The "The Etiquette of Bowls" and the "Etiquette of Marking in Lawn Bowls" as well as the "Romance of Bowl Manufacture" have been reproduced with the express consent of the Henselite Company who I quote as follows.
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I do believe that this will be respected by all who read this. Copies of the publicaton from which these excerpts came was ""How to Become a Champion at Bowls" by R T Harrison and is available through any Henselite distributor. This publication is the single most popular book on how to play bowls and is the worlds biggest seller in lawn bowls instruction.
THE ETIQUETTE OF BOWLS
The Late J. P. MONRO, B.A.
THE most expressive definition of Etiquette is "conventional decorum". It is those little acts that help to make Our Game such a wonderful creator of sociability and friendship.
Etiquette is not an explanation of the duties of the various players in the team; but it is those little extras that give to the Royal, Ancient and Agreeable Pastime its great charm; that make the loser feel he has not lost in vain; that lead one to believe there is even a sweetness in defeat. These acts of courtesy are the Unwritten Laws of the Game.
There is an Etiquette to be observed towards our opponents; there is an Etiquette obligatory to and from Markers and Umpires; there is an Etiquette observable between players and spectators.
It is a nice gesture to commend a good bowl of your opponent, and of a player in your own team; you will find that he will do the same to you. It is etiquette to admit a fluke in a good spirit, with such a remark as "We all get them, and they're very welcome when they come!"
If you have arranged to play a match (say in the Club Championship) with your opponent, you must refrain from practice on the green that day. No competitor in a Singles should practise on the green on which he is drawn to play at any time after the draw for that day's play has been made, unless he has a bye, or is given a walkover, in which case he may play four ends on a rink in which he was drawn to play (in the walkover), or on a rink being available when he has a bye. It is not etiquette to follow your bowl with the object of obstructing your opponents view of the run of the bowl. Distracting the attention of a player when he is about to bowl should not be done.
Do not keep your opponent waiting if a time has been fixed for commencing a match; if prevented by any unforeseen circumstance from being punctual, send a telephone message to him as to the time you will be at the green; if you do not turn up, he may rightly claim the match.
The loser should be allowed the privilege of being the first to congratulate the winner.
No player should delay play in a match by leaving the rink without the consent of his opponent or of the opposing Captain; and then only for a period not exceeding ten minutes.
To maintain the general appeal which the game manifests throughout its adherents, a standard of dress is laid down by the rules and this uniformity adds dignity and charm to the playing of the game of bowls.
In bowls fixtures, whether competitive or social, gentlemen players must wear white or cream trousers; white or cream socks and white or tan smooth rubber (or other approved material) soled and heel-less shoes.
The wearing of white or cream shorts to an approved design is permitted under varying control of the State Authority and if shorts are worn, long white or cream socks must be worn.
Shirts, white or cream, may include the State badge insignia on the left breast pocket if approved by the State Authority.
Hats and caps of approved design, white or cream and the appropriate State blazer and tie may also be worn.
Cardigans, jackets and pullovers, white or cream, may be edged with the State's colours or colour to approved dimensions.
Ladies' attire is an all white frock of approved design and length with short or long sleeves; white smooth rubber (or other approved material) soled and heel-less shoes with stockings- the colour of which vary in each state but generally, of a "minibeige" colour. White hats must be worn with or without a dark green underlining on the brim.
Cardigans or jackets as approved, may be worn with appropriate State blazer when necessary and additional accessories, only as approved.
In tossing, it is the home player who spins the coin, and the visitor who calls.
It is a very nice custom and of the best etiquette for a player in a Singles, or a Leader in a Pairs, Triples or Fours, while his opponent is laying the mat, to pick up the jack and the Opponent's bowl and to hand them to him when the mat has been laid, holding the jack in the left hand and the bowl in the right hand when delivering them to a right-handed bowler. This little act immediately places the two opponents on very friendly terms.
In a Pairs the Leader does the measuring. That's his job. It is not etiquette for the Captain (skip) to go to the head and interfere. Matches may be lost through defective judgment on the part of the measurer. On the other hand, the opposing Leader-knowing this weakness on the part of his opponent -should not take advantage of it, and claim a shot or shots that are not rightfully earned.
