On Saturday, May 8th, 2021, BLBC held what may not have been its first-ever Vet-Novice Tournament, but was the first in this writer’s memory covering 10+ years of membership.
The event was initiated by Club President, Ethan Bortman, who felt it would be an excellent way to start the 2021 Tournament season and get the newbies more wholly integrated into the Club and the sport of bowls. So, all current Novices (novice = less than two years membership in a recognized bowling club) were invited to sign up and six were able to do so on one of the date options available. Jim Corr, as acting Tournament Director, then found six of the Club’s leading Skips to join the fun—that offer was oversubscribed—and the teams were selected by random draw.
The format provided for each team to play three 12-end games, quite a demand on some of the newer bowlers who had not played more than one draw game in a day. Fortunately, the weather cooperated nicely and made for a very pleasant day of bowling throughout.
After two rounds, the teams of Ian Cameron/Jim Audas and Hugo Deaux/Sal Garcia were in contention for first place, being the only ones to have won both of their earlier games. In a hard-fought contest, Ian & Jim prevailed 13-8 over Hugo & Sal to “bear the gree,” as Robert Burns would have put it. Check it out. Congratulations to both and especially to novice Jim who literally “led the way,” and thanks to all participants as well as those other veterans who showed up to provide friendly but neutral advice and guidance to any Novice who might have been uncertain about a technical issue or some of the more obscure Laws of the Sport.
And to top it all, the day was kicked off with the ever-popular “Spider,” with Jim Audas winning that and its prize of a bottle of wine too. When you’re hot, you’re hot!
The Berkeley Lawn Bowling Club sent seven triples teams to Rossmoor Bowling Club in Walnut Creek for the “Over the Hill” Challenge. The BLBC competed against them and indulged in a little bit of the friendly rivalry typical of the match since the Challenge began in 1969.
After a hiatus of twenty years or so, the clubs resurrected the event in 2016. Scheduling conflicts in 2019 prevented that year’s challenge from happening, so the clubs agreed to hold the 2019 version of the challenge on February 15, 2020 (the 2020 games will take place this August at Berkeley).
Berkeley went into lunchtime with a healthy advantage of 6 wins and only one loss. After the break, Rossmoor returned resurgent, as the afternoon games revealed. Some of the games went down to the wire, but Berkeley prevailed to win 5 of the afternoon games. The final total for the match: 11 wins for BLBC and 3 wins for Rossmoor LBC. Credit to Rossmoor for wonderful hosting and very sporting play. We’ll see them again in August! Well done to everyone that bowled yesterday, especially to some members representing the club for the first time.
The annual PIMD Winter League finished up its last week on Saturday January 25th and Berkeley Lawn Bowling Club members did exceptionally well. The competition is a Pairs tournament and teams from most of the Bay Areas bowling clubs participated in the three week competition.
Each team played a total of nine games over the course of three consecutive Saturdays. After the first two weeks of competition, only a point separated the the top three teams. Berkeley’s defending champions from last year — Andy Vevers and Gareth Cole — held a slim lead of one point over Palo Alto’s team of Rose Selby and Mike McNorton. Berkeley’s other team of Shawn Roney and Jerry Knott and Jim Corr tied with for second. Berkeley’s Rob Hoey and his partner Tim Christie from Palo Alto stood within striking distance at fourth place.
As it should in any closely contested and well played tournament, it all came down to the final day of play. The final day of play confirmed the 2020 contest to be closely contested with very good play on offer from all the team. Jerry and Jim and Andy and Gareth played each other in the first game. Jerry and Jim came to play, and they took the win despite the efforts of Andy and Gareth to rally. Jerry and Jim’s win put them in the driver’s seat for the First place tournament finish.
Alas, it was not to be. They lost their next game against a team from San Francisco that put a dent in their title aspirations. Meanwhile, the Palo Alto team of Rose and Mike quietly and convincingly won all their games and gained advantage of the Berkeley pairs first game slip up to take the top position. Andy & Gareth did all they could by winning their other two games of the day, but it all came down to the last couple of bowls of the tournament. Fortunately for the Berkeley lads, Rose and Mike could not take the maximum points on their final game, which left the field with a tie for 1st place. In view of the high levels of skill and grit on display, many may consider this a fair outcome.
The final results were as follows:
Tie 1st – Andy Vevers & Gareth Cole (Berkeley)
Tie 1st – Rose Selby & Mike McNorton (Palo Alto)
3rd – Shawn Roney/Jerry Knott & Jim Corr (Berkeley)
4th – Tim Christie (Palo Alto) & Robin Hoey (Berkeley)
As the reader can see, a really good result for the Berkeley teams that further cements our reputation as one of the most competitive clubs in the greater Bay Area. Many thanks to the San Jose Lawn Bowling Club for hosting a well run and genuinely fun event.
On Saturday, November 2nd, the Rossmoor Lawn Bowling Club hosted the 2019 PIMD Closing Day and Novice Recognition Day.
