Some people derisively call lawn bowls ‘old man’s marbles’ and regard it as a sport for pensioners. They don’t realise it requires a surprising level of mental and physical fitness and skill. Whether you’re nine or ninety, lawn bowls can be a lot of fun yet challenging because it’s a game of strategy.
The average age of lawn bowls players varies between countries. In the UK, it is around fifty to fifty-five. In the Australian Jackaroos squad, it is twenty-nine, but most amateur players are over fifty-five. In Canada, most bowlers are over forty-five.
According to Bowls Australia, the five women who competed in the Commonwealth Games a few years ago had an average age of twenty-seven, while the men were in their early thirties. In 2010 the average age of the English women’s team was twenty-eight. This article looks at how people of all ages can enjoy the sport of lawn bowls.
The Ages Of Top Bowlers
Aaron Wilson, an Australian bowler, won the 2016 World Junior Championships at the age of twenty-four and a gold medal in the 2018 Men’s Singles at the Commonwealth Games at twenty-seven. Lawn bowls has been among the sports played at the Commonwealth Games since 1930.
Team England won three bronze medals at the 2018 games. Husband and wife duo Jamie and Natalie Chesney will be participating in 2022.
She won gold in the women’s singles in 2010 when she was twenty-one. With her husband Jamie, who is thirty-five, she will be playing in the 2022 Commonwealth Games lawn bowls competition at the age of thirty-three.
Robert Weale from Wales became the youngest bowler in 1984 in the outdoor championships and won the Welsh Outdoor Singles in 2000, 2005, and 2012. He also won gold in the 1986 and 2010 Commonwealth Games and several other bronze and silver medals. In 1984 he was just twenty-one.
Lawn Bowls Is A Multi-Generational Sport
A child of just seven competed in the Australian Open a few years ago. Many Canadian clubs have members as young as eight or nine, and it’s entirely possible to have three generations of a family playing together in social games.
Retired amateur tennis players and golfers often take up lawn bowls when they get too old for the physical ferocity of tennis or when they can no longer afford to pay expensive golfing fees.
Older people can use a variety of aids to assist them when they can’t bend sufficiently low to deliver the bowl due to back pain or arthritic knees, and blind people can excel at the game too.
Lawn bowls is low impact exercise in the fresh air and sunshine and involves lunging when delivering bowls and walking up and down the green throughout the game. You must be fit to keep your balance and concentrate when delivering a bowl.
Many a young novice bowler has been surprised when people two or three times their age beat them regularly.
The British Heart Foundation says you can walk three miles in a game of lawn bowls while your arms and leg muscles also get a good workout. It can be played in fours, pairs, or singles and is a highly social game.
No bullying or aggression is allowed, and games can last up to three hours, depending on the format.
Lawn bowls is truly a game for all ages. It is gentle enough for older people with physical constraints while sufficiently competitive to satisfy even the most dedicated athletes.
It can be played at a social, amateur, or professional level, and many competitions are available for different age groups.