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Short Mat Bowls A game that is growing in popularity.

BENEFITS: It is a sport unaffected by weather conditions and it does not require a permanent location as the rink mats can be rolled up and taken away.

The game is played in broadly the same way as lawn bowls.

The object is for each player in a singles game or each team in a pairs, triples or fours, to gain as many shots as possible by getting their bowls nearer to the jack than their opponents.

The main differences in the playing conditions are the size of the playing area, the block that occupies the mid-position of the rink mat, and the ditch, which is actually a defined area of the mat surface.

The intimidatory presence of the block, which prevents players from playing with force directly towards an opponent's bowl to knock it out of a scoring position, and the narrow playing area, requires players to develop skill in using the natural bias on the bowls to bowl round the block.

Bowls that touch the block, and those that come to rest in the dead area or in the ditch are declared 'dead' and removed from the mat before the next bowl is delivered.

It's a game you can enjoy at any age, and with no experience - clubs will encourage anyone wanting to learn or develop their skills. CALORIE COUNT: Short mat bowls is unlikely to burn up masses of calories but will aid joint flexibility and concentration. WHERE CAN I GO? The Welsh Short Mat Bowls Association is the governing body of the game in Wales.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Dec 3, 2011
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