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Bolo palma is a variant of bowls originated and played throughout the region of Cantabria, north of Spain. The
basic aim of the game is the knock over as many pins as possible with a wooden ball.

The set-up

The playing field or bolera is between 30–34 m long and 8 m wide and roughly split into three areas, the zona de
tiro (launch zone), the middle area or caja or zona de bolos (pin zone) and the zona de birle (snatching zone)

The ball itself is spherical, about 12–18 cm in diameter and made of oak, sometimes with a lead centre to make
the ball heavier. It usually weighs between 1.5-2.3 kg.

The first section is the zona de tiro, the rectangular launching zone 8 m wide and 20 m long from where the
players launch the ball. There are circles on the ground called tiros which mark different foot positions for the

The caja straddles the zona de tiro and the zona de birle at the far end. It also has a borderline to its front called
fleje. Here, there are 9 wooden bolos (pins), with a metal base (argolla or anilla), about 45 cm tall and 5 cm
diameter, weighing between 550-630 g. These are placed in a 3x3 square exactly straddling both zonas. There
is also a tenth pin called emboque or cachi which is smaller and off to one side
The third section is the zona de birle, a 12 m long area where the second phase of the game is played

The game
Every game consists of two phases:
● Tiro: the shot, where the player launches the ball from the launching area.
● Birle: the second shot where the player is allowed to launch the ball again from the position it landed in
the tiro.
In the first phase, the player stands on the tiro, at least 12 m and at the most 20 m away from the nearest pin
depending on the distance selected. The player then launches the ball upwards into the air, employing a number
of different techniques depending on whether the emboque is to the left or the right of the caja.
Any pin knocked over is worth one point but if only the central pin is knocked over, two points are won. After
having thrown three balls, the player passes over to the zona de birle. They are then allowed to bowl the three
balls again from where they fell in the first throw, a move called birlar. If a ball comes to rest very close to two
pins, a special move called segar in which the player knocks over the close pins while aiming for others.
A bola queda is a bad ball that cannot be re-thrown. The most common causes of a bad ball is a ball that
touches the ground before crossing the fleje, a ball that lands on the fleje, when the ball does not cross the line
of the emboque and when the ball first touches the ground to the right or left of the caja
There are a number of ways in which this game can be won, either by reaching an agreed number of knocked
over pins (usually between 20 and 40), by throwing eight balls… etc


1. What is Bolo Palma?

2. Draw a playing field (bolera) writing its measurements (width and
length) and dividing it in three parts
3. Where is the fleje? draw the fleje and the box, placing the pins.
4. What is the difference between the tiro and the birle?
5. How can a ball be called “queda”)
a. option 1:
b. option 2:
c. option 3: