New this year, BCB has produced a “Learn to Bowl” kit that features equipment and resources for clubs to use when initiating new people to the sport of bowls.
Retailing at $390 to affiliated members (includes shipping anywhere in Canada), this kit was designed to assist club members, and coaches in particular, when introducing bowls to someone who has never played before. The basic kit includes:
- Leader Guide
- Activity Resource Binder
- Beginner Bowls Poster
- Target Mat
- Flat rings (set of 12)
- Participant Wristbands (30)
- Duffle Bag
And also has additional items available for purchase to add to the kit if desired:
- Coloured cones (set of 50) – $25 if purchased with a kit/$30 sold separately
- Foam Frisbees (set of 4) – $65 if purchased with a kit/$75 sold separately
While the equipment is incredibly useful, it is the Leader Guide and Activity Cards that really make this kit jump to life. For many clubs, when someone new wants to try bowls, it’s typically an experienced member who shows them the ropes. While it should be a trained Club Coach who shows new bowlers the ropes, not every club has one to do this. Regardless, many new bowlers are not exposed to bowls in the most developmentally appropriate method.
When someone new wants to try bowls, do you spend hours talking about rules? Do you give them a bowl and have them roll to a jack that’s 100 feet away? Do you spend a lot of time discussing the finer points of the game? The Leader Guide details a better way to introduce someone to bowls.
Research shows that when trying something new, the more success you have with it, the more likely you are to stay with it. This makes sense to most of us. Yet when we introduce someone to bowls, we have them roll to a jack that’s 100 feet away. The vast majority either roll their bowl in the ditch, or end up 50 feet short; not exactly a success. Many of the Activity Cards feature games that are designed for success. As an example, one of the activities, called “Hoops”, suggests that players use tennis balls and jacks to try and roll into a large flat ring that is much less than 100 feet away. By starting off with a larger target and a shorter distance, players can experience success before progressing to more difficult challenges (such as aiming for a smaller target at a further distance). By allowing participants to experience success right off the get go, there is a much higher chance that these participants will stick with the sport and come back again.
Curious to find out more? The Leader Guide offers much more detail on how to modify your games and activities to encourage retention. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more!