International Sports Studies (ISS)

ISSN: 1443-0770

Attn: Starting from volume 46 (2024) Logos Verlag Berlin is no longer the publisher of the "International Sports Studies" journal (ISS).
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International Sports Studies

The Rise and Fall of Popular Australian Lawn Bowls 1864–2021

Steve Georgakis, Peter Horton

International Sports Studies 44 No. 1 (2022)     pp: 6-19     2021-12-30
The Rise and Fall of Popular Australian Lawn Bowls 1864–2021

Stichworte/keywords: Lawn bowls; sports culture; seniors sport; Australian society

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Georgakis, S., & Horton, P. (2022). The Rise and Fall of Popular Australian Lawn Bowls 1864–2021. International Sports Studies, 44 (1), 6-19. doi:10.30819/iss.44-1.02
doi = {10.30819/iss.44-1.02},
url = {},
year = 2022,
publisher = {Logos Verlag Berlin},
volume = {44},
number = {1},
pages = {6-19},
author = {Steve Georgakis, Peter Horton},
title = {The Rise and Fall of Popular Australian Lawn Bowls 1864–2021},
journal = {International Sports Studies}

Lawn bowls is one of the oldest formally established British sports in Australia. This paper provides an overview of the place of lawn bowls in Australian history and society from 1864 to 2021 through four eras: British nationalism (1864–1900); middle class sport (1900–1945); leading seniors sport (1945–1990); and decline (1990–2021). The four eras cover the span of Australian lawn bowls and are based on historical data from both primary and secondary sources tracing its rise and decline. The decline in lawn bowls has been a combination of both internal and external factors. This paper is not a purely chronological account of lawn bowls, but rather provides a framework to better understand the place and role of the sport in Australian culture and society. The origins of lawn bowls in Australia are directly linked to the cultural heritage that stemmed from British settlement. Lawn bowls provides a vehicle to develop insight and understanding into several past, current, and future social and cultural issues including seniors sport, sport participation rates, gender relations, nationalism, class structures, urbanisation, and the development of contemporary cities.
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