Before a Fours match commences, it is the practice for the home Second to introduce the players to each other, and for the players when introduced to mention their respective Christian names with a remark such as "My name is Tom," or "My friends call me Jack."
he Captains are the first introduced, then the Leaders, the Seconds, and the Thirds, in that order. In some clubs it is customary to introduce each player to every opponent.
If you are a Second, it is required of you to compare with the opposing Second the scores at the conclusion of each end; to see that the score-cards are initialled at the completion of the match; and if you are the home player it is your job to attend to the score-board during the progress of the match, and at its termination.
When playing Third, and it is a question of measure, let your Opponent have the option of measuring; and if it is a long measure you should assist him by holding one end of the stick, steel tape, or whatever means is employed.
If your Leader or Second draws your attention to a shot that you have overlooked, thank him; it is the team that is playing and an overlooked shot may mean the loss of the match. If your opponent is overlooking a shot in his favour, suggest that it may also be in the count; that is a generous interpretation of Etiquette, and one much appreciated, for bowls is a game of good sportsmanship.
The Third has no right to tell the Captain what to do; he may advise him if the head has been altered after the Captain has left it, but he must not control his play. The Etiquette in this case is for the Third to remain silent until the Captain asks for advice. It is the Third's job to indicate to his captain the result of the end by raising or lowering his right hand, showing with his fingers extended the number of shots obtained for or against. The gesture of the Third in recovering his Captain's bowls from the ditch (or wherever they may be) and placing them close to the mat will be appreciated by the "Skip". If it is your Captain's turn to bowl, the placing of his bowl on the mat will be helpful to him.
When you are a Captain, remember that the men in your team are as anxious to win as you are, and that is bad form to remind any of them that he has put down a bad bowl- he knows that equally well as you do; and it hurts him more if you remind him of it by word, grimace or action. Remember, also, that all bowlers (including Captains) play bad bowls at times, and lose games, too. Cheap sarcasm or disparaging remarks as to the play of their men, or of their opponents, are not expressed by good bowlers.
A Captain may be gracious enough at the crossover to confer sometimes with his Third as to the shot he proposes to play. When on the mat the wise Captain will ask his Third for advice as to the position if the head has been altered since he left it. It is good policy, and also good Etiquette, for a Captain to commend the play of his men, and the good shots of his opponents, without being too lavish about it. And it is also correct for the Captain to indicate to his men at the mat end the position after the Leaders, Seconds and Thirds have played their bowls.
It is a nice practice for a Captain to pick up his opponent's bowl and hand it to him when he is about to get on the mat; and reciprocity of this gesture will likewise be appreciated.
Now let us consider the Team. The Laws of the Game and Etiquette require that the players at the mat end-other than the player actually playing his bowl-shall, wherever possible, stand a distance (in Australia at least 2 metres-approximately 6 feet) from the back of the mat; and when at the head the players other than the Directors shall stand (in Australia at least 2 metres-approximately 6 feet) behind the head. When a player is about to deliver a bowl, Etiquette requires that those at the head shall not move about. Moreover, the opponent or opponents must not be annoyed by those playing against them.
If a maimed or limbless bowler, or one otherwise handicapped, happens to be playing against you, Etiquette demands that you attend to him by picking up his bowl, or holding his sticks or crutch while he is delivering his bowl, and generally by making this game as pleasurable as you can. He did his part on the field of battle; you do yours on the field of play.
If you are playing on your home green against a visiting team,
Etiquette requires that you should, at the afternoon tea adjournment, accompany your opponent and attend to his wants. You must pay for him and for yourself. Later on the visiting player must not omit to "return the shout". Hardly anyone is as despicable as the "shout-dodger".
When crossing over from the mat to the head, be careful to confine yourself to the rink, and not trespass into the adjoining territory and thus cause annoyance to other players. Endeavour, too, when you have played your bowl not to follow it more than the prescribed distance beyond the mat-line, and see to it that you do not cross into the adjoining rink.
If you borrow a measure, a pencil, or even a piece of chalk, be careful to return it to the owner. Do not argue with the Captain about the shot to be played; it is the correct thing to wait until you are asked before expressing an opinion. If you are the Captain, do not "butt-in" when the Thirds are measuring -it is their job to determine the shot, not the Captain's. If you are the Leader or the Second, and the Captain asks the Third what the position is, or how many shots there are for or against him, remain silent; it is the Third's job to answer the question; moreover, the Leader or the Second must not wave his arms about to indicate the shot to play or the likely score.
