Wednesday, January 25, 2012

World Indoor Bowls Championship 2012

The World Indoor Bowls Championship is currently being contested. Broadcast by the BBC from the holiday resort of Hopton, a Norfolk coastal resort located mid-way between Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, the 3 week festival is hosted by Potters Holidays, sponsors of the event to the tune of £3 million since first played in 1999. Decidedly a cosy set-up for spectators at the intimate arena of raked seating with an uninterrupted view of the blue carpeted surface (not unlike an 18th century skittle alley) to watch the action and gasp 'oooo' and 'aahh' at the excitement of it all.

Its TV spectator sport at it's very best with bird's-eye overhead-view cameras showing the full roll of the ball, super-imposed archery-style target graphics and zooming close-ups of each and every bowl's approach to the jack. It's all about delivery, line, approach, pace, needing an edge, blocking, run and angle. It's a kind of cerebral game of geometry played with giant marbles. The bowler who rolls his bowl closest to the yellow jack wins the most points. Ends and sets are played up and down a 30 metre plus carpet/playing surface. It gets quite exciting when players have to get on their hands and knees with their tape-measure to measure slender differences of inches closest to the jack. Cheap as chips winter day-time broadcasting. Watching this sport I feel my unemployment has now congealed into early retirement as it's a sport often associated with those of maturer years. Happy memories of watching bowls played on immaculate greens in the fresh air, during the bright, sunny days of summer in Norwich parks.   

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