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Monkeys Don’t Know Jack About Lawn Bowling

IMG_8632_Snapseed So the monkey learned something today. A "jack" is that little white ball which is rolled out onto a lawn "rink" to kick off a fast-paced (relatively) game of lawn bowling.  Another interesting fact about lawn bowling is that they don't use bowling balls at all.  They use "bowls."  The bowls are not spherical since one side is slightly flattened and also weighted, which causes the bowl to curve as it slows down.  Who knew?  This game is way more challenging than say curling.  We won't even mention bocce because, as the sign says, it isn't allowed.  Keep reading to learn more about the fascinating sport of lawn bowling.


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This is the “jack.” The jack is rolled to the opposite end of the rink and player take turns trying to get their bowl as close to the jack as possible.

Players kibbutz before a match, taking turns trash talking the opposing team with things like, "Hey, Joe, don't clutch up this time," or "Who's your Daddy, Jack?"

Players kibbutz before a match, taking turns trash talking the opposing team with things like, “Hey, Joe, don’t clutch up this time,” or “Who’s your Daddy, Jack?”

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Lawn bowlers exhibit a variety of styles in releasing the bowl.

Lawn bowlers exhibit a variety of styles in releasing the bowl.

Eschewing the traditional white bowling attire, this Team USA player consistently got his bowl closer to the jack than the others.  I think his name was actually Jack.

Eschewing the traditional white bowling attire, this Team USA player consistently got his bowl closer to the jack than the others. I think his name was actually Jack.

Counting up the score afterwards.  Another riveting aspect of lawn bowling.

Counting up the score afterwards. Another riveting aspect of lawn bowling.

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This handy little rake on wheels is used to collect the bowls after an “end.”

Lawn bowling is an ancient game (somewhat akin to these players) that traces its roots back to Medieval England.  The oldest surviving bowling rink is at Southampton and reportedly dates to 1299.  Bowling became so popular that it was banned for some time in England because the king felt people were spending too much time sending bowls across the greens rather than practicing archery,  Who could have imagined that lawn bowling would become an issue of national security because knowing history buffs will remember that England was famous for its archery and the legendary English long bow is something the French will not soon forget!.

There are many variations of the game and different rules in different areas.  There is even a game for blind lawn bowlers (Kongo is not making this up) and these players are reputed to be very good.

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Kongo learned all about lawn bowling today at the San Diego Lawn Bowling Club in Balboa Park, which is open every day of the week.  For the lawn bowling fashion police whites are only required on Sundays.  Free lessons are available.  Learn more about lawn bowling in San Diego at the club’s website.  Tea and crumpets optional.

Travel safe.  Have fun.

Two lawn bowls and the kitty (or jack)

Two lawn bowls and the kitty (or jack) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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About Kongo (682 Articles)
Kongo is a traveling monkey owned by a nice man who has a soft spot for simians. Follow Kongo at www.travel-monkey.me and on Twitter @kongomonkey

3 Comments on Monkeys Don’t Know Jack About Lawn Bowling

  1. In Canada we skate in rinks. Or curl

    Like

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