It goes without saying that it is decidedly bad form for any bowler to use bad language during a match or elsewhere. Bowls is a game of good sportsmanship.
Every intending member of a club has to go through the routine of being nominated, seconded and elected (or otherwise) after a prescribed period. Before he is nominated his proposer should explain to him what pecuniary obligations are entailed-the subscription to the club, the cost of a set of bowls and case, the locker fee (including insurance), etc.; what the correct attire is, and generally how the club is managed.
When he is elected it is the duty of the member who nominated him to take him in hand, show him round the club, introduce him to the President and his fellow members, and explain what is required of him as a member, and what the privileges are. If he is selected to play in the Pennant or other Association competition his obligation in "treating" his opponents must be explained; and he should be informed as to the weekly contribution during the Pennant and electric light seasons for spoons, etc.
A locker should be provided for him in the clubhouse.
If the new member has played before, his nominator should have the first game with him; but should he be a newcomer to the game, he should be handed over to the club coach. Assuming he does not possess a set of bowls, the coach should find the size of his hand by testing it on the Henselite Bowl Size Indicator and advising him as to the correct size and weight of bowl to use.
Excuses for bad play by bowlers should not be advanced. Good bowlers play poor games occasionally; when beaten, they do not blame the condition of the green, or the fact that the match was played off the ordinary setting of the rink-their victors had the same conditions to contend with. It is also bad form to bewail one's luck-generally the better bowler has the better luck. In any case luck does not always run against a bowler. It may for a while, but later on it will change.
However, it is better not to reckon on luck, but to depend upon one's own ability.
If you are selected to play for your club in a Pennant competition, remember you are playing for your club, and not for yourself. If the other Fours are up, and yours is down a few, do your best to score, but don't play risky shots, for the adverse outcome of them may turn an apparently certain win into a defeat.
MARKERS AND UMPIRES
If you are drawn to play in a Singles on a neutral green, but find it necessary from any cause to give a walkover, Etiquette requires that you notify the player (either direct or through his club) and the club on whose green you were to play, so that the Marker appointed for your match play may be released.
In any Club Singles (Championship, President's Prize, Century, Novice Handicap, and so on) be ready to do your share of marking-don't let "George" do it all. Marking is to be done for you; you should do it for others.
If the Marker does not come up to requirements, it may have been a poor performance, but he probably did his best. If he is marking a match in which a friend is playing, the Marker must be absolutely impartial, must not applaud any shot, must not wriggle his body as the bowl of his friend wicks in or just misses a trail, or give any advice to either player, excepting to answer question accurately and concisely. And when you have won the match, do not fail to thank the Marker for his service and to invite him in for a refresher, for an hour and a half of standing under a hot sun evaporates considerable moisture from the body, which requires replacement.
If the Umpire is called in to decide a measure or any question, dispute, or difference which may arise in the course of a match and he decides against you, Etiquette demands that like the good sportsman you are, you must accept his decision.
If not satisfied with it and you decide to appeal to the controlling body, the Laws of the Game and Etiquette require that you must immediately inform the Umpire of the intention to appeal.
Persons not engaged in a match have their obligations. First of all they are required by the Regulations to preserve an attitude of strict neutrality. Difficult indeed in the case of partisans; but whilst they are within their rights in applauding good shots, it is definitely bad form for advice to be given by them to a player.
Spectators are not allowed on the green, and in fact, to comply with the Regulations, they should not be within three feet of the face of the bank.
Players should confine themselves to the match, and not mingle with the spectators or converse too freely with them.
It is not only against the Laws of the Game, but is contrary to Etiquette to attempt to distract the attention of the player on the mat as he is about to bowl. This distraction may be caused by talking loudly to the player, or to others so that the player may hear what is said.
The distraction can also result from over-loud remarks by bankers; and be caused by a deliberate (or an unintentional) movement by a player at the head. Sometimes the object is to interrupt the bowler's concentration. Gentlemen players do not wilfully do this sort of thing. The spirit of sportsmanship - and sportsmanship is Etiquette - is manliness and friendliness.
