CHULMLEIGH SHORT MAT BOWLS CLUB

The Chulmleigh Sports Pavilion

PLEASE NOTE: THERE WILL BE NO ROLL UP ON THURSDAY MARCH 5TH 2020



Who are Chulmleigh SMBC?


At the time of writing (January 2019) this article the clubs registered membership stands at 18. Although only a small number we are a very happy club and we are always trying to attract new members in all the usual ways. This website is, hopefully, another way to attract players and as our hall will eventually get Wi-fi other methods of modern technology may come to our aid. 

Please note - by clicking on any words appearing in a different colour will (hopefully) open another page or window.

Our club colours are Burgandy sweaters, with logo, white T shirt, with logo and grey trousers. Bowling shoes are usually white or brown.

When and where do we meet?

The club meets twice weekly for two x three hour sessions throughout the year, except for bank holidays etc, at the Chulmleigh Pavilion Playing Fields, Leigh Road, Chulmleigh EX18 7JW.

Our sessions (roll-ups) are held on Tuesday from 7pm to 10pm and Thursday from 2pm to 5pm and these times would be perfect opportunities for you to come along and try your hand.

The first three sessions are free and then if you find yourself attracted to the game you would be most welcome. After the free roll-ups we charge £2.00 per session to pay towards the hall rental.

How do I go about joining?

Come along to either session and just join in. Our members will always make you very welcome. Bring your own bowls if you have them but we can supply bowls until you feel confident enough to purchase your own. Second hand bowls can be purchased quite inexpensively. We also wear special bowls shoes but for your initial sessions it would be advisable to bring thick socks or soft/smooth soled slippers.


If you decide to join the club our membership fees are £15.00 a year paid at the time of the AGM, usually held in May. This fee also includes the £7.00 registration fee to the ESMBA. The Devon County Short Mat Bowls Association (DCSMBA) is the governing body of short mat bowls in Devon. You will then receive a unique registration number and membership card. If you join part way through the year the fee will be adjusted accordingly. The £2.00 green fees are collected before play each session.


If you would like further information before you try please complete the contact form here and we will be in touch. If you add your telephone number the club chairman will call you and have a chat.


A brief description of Short Mat

Short mat bowling is quite a challenging sport which was designed to be played in any hall large enough to lay out long mats, equipment and for players to be able to move around. A storage area is also a must. The game is designed to cater for all persons of any age and ability. 


There are some significant differences between short mat and its big brothers, outdoor lawn bowls and indoor long mat bowls.  First the mat is only 6ft wide and between 40ft and 45ft long, that's half the size of long mat bowls.  Secondly, as you might imagine in a village hall there is no ditch at the end of the mat but a wooden fender.  When you're learning it stopsbowls hitting peoples toes and with experince the area bordered by the fender becomes a very important and integral part of the game.  The third difference is a white block of wood 15" wide, 3" high, 3" deep, that's positioned on the centre line halfway along the mat.  Your bowl has to travel round the block to get to the jack - It's not easy!!   Click here to a fuller guide to short mat bowling.


The Club Equipment 

We are fortunate to have a readily available range of equipment and of course members who are always willing to put their backs into it!


The club is able to put 3 mats out when required - usually though only 2 are used on a regular basis. The 2 main mats are kept stored on an electric wind mat holder and although quite heavy can be pushed quite easily. This winder was bought with the help of the National Lottery a few years ago. The other 2 spare mats are stored on a manual lift off & on holder which is very awkward to manage. We are hoping to get funding for a manual winder mat holder in the coming months.


Our mats are fast and medium pace and with present hall wooden floor this can make matches quite interesting at times! Fortunately the floor is to be replaced later in the year. See Club News page.


Other equipment required with a mat include - wood fenders at either end, 18" wood block in the centre, 2 x delivery mats and 2 x heavy jacks. Also required are scoring frames, team name holders, chalk or chalk spray. 

The club has sufficient equipment to fully equip three mats. There are also spare woods of various sizes available for new players to try.


We are fortunate in Chulmleigh that we have a very well stocked bowls shop in nearby Crediton.  Bonds Bowls is a very well known business and well worth a visit for new players. There address is 1 Commonmarsh Lane, Crediton, EX17 1HJ.

Created by Richard Pennance