability to execute controlled draws effectively.

    Another technique for enhancing mental focus is deep breathing and relaxation exercises. Take a few deep breaths before each shot to calm your mind and body. This practice helps reduce tension and promotes a focused and composed state of mind.

    Additionally, practice positive self-talk and affirmations to boost your confidence and maintain a positive mindset. Encourage yourself with words of affirmation such as “I am capable of delivering accurate controlled draws” or “I have the skills to hit my target consistently.” These positive affirmations help build confidence and reinforce your belief in your abilities.

    By training your mind to stay calm and focused, you’ll be able to deliver controlled draws more consistently. Mental focus and visualization are powerful tools that can significantly enhance your performance on the indoor bowls green.

    FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

    1. How long does it take to master controlled draws?

    Mastering controlled draws is a journey that varies from person to person. It depends on factors such as your prior experience, practice routine, and dedication. With consistent practice and a focus on the techniques outlined in this article, you can expect to see improvement over time. However, it’s important to understand that mastery is an ongoing process, and there’s always room for growth and refinement.

    2. Can controlled draws be used in outdoor bowls as well?

    While the techniques for controlled draws are similar in both indoor and outdoor bowls, there are some differences due to variations in green conditions and bowl bias. It’s important to adapt your approach based on the specific environment you’re playing in. Outdoor greens often have different speeds and slopes, requiring adjustments in line and weight control. However, the foundational principles of controlled draws remain the same.

    3. Are there any specific exercises to improve grip strength for controlled draws?

    While grip strength is important for controlled draws, it’s primarily achieved through regular practice and consistent use of the correct grip technique. However, exercises such as hand and forearm stretches, grip strengtheners, and wrist curls can help improve overall hand and arm strength, which can indirectly enhance your grip for controlled draws.

    4. How can I improve my consistency in executing controlled draws?

    Consistency in executing controlled draws comes with practice and a focus on technique. Ensure that you’re following the proper grip, delivery, line, and weight control techniques outlined in this article. Additionally, incorporating specific drills into your training routine that focus on repetition and muscle memory will help improve your consistency over time.

    5. What should I do if I consistently fall short or overshoot my target?

    If you consistently fall short or overshoot your desired target, it’s essential to analyze your delivery and weight control. Pay attention to your body position, grip, and release. Practice delivering bowls at different speeds to develop a better feel for weight control. Additionally, observe the speed and behaviorof the indoor bowls green and adjust your shot accordingly. It’s also important to consider the line you’re taking. If you consistently fall short, you may need to adjust your line to aim slightly wider or increase the weight of your delivery. On the other hand, if you consistently overshoot, try aiming slightly narrower or reducing the weight of your delivery. By making these adjustments and practicing with intent, you can gradually improve your accuracy and hit your target more consistently.

    6. Can I use controlled draws to strategically position my bowls for future shots?

    Absolutely! Controlled draws are not only about accuracy, but they also provide an opportunity to strategically position your bowls for future shots. By delivering controlled draws to specific areas on the indoor bowls green, you can influence the positioning of your bowls and create advantageous setups for subsequent shots.

    Strategic positioning is particularly useful when playing tactical shots or setting up for specific game objectives. For example, you can use controlled draws to place your bowls in front of your opponent’s bowls, blocking their path or making it more challenging for them to score points. You can also use controlled draws to create a cluster of bowls near the jack, making it difficult for your opponents to dislodge them.

    By understanding the layout of the green, anticipating your opponent’s moves, and strategically placing your bowls with controlled draws, you can gain a significant advantage in the game. This aspect of controlled draws adds depth and complexity to your gameplay, making it both challenging and rewarding.

    7. Are there any specific techniques for controlled draws on faster indoor bowls greens?

    On faster indoor bowls greens, it’s crucial to pay extra attention to weight control and line. The increased speed of the green requires a lighter touch and more precision in your delivery. Here are some techniques to consider for controlled draws on faster indoor bowls greens:

  • ⚡️ Lighter Weight: Adjust the weight of your delivery to account for the faster green. Use a lighter touch and reduce the force with which you release the bowl. This allows the bowl to glide smoothly and maintain better control throughout its trajectory.
  • ⚡️ Wider Line: In some cases, a wider line may be necessary to counter the increased speed. By aiming slightly wider, you allow the bowl to cover more ground and gradually curve towards the target. Experiment with different lines to find the optimal path for your controlled draw on the faster green.
  • ⚡️ Early Release: To counter the increased speed, consider releasing the bowl slightly earlier in your delivery. This allows the bowl to travel a longer distance and gives it more time to curve towards the target. Practice the timing of your release to find the sweet spot for controlled draws on faster greens.
  • ⚡️ Adapt to Bias: Faster greens can accentuate the bias of the bowl, causing it to curve more or exhibit more pronounced swing. Be aware of the bias of your bowls and adjust your delivery and line accordingly. Experiment with different bowls to find the ones that perform best on faster greens.
  • Remember, practice is essential to develop the skills and adaptability required for controlled draws on faster indoor bowls greens. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the speed and behavior of the green, adjust your technique accordingly, and fine-tune your controlled draws for optimal performance.


    Mastering controlled draws in indoor bowls is a journey that requires dedication, practice, and a focus on technique. By following the techniques and strategies outlined in this comprehensive guide, you will be well-equipped to develop this essential skill and enhance your performance on the indoor bowls green.

    Remember, the advantages of controlled draws, such as increased accuracy, strategic advantage, and improved consistency, make it a worthwhile skill to develop. While there may be challenges along the way, the satisfaction and enjoyment of executing a perfectly controlled draw are unparalleled.

    So, start practicing, stay focused, and embrace the process. With time and effort, you’ll become a master of controlled draws, taking your indoor bowls game to new heights. Good luck and enjoy the journey!


    The information provided in this article is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician, coach, or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding indoor bowls techniques or any other sport. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article.

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