THE SUPERIORITY COMPLEX
A former prominent New Zealand player wrote, "I regret to notice that a number of experienced bowlers selfishly prefer to play among themselves. " This action is not peculiar to New Zealand, but is a common and deplorable practice in many a club within the realm of Bowls. It is bad for the junior player, and is harmful to the club. The practice is the very opposite of Etiquette.
The friendliness of Bowls is not advanced by the tendency in some clubs towards cliquism. This inclination is hostile to the best interests of the club, opposed to the Etiquette of the game, and should be rigorously suppressed.
THERE'S A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING
The throwing of dead matches etc. on the green or in the ditch is more a matter of lack of thought than of deliberate intention- Many a good bowl has been deflected in its running by contact with a match stick which a thoughtless smoker dropped on the green. That smoker must have had a box of matches in his hand at the time and the dead stick should have been put in the match box or in the container of the bank. The same may be said of cigarette butts, cigar ends, etc.
Of the insignificant few who expectorate on the green or in the ditch, the less said about them and this disgusting habit the better. As the Greenkeeper stated, "Those who expectorate on the green cannot 'expect to rate' as gentlemen".
A FRENCH VERSION OF ETIQUETTE
A French bowling journal "La France Bouliste", quoted by Paul Garcin, in his "Le Jeu de Boules", gives the following advice:-
Be correct on the bowling-green.
Be scrupulously punctual. Respect the rules.
Respect the instructions given to you.
Respect the decisions of the umpire.
Be polite to your opponents.
Be careful of your language.
Be careful of your demeanour.
Obey your captain.
Control your joy when you win.
Be able to "take it" when you lose.
Be a man, and behave like one.
Be convinced that you have carried off the best of victories is your opponent of today becomes your friend of tomorrow.
The correct mode of address is "Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen", or "Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen". When there is a specially distinguished person present on the platform, it is quite correct to include him in the address, thus: "Mr. Chairman, 'Sir Andrew", Ladies and Gentlemen". If
there are several distinguished persons present, it would be indiscreet to single out anyone, and absurd to include the lot; and so the better plan is to omit all, and open with the plain "Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen."
With regard to the case where the President of the National Bowling Association, or the President of the Provincial Bowling Association, a Member of Parliament, the local Mayor, and such like, are present at a bowling function the president of a bowling body should be addressed after the chairman of the meeting; just as the mayor should receive precedence at a municipal function, and the Member of Parliament at a political meeting.
At a social evening given by a bowling club, and at which toasts are to be proposed, the first toast should be that of "The Queen". It should be proposed by the president of the club, and before the toast is drunk, the National Anthem should be sung, all (with the exception of the pianist) standing to attention. The drinking of the toast then follows. No speech is made to this toast, and there is no response to it. The next toast should be that of "The Controlling Body"; and this should also be proposed by the president of the club, and later on the chief official of the Controlling Body present should make the response.
THE PRESIDENT AND HIS OFFICERS
Respect should be paid to the President, who, for the term of his appointment, is the head of the club, the chief of the clan. The path he treads is generally not a smooth one; and he should not be worried by stones placed in his way-the petty differences that arise between members, who, in the interests of the harmony for which bowling clubs are noted, should resolve their disputes by a little give and take, and a hearty handshake. The President is made happy and encouraged when he knows that the harmony of the members is everything that could be desired.
The President, too, has his acts of Etiquette to perform by welcoming visitors to the club, in meeting new members and making them feel "at home". "Democracy, and not autocracy", should be ever his motto.
And similarly with the Immediate Past President and the Vice-Presidents. They should be backing the President solidly -just as the Immediate Past was backed, and the Vice-Presidents expect to be.
Then there is the Hon. Secretary. He is the factotum of the club, and the honorarium he receives is usually inadequate recompense for the time and work he devotes to the club. Etiquette demands that he should have the kind thoughts and the willing help of the members. The courtesy he shows to them should be heartily reciprocated.
The work of the Hon. Treasurer can be made more pleasant by the prompt payment of subscriptions, competition fees, levies, and so on.
The Committeemen, as such, were elected to assist in the management of the club. They should be receptive to suggestions and constructive criticism by those not in office. Etiquette prefers that to destructive efforts.
