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New Members

I would like to extend a warm welcome to new and potential new members to the Island Bohemian Bowls Club.


I have been very fortunate to have been a member of this wonderful and unique bowling club for thirty years and have enjoyed every aspect of it but especially the tranquillity the Island has to offer as the sun goes down in the summer months.  Of course, the bowls is important too, from enjoying the fun games, the competitive games, to the friendly weekend games where we find the opportunity of seeing old friends and making new ones from clubs that visit us from all over the country.  We also get on a cheap subsidised coach and visit other clubs.  Weymouth, Leamington Spa, Northampton, Gloucester to name but a few. And if we are lucky, a four-day, long April weekend tour to the west country.


An important part of Island life is the social aspect which can take many forms, BBQ evenings, the Island pantomime held every couple of years and written by one of our members, the cheap bar, the celebration of important dates such as the late Queens Jubilee where we had a fun day, open days where we get to share our Island with those interested in bowls and those who were just passing by and want a look, or got ‘Press Ganged’ as they tried to pass by on the lovely walks along the river tow paths.


So, whether you want to take up bowls as a healthy leisure activity and for the fun of it, or to join in the competitive side competing at club, league, county or national level, the ‘Island’ as we call it, is for you.


I hope that in becoming a member of the ‘Island’ you will enjoy whatever form of bowls that you wish to take a part in and benefit from being part of our friendly club.


I look forward to meeting you whether as a visitor or new member soon. 


Happy days


Carole Allcock

President 2022 -2023, Island Bohemian Bowls Club


And ......... Don't forget to check out the Members section for social calendar, competitions and fixtures is you fancy joining a Club team!

IBC figures and pavillion
  • What is a "roll-up"?
    A ‘Roll-up’ is the name we use for a casual or practice game on your own or with others. Bowling members are entitled to 'roll-up' free of charge on the Green whenever there is a rink available but it is advisable, especially for the first couple of months of the season, to book a rink in advance.
  • What is a "draw" shot?
    The most common shot which allows the bowler to roll the bowl close to the jack without disturbing the other bowls too much. For a right-handed bowler, 'forehand draw' is initially aimed to the right of the jack, and curves in from the left. Deliver a 'backhand draw' by turning the bowl over in your hand and curve it the opposite way, from left to right.
  • What happens if my bowl ends up in the ditch?
    Bowls reaching the ditch are removed from play and does not count in scoring. However, if they touch the jack before heading into the ditch they remain 'alive', in play and can count in scorring. If the jack is knocked into the ditch it remains 'alive' unless it is out of bounds to the side of the rink. This is called a 'dead' end and is replayed.
  • What is a "toucher"?
    A bowl that hits the jack when bowled. This bowl still counts even if it ends up in the ditch. If a bowl is knocked into the jack by another bowl it does not count as a toucher!
  • What is a "foot fault"?
    At least part of one foot must be on the mat when you bowl. If not that is a foot fault. Your skip will advise on implications.
  • Is the a rule about moving the jack with your foot?
    When centering the jack there is no rule that says you can't use your foot.
  • Is there a recommended set of bowls to buy?
    No. Bowls are very much a matter of personal "fit". Try out different sizes from the Club stock. Talk to your mentor about how different bowls curve on the green.
  • Are Club match times fixed as they can be difficult for people still working?
    The various leagues set rules surrounding match times (Men’s Kennet League has to be 6.30pm for example). These are not controlled by the Club.
  • How do I get a key for the Island car park?
    Contact David Parker, Club Membership Secretary. There is a small deposit fee for a key.
  • Where if the equipment I need to bowl?
    Most of the bowling equipment you will require is kept in the Equipment Shed (not locked). This includes mats, jacks, measuring sticks, scoreboards and bowls gatherers. Sets of woods and shoes are stored in the Pavilion (not locked) and available for your use, if required. Typically, these are used for coaching and potential new members trying out the game. Scorecards and scorecard holders can be found in the corner cupboard in the main clubhouse room.
  • How do I get a locker?
    The Club Membership Secretary can sort one out for you. See the latest Fixtures booklet for contact details.
  • Can I bring friends to visit and use the bar?
    Yes, guests are welcome.
  • Other than the Club car park where else is good to park?
    Most local street parking is limited to two hours which may not be sufficient for a game. However, Thameside Promenade Car Park is a short walk and is free evenings and weekends.
  • How can I advertise that I need a partner in the Pairs competition?
    Lots of options: There is a noticeboard in the Veranda you can use. The Club Facebook page. Men's and ladies sections have Whatsapp groups you could join.
  • I'm interested in getting one of the Island chalets. Who do I contact?
    Normally, there is quite a waiting list! The Club General Secretary can advise you. See the latest Fixtures booklet for contact details.
  • How do I book a rink?
    The Club uses the Bowlr app for this. New members will be given a username, password, instructions and url. There is also a link on the web site in the Members section. Remember to check if there is a boat driver available when you make a booking!
  • How do I find out if there is a boat driver available when I want to bowl?
    When you look at booking a rink using the Bowlr application there should be an indication of if there is a boat driver on duty.
  • When can I come over to the Island to practise?
    Once you are a member you will get access to the Bowlr application and this will show you when there is a boat driver available during each week.
  • What if the Clubhouse is locked and I need the loo!?
    Take the path to the right of the Clubhouse - there is an outside toilet.
  • How do I enter Club competitions?
    Entries for the competitions are made at 'Sign Up' usually on Good Friday or via a competition entry form on the notice board (in the Veranda) 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.
  • Can I borrow bowls for a match?
    Yes, but you might have to plan this ahead if it is an away fixture. Please return borrowed bowls asap.
  • Is there a transition from new member training on Monday nights to playing in matches?
    Best to talk to your mentor. Good to start with matches at the weekend which are normally friendlies. Check the noticeboard to see who is the skip for the match you want to play in and ask to play.

If you need answers to a question not listed you can:

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