Short mat bowls was started as a sport that could be played in village halls and community centres. It was started in Upper Beeding in 1990 by the Village Hall committee as a means of having a regular booking. Horsham District Council’s Leisure Link team provided the equipment and soon a regular group of players was gathered together . In August 1990 the local Club was formed and purchased its own equipment.
The game is played on 45ft mats which are 6ft in width. The Hall can easily accommodate two mats. They cost £700 each and the associated equipment another £200. It is similar to other forms of bowls except there is a wooden block in the middle of the mat which, to some extent, stops players from ‘firing’. Short Mat Bowls has its own rules which are laid down by the national body, the ESMBA. Shoes need to be flat, smooth soled so that the mats are not affected when players walk on them.
Upper Beeding Club belongs to the West Sussex County Short Mat Bowls Association and plays in its league as well as the knockout cup. Currently they have four players in the county’s representative sides. The club caters for beginners up to experienced bowlers with new bowlers given tuition to start them off. The club also has a social side with them holding a Christmas Social as well as having an annual dinner. The cost of membership is £10 per year with session fees at £2-50.
There are vacancies for new members. We meet on Tuesday afternoons 2.30 to 4.30pm also Tuesday and Friday evenings from 7.30 to 9.30pm. Please arrive 15 minutes early so that the session can be organised. This is a great sport for people of all ages.
For more information contact Jean Armour-Milne on 01273 493184 or email firstname.lastname@example.org