It happens in the best of clubs that a new bowler arrives and needs to be fast-tracked onto the green. Maybe this is for action bowls or business league.
Or maybe someone’s young relatives are standing around kicking their heels and would like to have go at rolling a bowl or two (because it looks so easy!)
What do you tell them to get them going fast?
My top five tips for someone who wants to start playing right away
- Tip1: Turn around and face the bank when putting the mat down. Then roll the jack down the middle. If you roll it skew, go and place it on the line, beyond the hog line.
- Tip2: Hold the bowl like this. Whether you bowl to the left or the right the small emblem faces the middle line on the green i.e. it’s on the inside. The bowl will then curve correctly. (In the image above, top US bowler Scott Robert, explains the two sides of a bowl to a beginner.)
- Tip 3: To roll a bowl to the jack (which is the object of the game) stand behind the mat. In your mind’s eye you draw a line from the mat to your aiming point i.e. roughly the boundary peg. So you have walked the line onto the mat
- Tip 4: Then step onto it with your anchor foot, which is the same side foot as the hand you play with (left handers = left foot, right handers = right foot). The foot should face the boundary peg on the side you are playing. So you have seen the line and walked the line, now play the line. Lock your elbow so you deliver with a pendulum action, stepping forward with your non-anchor foot as you deliver the bowl.
- Tip 5: Watch the progress of your bowl down the rink. Then your opponent plays a bowl, then you, until all the bowls have been bowled. Go down the rink to see how the bowls are lying. The team / player whose bowl is closest to the jack gets a point and wins further points if the same player/team’s bowls lie second closest, third closest, etc. The opponent gets nothing. Kick up the bowls, write down the score. Rinse and repeat until you have played as many ends as you want to.
In about fifteen minutes the player should be wobbling around happily on the green with his pals.
Yes, I know the situation is not ideal. Hopefully the bug will bite and the players will be receptive to getting a bit of coaching after they have seen what a fun and engaging pastime lawn bowls is…