Camberley Bowling Club
Southwell Park Road,  Camberley,  Surrey,  GU15 3QQ
Founded 1928
Affiliated to BE, SCBA & SCWBA
Visually Impaired Bowling

Visually Impaired Bowls England (VIBE) was formed in 1975 to provide, or to assist in the provision of, facilities to encourage visually impaired persons to play the game of bowls.  It is made up of more than 50 member clubs.  

The two website that exist for VIBE are:-
Visually Impaired Bowls England (VIBE) -
Visually Impaired Bowls England (VIBE) - Bowls England

The VIBE websites contains much information on all aspects of bowling that will be of use to you.

Camberley Experiences

The twine used to stretch down the rink centreline does not seem to be readily available.  According to the VIBE rules,  the twine should be breakable for safety reasons.

The only supplier found so far is:-
Bowls World  - online bowls specialist (VIBE twine supplier)

At least 40m of twine are required.  Winding and unwinding this amount of twine is problematical. VIBE suggested using a winder,  the type that are used by builders for chalk lines but which are commonly only 30m.

Wax the twine once a year by running it through a candle.  This improves the winding and unwinding process.

Ends can be anchored using 4” nails with twine wound around a few times.  Make sure the line is tight.

Make sure the line is straight. Pick up the line and drop it in a few places.  

Pins are used to hold the twine to the ground.  There seems to be no pins available specifically for bowling.  25mm to 35mm long pins with a 12mm diameter flat head are ideal. The pin should be flat under the pin head to trap the twine.

When pressed into the ground the head traps the twine to the ground. Further pressure makes sure the head is flush with the ground surface.

Ideal pins seem to be archery target pins which can be obtained from:-
Merlin Archery
Quicks - The Archery Specialist
Archery World

If accurate estimation of the jack or bowls positions is required,  pins should be positioned at the 23m marks and the 2m marks so that distances can be paced out.

Further pins can be used to keep the line straight and should be biased towards the positions where gaps occur under the line due to dips in the surface.  

Some greens have been found to have significant dips in their surface along the lines length.  If pinning is not done correctly to hold the twine down then the twine could significantly affect the bowls natural path particularly at the lower bowl speeds.

Keep an eye on the pins during the game to make sure the pins remain flush with the ground.  Hard ground makes it difficult to press the pin head in sufficiently and may spring out with time.  Also the pins may ride up with time if the ground is very soft or the pin length is too short.

Calling the Bowl Positions
We try to stick to the clock method to call the bowl positions.  That is radial distance and clock position from the bowlers perspective with 12o’clock being behind the jack.  We call the position just after the bowl has stopped.

Calling the Jack Position
VIBE say that if a 5pence piece is put under the jack the change in position can be accurately given to the bowler using the clock method.  We have not used this at Camberley as we have found that describing the move approximately is sufficient.

We get the skip or marker to stand just behind the jack to indicate its position just before the bowl is delivered.  The opponent skip should stand directly behind the skip so that there is no visual ambiguity presented to the bowler.   

If the jack is moved off line this should be clearly communicated to the bowler when standing behind it.