Explanation: Federation bowling.

A first version of this text appeared in the 2023 National Handbook (Pg 137). 

English Bowling Federation. In conjunction with the English Women's Bowling Federation.

We have been asked many times what the difference is between the flat green bowls played by the Federation and the Flat green played by Bowls England. I have tried to explain the main differences below.


We have a National Executive Committee consisting The 2 Presidents, 2 Deputy Presidents, 2 Junior Deputy Presidents, Chairman, Treasurer, Hon. Secretary of the EWBF, Umpires Secretary, Safeguarding Officer, 2 Representative from the Counties and the National Secretary.

The Objects of the Federation are:
To promote, foster, and safeguard the flat-green game of bowls and to formulate and adopt Rules and Laws of the Game for the regulation of the game generally.


The great majority of Federation bowling is 2-wood, with team games invariably being based on 2-wood triples play. 3 v 3 is the most populated that a rink can be (with rare exceptions at local level only).


Our rules are slightly different to the flat green bowls played under the Bowls England flag.
The main differences are as follows:

1. The mat must be placed lengthwise and centred in a line with the centre pins marking the rink, with the front edge 2 m from the ditch for the first end, and not less than 2m or more than 4m from the ditch in any subsequent end.
2. If the jack is forced into the ditch by the effects of play it shall be deemed to be live and played to. If, by the effects of play, any part of the jack comes to rest on or over the dividing line of the rink or over the bank, it shall be declared a dead end which shall be replayed in the same direction.
3. Bowls touching the jack and then going into the ditch, and any bowl on or over the dividing line, are dead bowls.
Also no bowl shall count which lies more than 2 m from the jack.
4. Players may alter the order in which they play, but only after the completion of an end, other than a dead end, and before the commencement of the next end.
5. The re-stamping of composition bowls is dispensed with for all games played under Federation Laws and Rules; composition bowls must, however, bear a clearly legible WB/WBB/IBB or BIBC stamp dated 1985 or later.
6. No International matches are played.


We play inter-county team championship games, both Indoor and Outdoor. The Counties are split between the North and South with the winners playing the Finals at our National Championships.

Individual Championships are also held (indoor and outdoor) with the winners from each of the counties playing at our National Championships. These are played at Skegness in August for the outdoor and at Lincoln Indoor Centre in April for the Indoor. These Championships are the main 'Shop Window' of the Federation.
There are a large number of Individual Competitions (particularly outdoor). There are some examples of more than 2 woods being used - eg 4 woods singles (as well as the original 2 wood singles) and 3-wood triples. 


Membership of the Federation is open to any county bowling associations in England. The Federation, through its principle of Single Administration of the Federation and the English Women's Bowling Federation, encourages the concept of Mixed Clubs.

For further details see the "Brief History" page on this website.