Lawn bowls: how it will work at the Games

The recent sunny spell has coincided with the outdoor bowling season in Scotland getting into full swing, so many of you will no doubt be trying to get to grips with the strange green conditions which usually affect the rinks in the first few weeks of the outdoor season.

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David Gourlay
David Gourlay

One of the major hitters in world bowls, the Australian Bowling "Jackeroos" have announced their elite squad who will be aiming to continue to add to their already impressive Commonwealth Games medal haul. All time Commonwealth table toppers Bowls England, have yet to name their squad with the 90 days to go and with the Games being held within the British isles, they could be seen as one of the biggest threats to Scottish medal hopes this time around due to the similarity with the performance of the outdoor green. The climate factor also means that the other home nations will be in with a shout, both Wales and Northern Ireland could be outsiders, although it remains to be seen if the Commonwealth Gold medalist (and previous flag bearer for NI) Jeremy Henry will be selected since his move down under to the Australian national team.

Bowls Scotland announced the Scottish team early April, there were no real surprises in the lineup, with David Gourlay opting for a widely experienced team, with previous medal winning experience both in the Commonwealth Games, and also in national and international bowling level.

Darren Burnett, Paul Foster, Alex Marshall, David Peacock and Neil Spiers will be battling it out for the men's competitions, whilst Lauren Baillie, Caroline Brown, Claire Johnston, Margaret Letham and Lorraine Molloy will take to the greens for the women's competitions.

Paul Foster, Alex Marshall and Margaret Letham are arguably the packs most experienced players - they have firsthand experience of picking up serious medals at previous Commonwealth Games, so it will be important for them to gel quickly with those in the squad who are not experienced in the art of handling pressure finals.

The tournament will be split into four major competitions for men and woman.

The Singles tournament will be first to 21 shots.

The Pairs tournament will be THREE bowls for each player and 18 ends (usually four bowls per player)

The Triples tournament will be a TWO bowls and 18 ends (its usually three bowls per player)

The Rink tournament will be played over 15 ends

There will also be a mixed pairs (visually impaired) and mixed triples (physically impaired) in the para sports medals following a similar scenario.

As we get closer to the opening ceremony, we should be getting a better picture of the rest of the Commonwealth's team line-ups very soon, so in the mean time, good luck to those involved in the prelim club competitions.

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