Want to learn to bowl? Then sign up to a BOWLS4FUN Session
The club will supply bowls and other equipment and one of our coaches will show you the basics. You only need to wear a flat pair of shoes or come along to one of our Monday Clubs where all are welcome.
Bowls is more than just a game and Farnborough Bowling Club organises various social events during the year.
The club house has excellent changing rooms and a bar which is very welcome after a game to quench your thirst, exchange stories, put the world to right or just relax.
More information can be found on the FAQ page.
Follow the links below for some additional information.
Some External Links
A Brief History of Bowls
So, where did it all begin? There are various theories. One is that it all started back in the Stone Age where it has been suggested rounded rocks were thrown at a peg. Another theory is that it started in China or Egypt about 3000 BC! Although, again, in those cases, it was throwing round stones at a target. The Romans played Bocci, similar to the French Boules, played on various surfaces, but not on grass.
The modern game of bowls, as we see it now, is more likely to have started in England around the 11th or 12th century. In fact the oldest bowling green in the world is at Southampton (Old) Bowling Green which has been in existence since 1299! So bowls all started just down the road from us at Farnborough!
In the late 15th century, Henry VIII was not happy that the serfs were spending too much time playing bowls and not doing their daily tasks, so he banned it, unless played on private greens and paying him £100 for a licence. Needless to say not many serfs had £100, so it may have taken a backward step for a while, although it has been suggested that most people ignored the ban anyway. Bias on bowls was introduced in 1522, by the Duke of Suffolk. It seems his bowl broke in half, but with a flat edge he could make it curve round other bowls. Sneaky!
The most famous game in history was of course the one Francis Drake was playing on Plymouth Hoe on July 18th 1588 when the Spanish Armada was spotted sailing up the English Channel. He decided to continue playing his game saying the immortal words “We still have time to finish the game and to thrash the Spaniards too.” And he did. He lost the game of bowls mind.
The jack got its name from a smaller version of a bowl, Jack-bowl early in 17th century. About the same time King James I encouraged the game, so things were looking up.
The first laws of the game came from a meeting in Glasgow in 1848. Various clubs from around Britain attended and the laws were drawn up by W.W. Mitchell. The Scottish Bowling Association was formed in 1892, the English Bowling Association being formed in 1903 who had Dr W.G. Grace as its first president.
Bowls started to spread around the globe. The International Bowling Board was formed in 1905 made up of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, but soon Australia, USA, Canada and New Zealand also joined.
In England, a large number of bowling clubs were formed after the First World War, and more after World War Two. Farnborough Bowling Club itself was formed in 1947 by local residents on what had been the site of a disused refuse tip.