Lawn bowling – or bowls, as is it called in Blighty – is an ancient sport that dates back to the 13th century, and like cricket, that other export from the UK to its current and former dependencies, the jargon around the game can be somewhat hard to grasp at first contact.
But once you get past talk of mats, ends, jacks, and kittys, the game is simple at its heart: roll more of your balls close to the targets than your opponents. The leisurely pace of the game and the bucolic surroundings in which it is played has given the game tremendous staying power. After all, there are not many games that are nearly millennia old.
In America the game has an ardent following, with many parks setting aside space for bowlers. Pasadena is no different, and lawn bowling in the Rose City is practiced today at Central Park, near the Castle Green in the historic heart of the city.