Playing at the club
All members are encouraged to play as often as they can and teams are selected to ensure maximum participation. There are six main ways to play.
Very informal with no dress code, anyone can join in and are held on a Friday evening from 5.30, teams (usually triples with a lead, second and skip) are selected from those who attend. Roll-ups also often take place in conjunction with coaching sessions from 10 on Saturday mornings.
These are held in the afternoons, home and away, during the week and on most weekends. All members are eligible to play except associates and under 11s. Members should indicate their availability by putting their names on the team sheets on the notice board in the clubhouse. There are 42 club matches in the season so everyone will have the chance to play but if there are more players than places available teams are chosen to ensure everyone is involved and each team or triple is balanced with a skip, second and lead.
North-West Kent Men’s and Ladies’ leagues
There are 14 matches in each league that run from May to August on Thursday evenings.
The respective captains select two triples teams of a lead, second and skip. Two points are awarded to the winner of each triple and another two for the overall score; teams can be promoted and relegated.
There are a variety of competitions designed to give everyone the chance to play and a chance to win! Unless otherwise indicated all matches are played on a knockout basis and the finals are played on club finals weekend which this year is September 1st and 2nd, here is a summary of the rules and eligibility for each:
The Rose Bowl or ladies singles championship - open to all female members
The winner in each match is the first to 21 shots.
Men’s singles championship - open to all male members
The winners in each match being the first to score 21 shots.
Handicap singles - open to all players
The better the player the higher the handicap; the player with the lower handicap must score 21 to win, the player with the higher handicap must score 21 plus the difference between the two handicaps to win.
Holt Cup - open to all players who have not previously won a club singles competition.
The winner is the first to 21 shots.
100 up singles - open to all players.
Four woods are used with the 1st scoring 4, the 2nd 3, 3rd 2 and 4th 1point. The match winner is the first to 100 points.
The Jimmy Brightwell singles competition - open to all players.
Matches are played in sets, each set won by the first to reach 7 points. The winner is the best of 3 sets, 5 in the final.
Club pairs - open to all players, pairs drawn by the selection committee, matches played over 21 ends.
Selective pairs – open to all and played on June 18th.
Pairs drawn from skips and leads. Pairs play on a ‘round robin’ basis until the semi-final and final, which are played with a fixed number of ends.
Club triples - open to all, and played on June 12th.
Triples drawn by the selection committee, matches played on a ‘round robin’ basis, semi-finals to a fixed number of ends and the final over 18 ends.
County and District competitions
These have their own eligibility and entry requirements and the club captains can provide more information.
Playing with guests
Members are entitled to invite guests to play provide the club house is open and a rink is available, club matches and competitions will have priority.
Full details are set out in the club rulebook.
Playing etiquette and what to wear
Bowls is a competitive sport, but it relies on good manners and fair play to be enjoyable for everyone. Proper courtesy should be shown to fellow bowlers and guests at all times. Bad language and disrespectful behaviour are not acceptable.
When playing it is important to give the player on the mat room and not to move or otherwise distract them. In a triple the ‘lead’ places the mat, delivers the jack and collects the bowls when the seconds declare the end completed. The ‘second’ measures the head and advises the skip. The ‘skip’ keeps the score and is in charge of the rink.
To help identify bowls in a match, club stickers are fixed to the bowls.
All members playing in a match are responsible for setting up and clearing the green and putting all equipment away. You should arrive 30 minutes before a match is to be played.
Members also participate in a tea rota once or twice a season to prepare tea for players in inter-club matches.
The most important what to wear rule is flat shoes only when on the green. Shoes with heels can damage the surface and must not be worn.
After that, bowls is a fun game, but part of the enjoyment is the traditional picture of the green on a summer's afternoon with players in white and the gentle sound of bowls rolling against one another.
So, for weekend matches and other special occasions players wear white tops or shirts with white trousers, skirts, culottes or shorts.
For weekday matches and club competitions it is white tops, but grey trousers, skirts, culottes or shorts.
For roll ups and while being coached there is no dress code except flat shoes. Similarly guest bowlers only have to wear flat shoes.
If you have any questions or concerns about playing, behaviour or what to wear please speak to a committee member.
County or other external competitions may have special rules, so please ask one of the club captains for advice.