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Carpet Bowls Around the World

Norway Follows EBCA Lead By Getting Involved With The Special Olympics

Trevor Rayner of New Zealand has been good enough to let us have a copy of his report on the international match which took place during the Festival of Bowls.


LOCATION: Potters Resort at Hopton-on-Sea, Norfolk, England is an upmarket holiday resort oriented towards bowls. It has an association with the English Carpet Bowls Association and hosts an annual Festival of Bowls week annually in May. A requirement of participation is that contestants must book into the resort for the week.

THE TEAM: The Team was selected at the end of July after nominations were called for during the Nationals at Taupo. 19 nominations were received and all were prepared to pay a levy of $1,000 per person. The caliber of nominees was very high which was pleasing and 2 teams of 4 players were selected with the primary purpose of winning the International with participation in the Festival of Bowls an added bonus.

The players selected were:

Team 1: Grant l’Ami (North Taranaki), Avon Compton (North Wellington), Gary Low (Southland), Teri Anderson (Waikato).
Team 2: Ashley Diamond (Upper Hutt Valley), Paul Wright (Auckland), Sheree Holmes (Upper Hutt Valley), Suzanne Mackie (Southland).
Manager: Trevor Rayner (North Wellington)

The bulk of the Team left Auckland on 11 May flying Royal Brunei Airlines. Gary Low and Suzanne Mackie left with their support group a week earlier as did the Manager. The team arrived at Heathrow airport on Saturday 12 May and were joined by the earlier arrivals to travel by coach to Potters a 3.5 hour trip. On the return trip to Heathrow a number of players and supporters who were travelling to Paris were dropped at Epping station to catch the underground.

The Team was accommodated at Potters Resort in Chalet accommodation which was adequate in some cases, excellent in others. However, food was included in the accommodation and there was certainly no complaints about the quality or quantity.

The ECBA President arranged for the facility to be set up from Saturday afternoon to allow the team to practice. It was impressive that all the team, despite 36 hours travel for the majority turned up to practice on Saturday afternoon and evening. This was followed by further practice on Sunday when a practice game against Suffolk was arranged by the ECBA. The team practiced again by itself on Sunday evening and again on Monday morning and afternoon with an evening practice being optional. Because of illness Ashley Diamond was unable to practice on Monday and his place was taken by Graham Low who was asked to be reserve in case Ashley was unable to play.

Round 1:
Grant l’Ami, Avon Compton, Gary Low, Teri Anderson b. Neil Jolly, Paul Daniels, Ally Hobbs, Sally Goodrich (England) 11-2.
Ashley Diamond, Paul Wright, Sheree Holmes, Suzanne Mackie b. Arne Bjerke, Leif Stubbendlien, Kolbein Kroglund, Finn Andresen 8-3.
Michael Laydon, Sue Gilder, Jane Debatista, Martin Campbell (England) b. Odd Taiet, Nina Taiet, Khmel Tamara, Trond Bekke (Norway) 14-3.

Round 2:
Grant l’Ami b. Odd Taiet (Norway) 22-2.
Neil Jolly (England) b. Ashley Diamond 7-5
Michael Laydon (England) b. Arne Bjerke (Norway) 17-3.

Round 3:
Grant l’Ami b. Arne Bjerke (Norway) 20-3.
Ashley Diamond b. Michael Laydon (England) 6-5.
Neil Jolly (England) b. Odd Taiet (Norway) 20-0.

Round 4:
Grant l’Ami b. Michael Laydon (England) 9-2.
Ashley Diamond b. Odd Taiet (Norway) 15-1.
Neil Jolly (England) b. Arne Bjerke (Norway) 12-4.

New Zealand 7 wins, England 5 wins, Norway 0 wins.

FESTIVAL OF BOWLS (Including Supporters)

Round 1:
Martin Nordqvist l. Jean Cook (Suffolk) 5-8.
Round 2:
Sheree Holmes b. Ragne Storseth (Norway) 19-2
Ashley Diamond b. Jane Debatista (Norfolk) 12-6
Linda Rayner b. Mike Daniels (Suffolk) 8-6
Paul Wright b. Joe Debatista (Norfolk) 11-6
Jenny Stockford b. Diane Marshall (Norfolk) 8-1
Gary Low b. Peter Masters (Suffolk) 7-6
Grant l’Ami b. Finn Andresen (Norway) 7-6
Teri Anderson b. Rolf Stubbendlien (Norway) 21-0
Bev Diamond l. Stephen Weeks (Cambridgeshire) 5-9
Suzanne Mackie l. Sam Runnacles (Suffolk) 3-10
David Philpott l. Carl Pearson (Durham) 2-13
Avon Compton l. Jane Evans (Suffolk) 6-7
Graham Low l. Michael Laydon (Sunderland) 3-9
Jan Low l. Don Allum (Suffolk) 3-6
Round 3:
Sheree Holmes b. Pat Joy (West Sussex) 9-6
Ashley Diamond b. Peter Crump (Bedfordshire) 9-5
Paul Wright b. Carl Pearson (Durham) 8-3
Jenny Stockford b. Richard Charleton (Sunderland) 6-3
Grant l’Ami b. Bill Laidler (Sunderland) 14-2
Linda Rayner l. John Joy (Norfolk) 4-11
Gary Low l. Martin Campbell (Sunderland) 5-6
Teri Anderson l. Michael Laydon (Sunderland) 3-9
Round 4:
Ashley Diamond b. Sheree Holmes 8-5
Paul Wright b. Jane Evans (Suffolk) 8-3
Grant l’Ami b. John Thompson (Northumberland) 9-6
Jenny Stockford l. Daniel Walker (Bewdfordshire) 5-6
Last 16:
Grant l’Ami b. Jim Goodrich (Suffolk) 6-3
Paul Wright b. David Harr (Suffolk) 7-6
Ashley Diamond l. Phyllis Sutton (Norfolk) 2-7
Grant l’Ami b. Michael Laydon (Sunderland) 7-2
Paul Wright b. Sue Isles (Suffolk) 19-1
Grant l’Ami b. Daniel Walker (Bedfordshire) 5-3
Paul Wright b. Sam Runnacles (Suffolk) 6-2
Grant l’Ami b. Paul Wright 8-4

