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GO OUT AND PLAY!
FREE LESSONS SATURDAY & SUNDAY, 10 UNTIL NOON.

VOTED BEST RETRO SPORTS ACTIVITY BY READERS OF EAST BAY EXPRESS
Check it out!

We provide the equipment; all you need is flat bottom shoes. Just drop by.

Classes also available by appointment – Call Jim at 510 644 2249.

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The 2016 Schedule is available on the events tab!

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Outdoor bowling on a bowling green is a classic sport that goes back hundreds of years and continues today in Berkeley. The retro sport we love is modern day fun out in the fresh air. Walt Disney was an avid lawn bowler.

Please, stop by and check out the action be it lessons or just to watch on Wednesday or Friday afternoon. EVERYONE IS WELCOME!

Already know how to bowl? Day use fees for lawn bowling are just $5 per day for Berkeley residents and $5.50 for non residents. Phone (510) 841-2174.

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Draw games for members and guests are normally held on Wednesday and Friday. Please arrive or call by 12:15. Games begin at 12:30. Spontaneous draw games, practice sessions, and special sessions have become quite common.

If you are interested in having your own special event at our facility, please contact us or drop by during one of the draw games. Our facilities can accommodate around 50 people for receptions, meetings, or team building events. We can provide bowling instruction or simply a rental venue with cooking facilities.

Map and Directions

Check out our tongue-in-cheek video for a quick look at lawn bowling Curling (without the ice) Check the links page for even more information.

BLBC is a proud member of PIMD (Pacific Intermountain Division) of Bowls USA.

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Congratulation to Aussie Pairs Team Rob Hoey and Shawn Roney!

A very tough Aussie Pairs tournament this year at Rossmoor.  Twenty-eight top-notch teams played three 12-end games. Eleven bowlers from our club were on the green.

Huge round of applause for team Rob Hoey and Shawn Roney! They won all three games and took second place…losing only by a one point differential. The same thing happened to them last year! Third times the charm, guys.  Next year!

Team Bob Schwartz and his partner, Larry Collaco, won two and lost one. Well done!

Team Jim Corr and Annie Brillhart won one, tied one and lost one as did team Frankie Napoli and his partner, Sandy Souza.

Team John Hooper and Cris Benton won one and lost two.

Team Des Simpson and Dave McMullen tied one and lost two as did team Millard Long and his partner, Nikki Schrager.

Better luck to all of us next year!

Berkeley's Rob Hoey & Shawn Roney, the 2016 Aussie Pairs 2nd Place Team
Berkeley’s Rob Hoey & Shawn Roney, the 2016 Aussie Pairs 2nd Place Team

Berkeley Takes 2016 2×2 Fours at Oakland LBC

On a beautiful August summer Saturday, forty bowlers from around the Bay participated in this year’s tournament; which was hosted by Berkeley, but played in Oakland. We’re proud that ten bowlers from Berkeley played on the greens – and especially pleased that a Berkeley team took First Place! Congratulations to Sarah, John, Cathy, and Cris.

Winners:  BLBC's Sarah Allday, John Hooper, Cathy Dinnean, and Cris Benton.
Winners: BLBC’s Sarah Allday, John Hooper, Cathy Dinnean, and Cris Benton.

2016 BLBC Triples Draw Tournament

Twelve bowlers waited to see who they would be bowling with (and against) in our club’s 2016 Triples Draw Tournament on July 16. It was a perfect round robin with the top two teams to play for the championship.

Des, Millard and Dave won all three of their games. (Excellent bowling you guys!) There was a very tough battle for second place between teams Erwin, Ray and Bob, Cathy, Phil and Ted, and Shawn, Ann and Luo. With a truly extraordinarily super bowl by Shawn at the last end of our third game, he moved his team into second place. Now his team had a tough assignment:  Beat the team (Des, Millard and Dave) that had just beat his team by two points. Well, Shawn’s team was definitely up to the challenge. They won with points to spare. Congratulations to Shawn, Ann and Luo!

2016's Triples Winners: Ann, Shawn, and Luo
2016’s Triples Winners: Ann, Shawn, and Luo

Winners of Women’s Fives

BLBC members Cathy Dinnean, Ann Brillhart  and Sarah Allday — along with Palo Alto bowlers Ginger Harris and Cheryl Anderson —

The day's winners: Cheryl Anderson, Ginger Harris, Cathy Dinnean, Ann Brillhart, Sarah Allday
The day’s winners: Cheryl Anderson, Ginger Harris, Cathy Dinnean, Ann Brillhart, Sarah Allday

took 1st place on July 10 in the 2016 PIMD Women’s Fives tournament at the San Francisco Lawn Bowling Club.

