West Beckenham Bowls Club
This is easy, you do not need to buy bowls or anything else before you start, just turn up at 6 on Friday evenings or 10 on Saturday mornings in June and July wearing some flat soled shoes and you can begin bowling straight away.
There are three experienced coaches at the club:
Mick Bagge (07940 126343)
Eileen Garrard (020 8402 3412)
Carol Watt-Sullivan (020 8650 7424)
They will be happy to talk to you beforehand about the benefits of becoming a bowler. After you have given bowls a try and you decide to take it up and join our club they can give you advice about buying bowls and any other equipment you need.
Carol has put together the following introduction to bowls if you would like to understand the basics before you come down to ‘West Beck’ as we know it.
Like many games, the object of bowls is essentially simple. It can be played by anyone and at any age. The game is played on a square of closely cut grass called 'the green', which is divided into playing areas called ‘rinks’. The green is surrounded by a small ditch to catch bowls which leave the green, and a bank with markers indicate the corners and centrelines of each rink.
Players take turns to deliver their bowls from a mat at one end of the rink towards a small white (or sometimes yellow) ball called the jack at the other end.
The bowls are shaped so that they take a curved path towards the jack. To be successful the bowl must be delivered with the correct weight, along the correct line (which takes a little practice). The object is to get one or more of your bowls closer to the jack than those of your opponents on each end - one point is scored for each counting bowl.
You can play to the level of performance you want. To play consistently well demands determination, concentration and practice. However, if you only want to play as casual exercise, then it is a very sociable game and provides the player with a means of exercise without being too strenuous. Clubs also have a range social activities that you can enjoy as well as playing of bowls.
There are many different formats to the game, but the most common in England are singles or in teams of pairs, triples or fours. In singles, the winner is the first to score 21 points. In the other three formats, the winner is the team that scores the most points over a set number of ends.