Indoor Bowls Techniques for Playing on Indoor Rinks with Limited Space


Welcome to our comprehensive guide on indoor bowls techniques for playing on indoor rinks with limited space. Whether you’re a seasoned bowler or just starting out, this article will provide you with valuable insights and strategies to enhance your indoor bowls game. With limited space, it’s important to understand the specific techniques and adaptations required to excel in this unique environment. So, let’s dive in and explore the world of indoor bowls!

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Indoor Bowls

Indoor bowls, just like any other sport, has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a closer look at both sides of the coin:

Advantages of Indoor Bowls

Indoor bowls can be played year-round, regardless of weather conditions. This makes it a highly accessible sport for enthusiasts of all ages and abilities. Whether it’s raining, snowing, or scorching hot outside, you can still enjoy a game of bowls in the comfort of an indoor rink.

Playing in an indoor environment with limited distractions allows players to focus and concentrate better on their game. Unlike outdoor greens where you may have to deal with external factors such as wind, sunlight, or noise, indoor rinks provide a controlled environment where you can fully immerse yourself in the game.

Indoor bowls often requires players to think strategically and make calculated moves. The limited space challenges players to be innovative and creative in their gameplay. You need to carefully analyze the positioning of the bowls, the angles, and the available space to come up with the best strategy to outmaneuver your opponents.

Indoor bowls provides an opportunity for individuals to connect and socialize with like-minded people. Joining a local club or league can foster a sense of community and belonging. You can meet new friends, share experiences, and enjoy the camaraderie that comes with being part of a bowling community.

Indoor bowls offers a competitive environment with year-round tournaments and competitions. Whether you’re a casual player looking to test your skills or a serious competitor aiming for championships, indoor bowls provides ample opportunities to hone your skills and showcase your talent.

Disadvantages of Indoor Bowls

The confined space of indoor rinks can pose a challenge, especially for players used to outdoor bowls. The reduced playing area requires precise shots and careful maneuvering. You need to be more accurate in your deliveries to avoid hitting other bowls or going out of bounds.

Indoor rinks often have a different playing surface compared to outdoor greens. The carpet or synthetic surface may have different speed and characteristics, which can affect the speed and trajectory of the bowls. This means you need to adapt your techniques and adjust your line and weight accordingly.

Unlike outdoor bowls, indoor rinks lack natural elements such as wind and sunlight. While this may seem like an advantage in terms of controlled conditions, it also means you need to adjust your strategies. For example, without wind, you can’t rely on the natural curve of the bowls, and you may need to use different techniques to achieve similar results.

Indoor bowls facilities can sometimes be noisy due to the presence of multiple games being played simultaneously. This can be distracting for some players and affect their concentration. It’s important to develop mental focus and learn to block out external distractions to maintain your performance.

Indoor bowls facilities may have limited availability, making it challenging for players to find regular practice time. Unlike outdoor greens that are often open to the public, indoor rinks may require reservations or have specific operating hours. This can hinder skill development and progression, as consistent practice is essential for improvement.

Indoor Bowls Techniques

Now that we’ve explored the advantages and disadvantages of indoor bowls, let’s delve into some key techniques that will help you excel in this unique environment:

1. Mastering Weight Control

Controlling the weight of your bowls is crucial in indoor bowls. Since the space is limited, precision becomes even more important. Practice delivering bowls of different weights to improve your accuracy. Start with lighter bowls and gradually increase the weight as you gain more control over your shots. Experiment with different delivery techniques, such as a pendulum swing or a straight-arm delivery, to find what works best for you.

When playing on indoor rinks, it’s important to understand the concept of “draw” weight. Draw shots involve delivering the bowl with just enough weight to reach the target without going too far. This requires a delicate touch and a keen sense of judgment. Practice controlling the weight of your bowls by adjusting the speed of your delivery and the angle of your release.

Another aspect of weight control is understanding the impact of the playing surface on the bowls’ speed. Indoor rinks may have a different carpet or synthetic surface, which can affect the pace of your bowls. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the surface and adjust your delivery accordingly. For example, if the surface is slower, you may need to apply more weight to achieve the desired distance.

