Smaller is harder to hit

Some people say that playing with a smaller bowl puts you at a disadvantage because it moves further when struck.

I’ve had bowlers, especially men, come into our shop and insist on a size 4 or 5 because, not to put to fine a point on it, bowling with anything less is an affront to their manhood.

They seem to be anxious that one day in a mixed triples they’ll hear the phrase “Oh, you’ve got small bowls”.

Well, ballistics tests prove that displacement anxiety is overblown. ANY bowl of any size can be displaced by a player using controlled weight, whereas a drawn bowl will displace a size 00 near the jack hardly at all, and not at all if it isn’t on it’s running edge.

On the other hand, the smaller the bowl nestling just behind the jack, the harder it will be to target. So the launch of competition-legal size triple zero and quad zero bowls (000 and 0000) will be welcomed by all bowlers with small hands, or arthritis, or Parkinsons, or any other issue that means 00 size is not quite small enough.

Drakes Pride have always made a ‘Junior’ bowl with a diameter of 9.85 cm, but they are not stamped for competition use. This compares with 11 cm for the competition legal size 00 Professional model.

The new World Bowls stamped and approved Drakes Pride Professional lawn bowls size 0000 is approx 10.25 cm, and the size 000 is 10.6 cm and although the differences seem small it will make ALL the difference.

Prices for the new sizes are £245 (Black) and £285 (colours).  Now in stock for you to touch and feel.

As for the debate about whether a bowl smaller than a 00 will get ‘knocked about’ by bigger bowls in a match situation … let’s knock that one on the head!

Get small legal bowls!

Bowls for children

The smallest lawn bowls available, especially for children’s hands. Suitable for ages 4-10.

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The first new bowls gadget for 100 years?

A strange and wonderful new sentence has appeared in the yet-to-be-published Fourth Edition of the ‘The Laws of World Bowls’, law 23.3.

In case you haven’t got the Third Edition about your person as you read this (and if not, why not?), law 23.3 bans measuring in the head before the last bowl of an end has come to rest

But the Fourth Edition will clarify that using ‘devices comprising concentric circles within a transparent frame which are held approximately waist high’ during an end will not be deemed to be in breach of Law 23.3

This update is surely most odd. So what could have persuaded World Bowls to introduce this most closely described of exceptions the laws?

Well, it’s not What, but Who? Australian bowler Dave Goode has invented a device which exactly matches the Fourth Edition description. Called the Bowls Eye, it is a piece of clear perspex engraved with concentric circles, and when held above the jack at approximately waist height allows someone at the head to more easily distinguish which bowls are closer to the jack. It looks like this:


and here’s a video of it being used.

I can think of one particular circumstance in which this could be very useful. At a recent singles match a bowler with one bowl left to bowl asked the marker ‘What’s the situation?’

The marker, of course, is not allowed to measure. He had several choices, including, but not exhaustively – “It’s a measure” or “You’re holding”, or “You’re one down.”

“You’re holding”, he shouted back down the green. The bowler indicated that he would not bowl has last bowl. But on arriving at the head, his opponent asked for a measure, and won the match.

If the marker had had a Bowls Eye in his pocket, perhaps the outcome would have been different. But there is another Law, 42.2.7, which the Fourth Edition does not clarify. The marker, when asked, must “tell or show the player in possession of the rink which bowl or bowls the marker considers to be shot.”

But can a marker use a Bowls Eye? That is the question!

If you want to try Bowls Eye for yourself, please email sales@bushhillbowls.co.uk to place a back order. The ‘No measuring’ regulation imposed by Bowls England during the COVID-19 pandemic means we are sold out and waiting for the next shipment.