In his capacity as a liaison between the Committee of Managements and the Green-keeper, the Green Director has an important job, and good Etiquette requires that any complaint by a player as to the condition of the green or the conduct of the Greenkeeper must be made to the Director and not to the Secretary or anyone else.
Now for the Selectors. They can make or break the harmony of the club. But if they select the teams on the merits of the players, and not because they themselves are on friendly terms with "Tom, Dick, or Harry", a de-graded player would not have a kick. It it is necessary to omit a usually good player from a team, or to put him in a lower one, it is good Etiquette for the Chairman of the Selection Committee to explain that as the player is out of form, it is obvious that in the interest of the success of the team he is reluctantly being displaced until he regains his former competency, and it is equally good Etiquette for the player to accept the position.
THE ETIQUETTE OF MARKING IN LAWN BOWLS
The Late John A. MALAN
So if you would a Marker be
Then make it worth your while
To do the job quite capably
And do it with a smile.
PSYCHOLOGY OF BOWLING
Bowls is a science, the study of a lifetime, in which you may exhaust yourself, but never your subject. It's a contest, a duel calling for courage, skills, strategy and self-control. It is a test of temper, a trial of honour, a revealer of character. It affords the chance to play the man and act the gentleman. It means going into God's out-of-doors, getting close to nature, fresh air, exercise! A sweeping away of mental cobwebs, genuine reaction of the tired tissues.
It is a cure for care, an antidote to worry. It includes companionship with friends, social intercourse, opportunities for courtesy, kindliness and generosity to an opponent. It promotes not only physical health but moral force.
THE ETIQUETTE OF MARKING
A good marker is not only an asset to a club, but he adds considerably to the enjoyment of the game by players and spectators alike, and the pity of it is that there are so few about.
It is not sufficiently appreciated that a singles match is essentially an elimination contest in which the players take the game seriously and therefore the marker should likewise accept and perform his duties in a serious manner. The game requires the players to exercise their maximum powers of concentration, and all they ask from a marker is his undivided attention, which should be given firstly as a matter of courtesy, secondly as an interesting study of the individual player's capabilities, and thirdly because it provides an opportunity for learning more about the game even if it be only what not to do.
A good marker, in whom the players have complete confidence, materially contributes to the quality of their game. It is a much mistaken notion that anyone can undertake the duties. No novice should ever volunteer to mark a game until he is completely versed in the duties of a marker, as set out in the Laws, and even then not until he has carefully studied other markers and their actions. In the closing stages of an Association event, when markers are carefully selected, the novice will do well to particularly study these officials.
A marker should be an experienced bowler and a good judge of distance. "Experienced" does not mean a very good bowler, as there are excellent markers who have never been first-class bowlers, but they have had experience in the game and have found the job a pleasant and interesting one, as it undoubtedly is.
Far too many markers are distracted by the spectators and their comments, but could they "hear" the thoughts of the players they would quickly realise where their "reputations" were going. In matches, other than club events, a marker is virtually "wished" upon the players, and his efficiency, or lack of it, becomes a reflection on the club management, for, to the players, the marker IS the club for the time being. This aspect is one that club officials should remember, and should not hesitate to decline the services of non-competent volunteers.
The minimum requirement of a marker is that he shall know the duties as set out in the Laws, but few there be that fulfil even this standard. Fewer still are definite on what is meant by "jack high", yet the Laws contain an official definition, which clearly states what is meant in answer to this very frequent question.
Before proceeding to the Head End the Marker should extend the hand of friendship to both players and make himself fully conversant with the ownership of the respective bowls. Certainly, in Association events and at least in club finals, the Marker should pay a compliment to the contestants by being correctly attired according to the Laws.
Before aligning the jack he should check whether the mat has been correctly laid. He should then retire to the position indicated in the Laws, until the first bowl has been delivered, and, during its course, proceed to alter the score board (if at that end) returning to his position in time to observe whether the bowl becomes a toucher. If possible a spectator should be asked to manipulate the score board, in which case he should be instructed not to do so during the period a player is on the mat prior to making a delivery. The exact position for a marker to stand is purposely not stated in the Laws, but the usual and generally acceptable position is from two to three metres (approximately 6 to 8 feet) behind the jack and two metres (approximately 6 feet) to one side, depending on the location of his shadow. Any extensive increase in these distances is undesirable as it involves a greater delay in answering a question.