2. Adapting to the Surface

Indoor rinks may have a different playing surface compared to outdoor greens. The carpet or synthetic material used on indoor rinks can vary in texture and speed. It’s essential to adapt your techniques to suit the specific characteristics of the surface.

One key aspect to consider is the pace of the surface. Indoor carpets are generally faster than outdoor greens, which means the bowls will travel at a higher speed. This requires adjustments in your delivery and line. Aim to release the bowls slightly wider and with less weight to account for the increased speed. Practice delivering bowls on different surfaces to develop a feel for the variations in speed.

Additionally, the texture of the surface can affect the grip and movement of the bowls. Some indoor rinks use synthetic surfaces that provide a consistent and predictable line, while others may have a carpet-like texture that requires additional adjustment. Experiment with different lines and angles to find the optimal path for your bowls on the specific surface.

Furthermore, consider the impact of the surface on bias. The bowls’ bias refers to their tendency to curve as they lose speed. Different surfaces can influence the bowls’ bias, so it’s important to observe and adapt. Pay attention to the line and trajectory of your bowls during practice sessions to understand how the surface affects their movement.

3. Utilizing Tactics and Strategies

Indoor bowls requires strategic thinking and tactical gameplay. While the limited space may seem restrictive, it actually opens up opportunities for creative and inventive strategies. Let’s explore some tactics that can give you an edge in indoor bowls:

3.1. Drawing Shots

The draw shot is a fundamental technique in indoor bowls. It involves delivering the bowl with the intention of stopping it as close as possible to the target, known as the jack. The goal is to gain points by having your bowls closer to the jack than your opponents’ bowls.

In indoor bowls, drawing shots are often the preferred strategy due to the limited space. By playing accurate draw shots, you can block your opponents’ access to the jack and create a defensive position. Practice drawing shots from different distances and angles to develop a consistent touch and improve your accuracy.

When playing drawing shots, pay attention to the line and weight of your delivery. The line refers to the path your bowl takes, while the weight refers to the amount of force applied. Aim to deliver the bowl with a smooth and controlled weight, allowing it to reach the target without overshooting.

Consider the position of your opponents’ bowls and the layout of the rink when deciding on your strategy. Look for gaps and opportunities to strategically position your bowls to gain a scoring advantage. Remember, precision and accuracy are key in drawing shots, so practice regularly to refine your skills.

3.2. Driving Shots

Driving shots involve delivering the bowl with enough force to remove one or more of your opponents’ bowls from play. This strategy is particularly useful when your opponents have positioned their bowls in strategic locations, blocking your access to the jack or preventing you from scoring points.

When executing driving shots, it’s important to assess the risk-reward balance. While driving shots can be highly effective in clearing the rink, they also carry the risk of taking out your own bowls or sending the jack into an unfavorable position. Analyze the layout of the rink and consider the potential outcomes before attempting a driving shot.

Driving shots require a more forceful delivery compared to drawing shots. Adjust your stance and grip to generate additional power while maintaining control. Aim to hit the targeted bowl or jack with enough force to remove it from play, while minimizing the chance of collateral damage.

Practice driving shots on a regular basis to develop your technique and improve your accuracy. Start with lighter weights and gradually increase the force as you gain confidence and control. Remember, driving shots are not always necessary in indoor bowls, so use them strategically when the situation calls for it.

3.3. Blocking Shots

Blocking shots involve strategically positioning your bowls to create obstacles for your opponents. By placing your bowls in strategic locations, you can limit the available space for your opponents to deliver their bowls and increase the difficulty of their shots.

When executing blocking shots, consider the layout of the rink and the positions of your opponents’ bowls. Look for areas where you can place your bowls to obstruct their path to the jack or limit their scoring opportunities. Aim to position your bowls in a way that forces your opponents to take more challenging shots or risk knocking their own bowls out of play.

