Matches & Competitions: A Guide for New Members
(kindly written and supplied by Club member Tom Presland)
Games can be:
- Internal – against other members or
- External – against teams or individuals from other clubs
Games (whether internal or external) can be either
- Friendly Matches or
This doesn’t mean that “Friendly Matches” aren’t played to be won, or that Competitions are un-friendly!
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Friendly Matches are not part of any League or Cup competition, and although we keep to the rules, there may be times when we are more relaxed about them.
Internal Friendly Matches
The most informal of all are the “Roll-Ups”. These take place every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the Season from 2.00 ‘til 4.00 (with a break for tea at half-time). You don’t need to wear any particular clothing – except bowling shoes (which you can borrow from the club). You can also borrow a set of woods. [New members are advised not to rush out and buy their own woods, but to try several types to see which suits them.]
Club nights are on Fridays through the Season from 6.15. They are social events and take place whatever the weather. On nice evenings some members get together for a roll-up, before retiring to the bar.
External Friendly Matches
These are one of the main club activities. Many of the fixtures listed in the Club Fixture Card are of this type.
These matches are shown on the fixture card as in this example:
And this is what it means:
“Date, Day and Time”:- Obvious!
“Fixture”;- This is the club the match is against, but it may of course be a Home Match. Check the “Venue”.
“Rinks”:- This tells you what type of fixture it is. The above example is 6MXD.
The number (6 in this case) tells you how many rinks there will be.
“MXD” means mixed Fours (four a side)
“MXT” means mixed Triples (three a side)
All of these matches are “Mixed” (men and women). We won’t have it any other way!
“Dress”. W = White (Trousers or skirts) and club tops
G = Grey (Trousers or skirts) and club tops
If you want to play in these matches you will need to order your club top as soon as you can. Until it arrives you will need to wear a white top.
To sum up all of the fixtures shown as either MXD or MXT are inter-club Friendly matches.
These fixtures are a good place to start playing “proper” matches. The Captains for the Day make sure there is a mix of abilities in each team. The less experienced players will either “Play Lead” (go first) or “Two”, which are the “less exposed” positions.
To me these matches are the best thing about playing bowls. If you are a new player, don’t be put off joining in because you think your lack of skill will “spoil the game” – it won’t!
How to enter.
Lists are put up on the club house notice board a few weeks before the fixture. If you want to play you simply write your name on the list. You can put your name down for as many as you like – you may not be chosen to play. Teams are selected about ten days before the fixture. You need to check if you have been selected, and tick your name off to show you will be available to play. If you are picked, and then have to pull out, you must tell the Captain for the Day. For Home Matches check the list to see if you have to help set up the rink before the match and maybe wash up afterwards!.
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All internal competitions are on a Knock-Out basis. They start in early June, with the Final for all competitions being played during “Finals Weekend” early in September.
For all competitions there is a £2 entry fee. Entry forms are sent out by email at the beginning of the season, and are also available in the clubhouse. Forms and fees must be posted (or handed to) the club secretary by the closing date. You should wear Club tops and grey trousers or skirt for all internal competitions.
Internal Competitions are either:
- “Handicap” or
The dates for each round of all the handicap competitions are shown on the entry form. The draw and the dates for the non-handicap competitions are displayed on the notice board on 1st June.
All members are given a handicap. At present they range from 0 for new players to 9. During competitions the handicap counts as a minus score for the highest-ranked player, not as a plus to the lower ranked.
Mixed Team Handicap Competitions
You enter these competitions as an individual, you cannot chose whom you will be teamed with. Teams are chosen to give a mix of abilities and sexes.
- Mixed triples
- Mixed fours
- Pedlow – (A pairs competition of 15 ends. “Skip” and “Lead” positions rotate throughout the game.)
Being a “Reserve”
If you do not want to commit to playing a full competition you put on the entry form that you want to be a “Reserve”. If a player cannot make a fixture they are replaced by a someone on the Reserve List with a similar handicap. Obviously, as a Reserve, you may not be called on.
- Mens Singles – first to 21 points
- Ladies Singles – first to 21 points
- Mens 2 wood Singles – played over 21 ends
- Ladies 2 wood singles – played over 21 ends
- Novices – open to everyone who has not won a singles competition in our club or any other club, first to 21 points
- Veterans – open to all 60 years of age or over, first to 21 points
- Seniors – open to all 70 years of age or over, first to 21 points
You must enter these as a pair, you cannot make an individual entry. All played over 21 ends.
- Mens Pairs
- Ladies Pairs
- Mixed Pairs
External Competitions at District or County Level
These are for more experienced players. There is a signing-on Evening in early October, where you can learn more.