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Robert (Bob) Tuck, the originator of getagameofbowls, has recently written a book called Lawn Bowls: The Game & How To Play It Well. You can find out more about the book from this link or read part of the chapter on getting your weight here
You can buy the printed book for $24 posted or as an ebook for less than $5 on all platforms.

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    This email has been sent to *|FNAME|* *|LNAME|* from *|CLUB|* Bowling Club which has games listed on . To add, edit or delete tournaments or weekly social games the club has user name *|USERNAME|* and pin *|MERGE9|*

    Hello *|FNAME|*

    Greetings from Brighton SA

    I have received many emails from bowling clubs in recent weeks. While getagameofbowls is set up for clubs to list their own tournaments, I am always happy to respond to requests from clubs to list a tournament for them.

    I am spending some time updating the list of clubs. At present there are 1897 clubs on the getagame list, of which 1451 have a web site or facebook page linked from getagame.

    The bowls Australia snapshot of lawn bowls (see it here) says that there are 1879 clubs, a decrease of 30 from last year. This means that there must be about 20 clubs on my list which do not exist. If you know of a club which has closed in the past two years please let me know.

    I would also like clubs to check the links to their club and inform me if I do not have an accurate google map picture of your club.

    Good Bowling
    Bob Tuck

    Getagame Gazette
    volume 2 no 5 May 2017

    Articles In This Edition
  • Singles Tournaments at Clubs
  • Playing the Positions (The Second)
  • Bowls Show Has Returned Bigger and Better
  • Bowls Videos from Bowls Australia

  • Singles Tournaments at Clubs

  • The majority of bowlers do not get many chances to play singles. Half of those who enter club championships only play one game per year!
  • Singles competitions are very rare. Out of 762 tournaments in the getagame archive only 15 are singles (only one copy of each annual or weekly tournament is kept). As at 1st May there are only 3 unplayed games, at Coffs Harbour Park Beach, Kandanga and BrightonSA

    The biggest open singles tournament by far each year is the Australian Open Last year there were 864 men and 292 women.

    The most historic singles competition in Australia is probably the Adelaide Masters which was first run in 1960 and has only missed three years since then. Many top Australian bowlers have won the Adelaide Masters, including Glyn Bosisto (the first winner in 1960) and Albert Newton (1962) the authors of fine early books on the game. Some other notable winners are Rob Parella, Ian Schuback, Cameron Curtis, Andrew Smith, Steve Glasson, Wayne Reudiger, Graham Shawell (ENG) and Scott Thulborn.

    This year it was played at Easter and the entries were enhanced by the proximity of the game to the Australian sides championship. Ryan Bester, Scott Thulborn, Natasha Scott and Aaron Wilson won their way to the semi-finals, with Scott Thulborn winning his fourth masters (and three in a row, the first player to do so), stopping Natasha Scott becoming the first female winner.

    The tournament at Coffs Harbour Park Beach on 10th to 14th July is exciting.

    It is well sponsored with $33000 prizemoney and is open to the first 120 applicants, who will initially play in 30 sections over 3 days, with 8 sections playing on day 4 and the finals on day 5

    At this stage they still have vacancies for this tournament

    The problem in running such a singles tournament in one club is that it requires a total of 211 markers – a very heavy load for the club if they are not able to recruit some from eliminated players.

    see entry form here

    The Adelaide Masters this year started with 18 sections and so required a total of 125 markers. The recruiting and organising of markers for the Australian open must be very difficult but it is spread over many large membership Gold Coast clubs

    I am going to run a one day open tournament at my club (BrightonSA) in October this year. This competition starts with 9 rounds of 6 ends, with all entrants playing 6 games of 6 ends and marking 3 games. With a 9.30 start the initial rounds can be finished by 3.30 allowing for three rounds of finals of 8 ends. If all entry fees go into the prize pool reasonable prizes can be given even if no sponsorship is obtained.

    The entrants are placed in six groups and each player is drawn against one opponent from each group. The last game is against a player from your own group. For example in a 60 player tournament you place the highest ranked 10 players in the same group - then every bowler plays one game against a member of this group

    This structure does make it feasible for a small club to run a worthwhile singles tournament giving members and visitors a chance to play 36 ends of singles. The tournament can involve 3 players per available rink with no external markers needed.

