Category Archives: Tournaments

BLBC Novice Tournament, 12/2/2023

“They sure didn’t bowl like novices!”
BLBC Pres. Glenn Nunez to BLBCers on 12/4/2023:

After watching the participants during the eight morning matches of last Saturday’s BLBC Novice Tournament, one of our club’s veterans confided to me that he was glad he wasn’t playing against them. We had some serious bowling going on. There were blowouts. There were matches decided on the last end. The four markers went through a lot of chalk. One end was so close that even the umpire declared it a tie. And there were just enough wrong-biased deliveries to keep it real.

I was tempted to start this paragraph with “When the dust settled,” but mist and drizzle throughout the chilly, overcast day made sure there was no dust to settle. So… After tallying the results of the two Round Robins, Cindy announced that Judy Hillyer and Gordon Beveridge had each swept their matches to finish as the preliminaries’ only undefeated contestants and would face each other in the first-to-eighteen-points Final.

An enthusiastic audience, including Ginger Cheng – winner of 2022’s edition of this event who was on hand to congratulate her successor – gathered at the center rink. Applause was the order of the afternoon as both finalists showcased skills gleaned from many months of diligent practice and competition at various levels. Judy probably could make a case that Gordon be cited for petty larceny, as time and again she laid down an impeccable shot only to see him draw just a smidge closer or somehow pop her seemingly unbeatable bowl out of the head. Judy never faltered, but Gordon’s repeated successes proved to be too much and he finally claimed victory shortly before dusk. Congratulations, Gordon!

Kudos to our stellar Hospitality Committee for providing goodies and to those participants who added extra treats. Thanks also to the day’s volunteer markers. It was heartening to see the number of new bowlers stepping up for their first competition. The future looks bright for bowling at BLBC.

Great day on the Green

Florida Here We Come!10/29-11/4/2023

BLBC Pres. Glenn Nunez to BLBCers on 9/26/2023:

As many of you know, BowlsUSA’s National Championships take place next week in Sun City, FL. Representatives from each of the seven divisions face one another in a true Champion of Champions tournament to determine the finest in our sport.

But did you know just how grand Berkeley’s presence will be during this prestigious event? As a result of having won the PIMD Playdowns earlier this year, Annie Brillhart (Women’s Singles), JIm Corr (Men’s Singles), and dual-member Frankie Napoli (Men’s Pairs) will be carrying the BLBC banner throughout the week.

This is a big deal! Put it in the following perspective: There are only four separate categories in the Nationals and we have members in THREE of them. Not convinced? How about this then: PIMD is sending six players from among its eleven clubs and HALF of them have lockers on Acton Street. Our Club has every reason to be proud.

There’s a list of competitors at with a link to the full schedule of events, which I suspect will be updated with scores as they become available.

Annie, JIm, and Frankie, as you pack for your flights to Florida this Saturday and prepare for your first game on Wednesday morning, know there’s a huge team pulling for you back home. Best of luck from everyone at BLBC!


And, more from our Facebook page on 10/31/2023 … Ann Brillhart and Jim Corr are headed to Nationals! We hope you bring us back a couple of trophies.

2023 BLBC 4-Bowl Singles Outcome, 9/16/2023

Jim Corr to BLBCers on 9/16/2023:

An unseasonably gray and chilly Saturday saw 14 players compete for the 2023 4-Bowl Singles title on a fast-running green. And the markers and small band of spectators saw some fine bowling and closely contested matches.

The format provided for a preliminary round of three matches played to first to 15 points, followed by the top two players from that stage battling it out in a first to 18 points Final.

At the end of the set of three matches, Jim Corr emerged in first place after defeating Bernie Chan, Daniel Gorelick (the latter in a down-to-the wire 15-14 victory) and Hugo Deaux. Meanwhile, Robin Hoey was also on 3 wins—over Jim Audas, Luis Zapata, and Phil Grattan—but had to await the outcome of the match between Ian Cameron and Bernie Chan. Ian went into that game with two wins (beating Annie Brillhart and Bing Burns along the way). A win by any margin would give Ian the advantage over Rob based on differential, but it turned out to be a nail biter. He and Bernie went toe-to-toe until tying at 14 each. With Bernie holding three shots, Ian snuck in with his last bowl to take the point and the game, edging Rob out of the Final by the margin of that one point.

