Bowls England |


The National Governing Body for Outdoor Flat Green Lawn Bowls in England


National Governing Bodies, or NGBs for short, are an essential part of the fabric of our nation’s sporting landscape.  We play a leadership role, act as our sport’s ultimate custodian and govern activity within our sport. Clubs, organisations and individuals affiliate to their sport’s NGB and benefit from services and support.

Established on 1st January 2008, following the merge of the English Bowling Association (EBA) and the English Women’s Bowling Association (EWBA), Bowls England governs the sport of outdoor flat green lawn bowls in England. We are made up of 35 County Associations.

At Bowls England we have a clear mission – to promote and develop the sport of lawn bowls so it enriches the lives of its participants, connects communities and is in good health for future generations. We trust these intentions strike a chord.

Our role as an NGB is wide-ranging –

  • We provide practical support to almost 2000 affiliated lawn bowls clubs and grassroots players. More of this later … and working alongside Coach Bowls, EBUA and others, we provide the structures to educate and develop coaches, umpires and volunteers.
  • Working with County Associations, we administer international and national lawn bowls competitions and events. Our National Competitions are experienced and enjoyed by thousands, bringing people together and creating lifelong memories.
  • We manage talent development pathways to help players fulfil their potential. And, for those who rise to the top, we manage our international teams including lawn bowls’ representation within England’s Commonwealth Games Team. As well as making us feel proud, success on the global stage is crucial for our sport’s visibility and inspiring new people to have a go.
  • As an NGB, this requires us to work with World Bowls, partner organisations like Commonwealth Games England, funders Sport England, venues and other nations’ NGBs.
  • We promote lawn bowls and lobby on its behalf to ensure its voice is heard. Our All To Play For campaign, investment in live streaming and media work are examples of our commitment to ensure more people recognize lawn bowls’ fabulous qualities. This work is key in inspiring people to participate.
  • We develop new ways to play our game to grow participation within our ever-changing society. Bowls’ Big Weekend, Bowls Bash and the PlayBowls platform are key to make our sport more accessible to new audiences and potential participants irrespective of their background or circumstance.
  • One of the primary responsibilities of an NGB is to ensure its sport provides a safe, open and inclusive environment for all. At Bowls England, we work hard to regulate the environment in which the sport is played including discipline and safeguarding.
  • We actively seek and bid for major funds to support bowls and channel investment whether it be from commercial revenues or government funding. Over the last two years, we have secured over £400k from Sport England to help support our work, and we are working with new commercial partners to support our initiatives.
  • And we act as a backstop when our sport is in need. This was never more evident during the Covid Pandemic when we helped clubs and counties navigate through the crisis, disseminating information, creating guidance and helping affiliated lawn bowls clubs access over £3m of government support.


NGBs function through investment from the public purse, commercial revenue and from those people enjoying the benefits of participating within that sport.

To help us perform our important role as an NGB and to harness the collective strength of our sport, local bowls clubs affiliate to their County Association and Bowls England by paying a fee. As part of all the above activity, this affiliation enables affiliated clubs to unlock a range of national services.

Working across our sport, we are leading the delivery of our ‘Fit for the Future’ strategy. Please take a look.

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