Internal club competitions are a great way to dip a toe into competitive play in a relaxed environment. Most competitions are singles, meaning it’s one player versus another, and are drawn randomly and run on a knockout format.
We have a range of competitions including singles club champion on both the synthetic green and the grass green, the Rose Bowl which has a slightly different format, fixed jack (more on that below), a handicap competition aimed at giving everyone an equal chance of winning, and the Junior Singles which is only open to anyone who has never won a club singles competition before – and therefore guaranteed a new champion every year!
Apart from the day of finals, internal competition matches are played throughout the year, by arrangement between the competitors. There’s no dress code for these and the only requirement is to play each round by a certain date, so as not to leave all the matches to be played in a short period at the end of the year.
To join any of the competitions sign up on the lists that will be posted on the club noticeboards in Spring and the finals day is usually in early or mid September. You can enter as many or as few as you want.
There are in fact two club singles competitions: one played entirely on the synthetic green (which used to be the Walthamstow Borough Bowling Club Singles), and one on the grass green (previously Aveling Park Singles). Matches are played with four woods and the first player to reach twenty-one points wins.
The competition is open to everyone and the finals will usually be contested by whoever is playing the best over the course of the year. A lot can happen over the course of a competition, and as the draw is random there’s a good chance of getting to a quarter-, semi-, or even into the final.
The Rose Bowl is played in a different format to competitions above, in that instead of being played to a fixed number of points there are two “sets” of nine ends, with the winner of each set being awarded one point. If tied after two sets (e.g. if both players win one set each), then there is a three-end shoot-out, where the winner of the end receives one point, regardless of how many woods would have scored in a regular game.
It’s a fun format as it’s much easier to come back from a bad start than a long single competition, because the second set starts from 0-0 again.
The Women’s Singles is a new competition for 2022 and will played played to the same format as the Rose Bowl i.e. two sets of nine ends with a three-end shoot-out if there’s no clear winner after the two sets.
This competition is the same format as the club singles but is only open to players who have never won a club singles competition before. It’s a good one to enter if you’re new to bowls, or just new to the club, as it’s guaranteed a new winner every year.
The handicap system often changes, but the key differences from the singles competitions above is that each player only has three woods, not four, and each player starts with a number of points reflecting their handicap. E.g. someone who is new might start with five points, whereas a more experience player might have zero or one. It can be quite a challenge to make up the difference, and the point is that both players should have an equal chance of winning with the match determined by whoever can make the difference by playing better on the day.