Short-mat bowling takes off

Club News

Thongsbridge BC


I am grateful to Richard Armitage for sending me this article about short-mat indoor bowling which has just started up in Thongsbridge.


After a years delay caused by Covid, Thongsbridge Bowling Club enjoyed their first session of Short Mat Bowling at The Civic in Holmfirth. Thursday 28 October saw 21 members enjoy a very enjoyable 3 hours learning the basics and generally having fun at this novel version of bowling. Refreshments are available as well to keep participants going through the morning. This will now be a regular Thursday morning activity during the winter months to hone our skills and keep in trim for the next Crown Green season.

There was a 60 year age gap between the oldest and youngest participants and the gender split was fairly even. However, and perhaps predictably, the men lined one side of the hall and the ladies the other. The game is played on 15 metre long mats which were only a couple of metres wide. Keeping the bowls on the mat or ‘live’ was the biggest challenge. Rather than one team winning the most points, the prize went to one pair of triples who managed to keep 9 out of the 12 bowls live which will be the target to beat at the next session.

Enquiries from other clubs about using the facilities would be welcome and the contact is Richard Armitage, by email to richard@print-pod.com. Hopefully other clubs will take advantage of the facilities offered and we can arrange friendly matches or even a league in future seasons. The nearest teams are in Leeds or Sheffield but we’ve a lot of improving to do to be at the same level and we’d have to be affiliated to the English Short Mat Bowling Association (ESMBA) to compete with them. The affiliation fee is similar to having a BCGBA number before being allowed to participate in organised games.

If anyone would like to watch the activity there are lots of videos on YouTube by searching for ‘short mat bowling’.


So what is your club doing during the winter months to keep members involved and engaged? Do they provide an indoor short mat facility and if so, how is the take up? Keep us and other bowlers informed about developments in your club, we are always interested. Contact Us