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     If we want to talk about the most typical sport in our region, this is, without any doubt the "Bolo Palma", the most complete and complex kind of bowling. In the lines below are explained the main rules and elements to help you get to know the game system. Nevertheless, and as in almost all kinds of sports, there is no substitute for the practise itself, that is in my opinion the real and effective way to succeed in this task.
The playground, called Corro or Bowling Alley, is a horizontal sandy ground –free from obstacles– and well pressed so that is flat and solid and in such a way the balls neither bounce nor compress into the surface. Depending on the game category, the dimensions can change from 34 metres to 15 m in length and 8 m wide. The length is divided into two parts: tiro zone – where the bowler performs his throw; and the birle zone – where the bowler throws back the ball from the same place where it ended up before.
The dividing line of both zones crosses over the middle of the box, that is a square of 1,3 m of side where the bowls are placed symmetrically.

Bowler knocking down the bowls from bir le zone
Game elements
¸ The bowls: nine 45 cm long sticks made of wood and one more called emboque, smaller (285 mm) and with a different shape.
¸ Tiros: are cylindrical signals placed on the tiro zone that indicates where the bowlers must place the right foot to perform the throw.
¸ Thick Planks: they form the bowling alley perimeter, so that the balls can’t go out the playground.
¸ The balls : spherical pieces of wood with a diameter that varies from 12 to 18 cm.
¸ Stakes : are round platforms made of stone at the ground level, where the bowls are placed (this action is denominated to plant or set up the bowls)
¸ Stripes : are drawn on the birle zone with white fabric ribbons, or making a trench with the emboque’s head.
¸ Iron band : is a straight line perpendicular to the tiro zone and situated on its zone, around 1 m far from the bowls.
This game is mainly based on precision more than strength. There are two fundamental phases: the tiro and the birle. The first one consists on throwing the ball towards the bowls from a distance that can reach 20 metres. In the birle the ball is thrown back from the place where it ended up previously ( in the first phase ). Depending on the rotating effect that the bowler gives to the ball when he throws it, there are two different ways of performing the tiro: Hand effect (Fig.1)– if the ball rotates in the contrary of the clock’s hands; Thumb effect (Fig.2)– if the rotation follows the same direction as the clock’s hands.
Depending on this rotation, a special bowl named emboque is placed on the left or right respectively.

Game’s appraisal
This game consists mainly in knocking down the largest account of bowls as possible following, of course, several rules.
From the tiro, each bowl is worth a point, all but the central one, that if it’s the only one knocked down, is worth two points. The emboque – if the ball knocks down the central bowl of the first line of them from the tiro and pass between the emboque and the lateral band – is usually worth 10 points, but can have another value too. After that, on the birle zone, the punctuation is the same, except for there’s no emboque.
There’re several exigencies so that the punctuation may take place; the throw has to be right, that is, the ball :
ß Must pass over the iron band ( on the contrary it’ll be a short ball )
ß Must rotate in the right way ( hand or thumb effect)
ß Can’t pass over the last line of bowls (in which case it’ll be a large ball)
ß Once it has knocked down the bowls, it must pass the stripe on the ground ( on the contrary it’ll be stayed bowl- "bola queda")
ß Can’t knock down directly any bowl of the lateral line opposite the emboque and neither the first one of the nearest line to the emboque.

Ana Belén Saro Palacio

Tradiciones y Costumbres


Frances Ingles