The matchup for the Championship game was a repeat of the 2018 4-Bowl Singles Final in which Ian (then still a novice) had defeated Jim by a solitary point. He looked like handily repeating that win by jumping into a 13-5 lead. But after a short “bathroom break,” Jim returned to the field and bit by bit fought his way back into the match. Whether it was the break that broke the momentum, or his tactic of playing longer jacks than had been seen hitherto, or the “curse of 13” falling on Ian, Jim did not concede another point and worked his way steadily to an 18-13  victory.

Thanks go out to all those who assisted, especially our wonderful greeenskeeping team, the markers who gave up a part of their Saturday to keep the games flowing nicely, and to Sarah Allday and the hospitality crew for providing vittles.

Summer League Results and Winners, 8/23/2023

Jim Corr to BLBC Bowlers on 8/24/2023:

Our Wednesday evening  Summer League came to an end last night after 7 weeks of keen competition. You will recall (or not!) that the format was 12-end Pairs games with separate round robin sections for Skips and Leads—i.e., each Skip played once against each other Skip and each Lead once against each other Lead. Unfortunately, the parameters did not allow us to arrange that each Lead played with or against each Skip only once, so there was some doubling or tripling of those combinations. That said, it was a fun event and a nice way to pass a summer evening. And in the end, as shown in the attachment, the winners were: 

Skips—Cris Benton in 1st Place (with an impeccable 7 wins out of 7), Glenn Nunez 2nd Place, and Mo Shooer 3rd Place (just edging out Hugo Deaux). On the Leads’ side, Lennon Hamilton took 1st Place, aided by a victory against Cindy Moss on the final evening, who emerged 2nd, with Judy Hillyer coming up 3rd, by almost the narrowest possible margin ever. She and Gordon Beveridge were tied on win/loss points, tied on differential (points scored minus points ceded), and Judy won through the ratio of points scored to points ceded—a mere 2/1000th of a point!

Thanks to all the participants and those who participated as subs when needed due to absences. And to Cathy Dinnean for arranging snacks and drinks to round of the final week.

See you on the green.

Tunnel Challenge, 8/12/2023

BLBC Pres. Glenn Nunez to BLBCers on 8/14/2023:

As most of you know, this past Saturday saw our club host the annual Tunnel Challenge with our good friends – and worthy opponents – from Rossmoor LBC. Long-standing travel plans prevented BLBC’s Tournament Director from coordinating the event, but Jim confidently handed the reins to Cindy, who (if I do say so myself) acquitted herself admirably. Thanks to a crew of capable volunteers on all fronts, everything went off without a hitch.

Six teams of three bowlers from each club faced off in two 14 end matches. After a couple of routs and a couple of nail-biters, Berkeley’s squad found itself up 5-1 when the morning’s dust settled. A leisurely lunch preceded another set of games in the afternoon. The home team wasn’t about to squander its commanding lead and wound up repeating the morning’s result to handily secure victory. Once the engravers have etched “2023 BERKELEY” on the plaque, you’ll see it proudly displayed on our clubhouse walls for the first of what we hope will be many consecutive years.

Check out the pictures of everyone surrounding Aika holding the trophy and yours truly making sure Rossmoor’s President doesn’t abscond with it!

Now it’s on to the Meat Axe…

And Annie makes two! Announced 7/10/2023

“… and Annie makes two!”
BLBC Pres. Glenn Nunez to BLBCers on 7/10/2023:

We’ve all known that Annie Brillhart has made a business of taking care OF the green, but she’s also quite capable of taking care of business ON the green as well.

Yesterday, Annie carried BLBC’s flag to San Francisco for the PIMD Women’s Singles Playdowns to determine its representative for the 2023 U.S. National Championships. It was a one-day, round-robin, winner-take-all event and Annie’sfirst game was, as they say, “a real nail biter.” She quickly found herself down 7-0 to the eventual runner-up before rallying to an even position a dozen points in. From there the two women traded winning shots until they came to the ultimate end tied 17-17. That’s where Annie, in her own words, “snuck one on the jack” and then waited nervously to see if it would hold for the victory. It did. A couple of observers remarked that it was among the best games they’d ever witnessed. Annie then handily won her final two matches, emerging as the day’s only undefeated competitor and punching her ticket to Florida.

With Jim Corr’s matching honors from last month’s Men’s Playdowns, BLBC can now proudly lay claim to having BOTH of our division’s singles participants in this fall’s prestigious event in Florida. Annie and Jim are superb bowlers and we’re extremely pleased for – and proud of – both of them!

