Sport Focus - 12 Things You Didn't Know About Lawn Bowls

January 28, 2018

Scottish bowlers won three gold and a silver at Glasgow 2014, making it their most successful Games to date, but Scottish bowlers have featured prominently for Team Scotland right from the very first Games in 1930. From Scotland’s first Commonwealth Games medallists to the bowler whose Games career spanned an incredible 44 years, we end our Sport Focus with these 12 facts you might not know about Lawn Bowls:

  1. Lawn Bowls was one of six sports contested at the first Commonwealth Games in 1930. It is a core sport and has been included at every Games with the exception of Kingston 1966.


  1. Para-Sport Lawn Bowls was contested at the 1994, 2002 and 2014 Games and is included once again for Gold Coast 2018.


  1. Scotland sit 3rd on the all-time Games medal table for Lawn Bowls, behind England and South Africa, with 32 medals; 16 gold, eight silver and eight bronze.


  1. Alex Marshall is Scotland’s top bowler at the Commonwealth Games with four gold medals between 2006 and 2014. His medal tally places him second, behind sprinter Allan Wells, on the list of Scotland’s top medal winners across all sports. Alex will compete at his sixth Games at Gold Coast 2018.


  1. Willie Wood holds the record for most Commonwealth Games appearances in any sport, representing Scotland at an incredible eight Games from 1966 to 2010 and winning two gold, one silver and one bronze medal. At the Delhi Games in 2010 he was the oldest competitor at the age of 72.


  1. Scotland’s first Commonwealth Games medal in Lawn Bowls was a bronze won by David Fraser, John Orr, Tom Chambers and William Campbell in the Men’s Fours at the inaugural Games in 1930.


  1. Scotland’s first gold medal in Lawn Bowls was won in 1934 by Robert Sprot in the Men’s Singles.


  1. Women’s Singles, Pairs and Fours were first included at the Edinburgh 1986 Games and have been contested ever since. The first women’s event to be played at any Commonwealth Games was Triples, included at the Brisbane 1982 Games. This event was then dropped from the programme until making a return in 2006, at the same time as Men’s Triples was included for the first time.


  1. Bowls were originally made from lignum vitae, a dense wood, leading to the term “woods” being used for bowls, but are now more typically made of a hard plastic composite material.


  1. Bowls are designed to travel a curved path because of a weight bias, produced by the shape of the bowl. A bowler determines the bias direction of the bowl by a dimple or symbol on one side.


  1. The Lawn Bowls competition at the Gold Coast 2018 Games will be held at Broadbeach Bowls Club, venue for the Australian National Championship Finals since 2015 and for the World Junior Championships in 2016. The venue has been upgraded to provide four international standard greens and seating capacity for 2,500.


  1. Team Scotland will send 17 bowlers to Gold Coast 2018 in Men’s, Women’s and Para-Sport events. Meet the full team here.

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