Gary Low, Teri Anderson 4 wins
David Philpott, Bev Diamond 2 wins, 2 draws.
Graham Low, Jan Low 3 wins +26 differential
Grant l’Ami, Suzanne Mackie 3 wins +30
Avon Compton, Paul Wright 3 wins + 19
Ashley Diamond, Sheree Holmes 3 wins +12
Jenny Stockford, Linda Rayner 3 wins +11
Martin Nordqvist, Jenny Nordqvist 3 wins + 9

Round 1:
Grant l’Ami, Suzanne Mackie b. Joe Debatista, Jane Debatista (Norfolk) 8-4
Gary Low Teri Anderson b. Dave Philpott, Bev Diamond 8-7
Avon Compton, Paul Wright b. Stephen Weeks, Conor Weeks (Cambridgeshire) 6-5
Graham Low, Jan Low l. Sue Davey, Graham Davey (Suffolk) 2-10
Last 16:
Grant l’Ami, Suzanne Mackie b. Gary Low, Teri Anderson 6-4
Avon Compton, Paul Wright l. Ally Hobbs, Sally Goodrich (Suffolk) 7-8
Grant l’Ami, Suzanne Mackie b. Steve Isles, Sue Isles (Suffolk) 11-6
Grant l’Ami, Suzanne Mackie l. Paul Cousins, Sue Cousins (Suffolk) 4-10.

Martin Nordqvist, Jenny Stockford, Linda Rayner, Jenny Nordqvist 3 wins 1 draw
Ashley Diamond, Paul Wright, Sheree Holmes, Suzanne Mackie 4 wins
Grant l’Ami, Avon Compton, Gary Low, Teri Anderson 3 wins +29 differential
David Philpott, Graham Low, Jan Low, Bev Diamond 1 draw.

Last 16:
Ashley Diamond b.Martin Nordqvist 14-4
Grant l’Ami b. Carl Pearson (Durham) 7-3
Ashley Diamond b. Paul Daniels (Suffolk) 8-5
Grant l’Ami b. Cutts (Tyne on Wear) 7-5
Ashley Diamond b. Grant l’Ami 8-3
Neil Jolly, Ally Hobbs, Jim Goodrich, Sally Goodrich (Suffolk) b. Ashley Diamond, Paul Wright, Sheree Holmes, Suzanne Mackie 8-7.

This event is unique in that it is hosted by Potters and the timings revolve around mealtimes which are immovable. The result is that the Festival of Bowls events are adjusted to meet the time available. Singles were 4 bowls, 8 ends or 20 minutes, Pairs 2 bowls 9 ends 25 minutes and Rinks 7 ends or 40 minutes. The Singles were played as a straight elimination, Pairs in 24 sections with section winners and 8 best losers and Rinks in 11 sections and 5 best losers. The Internationals were solely rinks played over 9 ends with no time limit. Games commenced at 8pm on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings after a full days play.

ECBA are involved in a Bowls magazine which exclusively covers Short Mat and Carpet Bowls. I spoke with the editor and gave him Delwyn's contact details as he was interested in receiving contributions from NZ. The team also had photos taken with the West Sussex team for an article in their local paper. The main contribution was that I was able to livestream a number of games involving New Zealand on Facebook. This was very well received by followers in New Zealand, Australia and Britain at one stage had over 500 people watching. The feedback to my amateurish efforts was extremely positive and people were pleased they were able to be involved as it happened. The videos have been collated by Alex Reed and are available on NZIB’s YouTube page. Some Districts, especially Southland had before and after stories published in their local papers featuring New Zealand players.

I was proud to be Manager of this team. They arrived focused on the International matches with the Festival of Bowls events as an aside. Practices went very well and the team adapted very quickly to the requirements of the mat and the strategies required. Avon Compton’s input and experience was valuable but it was obvious the players had studied videos and knew what was required. The supporters were awesome. Those who played in the Festival of Bowls events acquitted themselves well and the support of them and the non-players was greatly appreciated. The comment was made that they never imagined that they would supporters chants at a carpet bowls match. This was England's first ever international and their nerves showed in the first round. Norway is new to the sport and have a little way to go to be truly competitive. They have some good players but don’t have the depth that New Zealand and England have.
I feel this expedition, and our success will open a floodgate of opportunity. After 50 years England are talking to Scotland, the Isle of Man and Ireland with a view to having an International event at Potters each year. I advised that while individuals may attend each year it was likely that it would be 4 years before we returned and I strongly recommend that this event is included in our calendar on a four yearly cycle.

I also believe that this event also provided an opportunity for our elite bowlers to challenge themselves and this is reflected in the caliber of the players who made themselves available for this team.

Trevor Rayner

You can find footage from the Festival on New Zealand Indoor Bowls' YouTube channel

Norway Introducing Carpet Bowls to Lithuania

These pictures are from my demo for a Latvian youth group who recently visited Norway for a Summer Camp that is arranged by the Red Cross here in my home town.

They enjoyed it very much and had lot of questions to ask.

Frank Sørqvist