Category Archives: Club Members

Membership has its privileges

Of note for Club Members

In this space, we hope to provide information to keep club members informed about upcoming events, parties, and tournaments plus information about the condition of the green or new member photos. Members are encouraged to check in here to get the latest news.

Berkeley Meets the Rossmoor Challenge

Last year, Frankie Napoli of Rossmoor Lawn Bowling Club, and also a dual member of Berkeley Lawn Bowling Club, reinstated the Rossmoor vs BLBC Challenge. We played two 14-end games. We were tied going into the afternoon. Three games were decided on the final bowl. Sadly for BLBC, all three bowls were delivered by Rossmoor teams giving them the trophy.

This year, BLBC once again entered four teams. Once again we would play two 14-end games. However, upon arrival at Rossmoor we learned they had eight teams. In the spirit of “good camaraderie and everybody bowls” we were happy to have two Rossmoor teams bowl for us.

Three all-BLBC teams won their morning games: Jim Corr, Cris Benton, and Bob Schwartz; Rob Hoey, Ray Francis and Jerry Knott and Frankie Napoli, Annie Brillhart and Erwin Vista. Team Ethan Bortman, Dave McMullen and Laile Giansetto were tied going into their last end. They lost the game by a fraction of an inch measurement.

So, the score was tied three to three.

BLBC continued to bowl well in the afternoon games. All four all-BLBC teams won handily giving us the victory!

Although none of the Rossmoor teams bowling for us won any of their games, we were very happy to have them on our side!

Congratulations to the bowlers who represented our club today!

 

Berkeley Bowlers with the Challenge Trophy. Left to Right: Rob Hoey, Ann Brillhart, Jim Corr, Ray Francis, Cris Benton, Laile Giansetto, Dave McMullen, Erwin Vista, and Ethan Bortman. Not pictured: Jerry Knott, Frankie Napoli and Bob Schwartz.

Glenn Stewart Tournament

Sixteen teams from around the Bay Area signed up to bowl in the Glenn Steward (formerly called the Ed Arnold) tournament in Palo Alto today, and our club was well represented by 18 full and dual members. This tournament is unique because all bowlers play each position (lead, second and skip) for four ends.

Huge congratulations to Rob Hoey, with the help from Bob Schwartz (Palo Alto) and Leslie Engler for winning 1st Place! This year there’s a trophy, so their names will be the first to be on it! As often happens, other competitive BLBC bowlers were in the mix. A very cheery round of applause to the following:
  • Team Shawn Roney, Ann Brillhart and Cris Benton for winning 3rd Place.
  • Team Jim Corr and Giulia Gallo with help from Tim Christie (Palo Alto) for winning 4th Place.
  • Team Ethan Bortman and Laile Giansetto with help from Bud Birkenseer (Palo Alto), for winning 6th Place.
And an extra round of applause for the rest of the BLBC bowlers who competed today:  Sarah Allday, Cathy Dinnean, John Hooper, Jerry Knott, Dave McMullen, Frankie Napoli (dual member from Rossmoor), Mo Shooer (dual member from San Francisco) and Erwin Vista.

Rob Hoey, Leslie Engler and Bob Schwartz (l-r)

BLBC Pairs draw tournament

It started as a chilly foggy morning when a field of twelve bowlers took to the green  in today’s 2017 BLBC Pairs draw tournament. As the day progressed into a warm sunny afternoon, three twelve end games were completed. After tight competition, the scores were tallied and two teams moved on to the final match. Rob Hoey & Ann Brillhart played against Hugo Deaux & Dave McMullen. Hugo & Dave pulled ahead early in the game. Not to be held back Rob & Annie tied it up at the completion of eleven ends. Ending with a two point advantage Hugo & Dave won the final.
Congratulations to Hugo & Dave our 2017 Pairs Champs! Thanks to tournament director Shawn for hosting a great event and to everyone who came out to compete today.
Hugo Deaux and Dave McMullen

Rossmoor 50th Anniversary Triples

Rossmoor Lawn Bowling Club continues to celebrate its 50th Anniversary, this time at their 50th Anniversary Mixed Triples tournament, which saw twenty-eight teams from all over the Bay Area and beyond playing and celebrating the anniversary.
Berkeley Lawn Bowling Club was well represented. Three teams were comprised of all BLBC members; a fourth team had a dual member from our club.
The format of the game was a 14-end game in the morning and another 14-end game after lunch, with the top five teams on both greens would win money in both games.
Before each game began, bowlers on both greens enjoyed the always popular “spider”. (A bottle of wine for the bowler who ended up closest to the jack.) Also, prizes were given to the last team in both games who scored four or more points.
Team Rob Hoey, Shawn Roney and Annie Brillhart tied for 1st place in the morning game with an Oakland team, and won 2nd place in the afternoon game. Dual member Frankie Napoli’s team won 4th place in the morning game, and team John Hooper, Cathy Dinnean and Cris Benton won 4th place in the afternoon game.
Laile Giansetto, Annie Brillhart, John Hooper (think “50” from his perspective), Cris Benton, Cathy Dinnean, Shawn Roney, Rob Hoey
Rob Hoey, Annie Brillhart and Shawn Roney

Berkeley Records First Victory over San Francisco in Annual Challenge

The Bay Bridge Challenge between Berkeley Lawn Bowling Club and San Francisco Lawn Bowling Club started in 2013. San Francisco won the tournament four years in a row. On Sunday, September 10, Berkeley put an end to the SFLBC dynasty!

