Our local lawn bowls green

Our local lawn bowls green

 

The BBC recently confirmed what we here in Australia already knew, lawn bowls (also known as barefoot bowls) is cool. They said so here.

We have a green very near to our house, with the Harbour Bridge in the background. Back on a wet and windy July afternoon we decided to be brave and head down for a game with our friends Ellie, Chris and Naomi visiting from the UK, and actual Australian Jen. We thought it was $12 each of 2 hours, which was already a bargain, but it was actually $12 for the whole lane, so $2 each. Absolute bargain!

I’ve done lawn bowls a couple of times with work. They were both in the summer, which is much better – especially with a nice cold refreshing drink. (Lawn bowls is actually all about the drinking!). It turned out my couple of games experience actually paid off, and if I do say so myself I actually did pretty well!

Here are the basic rules: Divide into even teams. I guess about 8-10 people can play in one lane. Someone bowls the jack down the green and you put the mat down so you all stand in the same place. Each person has two bowls each. Person 1 from team A bowls, then Person 1 from team B. Then they each have another go and it swaps to the next pair of people. The bowls are weighted and have a big dot and small dot on one side. They curve towards the small dot, so you have to keep this in mind when bowling. For scoring, the team with the bowl closest to the jack gets a point. Then they get another point for all the other bowls they have closest to the jack before the other team has a close one. So you might get one point, or if 6 of your bowls were closer than the oppositions then you’d get 6 points. You measure with footsteps if you’re not sure.

 

Good bowling technique

Good bowling technique

 

We split into two teams. With only one Aussie, England vs Australia wasn’t really fair, so we started with people wearing shows (me, Chris and Naomi) against people wearing flip flops (Ellie, Jen and Matt). Our team won a pretty convincing victory as first to 11 points – woo! Normally you play to 21, but we decided to swap teams after 11. After getting a bit stuck again on how to divide us up, we went for people whose name ends with “eee” (Elly, Ellie and Naomi) against the others. It was closer this time, but still my team won – woo! As well as just bowling close to the jack other tactics including hitting the jack nearer to your bowls, or trying to hit the other teams balls further away. This helps keep it interesting!

I reckon its a good fun way to spend an afternoon in the sun drinking with visitors. Has anyone played in the UK?

 

 

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