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The following is a brief introduction to the Wealden Bowls Centre Indoor Bowls Club, its facilities, what you can expect and how to join. Although it is intended as an introduction for new members, it might also be a useful reminder for existing bowlers. The introduction is written for those who are interested in joining the indoor club, but the centre also runs an outdoor facility which operates primarily in the summer but is available all the year around. The Outdoor Club is run as a separate club, but uses all the facilities of the centre. The joining and annual fees of the outdoor club are the same as the indoor club, except there are no green fees.

 

An Introduction to Bowling at

Wealden Indoor Bowls Club

(or what you wanted to know but didn't know who to ask!)

 

When you first come to a club or organisation there are always things you want to know and it's the same when you first start playing bowls.

 

We have all been new bowlers at some stage and know what it is like to start bowling and how grateful we were to members who helped and encouraged us. Often, as a new bowler we may be apprehensive, fearing that they are not good enough or that we may let the team down and may upset more experienced members.

 

The purpose of this booklet is to provide you with some information about the club, to encourage you to start playing and what bowling activities and opportunities are open to you.

 

1. What do we offer:

 

Membership that runs from 1st September until 31st August. All are welcome at the club, whether novice, casual or experienced.

 

During the winter season, which lasts from mid September until mid/late April we offer a full bowling programme from casual sessions, drives, leagues and competitions for singles, pairs, triples and rinks (4 players) for men, women and mixed teams.  As well as internal competitions members are also able to enter County and National level competitions.

 

In the summer many members return to outdoor bowling, either on grass closer to home or on our synthetic bowling green at the centre (separate membership required).  However for those who want to stay bowling indoors we offer casual bowling sessions 4 times a week – details provided nearer the time.

 

We are also able to offer full catering facilities with a licensed bar and restaurant.  These are both open 7 days a week during the winter season, limited opening occurs during the summer.

 

2 How do I join, what membership options are there and how much does it cost?

 

Joining is easy, just download a copy of our application form from the web-site or, alternatively, call at the Centre and ask for a form.

 

We have four different kinds of membership.

 

2.1 Full Membership:

 

This entitles you to bowl and use the club facilities all the year round.

 

 

2.2 Temporary Membership:

 

It is always difficult for people thinking about starting bowls with the prospect of having to buy new equipment and clothing against the fears of am I wasting money if I don't like it or if I wont be able to cope with it.

 

To try to offset these fears at Wealden we offer a Temporary Membership scheme which last for six weeks.  During this period we have a relaxed attitude to clothing (see later section) and you are able to use the club's bowls.  We also provide four coaching lessons with one of our accredited coaches.  The cost of this coaching is free,  all you have to pay for is the rink time (see rink fees section)

 

If after this time you are hooked and want to become a full member, then, as long as it is in the same season the Temporary Member cost will be deducted from the cost of your membership.

 

2.3 Social Membership:

 

Social Membership entitles members to use the club's social facilities at any time.

 

2.4 Junior Membership:

 

Our junior section is for under 18s.  There is no official lower age limit but we find in practice that around 8-9 is the youngest age that is suitable. 

 

Please ask separately for details of what we can provide for Junior Members.

 

2.5 Membership Costs:

 

Our current membership fees are as follows:

 

Full Membership:

 

Joining fee (1st year only and includes the provision of a

club polo shirt and locker, in which to store bowls and shoes):             £ 30.00

 

Annual Membership fee:                                                                    £ 70.00

 

NB: If joining from January onwards pro rota fees are payable – prices on application.

 

Temporary Membership:

 

Six weeks to include four free coaching sessions:                                £ 20.00

Deductible from initial annual subscription BUT only if full

membership is taken out within the same season.

 

 

3. 1 How much does it cost to play each session - Rink Fees:

 

At Wealden we operate a rink fee system, which means that you 'pay as you play', rather than include the cost of playing within the annual membership fees.  We feel that this is far more equitable and fair for those who only want to play occasionally rather than those who want to play more regularly.

 

The current cost of a 2 hour bowling session is £2.40 cash.

 

However, you can purchase 'Rink Tickets' in advance at the discounted cost of £14 for 8 tickets or £28 for 16.  This reduces the cost to £1.75 per session and is well worth doing.

 

3.2 Where can I purchase Rink Tickets from:

 

Rink tickets can be purchased from Kate in the Office or from the bar.

 

Office: Tickets from the office are available Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 9am to 2pm and Friday 9 to 11am. Payment by cash, cheque or card (debit or credit).

 

Bar: Tickets can be purchased any time when the bar is open. Payment though can only be by cash or cheque.

 

  

Below is more information about when you can come, what to wear and how the club works.

 

4.1 When can I visit the club to bowl or use the facilities:

 

Full details are shown in your 'Membership & Fixture' card or on our web-site.

 

Of particular interest to our new bowlers are our Monday (4-6pm) and Thursday (12-2pm) Clubs.  These are informal casual bowling sessions where you get the chance to meet and play with other members.  Rink space, at these sessions, can be at a premium so we hold a booking system to avoid disappointment.

 

Although we have various leagues run throughout the week there are still instances when rinks are available for casual bowling (roll up).  Please check with the Green Steward for rink availability.

 

4.2 How do I book a rink:

 

Members can book a rink either by telephone or in person with the Green Steward.

 

The Club's policy for booking rinks for a roll up is:

 

  • During the day:               up to one week in advance
  • During the evening:        up to two weeks in advance

 

Having booked a rink if, for any reason, you can not play please contact the club and cancel the rink booking.  If cancellation has not been made you will be liable to pay for the rink session.

 

The above charge policy also applies to bookings made for the Monday and Thursday Clubs, as well as League and Competition matches. 

