Our bowling season runs from around mid-April until the end of September, and during this time our bowlers participate in a wide range of bowls matches. Once the season gets into full swing there are bowls matches of one sort or another almost every day.
Throughout the season we play friendly matches of rinks or triples, at home and away. These are normally weekend games, with the occasional weekday evening fixture. For many beginner bowlers, these games provide the first taste of competitive, but friendly, bowling. Our location in the north east corner of Wiltshire means that we have regular fixtures with clubs from our neighbouring counties of Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire, as well as other Wiltshire clubs.
Highworth’s men’s and ladies’ bowling sections compete in the Wiltshire Bowls Associations’ and Swindon & District Bowls Associations’ leagues and competitions; these are played on weekday evenings throughout the season. We also field teams in the Monday afternoon Triples league.
Highworth bowlers compete against each other for club honours in our club knockout competitions which are played throughout the season, culminating in our finals weekend in September. There are singles, pairs, and triples competitions for men and ladies; a mixed pairs competition; and singles competitions restricted to bowlers who have not previously won a club competition. Prizes are awarded at our annual presentation dinner after the close of the season.
Established bowlers will probably also compete in one or more Swindon and District, Wiltshire County, or National competitions. Again offering singles, pairs, triples and rinks matches, these games provide the bowler with the opportunity to play competitive bowls against other teams or individuals from the local area, perhaps progressing to play against winners from other counties, with the ultimate aim of reaching the national finals at Worthing (men) or Leamington (ladies).
Special matches and gala days
We normally have a few special club matches during the season, at which all our bowlers have an opportunity to get together for fun or for a good cause. At Highworth we play a President’s v. Captain’s match, and a Men v. Ladies game annually. Other special matches include a fund-raising games, and invitational gala days.
As if this weren’t enough, you’ll often find our bowlers on the green in spare moments, playing informal games or just practicing (we call it ‘rolling up’) – we always try to keep one rink free for roll-ups.
New bowlers are encouraged to receive free coaching sessions from the club’s qualified bowls coaches. Club bowls and equipment can be used until the new bowler decides to buy his/her own equipment.