R.A.F.A 381 Bowls Section 2020

If you would like to join this friendly Section of the Club, please download an invitation letter and a Competition Form from the links below.

We recommend entering our own ‘Boozebusters’ internal Team competition which is played on Friday evenings from the end of June.

All Club Members are welcome to attend the

Pre-season Disco on Friday 24th  April

when the Section Committee Members will be available to chat about the Section’s activities.

If you would like further information please contact Hilary or Chris on 01243 583779 or



Notes for New Members of RAFA 381 Bowls Section

Introduction: Thanks for expressing interest in the RAFA Bowls section, which was formed with the aim of providing a friendly, safe and supportive experience for both new and experienced bowlers alike. Although we are an unaffiliated Section and therefore can be more relaxed, we still adhere to the rules and etiquette expected by Bowls Clubs.

The notes below are provided to help new players understand how our Section works and what you will need to do to take part.

The Section is run by the Committee elected in October, further information can be obtained from any of the Committee Members or Membership Secretary Hilly Ayton, contact on 01243 583779 or, When you join the Section you will receive the Fixture Book with the full Calendar and additional information.

Our outdoor Season begins with the pre season party held in the Branch Club on Friday 24th April 7:30 for 8p.m and bowling commences on the green at Waterloo Square on April 25th 2020 – come along and take part!

Bowls: A set of bowls consists of 4 and we do have a few sets that can be loaned to members for their first few taster sessions, although you can also hire them from the Pavilion. When considering purchasing your own bowls some players start with a second-hand set, which can be purchased locally (look on Notice boards, For sale notices in local papers, or try asking in Charity shops) or online.

However, if you are purchasing second hand bowls make sure you are buying a sound set. Have a good look at them- check the condition of each bowl, does each bowl carry the same emblem? Are they all the same size and weight? If unsure ask an experienced bowler to ensure they are the correct size, weight and type of bowl suitable for you. This is important as a bowl which is too heavy will put a strain on your wrists and even your back and knees when you come to deliver the bowl on the green.

If you decide to buy a new set, go to a local store and try them out before buying (Game, Set and Match in Chichester PO19 8NY). New bowls cost £200 upwards, second hand sets start from £20 rising to £100 for a second hand set.

Clothing: We play in a RAFA blue polo shirt obtained from Unique workwear in London Rd, Bognor Regis (or Game Set and Match) and in white or grey trousers or skirts. However to start with, please come along in comfortable clothing and wear flat soled shoes. It is wise to bring warm and waterproof clothing as the games can be played in all weather.

Shoes: You will need to wear flat soled shoes to ensure there is no damage to the grass playing surface. Training shoes will do for a start, but you will need to have bowls shoes if you intend to play with the Section after the first few sessions. These cost £40 approx. and are now available in a training shoe style. White are the most commonly worn particularly for daytime matches, although for roll ups, internal Club games, and evening games when grey trousers or skirts are worn, some prefer to wear grey or brown shoes.

Bags: Those on wheels are easier to move and although you can purchase a purpose made bag, some players use a small ‘air cabin’ bag to carry their bowls and equipment. Tip: Make a black plastic sack part of your kit! When it rains you can just ‘pop’ your bowls bag into this to keep dry.

At Waterloo Square do not leave near the path as it is a public thoroughfare, take advice from your Team members where is the safest place to keep your bag during a game. Bring a drink or bottle of water if it’s warm, some sun tan cream and a hat if it’s sunny as you will be outside for a minimum of 2 hours when playing a Competition or Match.

Fees: If you are going to play more than 14/15 sessions (each 2-3 hours), then a Bowls Season Ticket will work out much cheaper.  (In 2019 a Bowls Season Ticket was £140 if paid before 27th April 2019, and  £150 afterwards, to  ‘pay as you go’ in 2019 it cost £3.00 per hour)

The Bowls Season Ticket Application Form is available in April from the Town Hall, RAFA Bowls Section or the Bowls Pavilion. The ticket office is in the Bowls Pavilion. Lockers are also available to hire for the Season.

Greens: Waterloo Square which RAFA use as their ‘home’ green for home matches, fun games and roll ups, is a public Green.  There are two Greens, ‘A’, + ‘B’ each comprising of 6 Rinks.

Social Games: Tuesday morning roll ups are a great way to start and meet other Members of the Section.  Arrive at 1000, and expect to play until 1200 approx.  Everyone who comes along is able to play. Teams are drawn to make up, Triples (3 players 3 bowls each), Pairs (2 players 4 bowls each), Rinks (4 players 2 bowls each) or Singles (playing against one other bowler, with each bowler using 4 bowls each).  Playing in these roll ups earn you Points which are accumulated on an individual basis and the winner is declared at the Bowls Section Presentation Evening usually held in December.

Internal Competitions: Most popular of the Internal Competitions is ‘Boozebusters’, a ‘Team’ Competition played on Friday evenings from end of June through to September and although competitive this competition  tends to be relaxed & social, and enables  you meet more members.

If you are interested in taking part in the Section Competitions then the Competition Form lists the Competitions and dates on which the group games are played. It costs £1.00 to enter each Competition, further guidance can be obtained from the Competition Secretary.

If you are a complete beginner the Consolation Trophy Singles is a good start, or consider entering the Drawn Mixed Triples where you will have the support of two other players.

Matches: These are played against other local clubs in the afternoons (play in whites)and evenings (play in greys) and are an excellent way of experiencing the game and a good way to get to know the basic terms, roles and rules of the game.

Terminology: You will hear, Woods, Bias, Jack, Mat, pusher, Skip, Lead, Number two, Number three, Rink,  Ditch, Measure, chalk, Trial ends, toucher, dead/live bowl, shot wood, tied end. Ask if you are unsure – or purchase a copy of the Laws of the Sport of Bowls Crystal Mark edition published by World Bowls, which will give you a good insight into the game.



The rules are always the same but the conditions outside are always different so no two games are ever the same experience! Variety is the spice of life!

January 2020