By Joel Fitzpatrick, Port Moresby 2015 Games News Service
PORT MORESBY, July 12 – Players from six countries will take to the greens at Bisini Grounds to compete in the lawn bowls competition at the Port Moresby 2015 Pacific Games.
Competition should be very even, with the Cook Islands, Fiji, Niue, Norfolk Island, Tonga and Papua New Guinea rolling for the eight gold medals on offer, four in men’s play and four in women’s.
The last time lawn bowls was included in the South Pacific/Pacific Games competition programme was in 2007.
One of the highlights of the 2007 Games came when Tokelau won its first gold medals in Games history – in the women’s singles, women’s pairs and men’s triples – the most of any Pacific Games Association in lawn bowls at the 2007 edition.
The Cook Islands showed its depth in women’s lawn bowls, taking the 2007 gold in both women’s triples and fours.
Samoa (singles), PNG (doubles) and Fiji (fours) won the other three men’s golds on offer.
The game of lawn bowls was established in its modern form in the late 1800s before spreading throughout the British Empire and has become popular across much of the Pacific.
The Commonwealth Games, which has held the sport at every edition apart from 1966, and the Pacific Games are the only multi-sport events that include lawn bowls on the programme.
In Port Moresby men and women will play plays singles, doubles, triples and fours.
In singles play, the winner is determined when a player reaches 21 shots, and in team lawn bowls, the winner is the team with the most shots after 18 ‘ends’ for pairs and triples, and 15 ‘ends’ for fours.
Shots (points) are scored when a player/team sends one or more weighted bowls closer to the white ball (jack) than the opposing player/team.
The bowls are weighted on one side, allowing players to curve them in approach to the target. Changing the weighted side allows for the bowl to be curved in the forehand right-to-left direction, or the opposite backhand direction.
There are a number of tactics used. The main shots are the draw, the drive, the upshot and the block.
A drive shot is used when a player wishes to leave the bowl next to the jack without moving it, a drive is used when a player wishes to disturb a cluster of bowls around the target, the upshot is used when the player wishes to move the target bowl(s) in a controlled way and a block is used to defend an established position at the target, or the head.
The score, or number of shots, is totalled when all the available bowls have been rolled in one direction – when there are no bowls left to deliver, that is the conclusion of the end.
The players then turn and roll the jack and bowls back in the other direction, which is the beginning of the next end.
The number of shots totalled by either player/team is added to the score after each end.
Lawn bowls starts for both men and women on Monday, July 13.
For information about lawn bowls tickets call the Pacific Games ticket hotline on 180 2015 or download the ticket purchasing guide.
GNS jf/jc/pg for more information visit www.portmoresby2015.com