Anyone can play lawn bowls since it is a very easy game to learn. Bowling is relaxing and competitive at the same time, depending on how active the players are. You can play alone for practice or with friends to make it more fun. There is a good number of active bowling clubs and new members are joining every day, which means it’s still a fun and attractive game. Even better, both young and adults play the game regardless of their ability. Since there is no bowling without bowls, let’s see how lawn bowls are made.
What lawn bowls are made of
Initially, lawn bowls were made from lignum vitae which is a very dense wood. This led to the rise of the term woods used to refer to bowls. Today, lawn bowls are made of hard plastic composite components or melamine and are available in different colours, contrary to before when they were only available in brown and black.
All lawn bowls have unique engraved symbol markings for identification. This is because they look the same, so adhesive stickers or labels are used to mark them differently in bowl matches. The stickers are meant to help officials distinguish teams. Some local associations go for a specific colour for stickers of each club in their area. National or provincial colours are often assigned in international or national competitions.
How lawn bowls are made
Manufacturers have embraced the use of melamine to make lawn bowls. Melamine contains great properties which are ideal for making lawn bowls. However, just like other plastics, melamine has its own limits in terms of UV stability but remains a great material compared to wood. This is because, unlike wood, melamine does not change its shape with humidity and temperature fluctuations.
The manufacturing process starts with melamine granules dyed in different colours according to customer preference. Since lawn bowls vary in size, the granules are weighed to make different sizes that fit hands. These granules are weighed in a container which is then covered by a cloth and pieces of wood is are used to hold it in place. They are then kept in a machine known as a preheater which uses high-frequency radio waves to melt the plastic. Moisture may be produced during the process and the cloth absorbs it.
The melamine is now in a malleable mass and is squished to a shape that fits in a molding machine. It’s molded to a sphere, but since the sphere doesn’t come out perfectly, it is pushed to a computerized machine which spins the bowl as the blade curves it to perfect the spherical shape. Other special tools are used to engrave two rows of half-moon patterns on the surface of the bowl. These patterns are essential as they make the lawn bowls easy to grip.
The lawn bowl is then placed on a receptacle that uses suction power to hold the bowl steady while the carrousel moves it forward to allow vigorous polishing. A robot turns the bowl upside down to expose the unpolished side and returns it to the receptacle so the polisher can buff the unpolished side. Lasers that move in unison are then used to engrave the same emblem on four bowls at a go. Each bowl undergoes another spin as an employee paints the detailed emblem. It is then passed to the testing department, where the bowl is rolled down to determine if it lands on the same spot as the master bowl. This is a method used to check if the bowl conforms to the world’s standard.
Bowling remains a fun game even today. It is played by players of different ages so long as you know the rules. It can also be played at home as a family activity to strengthen bonding as well as create fun and memorable moments.