Friday, July 08, 2011

2011Streak 187/365: Bowls

2011 Streak Day 187/365: Walk - 4.23 miles, Time - 1hr 23min,  Weather - cloudy but mostly bright
I'm a sucker for any sporting event. There is something about a group of people, with a common interest, getting together to test themselves, that I find appealing. I will watch almost anything and find enjoyment, even if I don't know much about the game.
Bowls is like that. I have played it before, in the same way as I have played crazy golf at the seaside: as a social activity, a bit of fun, with other people who also did not have much of a clue. However I know enough to appreciate how much skill and cunning is required to be good and I always enjoy seeing them being practiced. That is why I enjoying being in the park when there is a club match - I can stop for a few moments and try to appreciate what is going on.
I never know whether I am surprised or not that the average age of club members is so high. Everyone knows this is its reputation but at the same time it is a game reliant on hand/eye coordination, which is better when one is younger (i.e. it is inevitable that eyesight and balance decline with age). I would therefore have thought that the top players would be younger.
The very best players are younger but clubs like this are a home for people who take-up the sport later-on because it is something they can still do. The predominant hair colour is grey. It is very good that there are games like this that can be played into later life but the same could be said but golf. However on a golf course there is a different, and younger, age distribution.
When lawn bowls was codified into a proper sport at the beginning of the Twentieth Century it was not so much an old man's game. The first bowls club in Hemel was founded in 1913 but soon closed because most of the members went off to the war, which indicates they were in their physical prime. I wonder when the nature of the game changed?

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