Lawn Bowls – The Historical Perspective
Lawn bowls is a game which is popular across the world. However it actually originated in Scotland. Following is a brief history of the now widely popular game.
The Scottish bowling association was formed in 1892. Just a year later a list of rules was designed based on Mitchell’s code. The bowling association is now known as Bowls Scotland. The English Bowling Association was formed in 1903. Its first president was W. G .Grace, who is also known for his greater contribution to cricket.
The International Bowling Board was formed in 1905 with Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales being the foundation members. New Zealand became a member in 1928 and subsequently Australia, Canada, South Africa and United States of America. The international bowling board is now known as World Bowls. When bowling you need to ensure you are in the correct attire – wear the correct lawn bowls apparel and clothing when on the green.
The history of lawn bowls
According to historians, it seems that bowling somehow originated from the Egyptians. They were known to play a game called skittles with rounded stones. However the game became popular across the world and took on various forms.
Lawn bowls today takes its inspiration from a modern day game called curling which is played on ice in Canada. The first game of lawn bowls was played on the Southampton ground in England. The use of a bias was introduced in 1522 by Duke of Suffolk. While playing his bowl split into two, as a result he used the knob of the stair case as a replacement. He made use of the flat side of the knob to roll with a bias. He experimented by curving his bowl into other bowls and thus bias bowls became popular from then on.
One of the most famous stories connected to the lawn bowls dates back to the time when Sir Frances Drake, the duke of Suffolk heard that the Spanish Armada had been spotted in 1588. His response was epic when he said that there was ample time to win the game and smash the Spaniards as well. He then nonchalantly finished the game while the British Navy defeated the Armada. Though there is a great deal of controversy whether this actually happened or is just a work of fiction.
Henry the VIII was an avid lawn bowler as well. However, he passed a law that those who weren’t wealthy or too well of wouldn’t be able to play the game. This was because he believed that the lower classes spent most of their time practicing recreational sports instead of focusing on furthering their income or working hard. Anyone who wanted to keep the green would need to pay a fee of hundred pounds. The green was meant for private play and anyone was forbidden to play the game within the vicinity of their home or lawn. King James one never promoted games like Foot Ball, he encouraged people to indulge in a game of lawn bowls.
The English and Scottish people brought lawn bowls to America. The first bowling green was designed in Virginia in 1632 and there are many towns across states which have been named bowling greens.
Today lawn bowls is played with much enthusiasm across the world with competition carried out with great fervor.