Now in the Memorial Hall

TUESDAY EVENINGS - from 7:30 to 9:30

Short mat bowls has proved to be very popular. The short mat bowls club at Leigh on Mendip Memorial Hall has purchased its own equipment and all you need to bring is a straight arm and a good eye!

Sessions run from 7.30 p.m. to 9.30 p.m. on Tuesdays from September to April in the Memorial Hall.

 If you have previously played, or never played and fancy trying it, we would welcome new members of all ages.  We have a few sets of bowls and some flat-soled overshoes (for protecting the expensive new carpet).  Slippers, such as flat-soled moccasins would be acceptable.

 Cost - £2.00 per session, £1.00 for under 18’s (including tea and biscuits).


Further information on Short Mat Bowls

When winter comes around, Bowls like many outdoor games, become less easy to play. So indoor variations of the game have come into existence. One popular variety is called simply Indoor Bowls and is essentially Lawn Bowls played on an indoor surface with the majority of the rules consistent with that game. However, another variant called Short Mat Bowls, with characteristics all of its own, has a really big following all over Britain and Ireland. Like many pub games, it is really a miniaturised version of the outdoor game to enable it to be played more easily indoors. It is played on a mat measuring 40-45 x 6 feet with full-size bowls, the mat being easily rolled up and put away for convenience. There is a ditch but this is simply an area marked at the end of the mat and to compensate for the shorter distance an intimidating block is placed in the centre of the mat. This makes it impossible for a bowler to aim a fast straight bowl at the jack area - all bowls must use the bias to curl around the block to their target.

The short mat bowls game was first played in South Wales by two South Africans who came to work in the area. They had played bowls outdoors in South Africa and, perhaps due to the poor climate and the long close season in this country, they began to play a simulation of the outdoor game on a strip of carpet in a church hall. Some time later, they moved to Northern Ireland and took the new game with them. Rules and conditions of play were drawn up and the game soon became well established in the Province. It was introduced into England by Irish expatriates, but development was slow until the 1980's when its potential as a low cost sport for people of all ages was realised. The English Short Mat Bowling Association (ESMBA) was formed in 1984, and is now the governing body of the sport in England. Thanks to the Cornwall County Short Mat Bowling Association for this information.