Ginger took on the difficult (and lonely) task of bowling the singles game in the morning. Several rinks over, Cathy did an admirable job of skipping, Ann, Cheryl and Sarah in the fours game. (Sarah’s jack rolling and bowling to the jack were awesome!) After a break for lunch, Ginger and Cheryl won a close pairs contest, and Cathy, Sarah and Ann won the triples game with points to spare.

This team is the only team that day to win all its games.  Congratulations!

Berkeley bowlers—and partner—bring home gold…again

Gold Medal Winners (l-r): Jim Corr (skip), Bob Schwartz (lead), Frank Matyskiela (second). Photo: Martha Mckee
Gold Medal Winners (l-r): Jim Corr (skip), Bob Schwartz (lead), Frank Matyskiela (second). Photo: Martha Mckee

Jim Corr and Bob Schwartz of Berkeley, together with Frank Matyskiela of Palo Alto LBC, took first place in the Sonoma Wine Country Senior Games for the second year in a row.

The games were held June 10-11, as last year, at the Oakmont Lawn Bowling Club in Santa Rosa and attracted teams from as far away as St. George, Utah and Fresno, CA as well as from around the Bay Area. A strong contingent of Oakmont bowlers also participated.

The format differed slightly from last year and allowed all 16 teams to participate fully on Day 2. Saturday, the top eight teams from Friday played a random draw of three 10-end games for Gold and Silver, while the bottom eight teams played off for the bronze medal. By lunch time, three Bay Area teams had won both their morning games. The San Francisco trio won their third game quickly, but with the knowledge that the winner of the Berkeley/PA – all Palo Alto matchup would almost certainly take first place because of a superior points score. As it turned out, after a close start, Jim, Frank, and Bob established a solid lead which Ian, Ginger, and Grace could not catch. In the bronze playoffs, a team from the Leisure Town club in Vacaville—with the delightful name of “Back Bowls Bobs and Marge”—came through for the medal. As an added bonus, this year all medal winners were also presented with a bottle of 2012 Russian River Valley Reserve Zinfandel from St. Anne’s Crossing, one of Sonoma County’s high-quality vineyards. As an anonymous bowler was heard to comment drolly: “You can’t drink a medal!”

A good competitive tournament, very well organized by the Oakmont Club, played in fine bowling weather (unlike last year when temperatures soared well into the 90s). What can be wrong with that? And as side note, the Oakmont Club has requested to re-join the PIMD after some years absence, so here’s hoping to see more of their players at tournaments around the region.

The winning teams (l-r): SILVER: Rod Arriaga, Robb Pawlak, Rita Arriaga "Team Triple R" San Francisco; GOLD: Jim Corr, Bob Schwartz, Frank Matyskiela "Bay Area Bowlers" Berkeley; BRONZE: Margie DuSell, Bob Beksel, Bob DuSell "Back Bowl Bobs and Margie" Vacaville (Leisure Town). Photo: Martha McKee
The winning teams (l-r): SILVER: Rod Arriaga, Robb Pawlak, Rita Arriaga “Team Triple R” San Francisco; GOLD: Jim Corr, Bob Schwartz, Frank Matyskiela “Bay Area Bowlers” Berkeley; BRONZE: Margie DuSell, Bob Beksel, Bob DuSell “Back Bowl Bobs and Margie” Vacaville (Leisure Town). Photo: Martha McKee

Berkeley bowlers perform strongly at regional championship, Jim Corr takes title

Berkeley bowlers put in a strong performance at the PIMD Men’s Singles Championship event and Jim Corr  came home with the 2016 title. (PIMD is the Pacific Inter-Mountain Division of BowlsUSA, comprising clubs in Northern California, Utah, and Hawaii).

The competition, held at the Sunnyvale Lawn Bowling Club the weekend of May 14-15, brought together 16 of the top players from all over the Bay Area. Eight contestants at the end of Day 1 went on to the Championship “A” and “B” Flights on Sunday, with the next four being placed in the “C” Flight and the lowest four in the “D” Flight. In his first game Sunday morning, Jim got off to a good start, beating Miguel Roliz of Rossmoor LBC, the only player who had defeated him on Saturday. This set up a semifinal match against Cris Benton, a fellow Berkeley bowler, that turned into a nail-biter. Jim took an early lead only to see Cris draw level and then surpass him to reach a 17-13 lead. With 18 points being the winning goal, Jim had to dig deep, but eventually managed to prevail by the narrowest of margins, eking out an 18-17 victory.

The final again matched two Berkeley bowlers against each other. Jim faced Frankie Napoli, a dual member of Berkeley and the Rossmoor Club. While not as close as the semifinal, the match nevertheless proved a tough one, Frankie coming within two points (13-11) of leveling the score, but Jim held on to take the game by 18-13 and the 2016 title.