All three BLBC teams won their matches in the morning:

Team Jim Corr, Giulia Gallo and Xian Zhi Luo defeated Mo Shooer, Aaron Rezendez, and John Grimes (21 to 12).

Team John Hooper, Cathy Dinnean (subbing at the last minute for Gordon Wilson) and Laile Giansetto bested Andy Vevers, Ginger Harris and Rod Arriaga (14 to 6).

Team John Luster, Frankie Napoli and Annie Brillhart came out on top against Larry Collaco, Oscar Collaco and Sebastian Sciacca (12 to 11).

A tip ‘o the hat to John Luster. With his team down three points on the last end, and both teams having two bowls each within 6 inches of the jack, John put in three perfect bowls, creating a situation of three and a measure. After some very careful measuring, SF agreed that Berkeley were holding four for the win. A wonderful finish to a hard-fought game.

Whatever the SF bowlers had for lunch, it worked, as they came storming back in the afternoon, with two substantial wins. Fortunately, for Berkeley the last result of the day was a victory for John Hooper’s team over the SF team skipped by Aaron Mendez.

With that afternoon win, Berkeley triumphed 4 games to 2 on the day.

Left to right. San Francisco LBC: Front: Larry, Sebastian, Oscar, Rod, Ginger. Back: John, Andy, Mo, Aaron.
Berkeley LBC: Front: Cathy, Jim, Giulia, John, Luo. Back: John L, Frankie, Annie, Laile.
Jim Corr and Rod Arriaga shake hands… the Bay Bridge Challenge will stay in Berkeley this year!!!

Tournament Updates

Berkeley bowlers competed at two regional competitions in August and one club tournament in early September not reported elsewhere on this site.

First, at the PIMD Mixed Pairs event on August 26 in Sunnyvale, Berkeley’s Giulia Gallo, partnered with Seattle’s Russ Leonard, took second place, missing the top spot by the narrowest of margins—a 9-10 loss to tournament winners Ian Harris (Palo Alto) and Zarka Popovic (Oakland).

Russ (l) and Giulia (r)

On the following day, Giulia kept up the momentum—this time at the prestigious San Francisco Centennial Cup Invitational, hosted by SFLBC. This mixed triples competition always draws a strong field and along with Jim Corr (Berkeley) and Frank Matskyela (Palo Alto), Giulia again contributed to second place outcome for her team. The Berkeley-Palo Alto combo won all three games, but were surpassed by an all-San Francisco team of Robb Pawlak, Tom Raher, and Christine Raher by a slim points differential of 5 (points scored v points conceded). Not a bad weekend for someone who’s still a novice bowler! Two other Berkeley bowlers—John Hooper and Cris Benton, together with Tess Ball (San Francisco)—were “in the money,” taking fourth place in the event.

Jim (l), Giulia (c) and Frank (r)

On Saturday, September 2, Berkeley held its own club Two Bowls Singles. An event that does not allow much margin for error and calls for precise drawing to the jack, this year’s tournament was held in unseasonably hot weather, adding to the challenge for all involved. Five players battled it out in a round robin format, with Shawn Roney taking the honors and getting to add his name (again) to the winners’ board in the clubhouse. Congratulations to Shawn!

Shawn

 

Berkeley Jamboree

Twenty eight bowlers enjoyed a fun day of competition at the annual Berkeley Lawn Bowling Club Jamboree.
In this unique to Berkeley tournament, each player keeps her/his own score card and plays each game in the same position–but with different people (usually) in each game. It’s a great way to get to know other bowlers! We played three 12-end games.

BLBC tournament director, Shawn Roney, set up four triples and one pairs game for each round. As always, prizes were awarded to the top 12 players.

Five bowlers from Palo Alto competed this year. Congratulations to Ed Chang, a relatively new bowler, for placing 12th!

Leisure Town bowlers love this tournament–probably because they always do so well. Eleven members from their club participated, and their own Andy Anderson won top honors! Four other bowlers from LTLBC also won money.

But BLBC wasn’t to be denied. Six of our bowlers were in the money. Congratulations to:

Rob — 2nd Place
Erwin — 3rd Place
Mr. Luo — 4th Place
Des — 7th Place
Annie — 8th Place
Shawn — 9th Place

A snapshot of the annual Berkeley Jamboree

Open House Pronounced Success

What a great afternoon! Over 50 people dropped by the BLBC’s Open House and Neighborhood Bowl between noon and 4:00pm on Sunday, August 13, to learn about lawn bowling and give it a try. There was universal agreement that everyone had a great time, and several dozen visitors said they want to come back for more lessons.

