Mote Park Indoor Bowls Club Ltd

Information For New Members


What's going on?

Most new or inexperienced bowlers joining Mote Park Indoor Bowls Club without a guide or mentor must have wondered, from time to time, what it's all about. Surely bowls is all about getting on the green and bowling up one's woods. Well yes - but no!

Very soon it becomes obvious that 'getting on the green' involves a little bit more. These notes seek to offer some help to any club member wanting to become involved.

Firstly then, an explanation of which bowls events can be found to be taking place, and when. Let's break it down into component parts:


Most operate as a single division only, others have two divisions with promotion and relegation. Each league (or division of a league) is composed of 6 or more teams, each run by a self-appointed team manager. Each team must have a minimum number of players (as defined in the club bye-laws). Leagues are played from Monday through to Friday opening at 09.30am and at other times throughout the day. There is also a men's triples league on a Saturday morning at 09.00am.

There are application forms available from the centre administrator Helen Smith, together with a list showing where additional league teams can be accommodated in the next season. These application forms are available for both the winter and the summer seasons. Helen can also provide you with the name and details of existing league team managers who you can contact to see if there is availability to join one of their teams.

There are also lists posted on the notice board opposite the Stewards desk where league team managers advertise for additional players to join their teams: it is up to you to look at notice boards and proceed from there.

You may join any number of teams but, of course, can play for only one team in any league. If you want to form your own team, you may do so at the end of the season, when the league programme is being scheduled for the following year. The Centre Administrator will send out application forms to all existing managers to confirm their entries, and make application forms available for new teams to register where there are vacancies in the league structure. Help and advice is available if you want to understand how to run a team - just ask any committee member.

Club Drives

The Club runs a number of 'drives' during the season (mostly on Tuesday and Thursday lunchtime sessions). The purpose of the drives is to encourage new and not so new bowlers to get together in an organised session. The format is very relaxed and friendly and provides an ideal opportunity for all bowlers to have a good afternoon with friends and to meet our new members who may have not yet plucked up enough courage to put their names down for matches or join leagues.

You will find forms placed on the notice board opposite the Stewards desk for you to place your name on this list for the weekly sessions. These drives are quite popular so get your names down early as there are limited places available.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays please arrive for these drives by 11:30am for registration as the draw closes at 11:45, in order for teams to be sorted for a timely start at 12:00pm.

Friendly Matches

These are generally played against other Clubs or Bowling Associations (Home & Away). Lists are displayed in the foyer of the club and are there for any member of the club to append his or her name to indicate their availability for match selection. These matches are fairly relaxed so do please give them a try. If selected, please tick your name off on the sheet to let the Captain know you are available.

Generally, but not exclusively, these are weekend games on Saturday and Sunday afternoons and are mostly mixed. These matches are of 3 hour duration and usually played in 'whites' or club shirts. Concessions are made for new bowlers in their first year to play in greys in order to encourage them to participate. Occasionally, matches are arranged as 'in-house' games, e.g. Ladies v Gentlemen.

Don't be worried about joining in here. This is the place to learn what bowling is all about. Put your name down on the availability sheets. Make sure you get to know the Captain of the day, and enjoy your game. Other members on your rink will show you the ropes and explain anything you are unsure about.

Kent League Matches

As the heading says these matches are played against other Kent Indoor Bowls Clubs (Home & Away) and offer a more competitive edge to the game. Ladies matches are on a Wednesday afternoon, with the men's being on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Lists are displayed in the foyer of the club in the same area as club matches and are there for any member of the club to append his or her name to indicate their availability for match selection. The dress code for these matches is White below the waist with Club shirts as defined by the Kent League rules.

If you are unsure about putting your name down for these matches, please speak with the club Captain, Vice-Captain or any of the Rink Committee who will offer you advice.


Here matters become more complex, as there is considerable variety in the type and number of competitions that may be entered. Let's try to unravel the complexity:

Club Competitions

These are open to all members, who can enter any (or all), as appropriate, of singles, pairs, triples or rinks (i.e. fours) for ladies or men. There are mixed pairs, triples and rinks for both Ladies and Men to enter together, as well as an 'over 70's' singles, a '2-wood' mixed and also men's pairs, which are normally run on a fixed day event. There is also a 'John Jarrett' competition, which is open to all members who have not previously won a club competition.

Competition forms will be available at the end of July and are included with the newsletter and subscription application forms that are made available to all members for collection on the tables in the foyer.

These are open to all members. Please note that these matches are played on a 'knock-out' basis, apart from the 2 wood pairs.

Competition Entry Forms are produced each year and are available from July onwards detailing all Individual Club Competitions that may be entered, which should be completed and returned (together with appropriate Entry Fees) to the Competition Secretary, by the date stated on the form for play in the same Season

County Competitions

These competitions are at a slightly higher level than club competitions as you are drawn against bowlers from all over the County. They are played in accordance with Kent County Indoor Bowling Associations (KCIBA) & KCLIBA rules and are open to all members to enter. The competitions consist of singles, pairs, triples and fours for both men and ladies and a mixed pairs competition which is entered through the men's KCIBA.

Application forms will be made available in the club and assistance provided by the Ladies' and Men's Secretaries (Wendy Borer & Mick Collins). They will collect all application forms and fees and arrange submission to the relevant association.

National Competitions (EIBA)

National competitions are another step up in the level of commitment and competitiveness. You will be drawn against bowlers in your section of the County and progress towards an Area final and if successful to the final stages which are normally held at Melton Mowbray and Nottingham Bowls clubs. Good quality bowling offering opportunities to play away at other clubs, where the draw permits and against some of the best bowlers in the country, with the eventual aim at appearing at national finals. Very challenging, especially arranging times and venues!

EIBA National competition application forms will be made available in the club and further information is available by talking to Wendy Borer who is the Club's nominated EIBA Correspondence Officer.

County & National competitions are open to all members. Competition Entry Forms are produced each year (usually in February) detailing all Individual County and National Competitions that may be entered, these should be completed and returned (together with appropriate Entry Fees) to the Ladies' or Men's Secretary, by the date stated on the form for play in the following Season.

County, Regional and National Inter-Club Competitions

These Club Representative competitions are team games and are chosen by a group of selectors appointed by the Rink Committee to represent the club. The matches, and their play by/on dates will be posted on the notice boards in the foyer.

It is unlikely that new or inexperienced bowlers would be selected for these highly competitive Inter-Club Competitions (e.g. Denny Cup, Yetton Trophy etc.). Nevertheless, the dates and venues for these matches are published on notice boards and on the club website, and any support that you can give would be very welcome, and much appreciated by the members selected to play.


These are a long-standing part of the bowls world. Although no rink space is scheduled specifically for roll-ups, there are rinks available each day which can be booked for this purpose. Casual bookings may be made by members via the Steward on duty, these can be made up to one week in advance keep an eye on the rink book at Reception or look under Rinks on the web site then call reception to check on availability.

Regular booking can also be made if you wish to get together with a group of friends to book one or two rinks each week throughout the season. This can be done by speaking with the Centre Administrator Helen Smith and requesting a Regular Booking Form and rink availability.


Tournaments, generally restricted to club members only, have been run very successfully in the past, normally at Easter (Good Friday). These are usually whole day affairs, played by up to 16 teams on a mini-league basis, followed by semi-finals and finals between the winners of the mini-leagues. Watch the notice board for details, these days are very enjoyable.

As always if you have any questions on any subject of bowling then please speak to the Club Captains or any of the Rink Committee.