Blocking shots require precision and accuracy in both line and weight. Adjust your delivery to account for the desired position of the blocking bowl. Practice different angles and lines to develop a repertoire of blocking shots that you can utilize in different situations.

Remember, blocking shots are not just about placing your bowls randomly. Analyze the game, anticipate your opponents’ moves, and strategically position your bowls to maximize their effectiveness. With practice and experience, you’ll become adept at creating obstacles and gaining an advantage in indoor bowls.

4. Enhancing Concentration

With potential distractions in the indoor environment, it’s important to enhance your concentration to maintain focus throughout the game. Here are some tips to help you improve your concentration:

4.1. Mindfulness Techniques

Mindfulness involves being fully present and aware of your thoughts, feelings, and sensations in the present moment. Practicing mindfulness techniques can help you stay focused and composed during the game. Take a few moments before each shot to center yourself and clear your mind of any distractions. Focus on your breathing and visualize your desired outcome.

You can also incorporate mindfulness into your pre-shot routine. Develop a ritual that helps you transition from external distractions to a state of focused concentration. This could include taking a deep breath, visualizing the shot, or repeating a positive affirmation.

By cultivating mindfulness, you can train your mind to stay present and engaged in the game, improving your decision-making and overall performance.

4.2. Pre-Shot Routine

Developing a pre-shot routine can help you maintain consistency and focus in your game. A pre-shot routine is a sequence of actions and mental preparations that you go through before each shot. It helps create a sense of familiarity and readiness, allowing you to execute your shots with confidence.

Your pre-shot routine can include visualizing the shot, checking the line and weight, adjusting your stance, and taking a moment to focus on your target. Experiment with different elements and find a routine that works best for you. Practice it consistently during training sessions and incorporate it into your game strategy.

Having a pre-shot routine not only helps you stay focused, but also provides a sense of rhythm and flow to your game. It can be a powerful tool in enhancing your concentration and boosting your performance in indoor bowls.

4.3. Mental Imagery

Mental imagery, also known as visualization, involves creating vivid mental images of successful shots or desired outcomes. By visualizing yourself executing perfect shots and achieving your goals, you can enhance your confidence and concentration.

Before each shot, take a moment to visualize the ideal trajectory, line, and weight of your bowl. Imagine the feeling of releasing the bowl smoothly and watching it land exactly where you intended. Engage all your senses in this mental imagery, including the sound of the bowl rolling and the feeling of satisfaction when you achieve your desired result.

Mental imagery helps train your mind to focus on positive outcomes and reinforces the muscle memory associated with successful shots. Practice mental imagery during training sessions and incorporate it into your pre-shot routine to improve your concentration and performance in indoor bowls.

5. Improving Delivery Accuracy

The confined space of indoor rinks demands precise delivery. To improve your accuracy, focus on the following aspects of your delivery:

5.1. Stance and Alignment

Your stance and alignment play a crucial role in delivering the bowls accurately. Start by positioning yourself with your dominant foot slightly forward and your body aligned with the intended line of delivery. This allows for a balanced and stable position throughout the delivery.

When gripping the bowl, ensure that your hand is positioned comfortably and securely. Experiment with different grips to find the one that feels most natural and allows for maximum control. The position of your hand and fingers should provide a stable and consistent release of the bowl.

As you prepare to deliver the bowl, focus on maintaining a smooth and controlled movement. Avoid any unnecessary tension or jerky motions that can affect your accuracy. Practice your stance and alignment regularly to develop muscle memory and improve your delivery accuracy.

5.2. Line of Delivery

The line of delivery refers to the path your bowl takes from your hand to the target. Achieving a consistent and accurate line is essential for precise deliveries. Start by visualizing the ideal line before each shot, considering factors such as the position of the jack and the layout of your opponents’ bowls.

When deliveringthe bowl, aim to release it in the direction of your intended line. Use your non-dominant hand as a guide to ensure a straight and consistent delivery. Keep your eyes focused on the target throughout the delivery, maintaining a steady and controlled release.

