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 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).

BLBC Represented at National Night Out

National Night Out (NNO) is an annual neighborhood get-together, celebrated in blocks and neighborhoods across the nation each August 1. Its aim is to strengthen communities, including through improved police-community relations.

This year, BLBC bowlers joined our neighbors and new partners the Friends of Strawberry Creek Park (FSCP) for food and fun in the Park which is situated just a couple of blocks from the club. FSCP is a citizen-organized activist group that has worked closely and consistently with City departments in recent years to improve facilities in the Park and in the neighborhood more generally.

The gathering was not just an occasion to advertise the Club but also to get to know our neighbors better and do unashamed lobbying for their support, which many were willing to provide. We successfully gathered another 30 or so signatures to add to the application recently lodged with Berkeley’s Landmarks Preservation Commission that the club be granted landmark status as its about to enter its tenth decade in West Berkeley. We also buttonholed the Deputy City Manager who was there to represent the City of Berkeley and explained to him the issues surrounding the long drawn-out process involved in the renewal of our lease on what we would consider fair and reasonable terms. He listened carefully and said he would familiarize himself with the matter in greater detail.

And a number of fliers were handed out for the upcoming (August 13, 12-4pm) Open House and Neighborhood Bowl.

Thanks go to Laile Giansetto, Ann Brillhart, Cris Benton for helping with set-up and staffing our table as well as the several other BLBC members who showed up to lend a hand.

BLBC Members (l-r) at National Night Out: Jim Corr, Erwin Vista, John Hooper (with the latest in “bowl” design), and Giulia Gallo.

PIMD Mixed 2×2 Fours

A very tough, but also a very fun day of bowling at Palo Alto in the PIMD Mixed 2×2 Fours.

Eight teams played four 8-end games with a break for lunch after the second game. Only the top three teams would win money.

Three teams had members from our club, two of which were all Berkeley (listed in order to play below):

– John Hooper, Cathy Dinnean, Sarah Allday and Cris Benton
– Jerry Knott, Bob Schwartz, Annie Brillhart and Leslie Engler
– Bud Birkenseer, Ethan Bortman, Tess Ball and Laile Giansetto

The only two teams that won all three games had to play each other in the last game in a battle for first and second place.
Congratulations to team Larry Collaco, Joanne Kluck and Angie & John Peet for winning 1st Place.
A well deserved round of applause for team Rod & Rita Arriaga and Cheryl & Al Minvielle for winning 2nd Place.
Congratulations to BLBC team Jerry Knott, Bob Schwartz, Annie Brillhart and Leslie Engler.

League of Women Bowlers

Our first annual “League of Women Bowlers” gathering was a casual pot-luck dinner for the
girls of BLBC. We had such a good time lounging in the clubhouse with our wine and food that
we never even got out the door onto the green. We all know each other better now, and agree
that this event must be repeated at least once every year. We missed those of you who couldn’t
make it, but we certainly hope you will be able to join us next time.

Our women bowlers enjoying dinner and conversations

2017 PIMD Fives Tournaments

Fourteen members from the Berkeley Lawn Bowling Club participated in Saturday’s PIMD Women’s and Men’s Fives tournaments at San Francisco Lawn Bowling Club.  It was a very good day for our club!

On the Women’s green, our very first ALL-Berkeley Women’s Fives team (Cathy, Leslie, Annie, Sarah and Giulia) won 1st place!
Just as delightful, over on the Men’s greens, Frankie’s team also won 1st place!
To sweeten the day’s results: Our all-Berkeley Men’s team (Bob, Cris, Jerry, John and Shawn) won 2nd place!
Also on the green and bowling well for their teams were our own Laile, Millard and Mo.
Finally, we all owe our thanks to Annie, Millard, and Sarah for returning to Berkeley and watering the grass after their long
day of bowling.
Well done everyone!
Left to right: Cathy, Leslie, Ann, Sarah and Giulia