Created in 1986 after members of one local club felt that there must be more to short mat bowls than just rolling up amongst themselves, the East Kent Short Mat Bowls League, as it was formerly known, grew from strength to strength, eventually changing its title from League to Association.
Clubs have come and gone as have many members, but the Association truly deserves a place in the history of East Kent where it has become such an important part of the recreational facilities available in this area.
The Association has always been lucky enough to have a very supportive committee along with an extremely keen membership, which in turn has enabled the leagues and competitions to become very competitive, but, at the same time, an enjoyable pastime for both young and old alike.
Certain characters will always be remembered, Ray Razzell (Founder Chairman) & Eric Harber (whose idea this was) from Minster, Geoff Cook (Founder Hon. Treasurer) from Hoverspeed, David Swain (Founder Vice Chairman) from Cavaliers & Arca, Barby West & Paul Churchley, from Birchington, Hoverspeed & Minster, Mick Foreman, from Boughton & Whitstable, Jim Noble, from Swalecliffe, Terry Piper, from Capel, Ray Owen (Founder Hon Secretary in post for 22yrs - 1st Life Vice President) from Minster & Hoverspeed, plus Jim Greatorex (Former Chairman & 1st President) from Wingham, to name but a few, oh, and we nearly forgot Bob Freelove (Bekesbourne) everyone knew Bob!!. There are so many more who truly deserve a mention on this 'wall of fame', but these few are just a small sample of those who have given so much to mould this into such a great 'umbrella network' for so many local clubs.
May we continue to build on those firm foundations, that have been laid down for us, and ensure the ongoing success of the EKSMBA for many many years to come.
For details of Association activities and member clubs visit the Noticeboard & Diary page.
Just click on the sidebar links
Short mat bowls is an all-year sport played in village halls, schools, sports and social clubs, where space is restricted and is also required for other purposes. Rink mats 40-45ft in length and 6ft wide permanently marked with the required lines are laid to create the playing surface with fenders at each end and a mid position block. A foot mat is laid and jack positioned before each end is played.
The game is played in broadly the same way, provides the same enjoyment and has the same attractions as lawn bowls. The bowls themselves and the smooth soled heelless footwear are the same as those used outdoors although each player is allowed only two bowls to use in either a pairs or triples game.
The object is for each player in a singles game or each team in a pairs, or triples to gain as many shots as possible by delivering their bowls nearer to the jack than their opponents, and so outscore them.
The main differences in the playing conditions are the size of the playing area, the block that occupies the mid-position of the rink mat and the ditch which is actually a defined area of the mat surface. The presence of the block which prevents players from bowling with force directly towards an opponent’s bowl and the narrow playing area, requires players to develop skill in using the natural bias of their bowls to bowl round the block. Bowls that touch the block and those those come to rest in the dead area or in the ditch (other than those that touch the jack before going into the ditch) are declared "dead" and must be removed from the mat before the next bowl is delivered.
The primary skill requirement comes in the fact that no two mats perform identically, that no floor is perfectly flat or level and therefore every competitive match is a measure of the ability of the visiting team to conquer an unfamiliar playing surface.
Click the Rules link in the sidebar to view those of the East Kent Short Mat Bowls Association that also include a diagram of the playing surface and details of short mat bowls equipment.