A marker should remain motionless at his chosen spot with his attention and eyes fixed on the player whose turn it is to bowl so as to observe whether a question is asked, as quite frequently the question is not expressed in words, but in an action, such as holding an arm up indicating the question: "Am I the shot?" The marker's reply can then be given silently by an action (up or down) and in so doing no information is necessarily disclosed to the opponent unless he happens to observe the actions. In general a good marker is able to anticipate a likely question as the result of his own experience, plus the fact that he is sufficiently close to the head to know the position.
A marker must not move from his position except to observe whether a bowl is likely to become a toucher or to answer a question requiring a closer inspection. Under no circumstances whatsoever must he move, even by simply leaning over or turning sideways, to observe the head in order to satisfy his own curiosity or to anticipate a possible question. To move in any way is definitely contravening a Law as it gives an indication to the players of a possible change in the position that is not apparent to them. A marker must realise that the resultant effect of a bowl is not his concern, and any personal interest he may have in a player must not be shown. A biased marker is an anathema.
It is somewhat surprising that so many players ask so few questions during a match and yet on reaching the head are so frequently heard to remark on the position being different from what they thought. Even if players have every confidence in their marker they become reluctant to ask a question if it involves a walk to the head by the marker because of the time delay in getting an answer. Therefore it is very essential for the marker to be alert and adjacent to the head.
The only player entitled to ask a question is the one whose turn it is to bowl, but he does not necessarily have to be standing on the mat, as some markers seem to think. One other point that every marker should always remember is that an inefficient marker can frequently be justifiably blamed, by the loser, for the result of the game, and that is something to be avoided at all costs.
In conclusion, this brief treatise would be incomplete without setting out a few of the major "Don'ts" to be observed-
(1) Don't answer questions that are being asked in an adjacent rink. Concentration and attention to the man on the mat will prevent this happening.
(2) Don't say the shot is doubtful if it is not really so. Experience at judging distances is something that can be acquired by anyone, provided they will indulge in a little practice on their own. It is most disconcerting to be told it is "up and down" and then find your opponent is at least one or more without even a measure.
(3) Don't forget to immediately advise the player if a bowl falls over and alters the position after a question has been answered or an inspection of the head has been made by the player.
(4) Don't give a misleading answer to a badly-worded question. A marker is entitled to ask the player to restate or clarify his question to enable an intelligent answer to be given.
This particularly applies to such a question as: "Am I one down?" when he may be three down and to answer "Yes" or "No" is equally correct and incorrect, such a question is definitely a badly worded one. The proper form is: "Am I more than one down?" or "How many down am I?"
(5) Don't supplement your answer with information not asked for. Remember, every answer is common to both players and the questioner may not wish to gratuitously give information to his opponent. For instance, if asked to indicate which bowl is third shot, do so, but do not say whose bowl it is, or if asked whether the player is lying second shot, just say "Yes" or "No", but do not add that he is also third shot or some such similar information. The game provides ample scope for players to indulge in tactics to outwit each other, and the marker must be careful not to nullify their efforts.
(6) Arrange with the players before the match commences when they prefer touchers to be marked. The general practice is to mark a toucher immediately it has come to rest.
(7) Don't forget HOW to measure, as distinct from what to measure with. If you suspect A's bowl to be the nearer one, measure that first and then transfer to B's bowl, but on no account give an immediate decision, even if the answer be obvious. It is essential that the distance be transferred back to A's bowl so as to be quite sure that no movement has occurred. In the case of a really close measure, or where the players have previously measured, and a tie is a possibility, it is wise to repeat, at least once, the foregoing procedure before giving a decision. Immediately you have satisfied yourself as to the shot bowl, the best way to announce it is to move the winning bowl so that there can be no misunderstanding. Apart from satisfying the contestants it is just as important that the spectators shall have witnessed a proper judgment.
(8) Don't, under any circumstances, suggest or invite a player to inspect the head. To do so implies inability to give a satisfactory answer.
If good marking be not a science, it is at least an art that can be acquired by any bowler who has the desire to become proficient, and in so doing he will not only be increasing his own enjoyment of the game, but will be contributing substantially to the enjoyment of the players and spectators alike.