Practicing your line of delivery is crucial for improving accuracy. Set up markers or use lines on the indoor rink to help you visualize and align your shots. Engage in drills that specifically target your line, such as drawing shots to a specific point or practicing tight turns around obstacles. With time and practice, you’ll develop a more consistent and accurate line of delivery.

5.3. Weight Control

Controlling the weight of your bowls is essential for accurate deliveries in indoor bowls. The weight refers to the amount of force applied to the bowl, determining its distance and speed. To improve weight control, focus on the following:

First, develop a sense of touch and feel for different weights. Practice delivering bowls of varying weights to understand the amount of force required for different distances. Start with lighter bowls and gradually increase the weight as you gain more control and accuracy.

Next, pay attention to your body mechanics during the delivery. The power generated from your legs and core should be transferred smoothly to your arm and hand, allowing for a controlled and consistent release. Avoid excessive force or overcompensation, as it can lead to inconsistency in weight.

Additionally, be mindful of the surface and its impact on weight control. Different surfaces may require adjustments in weight to account for their speed or texture. Spend time practicing on different surfaces to develop a feel for the variations in weight required.

Lastly, practice with a target in mind to improve your weight control. Set up markers or use existing targets on the indoor rink to refine your accuracy. Work on delivering bowls that consistently stop close to the target, gradually increasing the difficulty as you progress.

By focusing on your stance, alignment, line, and weight control, you can significantly improve your delivery accuracy in indoor bowls. Regular practice and feedback from experienced players or coaches can provide valuable insights for further refinement.

6. Managing Limited Space

Playing on indoor rinks with limited space requires effective management of the available area. Here are some strategies to maximize space utilization:

6.1. Controlled Shots

One of the key techniques for managing limited space is mastering controlled shots. These shots involve delivering the bowl with a precise weight and line to maneuver around obstacles or tight spaces. By controlling the speed and direction of your bowls, you can strategically position them to gain an advantage.

Practice controlled shots that allow your bowls to curve around obstacles or squeeze through narrow gaps. Develop the ability to adjust the weight and line of your deliveries to suit the available space. Visualize the desired path and plan your shots accordingly, considering the positions of your opponents’ bowls and the position of the jack.

Controlled shots require a combination of accuracy, judgment, and finesse. Regular practice and experimentation will help you develop the skills needed to navigate limited spaces effectively.

6.2. Spatial Awareness

Developing spatial awareness is crucial for managing limited space in indoor bowls. Spatial awareness refers to your ability to understand and perceive the position and movement of objects in relation to yourself and the playing area. By honing this skill, you can make informed decisions and execute precise shots.

Pay close attention to the positions of your opponents’ bowls, the jack, and any potential obstacles or boundaries. Assess the available space and anticipate how your shots will interact with these elements. Consider the best angles and lines to take to maximize your chances of success.

Regular practice and experience will enhance your spatial awareness. Engage in drills that require you to make decisions based on the available space, such as delivering bowls through narrow channels or executing shots with limited room for error.

6.3. Visualization and Planning

Visualization and planning are essential for managing limited space in indoor bowls. Before each shot, take a moment to visualize the desired outcome and plan your approach. Consider the positions of your opponents’ bowls and the jack, as well as any potential obstacles or boundaries.

By visualizing the path of your bowls and planning your shots in advance, you can make more informed decisions and execute with greater precision. Anticipate the movements and interactions of the bowls, and strategize accordingly to maximize your scoring opportunities and minimize the risks.

Visualization and planning require practice and experience. Engage in mental exercises that challenge you to visualize complex shots and plan your approach. Over time, you’ll develop a stronger ability to manage limited space and make effective decisions in indoor bowls.

7. Building Mental Resilience

Indoor bowls can be mentally challenging, especially when facing tough opponents or unfavorable conditions. Building mental resilience is essential for maintaining focus, staying positive, and performing at your best. Here are some strategies to cultivate mental resilience:

7.1. Setting Realistic Goals

Setting realistic goals is an effective way to build mental resilience in indoor bowls. By defining clear and achievable objectives, you can stay motivated and focused on the task at hand. Set both short-term and long-term goals that align with your skill level and aspirations.

