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March 10th, 2010 by Temple City Tribune
Margi Rambo delivers a bowl in a Triples Tournament at the Santa Anita Bowling
Green Club’s Greens at the Arcadia County Park. (Photo by Gene Plunkett)
We all watched Curling in the Olympic games, but did you know that that sport on ice has a cousin on grass? Yup. Sure does. You may have heard the terms, Lead, 2nd Lead, Vice and Skip applied to the players. Even the Hog line was mentioned quite often. But hurling a 38-pound chunk of granite down the ice for about 140 feet can get rather tiring, not to mention the frosty tootsies you have to stand on for over an hour.
Being located in Southern California, Curling’s cousin, Lawn Bowling is very similar except for the ice, heavy granite rocks and the portion of the course that’s known as “The House.” We call that the “Head.” Where you deliver from is called the “Mat end.”
Like Curling, Lawn Bowling started long ago in the British Isles. Scotland, Ireland or England, it doesn’t matter. Kings and Queens played Lawn Bowls; it was banned because the archers were bowling instead of shooting arrows. Even Shakespeare and Walt Disney were bowlers. Of course Sir Francis Drake was playing bowls with Sir Walter Raleigh, when the Spanish Armada came to invade England. Sir Francis told the messenger that when they had finished their game he would attend to the Spanish. This was in 1588.
Lawn Bowls came to the “colonies” around 1615 or there about. The Brits brought it over. George Washington’s dad built a bowling green at Mount Vernon when George was born, and there is still a bowling green at Williamsburg, still in use.
The major differences in Curling and Lawn Bowling is that in bowling we use “bowls” in stead of a rock. These bowls have a built in bias that makes the bowl curve in one direction. Of course if you want to bowl in the other direction you turn the bowl over. Instead of a “House” Lawn Bowling has a “Head.” This is where your target is located. The “Jack.” It’s about the size of a cue ball, and is solid white. The idea of the game is to get more of your team’s bowls closer to the Jack than your opponents. If you are bowling a single, or a double game, you use four bowls each. A triple team use only three bowls each and for the Rinks game, each of the four bowlers only gets two bowls.
The bowling surface is called a “green” and the alley or “rink” you bowl on is usually around 120 feet long and between 14 and 16 feet wide. A game of triples lasts about two hours. The sport is easily learned. Many students that never played can be taught enough to get them started I two to three FREE lessons. We have all of the equipment needed and all we really need is interested students. The bowls weigh about 3 pound each so small children can’t handle them well. Anyone up to the age of 120 that can walk 120 feet at a time, bend over and pick up the bowls and roll them down the rink is surely welcome.
One nice thing about Lawn Bowling is that when it rains or snows, or freezes, we stay home by the fire and watch Curling. If you think you might like to try Lawn Bowling, come by the Arcadia County Park, just south of Huntington Drive on South Santa Anita Avenue and give it a look. Best times are Tuesday morning and Saturday morning at 9 AM. There’s usually a group of happy folks rolling their bowls. Lessons can be arranged to fit your schedule by calling Gene Plunkett at 626-351-5327. He can give you all the information you’ll ever need. If you have a computer visit our web site at: www.lawnbowling-arcadia.com <http://www.lawnbowling-arcadia.com> .
We have room for about 50 more bowlers in our club, so beat the crowd and come and give Lawn Bowling a try. It’s a lot easier than Curling on ice..Burrrrrrrrrr. See you on the greens.