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.

Last VI Bowls – East London 21 Sept

Walthamstow Borough Bowling Club, Lloyds Park off Forest Road, Walthamstow E17.
2.00pm - 5.00pm
07914 770909
21st September 2017
Now Only £2
More Info

If anyone is tempted to join us or just wants to know more about the game, please get in touch with Eric Gallacher or call 0208 985 6245

Eric has asked if any Member or partners would like to help the bowlers at station collections or to volunteer at the bowling sessions, they would be warmly welcomed.

Bowls Volunteer Role description – Word Document


A Guide for Coaches for Vision Impaired Bowls

DOWNLOAD:  VI Lawn Bowls – Coaching for Coaches by ©David J Stott – V.I.B.E

Vision Impaired Bowls

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.


It is now getting near to the start of the outdoor season, so here are dates for tournaments and station collections.  Don’t forget, some tournaments are run by VIBE, Visually Impaired Bowls England, and to enter these you have to be a member of VIBE and have a sight certificate.  If you want to attend any of these events please let me know.  Ravenscourt Park will be starting on Wednesday the 3

Ravenscourt Park will be starting on Wednesday the 3rd of May at 2 o’clock and every Wednesday until the end of September.

If anyone is tempted to join us or just wants to know more about the game, please get in touch with Eric Gallacher Contact: or call 0208 985 6245

If you want to play there at any other time, I suggest you phone Susan their secretary on 0208 748 3663.  Enjoy your bowling

Upcoming Bowls Tournaments

  • 3-8 May Weston-super-Mare tournament, already booked
  • 3rd June Braintree triples
  • 17 June Metro Pairs, Ravenscourt Park
  • 24 June to 1 July Nationals Leamington Spa, VIBE
  • 15-22 July Hastings Tournament
  • 29 July Potters Bar Triples
  • 12 August Metro Singles Ravenscourt Park
  • 21-23 August England Outdoor Triples, VIBE
  • 5-9 October UK Indoor Singles Glasgow, VIBE


  • 28 July Liverpool Street Station
  • 3 August Waterloo Station, this is the new date
  • 29 September Victoria Station
  • 20 October Fenchurch Street.

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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