New Members FAQs



When you join a new club it can be hard to find your way around, you may have lots of questions. It wasn’t so long ago that we were in your shoes having joined after coming to an Open Day at Bantham and Ongar in May 2007. We weren’t sure if bowls or joining a club was for us, but all this time on and we’re still here and as involved as we could be considering we’re both in full time employment. Members are always happy to help and you can always email us if you don’t find what you’re looking for here.


What equipment do I need?

You will need a pair of flat soled shoes. To begin with you can wear trainers but if you decide you would like to play bowls more seriously you will need to buy yourself a pair of bowls shoes. You can find these on the internet if you wish or you can go along to a specialist bowls shop where there are a variety of styles to choose from. Shoes come in white, grey or brown and the choice is yours. The shoes we wear protect the green from damage and so it is essential that the correct shoes are worn.

We usually play in ‘greys’. This means that men must wear grey trousers and white shirt or polo shirt. Ladies can wear a grey skirt or grey trousers and a white top. When you first start you will not need to purchase bowling clothes, ordinary grey trousers and white tops will be fine. If, however, you represent the club in a match, friendly or league, men will need to wear a club polo shirt and ladies will need to wear a club blue waistcoat or jacket. These can be purchased from the club.

On some occasions we play in all white – which is exactly as it says. We all wear white tops and white trousers/skirts. As above, if representing the club, the men will need a tie and the ladies a blue waistcoat or jacket.

You will find a range of second-hand clothes in the changing rooms in the club. You can purchase these for a small contribution to the club funds. You may find this particularly useful when you start, and in time you will acquire your very own grey and white selection of clothing for all bowling occasions!!

Lastly, you will need a set of bowls – the club has a variety of sizes of bowls that you can borrow when you play until you decide what size suits you. This will normally depend on the size of your hands. Men may bowl with larger and heavier bowls than the ladies – but it is an individual choice and you can take your time to decide the size that you feel most comfortable with. Once you have decided, you may find that there are sets of bowls advertised for sale at the club (you will find these on the notice board in the clubhouse).Alternatively you may find second hand bowls advertised on the internet or if you visit a specialist bowls shop where there may be second hand bowls for sale. Eventually you may wish to purchase a new set of bowls for yourself and there are plenty to choose from but we would advise that you take your time before deciding on such a purchase.


When can I play?

When you first start you can come to the Club on Club Night which is Thursdays from  6pm.  There will always be someone there to help you on a Club night and you will be able to practice your bowling and take part in a ‘roll up’ with other members. You can also arrange with other members when they will be playing at the club and then come along for a practice at the same time.

Once you become a full member you will be issued with a set of keys. The security of the club is paramount and you will be shown how to access the club on your own. In the meantime Thursday evenings are a good place to start. Also if you are interested in becoming a full member you will be able to play in some of the friendly matches that take place at the weekends during the season. Of course experienced players will be asked to support the club teams in leagues and other competitive matches.


How do I know what is happening and when?

Once you join you will be issued with a small  fixtures booklet. This  is produced at the beginning of each season and lists all the fixtures for the rest of the year. Included in the fixtures list are all the League matches and all the friendly matches. It shows whether the game is at home or away, what time the game will start, whether we will play in greys or in whites, whether the game will be triples or rinks (3 people per team or 4) and what the refreshments will be (tea and biscuits, salad or a meal).


How do I get to play in a game?


Once you have become a member you can put your name down to play in any friendly matches or to join a League.  Each League is organised by a different member of the club and you will find lists of these in the changing rooms.  You can speak to the organiser who will be able to advise on the opportunities available. 


As for the friendly games, there is a separate sheet pinned up in the changing rooms for each friendly game.  The first thing you need to do is put your name on the list as being available to play for however many games you can.  As the date of the game approaches, the list is removed and the players are picked (you may not get picked for every game that you put your name down for).  The teams are decided by the captains and the list is put back on the wall for everyone to see who is playing.  You will need to check the list carefully as everyone takes their turn doing other jobs that need to be done.  For example if you are picked to play at a home game, you may be asked to be the 'green monitor' for the day.  This involves getting to the club early to set up the green.  Obviously you will not be asked to do this on your own!


What happens when I do get picked to play?


When you get picked to play you will need to check whether you will be playing in grey or white, what time the game starts and whether it is a home or an away game. You will often be able to arrange to go along with other club members if the game is away.  

Where can I see a copy of the Club Rules?

These are displayed in the club house and are available on request from the club secretary.