Lawn Bowling Beginners Guide
At Hangleton we don’t insist on high standards of skill or expect you to be world beaters. The main thing is to enjoy the game and the companionship. This makes Hangleton an ideal club to learn the game if you are a novice or develop your skills if you have some experience.
Bowls is one of the easiest games to take up and the game itself is basically very simple to understand. It’s an ideal sport for all age groups of either sex and you can maintain skills level well into you’re eighties.
The Bowling Green is divided into equal strips (usually six) called Rinks and a match is played within the confines of a rink. It is played as singles or between teams of two, three or four a side.
A small white or yellow target ball called a Jack is placed towards one end of the rink and each player rolls their Bowls (or Woods) from a Mat at the other end of the rink. The main aim is to get their Bowls as close to the Jack as possible. Once all the Bowls have been delivered the player or team that has the nearest Bowl to the Jack scores one point, with extra points for any more of their Bowls that are nearer the Jack than the opposing team’s nearest bowl.
When the score for that round or End has been agreed, the players repeat the process from the other end of the rink, until either a set number of Ends (usually either 18 or 21) have been played, or 21 points have been won by one player or side.
Simple so far, BUT there is a catch! The Bowl doesn’t travel in a straight line, but is biased so that it rolls in a curve. How wide that curve is depends on the type of Bowl being used. By using the bias a player can avoid hitting other Bowls that are blocking the route to reaching the Jack.
Needless to say there is more to the game of Bowls than this – every game has its rules, and there is an etiquette of who does what within each team and with experience comes match tactics – but the beginner will pick this up in due course, and initially doesn’t need to know anything more than the basic principles as set out above.
Bowls isn’t an expensive sport but at Hangleton we’ll be delighted to give you the chance to see how you take to the game before you have to lay out any cash. All you need is a pair of flat soled shoes (trainers are fine), and we’ll provide everything else, including friendly advice!
To get involved in this wonderful pastime, please contact one of the Club Officers and arrange to come along for a Free bowling session as our guest and be assured of a warm welcome!
….. wait a minute you are thinking - there’s always a catch! ….. well, Yes and No.
The first questions you will ask is, of course: “How much will it cost me?”
Of course there’s a cost but it’s not too expensive compared against many other sports.
But don’t let the possible cost stop you from ‘having a go’ to see if you like the sport - you may really enjoy it or be quite good, and then it is money well spent.
The first time you come it is FREE as our guest, then for future visits we must charge you the Council’s City Parks tariff for bowls which is £3.70 adult or £2.90 concessions for a session’s bowling.
If you then decide to become a Member there are two elements to pay - first the Club has to fund itself for the season and has an annual Subsciption fee. Normally this is £15 but for 2015 it is set at zero - FREE MEMBERSHIP
Second, as a condition of our lease, the Council require all our Members to purchase a season ticket - for 2014 this is £76.99 all of which goes to the Council - however if you have already been paying for individual sessions we will deducted these payments from the fee for a season ticket.
After that there are no ‘hidden’ additional costs - no match fees or Green fees.
What about special clothing? Is there a dress code? What about the bowls? How much are they?
It is normal for all bowlers, which ever Club you may play for, to wear grey trousers [men] or grey trousers / skirts [ladies] and white tops - shirts or blouses - whenever they are bowling except for afternoon inter club matches when we play in ‘all white’ kit. At Hangleton the men have Club shirts with coloured collars and cuffs and one is supplied FREE to each new Member when they join. All players must also wear flat bottomed shoes when on the Green [i.e. no heels since these would damage the playing surface].
But the Club often has good second hand bits and pieces available for a small donation to Club funds so the initial cost can be kept low.
THE BOWLS [WOODS]:
As for the bowls themselves we never expect a newcomer to rush out and buy a brand new set of woods immediately. Borrow and use the Club’s bowls to find the size and weight which suits you. Even when you are ready to buy your own set the Club often has access to second hand woods for sale at a very modest price.