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    Introduction to Lawn Bowls

    for schools classes years 7 to 11 : best for 9 and 10

    Suggested timing : three sessions of 60 to 80 minutes is ideal. Two or four sessions can be OK


    Rules you should follow

    (1)Get them bowling
  • set up the green before they arrive
  • do not waste time getting them fitted for bowls
  • if they do not have flat shoes they play barefoot or in socks
  • 5 minutes of talk for 20 minutes of bowling)


  • (2)Have a competition in each session with a prize

    (3)Do not expect them to play a conventional game of bowls in this type of experience. Bowls with some players at each end challenges them socially



    SESSION ONE

    Preparation
  • One rink for 4-6 expected
  • Put out a mat at each end of the each rink and a half tennis ball three or four metres short of the mat as a target. Generally keep length short when coaching youngsters
  • Place a flat plastic marker on the same side of each rink about 10 metres from the mat so that a bowl with good green will comfortably go around it
  • Get out the bowls to be used and line them up in order of size. Have as many small bowls as possible


  • Arrival
  • ask the teacher to line the students up in order of height as soon as they arrive
  • students then file past and pick up a set of bowls for each pair in number order (shorter people approximately have smaller hands!)
  • sit then down at the end of the green so that all can hear (need two rows for a class of 25)


  • Introduction (<10 minutes)
  • Tell them your name and introduce assistants
  • Define for them green rink ditch and bank and tell them where the toilets are.
  • Safety rule:no fast bowling
  • Show them a bowl bending by rolling it slowly 3 metres. Ask them to tell you the difference between the two sides of the bowl
  • Describe action starting with like 10 pin bowls but no run up and giving mat rules
  • Have assistant demonstrate a full length bowl (note going round marker)


  • Playing (30-40 minutes)
  • They always bowl around the marker so they stay on one side, playing forehand one way and backhand the other. Do not introduce these terms
  • During the playing time coaches should show each group how you score in a normal bowls game and tell them how to kick and group bowls after each end
  • Teachers and coaches move around to get right rhythm in action
  • As they finish the first end you need to tell them to bowl the bowls back – they will want to carry them back


  • Game (20 mins) Target Mat Champion Game
  • If the class has more than 10 if possible use two target mats at the end of the green where the bowls will need to be put away. Leave the markers out on the green you are using
  • Get the class all at the other end at the right time
  • Explain the game rules: You bowl your two bowls consecutively to the target mat. If you get a bowl on the mat it stays there. Every bowl which misses is put away in its container by that student
  • Choose two volunteers to bowl first (they get to take their missed bowls back and bowl them last)
  • When all have bowled those with a bowl on the mat pick it up, take it back to the other end and bowl it again
  • The finalist with the closest bowl wins a prize (orange juice?)


  • SESSION TWO

    Very similar to session one.
  • Revise first and introduce idea of getting green. Talk about angle being constant on a given day
  • Remove the flat plastic markers after about 15 minutes and allow them to bowl on either side
  • Depending on the maturity of the class you could put out two half tennis balls at each end, ask them to bowl one bowl at each marker and teach a little about varying weight
  • Play the same game and see how much they have improved
  • SESSION THREE

    Set up to play the 1/3/5/7 pairs game before the class arrives . This will take you some time
  • Teachers or helpers can take part to even up number of pairs. You can have three pairs on a rink
  • Play the game for the whole session if it is holding their interest. They can score on the rink scoreboards
  • Have prizes for winners
  • Have the target mats available so you can change to the target mat game for the last 20 minutes if desirable
  • Finish with some information about how they can learn more about the game if interested.