Overall, with Rob Hoey winning the “B” Flight, Berkeley members ended up with four of the top five spots, a great showing. Congratulations to all.

Berkeley participants at 2016 PIMD Men’s Singles Championships. From left: Jim Corr, Des Simpson, Cris Benton, John Hooper, Rob Hoey, Frankie Napoli.
Berkeley participants at 2016 PIMD Men’s Singles Championships. From left: Jim Corr, Des Simpson, Cris Benton, John Hooper, Rob Hoey, Frankie Napoli.

When We Close for Maintenance…

We really mean it. On Friday, May 6, several hearty BLBC members hauled little cores of wet turf off the green to make it ready for receiving sand.

On Sunday morning (May 8) a mostly new crew came to shovel sand into the sander’s basin. It was physical labor that required over a dozen loads of sand to cover the green.  Each time the sander returned to the sand shed, the team filled the sander.  After a few loads, the team managed to refill the sander in under 2 minutes.  They felt like an Indianapolis 500 pit crew!

Next came spreading and sweeping the sand. As the pictures show, being a self-supporting lawn bowling club requires the work of fellow bowlers. The results will make the bowling better. Keeping the green running well is not magic, but hard work. Thanks to the teams who made this work happen!

The cores taken from the green were heavier than usual this time because of the recent rain.
The cores taken from the green were heavier than usual this time because of the recent rain.
The sand shed was around half full when the crew started!
The sand shed was around half full when the crew started!
Where the sand went.
Where the sand went.

The Meat Axe Stays in Berkeley – 2016

A beautiful day on the green! Fifteen players from Berkeley faced fifteen players from Palo Alto. The clubs were tied after the morning game (2 wins each, plus a tie), but Berkeley prevailed in the afternoon, and once again, the Meat Axe trophy will be displayed on the our wall. Congratulations to the crowd below; every team won at least one game. Special thanks to Shawn, directing his first inter-club event, who was totally organized and ran a great show!

But at least as important, many members helped make the day particularly successful. During the days preceding  the event, the ditches were weeded, the grass and surrounding paths were swept, the gate was cleared, and the weeds were mowed. On Saturday, particularly nice snacks were laid out, flowers were the vases, coffee was made, and bowlers were there to greet our guests. At the end, a thorough cleanup happened as if by magic due to the many hands who participated. I’m not attempting to name all names because so many helped, even some members who did not bowl, and I don’t want to miss anyone.

BLBC can be proud of putting on a fine event!

Berkeley Bowlers Dominate, Triumph in 2016 Winter League

The John Ogden Memorial Winter League is a fun but highly competitive tournament held each year during the bowling “off season.” John was a much-loved bowler, who, with his dad Woody Ogden (a US Bowls Hall of Famer), organized the tournament for many years. John passed away a couple of years ago and the tournament, originally the San Jose Winter League, was re-named in his honor.

This year, as before, the tournament attracted bowlers from all over the Bay Area, but Berkeley fielded easily the largest number from a single club, with almost a third—nine out of 28—of the entrants. And perhaps even more impressive, Berkeley teams ended up taking three of the four top spots.

The tournament, which was held at the Sunnyvale club, was organized as a 13-game round robin, there being 14 teams in total, and was played over three weekends in January. Unlike the last couple of years when the drought and mild temperatures made a bit of a mockery of the title, this year the event lived up to its billing as the Winter League. Rain jackets and extra layers were needed on the first couple of Saturdays, but the intermittent showers did not dampen the spirits of the participants or lessen their competitive urges.

BLBC 2016 Winter League bowlers
BLBC 2016 Winter League bowlers

At the end of two weeks, the top spot was held by Frankie Napoli (a joint Rossmoor and Berkeley member) and his partner Dave Peters (Rossmoor) with Berkeley pairs Shawn Roney/Rob Hoey and Jim Corr/Bob Schwartz in hot pursuit. However, on the final Saturday, Frankie and Dave’s hitherto stellar mojo left them (they had lost only one game up to that point) and they faded in the stretch. This allowed Shawn and Rob to edge into first place ahead of Jim and Bob by the narrowest of margins—one game point, gained when they held Ginger Harris and Janet Mednick (subbing for absent Mo Shooer) to a draw, while Jim and Bob lost to the same team.

In the final standings, Shawn and Rob placed first, Jim and Bob second, and Berkeley duo Erwin Vista and Ann Brillhart sneaked past Frankie and Dave with a come-from-behind run to snag fourth place. Third was taken by Mario Giorgianni and Ron Marier of San Jose LBC.

Congratulations to all the Berkeley bowlers, and thanks to all those who helped organize and maintain this event despite the fickle wintry season!

The Berkeley Lawn Bowling Club promotes the game of lawn bowling for the enjoyment of new and experienced players alike.