Matches - Getting Competitive
The Club has a comprehensive calendar of friendly matches against other clubs, as shown in the Fixture Booklet. Most are played on a 'one year at home and following year away' basis at weekends throughout the outdoor season. The Ladies also hold regular Tuesday afternoon home and away games. There will be an availability list posted on the ‘Friendly Matches’ notice board for each game. It will be taken down by the Captain about a week before the game and replaced with a list of selected members for that game.
Once you've gained some basic confidence we encourage you to put your name up to take part in these games. They are an excellent induction into the sport and its etiquette. It also serves as a way to meet other members of our club and visitors from many other clubs.
The Club has representation in most of the local leagues with the Men playing Rinks on a Tuesday evening in the Kennet League against other Berkshire clubs. These may be at home or away. Many of our men, who are aged 55 years or over, also play in the Kennet League LV Triples competition. These games are mainly played on Wednesday/Thursday afternoons either at home or away.
Our ladies also play Triples on a Thursday afternoon, in the Thames Valley Ladies League, again, either at home or away.
The league calendars and team captain details can be found in your Fixture Booklet. Members are encouraged to play in any of the relevant leagues.
Once you feel confident enough to play in a slightly more competitive environment, talk to your Mentor or one of the team captains and your name can be added to the relevant availability list.
In subsequent seasons you will have the opportunity to indicate your wish to play in relevant leagues on the club competition entry form (see Club Competitions). We do ask that you complete this section as it enables the team captains to formulate their availability lists.
Each league notice board has a team list on it and you merely indicate each game you are able to play in. If you have shown yourself available for any of the games, we ask that you then check the selection list which will be posted approx. one week before each game to see if you have been selected. If so, please acknowledge you are still OK by either ticking against your name or by contacting the relevant team captain direct.
Each season the Club holds a number of competitions for club members only. These are various Men's and Ladies’ singles with 2 or 4 woods, plus the Handicap. The Novices is primarily for bowlers who have not previously won any singles competition so offers a great way to try out competitive bowling! There are also Mixed Singles and Mixed Pairs and a Centenary Cup for the over 70's (open to both ladies and gents).
The Novices, Championship and Mixed Singles are competitions to 21 points (often called shots). The Handicap requires the player with the lower handicap to reach 21 points, *whilst the player with the higher handicap has to reach 21 + the difference between handicaps to win. All of these competitions allow 4 bowls each player for each end.
The 2 woods competition is to 21 ends. Pairs (2 players per team, 4 bowls each) and Triples (3 players per team and 3 bowls each) play 18 ends. Mixed pairs play 21 ends with 4 bowls each. Whilst Fours** is not an internal competition it may be useful to know that teams of four play 18 ends with 2 bowls each.
For more detail see the Veranda noticeboard and Men's Competitions document.
The Club decisions here are aligned to Berkshire rules to avoid confusion:
Entries for the competitions are made by payment at 'Sign Up' on Good Friday or via a competition entry form on a notice board available until a date in early May. Draws are made and displayed on the respective Club Competition notice boards as soon as possible to the start of the season. The Novices and Handicap competitions are ideal entry points for new bowlers.
The finals for these competitions are held on the second weekend in September, with trophies usually presented at the Annual Club Dinner in November. You should only enter these or any other competition, if you know you will be free for the finals.
In addition to the above competitions we also have a number of ‘drawn’ competitions in the Pairs and Triples formats. The dates for these will be shown in your Fixture Booklet and a list for each one will be posted some weeks before each date, inviting entries. The competing teams are then drawn randomly and the competition played to completion on the same day, subject to favourable weather conditions.
Not many years pass without a new bowler being part of a winning team so please do not underestimate your ability and have a go!
Each season there are a number of competitions in all disciplines and various categories open to all club members and organised by the Royal County of Berkshire Bowling Association.
Forms inviting entry are issued by our Competitions Secretaries. Separate forms are issued for ladies and men. They are posted on notice boards towards the end of each outdoor bowling season to prepare for competitions in the following year.
You are also entitled to enter National Competitions and this can be done through the Ladies and Men’s Bowls Section Secretaries.
Also, our Club enters teams in County and National Club Competitions, the teams for which are selected by the club Selection Committees. Bowlers from the Island Bohemian BC are regularly invited to represent the County and the Royal Berkshire County President in representative games against other Associations and Clubs.