What does it mean that a green is fast or slow? How does the bias of a lawn bowl work? What does the date stamp on my bowls mean? We’ve answered these and more of your burning questions below.

Frequently asked Questions

What does it mean that a green is 'fast' or 'slow'?

A faster green means that the bowl takes longer to reach the jack – somewhere between 14 to 19 seconds. On a fast green a bowl must be rolled to take a lot of grass (rolled in a wide curve). Conversely, on slower greens, the bowl takes less time to reach the jack, say 10 – 14 seconds, and should be rolled to take much less grass (in a slight curve). Green speed is a major factor in selecting your bowl.

Where can I get my bowls tested?

Henselite is an independent licensed bowls tester that has been testing all brands of bowls for over 70 years.

Our testers are the most experienced and practiced bowls testers in Australia.

We strongly recommend that bowls be sent to Henselite for testing:

Henselite Australia Pty Ltd 320 Darebin Road

Fairfield VIC 3078

Phone: 03 9488 0488

We recommend that bowls be tested every few years for regular bowlers as there is be a gradual change in bias with use.

Does a grip affect the run of the bowl?

No. In fact a grip helps align the bowl before delivery and to assist grip – both of which will help deliver the bowl straight ensuring accurate delivery.

Where can I learn to play lawn bowls?

Local bowling clubs are always looking for new members and may have a coach who will be able to start you off with the basic skills required for the game.

Can I use the same bowls everywhere I play?

For outdoor bowls you should be aware that bowls are designed for specific conditions, primarily green speeds. The bias of the bowl enables performance which favours play on either slower or faster greens. You can use the same bowls on all types of greens however bowls will me most effective on the greens they are designed for. Please note that there are specific bowls for playing indoors.

Do you need a different bowl if you are left-handed?

No, this is not necessary at all.

What are old style bowls and are they still legal to play in Australia?

Yes. World Bowls changes to the legal bias in 1988, allowed for narrower biased bowls to be used. Bowls made and sold in Australia prior to 1988 are the same bias as our Classic Model (not Classic II). These are still legal to use all over the world and many are still sold overseas. In Australia the demand is generally for the narrower bias bowl.

Where can I purchase Henselite bowls?

Henselite bowls are available here online or they are stocked at all good bowls shops and some general sports and clothing retailers. For your nearest bowls shop, go to our Stockist page.

Why should I play lawn bowls?

Lawn bowls gives people of all ages and abilities the opportunity to exercise both indoor and outdoor in a social or competitive environment. Lifting, bending, walking and, in some cases, sprinting down the green to the rapturous applause of team mates, friends or even thousands of spectators, is great exercise for the body and mind and can be practiced over a whole lifetime. Many families have introduced their children to lawn bowls at a young age. What other sport is there that can have 3 generations of one family play together?

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How do I select the right bowl?

Selecting a bowl is a very personal thing. For some tips in selecting the right bowl, head to our Selecting a Bowl page.

Can I have a bowl made with my personal logo?

Yes, you can add your own engraving to your bowls. Order your set from our Customised Bowls section with the personal logo you would like or selecting a specific logo from our extensive range or ask your bowls retailer to order for you.

Can I buy bowls without an engraving?

No. Bowls by law, must leave the factory/distributor engraved with the same engraving on both sides of each bowl in the set. The engravings must be visible at 1.5 metres.

Where do I get advice on the correct size and type of bowl?

There are many sources of information to help you selecting bowls from the specialised bowls shops in each state, sports stores and particularly the bowls coach at your club who is familiar with green speeds and other local conditions.

What is the range of bowls sizes?

Under WB laws, bowls must be sized at 112 mm to 131mm across at their widest points. Henselite currently makes bowls in sizes 000, 00, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4,and 5 to suit all bowlers. There are still some size 6 & 7 bowls in use but these are not made by Henselite today due to lack of demand.

What is the difference between indoor bowls and lawn bowls?

Indoor Bias Bowls is a game played on a carpet and Lawn Bowls are played on lawn or synthetic surfaces.

