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Learn the lingo and bowl a winner

Do you know your back bowl from your bias or your dead end from your draw shot? If not, read on to find out how to lift your game.

Lawn bowls is a low-impact, therapeutic exercise that is perfect for retirees who would like to improve fitness, coordination and confidence.

Some retirees are competitive and play lawn bowls for the challenge while others prefer the social interaction and spending time outdoors. A game of bowls can be as competitive or as social as you want it to be and generally you can find a game happening most days of the week.

If you think you are more of a crackerjack than a committed bowler when it comes to lawn bowls, it doesn’t really matter. As your mother used to say… it’s not about who wins or loses! Bowls is just a lot of fun and a great way to relax with friends and strangers alike.

The Prospect-Broadview Bowling Club in Adelaide, where some of our residents play, has a friendly atmosphere and welcomes everyone from beginners to competitive bowlers.

To get you started, here are a few tips to impress your family and friends.

The Prospect-Broadview Bowling Club’s basic bowling tips for beginners
• Bowlers play on a large rectangular green that is divided into rinks.
• The aim is to roll biased balls (bowls are weighted balls) so that the ball stops close to the smaller white ball which is called the jack.
• The jack is used as a target and determines point scoring.
• In team bowls, the lead places a mat on the rink and rolls the jack to determine the length of the end (minimum 21 metres).
• When the jack comes to rest it is moved across at the same length to the centre of the rink.
• Take turns with your fellow players to bowl from the mat towards the jack.
• If a bowl curves outside the rink and into an adjoining rink and then returns, it is still in play.
• When a bowl stops outside the rink or in the ditch, it is known as dead and removed from play for that end.
• After all bowls have been delivered, the closest bowl is called the shot.
• The shot is determined and agreed upon by sight or with a special purpose tape measure.
• If you have one or more bowls that are closer than your opponent’s best bowl, then that is the number of shots you score on that end.
• Once the end has been played, you do it all again in the opposite direction.
In a typical game of bowls there are 21 ends, usually with a break midway through the game for a quick chat, a cuppa and a snack.

If you are still keen to impress your friends, try the following bowls lingo:

• Head – the collective term for the bowls that have come to rest after being delivered
• Back bowl – a bowl that comes to rest beyond the jack and at the back of the ‘head’
• Blocker – a bowl that blocks the path of the intended target
• Foot fault – when a bowler does not place their foot on or over the mat at delivery
• Lead – the person who begins play for a team at each end by placing the mat and rolling the jack
• Skipper – the team captain or ‘skip’ always plays last and is usually the most experienced player
• Touchers – bowls that hit the jack are marked with chalk and remain alive even if they are in the ditch

A good time to take up bowls is now! Lawn bowlers are known for their hospitality and the Prospect-Broadview Bowling Club is no exception with three well-maintained grass greens which are very cool and offer the ultimate in summer lawn bowls.

Since 2009, RetireAustralia has sponsored the Prospect-Broadview Bowling Club and if you follow the bowling tips and speak the lingo, not only will you impress your family and friends you just might bowl a winner!

Feel free to stop by the Prospect-Broadview Bowling Club at Collingrove Avenue in Broadview to find out more, give them a call on 8344 4836 or visit prospectbroadviewbc.com


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