Break down your goals into smaller milestones, allowing you to track your progress and celebrate achievements along the way. This not only boosts your confidence but also helps you maintain a positive mindset, even in the face of challenges.

Remember to be flexible with your goals and adjust them as needed. Indoor bowls is a dynamic sport, and circumstances may change. By adapting your goals, you can maintain a sense of purpose and continue to strive for improvement.

7.2. Positive Self-Talk

Positive self-talk involves using encouraging and supportive words to boost your confidence and maintain a positive mindset. Replace negative thoughts or self-doubt with affirmations and empowering statements.

During the game, catch yourself if you start to doubt your abilities or dwell on past mistakes. Remind yourself of your strengths and previous successes. Use phrases such as “I am capable,” “I can overcome challenges,” and “I am improving with each shot.”

Practice positive self-talk during training sessions as well. Develop a habit of focusing on the progress you’re making and acknowledging your efforts. By reframing your thoughts in a positive light, you can build mental resilience and maintain a strong mindset in indoor bowls.

7.3. Learning from Both Successes and Failures

Embracing a growth mindset and learning from both successes and failures is essential for building mental resilience in indoor bowls. Instead of dwelling on past mistakes or setbacks, view them as opportunities for growth and improvement.

When you achieve success, take the time to analyze what worked well and how you can replicate it in future games. Celebrate your accomplishments, but also remain humble and open to further learning.

Similarly, when faced with failures or challenges, approach them with curiosity and a desire to learn. Reflect on what went wrong and identify areas for improvement. Seek feedback from experienced players or coaches to gain different perspectives and insights.

By adopting a mindset of continuous learning and growth, you can develop mental resilience and thrive in indoor bowls.

FAQs about Indoor Bowls Techniques for Playing on Indoor Rinks with Limited Space

Question Answer
1. Can I use outdoor bowls on indoor rinks? Yes, outdoor bowls can be used on indoor rinks. However, it’s important to consider the differences in surface and adjust your techniques accordingly.
2. How can I improve my weight control? Practicing different weights and focusing on consistency will help improve your weight control. Experiment with different delivery techniques to find what works best for you.
3. Are there any specific shoes required for indoor bowls? Indoor bowls shoes with non-slip soles are recommended to ensure stability and traction on the playing surface. These shoes are designed to minimize the risk of slipping.
4. How do I deal with noisy distractions in the indoor bowls facility? Developing mental focus and concentration techniques will help you deal with noisy distractions. Practice mindfulness and incorporate pre-shot routines to maintain your composure.
5. Can I play indoor bowls with limited mobility? Yes, indoor bowls can be adapted to accommodate individuals with limited mobility. There are various assistive devices available that can assist in delivering the bowls.
6. How can I find indoor bowls facilities in my area? Check with local sports clubs, community centers, or bowling associations to find indoor bowls facilities in your area. They can provide information on availability and membership options.
7. Are there any specific rules for indoor bowls? Indoor bowls follows similar rules to outdoor bowls, with some minor variations. Familiarize yourself with the specific rules of the facility or league you’re playing in.


Indoor bowls offers a unique and exciting experience for players of all skill levels. While it presents its own set of challenges, the advantages of accessibility, enhanced focus, and tactical gameplay make it an enticing sport to pursue. By mastering techniques such as weight control, adapting to the surface, utilizing tactics and strategies, enhancing concentration, improving delivery accuracy, managing limited space, and building mental resilience, you can excel in the confined space of indoor rinks.

Remember that practice, perseverance, and a positive mindset are key to success in indoor bowls. Embrace the social aspects of the game and enjoy the camaraderie that comes with being part of a bowling community. So, why wait? Grab your bowls, head to the nearest indoor rink, and embark on an exhilarating journey into the world of indoor bowls!


The information provided in this article is for general informational purposes only. We make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability of the information contained herein. Any reliance you place on such information is strictly at your own risk. In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage arising from the use of this article. Always consult with a professional for specific advice related to your individual circumstances.

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