Congratulations, Annie. You’ve put in the work over the years, so you’ve earned this reward. Best of luck in Sun City!

Jim Corr is going to Florida! Announced 6/11/2023

“Jim Corr is going to Florida!”
BLBC Pres. Glenn Nunez to BLBCers on 6/11/2023:

I just got word from my inside sources at Rossmoor that our very own Jim Corr has won the Men’s Singles section of the PIMD Playdowns and will be representing our division at this year’s U.S. National Championships in Sun City, Florida from October 29th to November 4th. Berkeley Lawn Bowling Club could not be any prouder!

This event started last weekend, as fourteen entrants were whittled down to the six who would come back yesterday to begin a two-day, five-match round robin. Jim took care of business Saturday, winning all three of his 21 point matches. He dropped his first match this morning, but came back to win his second with a few points to spare. A nail-biting wait followed as he watched the remaining two bowlers battle to a 19-19 deadlock before everything fell the right way on their final end, guaranteeing that our hero would be the only competitor to wind up four and one over the two days. Jim had booked his ticket!

Those of you who have watched Jim over the past several years know this is no fluke. Even after all his experience, he continues to practice and work hard on the physical aspects of his game. On the equally important mental side, he’s always thinking about the nuances of each situation he finds himself facing, weighing the pros and cons of every shot selection. His even temper serves him well, as he never gets overconfident while simultaneously never beating himself up should things go awry. If you’re looking for someone to emulate on the green, here’s your man.

Jim, we’re all extremely happy for you. Best of luck in Florida.

Score with Corr!!

2023 Howard Mackey Jamboree Winners, 3/18/2023

2023 Howard Mackey Jamboree Winners:

1st Place: David Usher (Palo Alto)
2nd Place: Bing (aka Gary) Burns (San Francisco; dual member Berkeley)
3rd Place: Andrew Keeler (San Francisco)
4th Place: John Grimes (San Francisco)

1st Place: Lennon Hamilton (Berkeley)
2nd Place: Cris Benton (Berkeley)
3rd Place: Billy Wilson (San Francisco)
4th Place: Luis Zapata (San Francisco; dual member Berkeley)

1st Place: Carrie Chiang (San Francisco)
2nd Place: Lydia Zapata (San Francisco; dual member Berkeley)
3rd Place: Mei Chan (San Francisco)
4th Place: Ginger Cheng (Berkeley)

Ginger Cheng Takes Berkeley Novice Singles Title, 2/4/2023

What a day! What a final! Ginger Cheng takes Berkeley 2022 Novice Singles Title

The 2022 BLBC Novice Singles Tournament—yes, that’s the 2022 event—finally took place on February 4, 2023 after several postponements in December and January due to the welcome but, for bowlers frustrating, winter bomb cyclones and atmospheric rivers that the Bay Area has been subjected to.

Undaunted by the prospect of further inclement weather during the day, 12 eager Novices took to the damp and heavy green and braved a day of cold, wind, and showers—sometimes intense—to show their mettle. (“Fine bowling weather” it’s called in Scotland.) Given the uncertain conditions, a last minute decision was made by the Tournament Team to abjure the usual singles format of playing till a certain number of points is scored and instead to have games run to 15 ends, in the hope that this would expedite play and allow the tournament to be completed on the day.

By random draw, the field of 12 went through three preliminary rounds with only two players emerging as winners of all three of their games. This resulted in a final matchup of Tom Birt and Ginger Cheng, and what a final they gave us.

End for end, bowl for bowl, they assiduously contested every point, with the lead moving back and forth over the course of the match due to excellent shots by each player. On the 15th end, you just knew it would happen, on a beautiful draw Tom seized two points to tie the score, so a last, tie-breaking end had to be played. With Ginger lying shot, Tom had little option but to try a “yard on” with his last bowl. In it came, edging the jack over four feet to where one of his bowls was closest, but before he could celebrate victory his runner continued, nudging Ginger’s bowl just enough to put it a few inches closer to the jack than Tom’s, giving her the game and the 2022 Novice title by a single point. It was a final to grace any tournament, let alone a Novice one.

Thanks are due to many people, not least Tom himself as a “Novice” Tournament Director in difficult circumstances, to all who helped with hospitality and green setup, and especially the veteran bowlers who volunteered their time as markers and who carried on through the on again/off again downpours.

  • Report courtesy of Jim Corr