THE GAME OF CROWN GREEN BOWLS

by Lesley Dickinson

Most of what anyone would wish to know about Crown Green Bowls is contained in the comprehensive site of the British Crown Green Bowling Association at http://www.bowls.org/.

Another site to take a look at is http://www.federationbowls.org.uk/

There is little point in my elaborating on this when those sites are only a click away, however in order to assist you in that split second decision, here is a limited summary of the difference between 'Crown Green' and Lawn Bowling.

As far as I am aware the sport is played primarily in more northerly parts of Britain, roughly Yorkshire and Lancashire northward and nowhere else - if anyone can put me right on this please let me know ! There are only odd crown greens further south than that, like the one at Skegness for instance, which has been installed for the benefit of holiday makers who cannot bear to be away from their sport.

Correction - I am informed: 'your comments on Crown Green Bowls are entirely incorrect when you say primarily played in Yorkshire & Lancashire and nowhere else. I am Secretary of an Over-60's Bowls League with 71 teams in the League at Birmingham. That is in East Birmingham. The S.W. Birmingham League has 60+ teams. The Heart of England League has a similar number of teams in their League. There is also the Walsall League, the Coventry League, and the Dudley & District League, plus many more. In my League alone there are over 750 Crown Green Bowlers' My thanks to Mr William Buck for this correction.

The game is similar to flat lawn green bowling, but has a larger black or brown 'jack' which is midway in size between that of the bowls and the flat green jack. I believe this may, like the bowls, be biased. The game is played, as its name suggests on a green with a 'crown'. That is, the green is built with a 'hump' in the middle.

Correction - I am informed: 'The jack can be yellow, white or black and has a bias of 2 full, thus the bowls will normally (but doesn't have to) also have a 2 full bias to match the jack. The weight of the bowls is normally between 2lbs and 2lbs 12 oz, with the ladies playing about 2lbs 4oz and the men 2lbs 10oz. My thanks to Mr Mike Morris for this correction.

Instead of being played on straight, clearly defined rinks, players can play at any angle on the green, and the player has to call upon additional skill to combat the camber of the green. Rightly or wrongly, crown green bowlers seem to think they are a cut above the flat green bowler, arguing that there is more skill required in their game. I believe also that they can play across each other's path.

I believe, also that like dog and horse racing, bets are taken on the outcome of the game, whereas this would not be allowed in flat green bowling.

Please pay a visit to their site if you are interested in this topic and send me an update to this page if you know a lot more about it than I do:-)


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