Edition 1 – May 2023

Welcome to the 2023 season!

And welcome also to the first edition of Captain’s Log, in which I will try to keep members informed about team matters past and future as well as providing information and advice that I hope will help us to develop as players.

In the newly issued Member’s Handbook there is a section explaining the various roles within a team. Over the next few months I will write in a bit more detail on each individual role. It is important that all members of a team understand and respect each other’s role.

I will start with the role of Lead.

Lead

First to bowl in each team is of course, the lead. But the Lead’s job does not necessarily begin with the rolling of the first wood.

Placing of the Mat

If their team has won the previous end, or depending on the toss sometimes for the first end, the Lead will first be responsible for placing the mat. According to the rules the front edge of the mat must be at least two metres and not more than 23 metres from the ditch. In practice the mat is normally placed  about two metres from the ditch, though some leads place it a little further forward. Occasionally the skip might aske for the mat to be placed significantly forward. In any event the mat should not be placed too far forward without the prior agreement oof the skip.

Delivering the Jack

Delivering the jack is a vital skill for any player to master, but particularly so for those playing as Lead. As much care should be taken rolling the jack as delivering the woods. The jack should always be rolled rather than thrown. Some skip’s like you to roll it to their feet – others allow you to choose choose so that you might achieve the best possible start.

If playing trial ends before the match it is advisable to roll the jack a middle to long length as this generally enables the team to get a decent feel for the green.

Delivering the Woods

You may have heard it suggested on World Indoor Bowls Championship that if the lead leaves one wood near the jack, and one just behind the jack, they will have a very happy skip!

Certainly the Lead should try hard not to bowl short of the jack. A short wood is generally wasted, whereas any wood behind the jack may well come into play later in the end.

A good tip for Leads is to bowl on one side of the rink (ie forehand in one direction and backhand in the opposite direction). This will make it easier to get a consistent feel for the pace of and any slope on the green and to be able to adjust more easily.to different lengths.

Etiquette

Of course if the end is lost, the Lead has the job of gathering the woods in preparation for the next end.

Self Development

In our new roles, one thing Dave and I would like to focus on is supporting  players in improving their own games. Certainly we are both keen to improve our own games and would encourage others to do likewise.

Coaching

Club coach Julian will make himself available for coaching from 5:00pm on Tuesday Evenings before Jumbles. I suspect most of us have aspects of our game we know can be improved on. For example I am determined to improve my delivery action this year and I’m sure Julian can help me in that.

Julian will also try to arrange specific coaching sessions for new members

Thursday Club

Thursday Club was a big success last year enjoyed by all who attended. For those who have not attended it is a slightly different game where the aim is to get your wood within fifteen inches of the jack, with bonus points for actually hitting the jack. I believe it does help people to improve their game, but most of all it is good fun. I strongly encourage people to attend. It begins at 2:00 on Thursday afternoons.

Mentoring

I’m interested in the idea of forming mentoring groups for members trying to improve their game as well as more experienced members willing to help the development of others. This will mainly be an opportunity for members to discuss areas they would like to improve on and to receive encouragement and advice. If anybody would be interested in joining a mentoring group please let me know, either directly in person or by emailing me at keith.garlick@yahoo.co.uk

Team Selection

Finally, a word or two about team selection.

I’m discovering already that matching members who make themselves available with the requirements of individual matches is, to say the least, challenging. So, bear with me if I go through a little ‘trial and error’ in the first month or so and forgive me if you think I’m not giving you enough games or maybe giving you too many. But don’t be afraid to question me on this or to discuss this with me. I’m always happy to discuss any concerns.

In respect of KDL matches I do want to pick as strong teams as possible. But please, please, don’t let this put you off making yourself available. The KDL matches are shown in bold on your fixture sheets. I really do want as many people as possible to select from for these matches. Even if you are not selected I’ll probably need you on hand as a reserve. So do try to make yourselves available for KDL fixtures.