Keen for the green: bowls tips for the beginner once restrictions lift

Bill O'Connell lines up for his bowl.
Bill O'Connell lines up for his bowl.

Spring is in the air so we felt we may give you a few hints on lawn bowls, more so the beginner with the Forbes Sports and Recreation Club opening their doors to all once COVID restrictions are lifted.

While we feel sure the read below is welcomed by all sporting residents there is also news that membership of the 'Bowlie' is now open, why not take advantage of it. Social membership is only $10, social bowlers $35 (able to be used for social comps on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday morning) while full membership with NSW Royal $120.

On top of that members have the advantage of patronage to theShaoming Golden Century Chinese Restaurant which is currently open for takeaways with orders taken at the side entry or by phoning 6855 6506.

For now tips on how to lawn bowls for beginners, and some of 'our' regulars..

Spring is upon us and it's the perfect weather to get out with friends once covid regulations are lifted and try some lawn bowls, but what's it all about and how do you play?

Barefoot bowls is a way to encourage younger people to try out lawn bowling and to reinvigorate clubs state wide.

But what if you are new to the game or just want to learn some bowls lingo to sound like you're an old hand?

Bowls Australia National Training Centre coach Brett Wilkie knows a thing or two about lawn bowls.

Brett started playing when he was 11 and has won several national and international lawn bowls awards.

If you've never bowled before or want to go back to basics, here are Brett's handy notes on what it is all about.

  1. The basics of lawn bowls.

Rink: area in which play takes place, usually a flat, grassed area, bounded by boundary pegs.

Centre line: the line down the centre of the rink.

Jack: small white ball, rolled out along the centreline, the idea is to get bowls as close as possible to it.

Bowls: the balls used by the player, up to four each, weighted on one side causing it to curve as it rolls.

Mat: placed on the centre line, players stand on it to bowl.

  1. The bowling.
  • Stand on the mat, feet together, knees and waist bent slightly.
  • Take ball in your preferred hand (right or left).
  • Step out with your opposite foot (left or right).
  • Take a small back swing.
  • Bend down and roll bowl along the ground.
  • Roll it out at an angle, so the bowl curves back towards jack (see basics).
  • Avoid dropping or bouncing bowl so as not to damage the green.
  1. Strategy.

Draw shot: A slow, measured, finessed bowl trying to end closest to the jack.

Drive shot: A harder, faster bowl used to try to knock other players' bowls away

  1. Scoring.
  • The player who has their bowl or bowls closest to the jack wins.
  • Points are awarded according to the number of bowls closest.
  • Players judge the distance and number by eye.
  • If in dispute, a measuring tape is employed.
  • If still in dispute, an umpire called in to resolve.
  1. Sledging.

Sledging is generally frowned upon in competition and social bowls, but can still happen and become quite heated.

However the rise of barefoot bowls has seen a more relaxed attitude emerge.

"As long as you have fun and it's all done in a good spirit, it's a great opportunity to stir each other up and have a bit of fun," Brett says.

So get out there, keep it friendly and enjoy your time on the greens at the Forbes "Bowlie'.

Finally, keep watch and hope that the 'Bowlie' opens sooner then later with the upcoming announcements of new covid regulations expected.

Keep safe, see you when next on the green.