Plenty of snacks loaded the main table in the club house, with the water barrel and paper cups on a table in the patio along with an ice chest full of bottled water. Pennants were strung on the club house roof and fence, and we moved the big “Welcome to Berkley Lawn Bowling Club” banner from the clubhouse to the front fence. Nobody walking by could miss it! We set up four rinks for adults and older children to practice on, with a separate area designated for children to play with carpet bowls. A half dozen coaches were on hand to explain the basics of the game, with a lot of allowance for stretching the normal rules as most people came in twos or threes and were not ready to form strict teams.

As always, an event of this nature could not be carried off without the enthusiastic participation of club members who designed the Open House fliers, saw to their distribution around the neighborhood and beyond, helped clean and reorganize the clubhouse from top to bottom and made the greens and surrounds look “spic and span,**” handled all aspects of hospitality and greeting of newcomers, and, not least, took on the job of coaching and conveying the fun inherent in our game. You know who you are—give yourselves a round of applause!

In the small world department, one visitor was recognized by at least three club members and five visiting bowlers. He’s a very capable, and delightful, plumber who operates under the title “Michael Your Plumber.” And all who know him will testify he deserves his 5-star rating on Yelp. His line:  “If this many people keep recognizing me, I’m going to run for mayor!”

**A special call out for Cris Benton, who created the unique new yellow rink numbers and white markers on his handy-dandy 3-D printer. It takes 3-4 hours to churn out each one.

McLaren Memorial Mixed Triples

The McLaren Mixed Triples is one of the “prestige” tournaments on the PIMD tour, being hosted each year by San Francisco LBC in honor of John McLaren, designer of Golden Gate Park who insisted the park include three lawn bowling greens, and the club’s first vice-president.

This year’s tournament saw a smaller contingent than usual sign up, but that did not mean it was any less competitive with 10 teams competing for the honors. As always, it was a tough tournament because each bowler plays each position (lead, second and skip) for four ends of three 12-end games. Only the top three teams win money.

BLBC club was well represented: of the 30 players on the green, ten were Full BLBC members and three were Dual members. 

Only three teams won all three of their games. Despite the cold and windy weather, Berkeley lawn bowlers did our club proud! Dual club member Frankie Napoli and his teammates (Arnie Barros and Angie Peet) took 1st Place, while the BLBC team of John Hooper, Cathy Dinnean and Bob Schwartz placed 2nd, and the BLBC team of Shawn Roney, Annie Brillhart and Cris Benton came in3rd.

Congratulations to all BLBC winners! 

(Author’s note: only one of the BLBC contingency apparently had the presence of mind to memorialize their performance with a team photo.)

2017 McLaren Mixed Triples: 2nd Place winners (l-r) Cathy Dinnean, John Hooper, and Bob Schwartz.

2017 BLBC Mixed Triples

On a beautiful first weekend of August, our club hosted the club’s annual draw mixed triples, and a party to celebrate the big renovation that our club went through this summer, thanks to Ann’s and Bill’s great efforts, and also with the help of many club members who contributed along the way.

Twenty one bowlers signed up to play in their preferred positions, resulting in few teams not competing one of their games, and getting an automated victory. The tournament comprised a qualifying session of three 10 end games, a semifinal game of 8 ends for the top four teams, and a final game with 8 ends. All teams bowled two games before lunch, and the third one afterwards: after the qualifying session, only one team had won all their 3 games, while the other three teams were 2-1 and 2 and a tie.

Families and friends started to arrive to attend the the bbq, and to cheer for the contenders of the two semifinal games that were under way: on one rink, Shawn, Millard and Keith, our new dual member from Sarasota, played against John, Ann and Laile; one the other rink, Jim, Des and Bill played against Rob, Cris and Leslie. Before the final, Erwin and Laile started the bbq and the spectators started munching while waiting and chilling. 

As one would expect, the final game between Shawn’s and Rob’s team was a great game, with beautiful shots and spectacular bowling on each side, which kept the spectators entertained and on the edge of their seats until the very end. Shawn’s team, which came in the final undefeated, took an early lead and kept it until the last two ends. Rob’s team was down 9-4, but the score didn’t discourage him nor his teammates, whom he led to score 5 points to tie, with one end to go. Shawn was still holding shot when the two skips bowled, but eventually Rob drew a shot that in the end, gave his team the victory by two points. 

After the tournament, we all then gathered inside eating sausages, salads and desserts that were kindly provided by many club members, and drinking beers and other liquors, enjoying our beautiful little club and nice conversations.

Thank you to all club members who have contributed to make this event such an enjoyable, fun and memorable day for our club, and many congratulations to Leslie, Cris and Rob for winning this year’s BLBC 2017 Mixed Triples. 

Figure 1 – Winning team (l-r): Rob (skip), Cris (vice) and Leslie (lead).