Bowls: no game for old men

An afternoon of bowls, that most urbane of English pastimes, is no game for old men: if you’re a bowling novice, it’s quite a workout.

What may not be apparent when merely watching a bowls match is that the length of a bowling green is no trifling distance. A good arm is required to get the bowls to the other end of the green.

Then there’s the matter of the bowls themselves, which are both heavy and biased. This means they infuriatingly do not travel in a straight line, so the novice bowler must learn how to handle their apparatus in order to get close to the jack.

Accuracy is crucial: too much weight and you will simply deposit your bowls in the green’s ditch; too little and you will fall laughably short of the jack; get the bias wrong and you will veer wide into another person’s rink, earning you unspoken disapprobation and even possibly the castigation of a raised eyebrow.

Competitiveness? Essential! Use your bowls to knock your opponent’s away from the jack; have a convivial chat about it afterwards over a Pimm’s, but whilst on the green, it’s all-out war!

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