    Getagameofbowls provides full instructions , draws for 24 to 60 players, scorecards and results spreadsheet

  • Playing the Positions (The Second)

    This is the second article in which I look at the coaching advice given in the grand old books on bowls. The quotes from these books have had to be edited to keep them short but I have left the text mainly unedited

    R. T. Harrison Bowls the Text Book of the Game
  • All places in in a good rink have values and all contribute to getting one to eight bowls closer to the jack than the opponents best bowl. To to this all must throw individuality to the four winds and work together as a team.

  • One of the first things a second must get behind the hat is that if the leader is strong and the other leader close to the kitty the second becomes a second leader and not try running the kitty. This is commonly a fatal error for many seconds.

    The second should
  • Study the changes in length
  • Play the better hand whenever the skip gives you the choice
  • Don’t ask or look for a drive- things are desperate when the skip calls for one (but be able to drive if requested)
  • Keep on drawing, for the dead draw two is the winner of matches. That is why I place the best draw bowler second in big games

  • For the photo on the right Harrison's caption (1937) was

    To be correctly attired at bowls is to have mounted the first rung on the ladder of success

    Albert Newton Fundamentals of Lawn Bowls
  • The second has to master a variety of shots, in contrast to the leader who only has to master one, the draw. However in cases where the leader is being outdrawn the second has the extra duty of drawing the shot
  • Apart from gaining experience in matches the second should frequently practise alone
  • The second should learn how to use the mat to get around or inside a bowl
  • As a final hint I advise all seconds to avoid settling down to the stagnant state of knowing only how to draw the shot. Accuracy in positional play, the trail shot and the like win many games

  • Glyn Bosisto Bowling Along
  • A second is required to play all the shots yet rarely plays the shot he would like to play.
  • The danger comes when the second watches the play and sees a shot he is confident to get; but when he gets onto the mat the skipper put him on the other hand. Nine times out of ten when this happens the second plays a poor one - having made up his mind beforehand he rarely concentrates enough on the alternative,
  • The second should go to the mat with a mind open so far as shot making is concerned and not step onto the mat until given instructions by the skipper
  • Whatever the situation the Second must place himself entirely in the skipper’s hands. He must not crowd the head with a good draw when a position bowl is required neither must he run into the head when a saving bowl is sought

  • Bosisto put in a little side article which is well worth repeating in full
  • The Dangers of Jack High
    It might be appropriate here to discuss the jack high bowl, the difficulties it brings and the opportunities it provides.
    A jack high bowl provides a first class guide.

    When it is available the player should never draw to the Jack but draw to beat the jack high bowl.

    This gives five chances to two of getting the shot or good position as indicated in this diagram
  • By beating the bowl obtain shot as in position 1
  • If slightly off line rub off the jack high bowl as in position 2 or replace the jack high bowl
  • If slightly narrow trail the jack as in position 3
  • If slightly thorough and finding the gap fininsh in a good position as in 4
  • If slightly wide run into a good position as in 5
  • Hence the second will try at all costs not to draw a jack high bowl, because it is the worst bowl that can be played to a head with a good position. And the closer it is the worse it is

    Aspiring Seconds might well check themselves on the following eight points
  • Are you a reliable draw shot bowler?
  • Can you play an accurate rest without poking at the head?
  • Can you play an accurate running shot without losing your bowl in the ditch?
  • Can you drive if needed?
  • Can you play wide to position?
  • Are you calm and steady?
  • Can you concentrate on a nominated shot?
  • Are you at all time amenable to direction? If you can say yes to all eight questions you should be your state’s premier second!

    Much of the advice given by the writers refers to elite level bowlers. For most bowlers the 20cm difference between a jack high bowl and a good short or good long bowl impossible to achieve.

    Bosisto’s chapter on ‘tactics and the rink’ is well worth reading

    One of my coaches once told me that the duty of the second when holding shot is to hide the jack – again an elite bowler speaking!

    All writers mention the requirement not to be short if there is a bowl very close to the jack and all emphasize the value of solo practise for all playing positions.

    Find some routines for solos practice for seconds here

  • Bowls Show Has Returned Bigger and Better
    The Bowls Show’s second season will return to SBS on Sunday, May 14, in the new time-slot of 3.00pm nationwide.

    The hour-long weekly program will again be shown across 20 weeks, up until October 22

    Read about it on Bowls Australia Web Page and see the broadcast schedule here

    Bowls Videos from Bowls Australia

    Bowls Australia provides a great range of videos on their YouTube channel .