This is an excellent game for socialization. This was a very popular game where I worked!
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This is an excellent game for socialization.

What You Need:

  • A strip of carpet; the length of the carpet depends on the size of the area you have.  I play in a rather small area; our carpet is 5m x 1.2m (16ft x 4ft).
  • An indoor bowls game.
  • Two teams with 3 to 4 people on each team.


  • Start by placing 4 chairs or wheelchairs on each side of the carpet (one side for each team).
  • Each player is given one bowl. Indoor bowls come with 2 clearly marked sets so each team should use one set.
  • The game is usually played to 21 points.
  • Place the jack somewhere on the mat.
  • Flip a coin to determine which team starts. Alternate which team starts each round.
  • Players from each team take turns rolling their bowls as close as they can to the jack.
  • Once everyone has had their turn, the side that has a bowl closest to the jack wins the round and is awarded 2 points. If there is a draw, one point is awarded to each team.
  • Continue until one team reaches 21 points!

Adapt the game to suit the abilities of participants.

This was a very popular game where I worked, we played every second Friday at 3pm and then followed this with Happy Hour.

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Comments   Post a Comment

Rebecca 23rd Apr 2022 Activities Assistant In LTC
I had the same question that Michelle had about instructions and scoring and Solange responded with " we have added more detailed instructions". I am wondering if those added instructions are already written above or found some where else? Do they just throw from where their chair sits along the edge of the carpet?
Talita 23rd Apr 2022
Hi Rebecca, yes they just throw from where they are.
Susan 24th Aug 2021 Activity Director
Hi Linda
It sounds like you are having great fun
Thank you for sharing
LINDA 24th Aug 2021 Resident Services Manager
I actually organize a bocce ball game outside every Friday from June - September for my residents. They are able to play even in wheelchairs and walkers and love the idea of being older "athletes." I score the first and second place winners as well as who "kissed" the jack (white ball) and have an awards banquet at the end of the season. It gets them outside in fresh air, and even brings people out to just "watch." Everyone receives an award--like: The ball thrown the furthest out of bounds, most courageous athlete (regularly attends in spite of pains), most colorful, best friend award (the person who seems to always knock someone else into first place instead of themselves.) etc. It takes a clipboard and special attention to details as they play, but is great fun!
Michelle 26th Feb 2021 Activity coordinator
I am trying to start up carpet bowls can someone help me with the instrustions on how to play and scoring and easy version please
Solange 28th Feb 2021 Diversional Therapist
HI, Michelle, we have added more detailed instructions to the activity!
patricia 4th Sep 2013 Recreational Activity Officer
Can anyone please tell me the approximate cost of indoor bowls or bocce balls?
Sally 29th Aug 2013 Activities Coordinator
We love Carpet Bowls at our centre. We use Bocce balls instead of regular carpet bowls because they are different colours and some of our residents have Macular Degeneration. It is always lots of fun not just for the players but for the observers. One of our regulars will turn up in his Bowls jacket and hat from when he was a competitive bowler.
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