 

4.3 I am new to bowling – can I get any help learning how to play:

 

For new bowlers, whether joining as a Temporary or Full member, we will arrange for four coaching lessons, with one of our accredited coaches,   The coaching is FREE all you have to do is pay for the rink time.

 

For new members who have bowled outside but are new to indoor bowling our coaching team are able to offer a 'conversion' course, again free of charge.

 

Once you have started bowling, if for any reason you feel that you need any extra help then please speak to one of our coaches – they are only too happy to help.

 

4.4 Do I have to buy my own bowls straight away:

 

Buying bowls can be difficult, knowing what size and what type. 

 

Our coaches will help in advising you as to the size best suitable.

 

Some members will buy bowls quickly but other want to take their time and decide what's best for them.  That isn't a problem, the club has a selection of bowls available for you to use.

 

4.5 Do I need to wear anything special:

 

This depends on whether you are a Temporary or Full Member.

 

As a Temporary Member, we only expect you to wear sensible clothing for the occasion.  However footwear is more prescriptive; as only regulation bowling shoes may be worn on the bowling carpet, we suggest that a thick pair of socks be worn to protect your feet.

 

As a Full Member, you will then need regulation bowling shoes (white, grey or brown), grey trousers or skirts (shade: mid – grey, see example on the notice board)  with a club shirt or plain white shirt or top (with sleeves and a collar).  These are known as 'greys'.

 

If you are playing in a club match you will need to wear 'whites'.  This means white trousers or skirt, the registered Club shirt and white shoes.

 

As part of your joining fee you are given a club polo shirt, if wanted, others can be purchased from the office.

 

We do ask all members to respect our dress code – please also see our 'Bye-Laws and Club Rules' booklet.  Jeans, tracksuit and shorts are NOT permitted at any time.

 

 

Below is more information on what goes on at the club, what kind of matches you can play in and how you get selected:

 

5.1 Club Casual Sessions – or 'Roll Ups':

 

You can play in our Monday & Thursday Clubs or book any vacant rink for what we call a 'roll-up' – see section 4.1

 

5.2 Internal Club Leagues:

 

Throughout the winter season we run a varied programme of Internal Leagues: Men's, Ladies and Mixed. There are both day and evening leagues.

 

Details of the Leagues and how to join, or enter a team, are on our notice boards or contact the League Secretary.

 

5.3 Inter-Club Matches:

 

Throughout the year we organise many matches against other clubs; Men's, Ladies and mixed. Although both the Ladies and Men's sections play their respective Sussex County League the majority of our matches against other clubs are on a friendly basis.

 

The full fixture list of club matches is detailed in our 'Membership and Fixture' card.

 

5.4 Who can Play:

 

Only Full members may play in Club matches.

 

For friendly matches any member may put their name down to play.  We actively welcome and encourage new members to play in these matches – they are an ideal way to gain more bowling and match experience as well as meeting other bowlers.

 

5.5 I would like to play in a Club match, what do I have to do?

 

Forthcoming match sheets are displayed on our notice boards.

 

If you would like to play in a match, just put your name on the sheet.  If you are selected your name will be shown on the team selection page so you will need to check the sheet to see if you are playing.  If you are, please then tick your name to confirm your availability.

 

5.6 Oh – I haven't been picked – does that mean I am not good enough:

 

No, absolutely not! Don't be disappointed if you are not picked for every match or at your first try.  Keep entering your name for matches and you WILL be picked.  A selection record is maintained to ensure members have an equal percentage of games.

 

 

What else does the Club offer apart from actually playing:

 

6.1 Car Park:

 

We have the use of a large car park for use when visiting the club.  No parking charges are levied.

 

6.2 Bar:

 

We have a well stocked bar offering a wide range of alcoholic and soft drinks, all at very competitive prices.

 

The bar, which is staffed by volunteers, is open every lunch time and evening during the winter season.  Limited opening is in operation during the summer season.

 

6.3 Restaurant:

 

Our restaurant is a franchise and is open every lunchtime throughout the winter season.

 

The restaurant provides sandwiches, light snacks, cooked lunches, Sunday roasts together with Match meals, again all at competitive prices. Tea and coffee can also be purchased from the restaurant.

 

During the summer please check the notice board for opening times.

 

6.4 What other social activities do you offer?

 

Throughout the winter season various social activities take place, such as themed food evenings, quizzes and bingo.  Details are publicised in the Club as the events are organised.

 

You can also join our '100' Club – for a small upfront payment at the beginning of each season you have the chance to win cash prizes.

  

 

Are there any other rules I need to know about?

 

Yes – for any club to operate efficiently there must be a set of rules that members are required to observe.  We have a set of 'Bye-Laws and Club Rules' that members should be aware of and comply with.  A copy will be given to you as part of your welcome pack when you become a Full Member.

 

A copy is also displayed on the notice board on the left hand side as you enter the club.

 

Who manages the Club:

 

Wealden Indoor Bowls Club is a club run by members for the benefit of members.  The overall centre is run by a Council of Management of Directors under the name of Wealden Bowls Centre Limited.  They are responsible for the finances and assets of the club.  The land is leased from Wealden District Council.

 

We also have a separate Management Committee which is responsible for running the day to day bowling activities.

 

Details of all the Directors and members serving on the Committees are on the Club's web-site and the Club 'Membership and Fixture Card' which is given to all new Full members when they join and all members annually on payment of the appropriate subscription.

 

Photographs of all officers can be found on our notice boards.

 

I've got some questions not covered here – who should I talk to:

 

Please feel free to call the Office on 01825 767690 or speak to the Membership Secretary or any of the other Directors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wealden Bowls Centre

Guidance for New Bowlers