It was chilly in the morning but quickly warmed up to a comfortable 75°. Ninty-nine bowlers from around the Bay Area and beyond were on hand to visit with old friends and meet new bowlers. Zarka Popovic, our PIMD president, provided a slide show featuring photos from the National Championships played at San Francisco Lawn Bowling Club in September. Thanks to donations (raffles, etc.) from so many PIMD members toward hosting the National Championships, there was money to spare. All PIMD clubs that provided meals–that included BLBC, were reimbursed. In addition, the remainder of the overage was returned to the PIMD coffers.
Zarka also recognized all the PIMD novices and presented a trophy to this year’s Novice Champion: Michael McLintock. There were three novices from our club: Susan Carlson, Mary Collins and John Watson. (We’re looking for one of them to win the trophy next year.)
Berkeley Lawn bowling Club was well represented by 12 full members (Sarah Allday, Cris Benton, Annie Brillhart, Susan Carlson, Hugo Deaux, Cathy Dinnean, Phil Grattan, Susan Jamart, Cindy Moss, Glenn Nunez, and John Watson) and four dual members (Mary Collins, Sebastian Sciacca and Lydia and Luis Zapata). Happily, five BLBC members were on teams that won money: Sarah Allday, Cindy Moss, Sebastian Sciacca, and Lydia and Luis Zapata. Well done!
Annie Brillhart’s perfect blend of entrepreneurship and proselytization continues this year. Take for example Monday’s lovely event that introduced a dozen new folks to our game while providing critical financial support for the club. From Annie’s report:
“This afternoon we hosted 12 regional reps from AAA. We divided them up into three pairs games, and we had enough coaches on hand to make sure all our guests not only had a great time, but also had a proper introduction to the game of bowls. As always, everyone had a great time!
Huge thanks to coaches Cathy, Ted, Phil, Jim and Erwin. We couldn’t hold these events without our volunteer coaches!”
Today was a special day at Berkeley LBC! Twenty-seven employees of a prestigious local firm were guests at the bowling club today as part of a team building exercise. They brought a splendid lunch and a desire to have fun.
The real purpose of this news item, though, is to applaud the efforts of one BLBC member who has taken the lead in events such as this one. Ann Gardiner is one amazing person. In the last four days, she has been the primary force for two hosting events at the club and participated in a major club-on-club tournament. This was a larger-than-ordinary task that could not have been pulled off without the right mix of leadership and hard work.
After the guests finished their lunch, the five “coaches” present had to introduce a lot of guests to lawn bowling quickly. But how does one do that? No problem for Ann. She had each person pre-select a bowl of the appropriate size to identify their set of bowls and set up the intro. Then, to my surprise, she had them form two parallel lines on the green facing her. She gave a simplified set of instructions and explanations about the nature of lawn bowling and the mechanics of delivering both the jack and the bowl. Immediately, one person at a time delivered a practice bowl to a waiting coach who then rolled it back. The neophyte bowler picked up the returned bowl and reported to an assigned rink where coaches were ready to direct a game of triples.
The amazingly efficient double line format streamlined the training and underlined just how important people like Ann Gardiner are to this (or any) organization. The next time you see Ann…say thank you.
Now it’s obvious that Ann didn’t do the whole event herself. Lots of other folks chipped in; Susan J., Jim C., Erwin V., John H., Millard L., and Dave R. all help set up, coach, and/or take down.
Now that’s teamwork. Let’s hope our guests did some team building too.
Long time BLBC member Bill Flounders and his new wife, Claudia Smukler, celebrated their post wedding brunch at the BLBC on Monday, July 1st.
About 40 guests attended and enjoyed modest breakfast items from Ann’s Catering. To make the event a bit spashier, Bill hired a mobile Espresso cart to set up on the patio. Special thanks to Dave Rockhold, Ann Gardiner and Jim Corr for coming out to coach. With their assistance, four rinks were active all morning and more than 20 out-of-towners were introduced to Lawn Bowling.
Thanks to all from newlyweds, Bill & Claudia. And to Bill and Claudia from all of us at BLBC, congratulations!
Our facilities are available for your event! If you are interested in a team building experience, novel reception, or simply an organized, private lawn bowling event, contact us. The clubhouse can accommodate groups of up to 50 for dinners or meetings. The modest kitchen has a gas range and refrigerator.
The clubhouse adjoins the green.
Indoor seating is available for several dozen guests.
If you want to offer lawn bowling instruction to your guests, BLBC will arrange for coaches to give individualized instruction. Basic rules and mechanics of the game can be covered in just a few minutes. Normally, our students are involved in a game within the first 15 minutes.
The basic techniques are easy to lean, and quickly entertaining.
Past events have seen buffet lunches served on the patio or an expresso cart providing just enough caffeine to keep the crowd enthused.
Folks enjoy watching the games from the veranda
Rental pricing is $20.00 per guest (non-bowling children are not charged). This pricing is based upon facility rental of three hours and includes instruction for lawn bowling, all equipment, volunteer BLBC coaches, private use of the clubhouse, kitchen, patio, and bowling green. Add $50 for each additional hour after 3 hours. There is also a small cleaning deposit.
If you’re curious, please contact us at least three weeks before the date of your event. We’ll do our best to accommodate you!
We promote the game of lawn bowling for the enjoyment of new and experienced players alike.