Bowls for blind and partially sighted people

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Bowls is a game which is very suited totally blind and partially sighted players, as only very minor adaptations need to be made. Visually impaired bowlers can play singles, pairs, triples or in teams of four. There is no reason why visually impaired bowlers can’t play against fully sighted players and they often do. It is a sport for people of all ages.

Vision Impaired bowls Session in East London – Thurs 29 Sept!

Walthamstow Borough Bowling Club, Lloyds Park off Forest Road, Walthamstow E17.
2.00pm TBC - 5.00pm TBC
07914 770909
29th September 2016
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Free Indoor Bowls in Brixton – Starting 6th Oct

Brixton Recreation Centre, 27 Brixton Station Road, SW9 8QQ
4.00pm - 7.00pm
0208 985 6245
06th October 2016
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Although this skilful and fascinating game has been around for centuries, it was not until 1959 that the bowls started rolling for the blind, in Scotland.

Today, we use the ‘clock method’. The ‘marker’, who is stationed beyond the ‘jack’, indicates to those at the mat end, at what angle and distance from the ‘jack’ the bowl has come to rest. The ‘jack’ is the centre of the clock. So, six o’clock would be in front and twelve o’clock behind, with all other positions being relative to the clock. From the information given by the ‘marker’ the player can build up a mental picture of the ‘head’ (area around the jack), knowing exactly the position of each bowl.

The only small concession made to blind players is that a fine white centre string runs under the mat and is fixed at both ends. This is to help the bowler to judge the angle for the amount of green required.

These minor variations enable blind and sighted people to play together as they do not alter in any way the basic game (or the Bowls England rules).

Metro activities

Metro has helped to send many of our bowlers to the tournaments arranged all around England, the UK and abroad, through paying tournament fees; and subsidising accommodation, travel and kit.

On an annual basis, Metro bowlers undertake several collection days at major London mainline stations. These collections have contributed between £5k and £6k to the Metro coffers each year.

From the beginning of May until the end of September we play out-doors on grass, then for the rest of the year we play in-doors on carpet.

Vision Impaired Bowls Tournaments and Competitions 2016

  • 5-9 May Weston-super-Mare Tournament
  • 28th May Braintree Triples Tournament
  • 25th June to 1st of July  Vibe Nationals  Leamington Spa
  • 16-23 July Hastings Tournament
  • 30th July Potters Bar Triples
  • 22-26 August National Triples Worthing
  • 12-16 September UKVIB outdoor Singles Leamington Spa

Want to know more?

If anyone is tempted to join us or just wants to know more about the game, why not get in touch with Eric Gallacher Contact: or call 0208 985 6245

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