In Australia there have been two different types of bowls made specifically for indoor play. Since 1945 Henselite has supplied 4 inch indoor bowls for play. These are usually used on a standardised 30 ft x 6 ft felt carpet although other sizes are also sometimes used.

In New Zealand a 3 7/8 inch bowl is used on a 24 ft by 6 ft carpet that is of a different construction again to the ones used in Australia.

Other groups and clubs in cold or wet climates have felt on the floor of their club houses and bowl indoors with their lawn bowls when they can’t bowl outside.

Why should I buy Henselite bowls compared to others?

To become an expert in your field doesn’t happen overnight, it takes practice. And we have had plenty of it. Henselite has been making lawn bowls in Australia for over 100 year. Throughout this time we have been constantly innovating and refining our engineering and manufacturing processes.

Henselite developed the first plastic compound bowl in the world in 1930 which changed the sport as we know it. Henselite lawn bowls are Australian Made and manufactured to our exacting quality standards, providing each bowler with exactly matched, consistently precise set of lawn bowls.

Are Henselite bowls Australian made?

Henselite is the only trusted and innovative Australian lawn bowls manufacturer with over 100 years of experience.

Henselite is an Australian owned company and all our lawn bowls are manufactured in Melbourne, Australia. We are proud to be part of the Australian Made campaign which recognises Australian products which have been locally manufactured to our high quality standards.

What if a bowl has a hollow sound on impact?

If a bowl sounds hollow on impact, there is a gas pocket inside it which may eventually cause the bowl to break. This is very rare but if it happens to your bowls, return them to the place of purchase and they will arrange for a warranty claim to be lodged with us.

Does the legal bias of a bowl last the duration of the stamp?

Subject to the narrowness of the bowl, its use and condition of greens where they are used. There is very little safety margin in the bias of the narrowest legal biased bowls and the chances are the bias may only be legal for 2-3 years because of wear. We suggest competitive bowlers get their bowls checked regularly as wear on the running surface of the bowl will straighten the run of the bowl.

How does the bias work?

The bowls are shaped so that the widest part of the running surface is off centre. Therefore the bias of the bowl is produced by the rate at which the bowl ‘falls’ to the smaller or lower side.

Old wooden bowls sometimes had lead weights in them to assist with making the bowl heavy enough and to assist with bias. However, in those days each bowl in a set was numbered so that the owner knew how much grass to take with each bowl. (Grass: degree of angle off centre that a bowler directs their bowl in order for it to finish up in the desired position on the green.

What does the date stamp mean?

World Bowls requires that licensed manufacturers and licensed testers put the registered ‘World Bowls Stamp ‘ either on the small end or between the inner and outer rings of the bowl. This stamp validates that the bowl complies with all the regulations and specifications of World Bowls. Introduced in 2002 the stamp is now used on all new and re-tested bowls.

The stamp is a requirement for the bowls to be valid for use in major competitions under the control of World Bowls or any Member National Authority.

Prior to the 2002 introduction of the World Bowls stamp, bowls were stamped with the stamps of the International Bowling Board and prior to 1988 bowls had the stamp of the major countries.

Do bowls have to be tested?

In the past bowls had to be tested regularly but today, there is no need for testing bowls unless they are being used in major events such as state titles or international events or as nominated in the entry form.

What does the map of Australia mean on older bowls?

This was the official stamp of the Australian Bowls Council, the controlling body in Australia because the bias standard was greater than that of the International Bowls Board (IBB). IBB is now called World Bowls (WB). The Australian stamp was dropped in 1993 when all bowls were stamped with the oval WB stamp which is now stamped on all bowls. The stamp still has a 10 year duration.

Is there a difference between black and coloured bowls?

Yes. Black bowls are made of Bakerlite which is harder, more wear-resistant and more colour stable. Coloured bowls are made from Melamine.

How do I care for my bowls?

Click for tips on caring for your bowls.

Are scratches covered by manufacturers warranty?

No, scratches are not covered by any bowls manufacturers’ warranty. Bowls scratch particularly when played in wet conditions, after a green has been top dressed, on greens with little grass and particularly on some sand-filled synthetic greens.