Nayan Moni Saikia brought laurels to India, and Assam in particular, after the Indian Women’s Lawn Bowls team won a historic Gold at the Commonwealth Games 2022 medal in the sport.

The women’s fours team in Commonwealth Games 2022 comprising of Lovely Choubey (lead), Pinki (second), Nayan Moni Saikia (third), and Rupa Rani Tirkey (Skip) beat South Africa 17-10 in the final to claim a historic gold at the tournament.

Nayan Moni Saikia was born in Golaghat in Assam in a middle-class family. Her father is a farmer, and mother is a homemaker. She has been passionate about sports since her childhood. She began her career in sports through weightlifting in 2008. But due to a leg injury, her performance kept deteriorating. Later she chose to play lawn bowls as this sport was the game without injuries. With time, lawn bowls became her passion, and she became the key player of the national team.

Lawn bowls have been a part of the Commonwealth Games since its inception in 1930. England have the highest number of medals in the sport (51) followed by Australia (50) and South Africa (44). Scotland and England share the honour of most Lawn Bowls gold medals at the Commonwealth Games, with 20 each.

She completed matriculation from Assam Board of Education and is currently employed at Assam Forest Department since 2011.

What is the sport all about? How do we play this and what are the rules? Here’s all you need to know:

What is Lawn Bowls:

Lawn Bowls aims to roll biased balls which should, ideally, stop close to a smaller ball called a ‘jack’ or a ‘kitty’. The matches are played on a Lawn Bowls Green within a rink area- there are usually six rinks per green.

Just like cricket, Lawn Bowls matches begin with a coin toss, giving one competitor the option to roll a small ball ‘jack’ at least 23 meters down the green. Afer this, competitors take turns bowling, aiming to ensure that they are closer to the jack than their opponents. The points in Lawn Bowls are awarded for each bowl closest to the jack.

In singles competition, the first to score 21 points will win, whereas, in pairs, triples, and fours competition, the team that has amassed the most points in total will be declared winners.

Lawn Bowls: How are points awarded?

The number of points awarded in Lawn Bowls is determined by the number of bowls a team has managed to place closer to ‘Jack’ compared to its opponent. To put it simply, if Team X places two bowls closer to ‘Jack’ compared to team Ys closest bowls, it will win two points in the end. Similarly, if team X has managed to place three bowls closer to the target than team B’s closest bowls, it would be awarded three points.

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