The Club

Frant Bowls Club is a village bowls club maintained as a CASC (Community Amateur Sports Club) by its members. It is easy to find the green by Frant Memorial Hall on the Bells Yew Green Road on the opposite side to the cricket pitch. The post code is TN3 9ED or go to the location page for a map or directions. Or use What3words ///reject.ships.closes


Indoors

There is an associated short mat club which is based in Frant Memorial Hall where roll-ups are held on Tuesdays during the winter season. The short mat club is not playing league matches this season.

What's occurring?

Last Match
Last match: Wed, July 17th versus Rotherfield.
Next Match
Next match is against Hellingly Bowls Club on Sat, July 20th at 14.30 at Hellingly Dress: Whites, format: 4 mixed triples.
weather
Notices

Apologies for all users who have encountered website errors recently. Problems with my PC have prevented any bug-fixing for nearly a month but I am aware of several problems and hope to be able to start fixing them in a few days.

Chris


The 2024 season

The season got off to a dodgy start weather-wise, but reverted to progress as usual with significantly more matches won than lost.

Hail stopped play

The first roll-up of 2024 was abandoned because of a hailstorm

We are pleased to welcome several new members this season but we could accommodate a few more. Many bowls clubs are experiencing a decline in membership. This is probably partly because bowls is still perceived to be uncool and a game for old people. The unfortunate result of this is that potential new members leave it very late to join. There seems to be a perception that bowls is simple but it is not a game for the hard-of-thinking. Played well, it is a game of subtle tactics as well as great skill. This can be see by watching indoor bowls on TV. (Unfortunately this is usually accompanied by banal commentary.) However, outdoor bowls has the additional complication that every green is different despite greenkeepers' efforts to maintain a perfectly flat and level surface. Frant's green is no exception but is considered good in comparison to other local, sometimes much bigger, clubs. 

The Green

We are often complimented on the quality of our green by visiting clubs. It is our biggest asset but needs a fair bit of looking after. Some members do the mowing - an all-year-round job - and in the fastest growing period it needs mowing three times a week to try to keep the grass as fine as possible. We require professional help for heavier work and those jobs requiring specialist equipment and James Hickmott (see contacts) does this for us as well as giving advice on greenkeeping. He is responsible for much of the effort to get the green playing well and looking good too. Recently he has been asked to provide more of the labour than in the past because of the diminishing effort available from our own members. In order to keep our subscriptions down to an affordable level we must do as much as we can to look after our own green so it is essential that we try to have a membership with a spread of ages and physical abilities so that we have enough to take on the chores that keep the club going.

Have a go

Some clubs, particularly in a more urban setting than ours are offering evening pay-and-play deals so that non-members can have a playing session and use of the licensed bar. This is becoming popular with a younger age group and helping to dispel the "old man's game" image. This would not work at Frant because we are not regularly open to casual visitors. What we have done and can do again is to arrange corporate sessions. A typical arrangement would be for a group to arrive at lunchtime (optionally with their own lunch as we don't have catering facilities). We can supply drinks and we would give a short introductory demonstration for beginners in the clubhouse. We then move out to the green where we split into up to four groups in each of which club members help to get everyone started with a practice session. We follow up with a challenge match by dividing into two teams. Ideally there will be some departmental rivalry such that bragging rights for the winning team is adequate motivation. We finish in the clubhouse bar for the bragging to begin...

Teas survive!

Several clubs have now returned to the custom of providing proper bowls teas at weekend matches. This practice virtually ceased at the time of Covid lockdown but Frant maintained its high standards as soon as matches resumed and it is always appreciated by visiting teams.

This website

The website has been enhanced in several ways of late. As usual this process keeps me busy but usually results in a few glitches before it all works well again.

Competitions

There is now a publicly available function to help arrange bowls competitions. It will tell you how many rounds you need for n-player knockout competitions and how many entrants get a bye in the first round. It will tell you how many matches you need in each group for round-robin competitions and given the number of woods per person and number of ends, all the estimated timings are given.

Registered users (not necessarily club members) can now set up competitions and the site will generate complete match schedules and league tables for round robin competition stages and a draw for knockout stages or complete knockout competitions. These competitions allow results to be entered to maintain league tables and knockout progress.

Notification emails

The emails that are automatically sent from the website to members (and registered users) who have subscribed to them are now in a more aesthetically pleasing form (although work still needs to be done here, I have to admit).

A site for your club

Potentially, all the functions of the website are available to other bowls clubs. Currently only Frant Bowls Club and Frant Short Mat Bowls Club use the site but to set up another club is relatively straightforward. The club colours can be specified and a club administrator must be nominated and a modest fee agreed with the developer. The club administrator can then set up the members, the clubs with whom fixtures are held and those fixture arrangements and regular events. The club's home page can be drafted and configured online and updated as frequently as required. Feel free to ask for a trial.

Tuesday Cup

On Tuesday roll-up evenings, we run a season-long competition for which a cup is awarded to the winner at our awards dinner in November. The rules are such that members can play as many of these games as they wish, with the shots scored by their team in their best 8 games counting to their season total. There is a larger element of luck than is usual in bowls games because teams are drawn randomly from those who want to play each week. The format can be pairs, triples or even rinks on up to three rinks. If we have an odd number of players we can even end up with the dreaded three-against-two arrangement! These rules mean that everyone is required to play in the position drawn and may have the advantage of being teamed up with strong team mates or struggling with weaker bowlers. It evens itself out over the season and as long as enough games are played, the low scores don't count anyway. Good character-building stuff!

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