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When I kissed the jack, upon an up-cast to be hit away." There are competing theories as to etymological origin of the word "Jack".
John P Monro, Bowls Encyclopaedia (3rd ed), gives that the name 'jack' is derived from the Latin word jactus, meaning a cast or a throw.
However, the green could only be used for private play and he forbade anyone to "play at any bowle or bowles in open space out of his own garden or orchard".
King James I issued a publication called "The Book of Sports" and, although he condemned football (soccer) and golf, encouraged the play of bowls.
Because success doesn't require physical fitness, it is particularly favoured by older folk but there are a lot of younger players, too.
It isn't clear if the Scots or the Dutch invented the game; the first written records on it are from the 1600's.In Canada, the sport was introduced around 1730 at Port Royal in Nova Scotia.In Australia, bowls first was played in Sandy Bay, Tasmania in 1844.Lawn Bowls was first played in North America in the early 1600's in the United States.Records show that President George Washington played bowls on his estate.
Other games are "Pairs" - four players in two teams, each player having four bowls, "Triples" - three players with three bowls each and "Rinks" or "Fours" - four players two bowls each.