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??  FAQs  ??

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Is bowls a game just for older people?

No, bowls can be enjoyed at any age. But for unknown reasons this is a common misconception in Canada, unlike other countries. Bowling involves precision and tactics rather than power and speed and that is why you see so many older people enjoying the sport and since there is no gender advantage, it is ideal for mixed play. Most of the world class players are younger people.

Do I have to wear whites?

No, there is no dress code at Kerrisdale. We do require that flat-soled shoes be worn so as not to damage the grass. For some tournaments there may be a dress requirement. Kerrisdale does have its own club jersey.

Do you have to be in good physical condition to play?

Bowls is active but not physically taxing. During a game you will walk about half a kilometre and bend up to 50 times to deliver bowls. An inter-club tournament may involve up to four shorter games over the course of a day.

What are bowls?

Bowls are made of a solid composite substance. They are slightly ovular and are weighted, so that they roll along a curved path when delivered. There are different sizes and weights to accommodate varying hand sizes. Different models are manufactured to follow different curves.

How long do games last?

Typically each end will last about 8 to 10 minutes. Social games are generally eight to 14 ends in duration, so they can last up to two hours. In inter-club tournaments, which can take all day and involve three or four games, each game would involve having fewer ends. In major tournaments, longer games are usually played and length depends on the format used.

How does the game format work?

Bowls can be singles, pairs, triples or fours. In singles and pairs, players usually roll four bowls; in triples, three; and in fours, two. More recent variations of the game reduce the number of bowls in pairs to three and in triples to two. Except in singles, there is a skip, a lead and other players  - a vice in triples and a second and vice in fours. The skip sets strategy, calls for specific shots and is the last player to bowl. Games have a pre-determined number of ends except singles, which can be played either as sets or as the first to 21 points.

Who rolls their bowls first?

A coin toss determines who bowls first in the first end. After that the team that wins the end bowls first in the next end.

Do I have to show up with a partner?

No, at drop-in and social events names are drawn randomly or are allocated by the game director to create teams.

Do I have to make a commitment to play?

No, you can opt to play socially at club drop-in and special events at times of your own choosing or you can join a league and play on a team, which does involve a commitment.

What is the lawn bowling season?

The outdoor season starts at the end of April, weather permitting. The green is closed at the end of September. There is also a programme of social activities over the winter. This season starts with the spring AGM, bowling and a barbecue. This season's start was postponed owing to COVID-19.

Do I have to buy my own bowls?

Most new players use club bowls until they decide what they like. A new set of bowls will cost about $400 or more but used bowls are often available for purchase at a much lower cost. Some players use club bowls exclusively but if you are going to enter tournaments having bowls you are familiar with is a good idea.

When can I play at KLBC?

Members receive a door key so they can use the club as desired. There is an inter-club league that is played all through the season on Tuesday mornings. There are also open draws on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. There are Pennant league games on Monday evenings and an friendly Aussie pairs competitions on Wednesday evenings. The club hosts some one or two-day tournaments throughout the season and we also host rental bookings. Outside of these times, the green is available for member's individual use. See Weekly Schedule and Calendar for more precise information. There is also a chalkboard at the club showing events each week.

Green maintenance is generally carried out on Monday, Tuesday and Friday mornings.

Are lessons available?

Yes, early in the season lessons are available at a cost of $50 for a course of three. This fee is credited to your membership fee should you decide to join the club.

What are the fees at KLBC?

Annual fee for returning members is $220. The cost for first-year beginners is $120. Lessons for new players cost $50, which is subtracted from the fee should you join the club. All other play is free to members, unless a charge is made for prize money at some events. Visitors to the club are charged $10 to play a game or a two-hour practice session. Special social events typically attract a fee of $5 to cover the cost of food.

How do I join?

Click here will take you to the Joining our Club page. To download a Membership Application Form click here. Or email us at for more information.

Does KLBC have a kitchen?

Yes, there is a fully equipped kitchen with a variety of refreshments and beverages available. The kitchen has a refrigerator and dishwasher.

How is KLBC managed?

The Board of Directors is elected annually from volunteers within the membership. Other functions are carried out by club members, who volunteer their time and services, including  grounds and clubhouse maintenance. We employ a part-time, professional groundskeeper to ensure a high quality lawn.

Glossary of Bowls Terms

Bias                    The curve of the bowl when rolled, due to its offset centre of gravity.

Bowl              A weighted, slightly ovular ball, which varies in weight and size in order to accommodate different hand sizes.

Ditch             The channel at the end of the green. A bowl in the ditch is out of play unless it is a toucher, in which case it remains in play.

End                Each team rolling all their bowls towards the jack constitutes an “end”. Games can be 8 to 14 ends or some other number as agreed.

Green            The playing surface, or “rink”, where the teams play.

Groundsheet A large mat placed under the small mat to help protect the green during the delivery. Used when the green is soft.

Jack                A small solid ball, often white, rolled along the green as a target.

Jack High        A bowl that ends up at an equivalent length to the jack.

Lead               The first player on the team to deliver their bowls.

Mat                The small mat on which a player stands when delivering a bowl.

Skip               The person who directs play for the team and rolls their bowls last.

Speed             How long it takes a bowl to travel on the green, which varies according to lawn conditions and  weather. Typically greens are “fast” or “slow” or “heavy”.

Take Out        A bowl rolled, usually faster, with the intention of removing an opponent’s bowl from its position close to the jack.

The Draw        Members show up and place their names “in the hat”. The names are then drawn out to form teams.

Toucher        A bowl in course that touches, and may move, the jack.

Vice               The person in triples who delivers their bowls second and directs play when the skip is bowling.

Weight          The amount of effort required to roll the bowl a certain distance along the green.

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