Saturday was a beautiful day to learn how to play lawn bowling in Vernon.
The Vernon Lawn Bowling Club hosted a ‘try it’ day at its green in Polson Park on May 13.
As the name of the event suggests, the day was all about giving people of all ages and abilities a try at the sport.
“It’s good exercise and it’s fun, there’s a lot of camaraderie involved and there’s a bit of competition, you can be as competitive as you want,” said Jo-Ann Jaques, a club director.
Experienced members of the club taught newcomers how to hold the ball, which way to orient the ball in the hand to get it to curl in the intended direction, how to stand on the mat, and how to toss the jack into play to start the game.
Jaques says there are in fact many rules to this seemingly simple game, but after a brief tutorial guests had enough understanding to start playing.
Teams are typically comprised of a lead (usually an inexperienced player), a third (a more experienced player) and a skip (a very experienced player).
The club currently has about 125 members, many of which are new this year, and the organizers of Saturday’s event hoped ‘try it’ day would bring even more members in.
The club holds open bowling Sunday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons, which will switch to the morning once the summer heat arrives. On Tuesday and Thursday nights the club holds ‘cutthroat’ bowling from 6-8 p.m. — the name of which describes the process of knocking opponent’s balls ruthlessly away from the jack, and whichever team has the most balls near the jack wins.
Jaques says the club got an early start this year; three weeks ago the greens keeper was satisfied with the surface and opened the season.
“The greens were really good,” Jaques said.
The club belongs to the Interior Lawn Bowling Association, which spans from Osoyoos to Kamloops and includes Sicamous and Salmon Arm. Each club has a series of open houses throughout the season where different clubs can compete against one another. The Kelowna club is hosting an open house Sunday at 10:30 a.m., Osoyoos’ next open house is May 23, and Vernon’s is on May 31.
The club also has a big Canada Day celebration, with mixed triples play happening July 1-3 — open to all of the Interior clubs.
For those who missed ‘try it’ day on Saturday, the City of Vernon is hosting another one with the club at a later date. The city will advertise that event in the coming weeks.
A year’s membership at the Vernon Lawn Bowling Club is $155. Locker rentals at the club are $15, and bowl rentals are $30.