A MARKER'S OPPORTUNITY
In the previous remarks on Etiquette, three reasons were given as to why a Marker should concentrate on the game and players to the complete exclusion of any attention to the spectators. The only permissible exception to this is during the crossover when it is customary to advise spectators and score board attendants by holding up the number of fingers indicating the shots scored. The hand to hold up is the one on the same side of the scoreboard as the player's name who won the end.
The first reason, that of courtesy to the players, need not be further emphasised, but the second reason, that of studying an individual's capabilities, warrants expansion. There is ample opportunity to do this, but many Markers fail to avail themselves of it, preferring to either chat with spectators or sit on the bank or even do both of these objectionable things from a player's point of view.
Probably the first conclusion that a regular Marker will arrive at is that the winner of a given game is not necessarily the better player. This deduction is one that emerges from the fact that in so many ways the fortunes of the game can be adverse for one player and favour the other. A bowl that falls over against its bias, a lucky shot that was not even attempted, a puff of wind, or some irregularity in the green are some of many fortuitous circumstances that come readily to mind. All of which add up to the fact that it is not entirely without justification that it has been described as an unfair game. Not that any lover of the game would have it otherwise, these hazards help to provide the enjoyment, and what is more enjoyable than to have a victory over an admittedly better player-such events are not exceptional.
So we come to the first important lesson for a Marker to learn, that the capabilities of a player must not be judged by the result alone. Therefore, he must look elsewhere if he wishes to honestly assess the ability of a player. The points upon which he should concentrate his attention are the delivery-is it smooth or does it wobble-is any attempt made to correct an error, of green or length, even an over correction indicates that the player knows his mistake-what type of shot is attempted, independent of the actual result, and bearing in mind that the head probably looks very different to the player- the occasions on which a question is asked and, equally important, the way it is asked as well as what is asked for. All these, together with other individual characteristics, will enable an observant Marker to reasonably assess the relative abilities of the two players. The opportunity thus provided is an almost compelling reason why, in club competitions, those who undertake the duty of a selector should avail themselves of every occasion presented to them of acting as a Marker.
As for the third reason given, that of learning more about the game, this again is a matter requiring concentrated attention. To one who is a card player an understanding of the game of bowls is relatively simple on account of a similarity of combinations. The actual playing of a card is simple and, so, basically, is the delivery of a bowl. The correct card to play in a given set of circumstances requires experience that can only be obtained over a considerable period of time. Likewise the type of shot to play requires experience quite apart from the "know-how" of its delivery. There is virtually an infinitely unlimited number of card combinations and no hand or arrangement of associated hands ever repeat themselves. Likewise in bowls, there have never been two heads exactly alike although there are frequent repetitions of similar situations requiring virtually the same type of shot. Even identical circumstances can be dealt with in more than one way and in determining the best shot to play, it requires not only the ability of the player himself but an assessment of the probabilities of error and the potentialities of the opponent.
And that brings us back to the importance of studying the players for whom you have the honour to be their Marker. It is particularly important in your own club events because it is certain that sooner or later one, if not both, will be your own opponent. With the knowledge you can gain now, it could just give you sufficient advantage to win, even against someone you admit is generally a better player than yourself. The winning of such a game supplies a greater thrill and more lasting pleasure than any other type of play.
So make the most of the opportunity you are now enjoying.
A MARKER'S DUTIES
The game of lawn bowls has acquired a recognised international status, nevertheless, complete uniformity in the Laws does not exist. However, the general broad framework of all the various codes, within which the nature of the game is identified, are sufficiently alike to warrant acceptance by the International Bowls Board. This Board has its own set of laws and many national authorities adopt them in toto. Others use a set that is regarded by them as being more complete and/or better suited for their local conditions. This particularly applies to Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, although they are all members of the I.B.B.
It would serve no good purpose to set out in detail the precise requirements of any or all of the various duties of a Marker. Even if they were to be given there is always the possibility of an alteration being made which would render the information either misleading or entirely wrong. Therefore, it becomes essential for a Marker to make himself familiar with the particular code under which a game is being conducted, as well as any special local conditions governing the competition.
It might well be stressed that an international competition could be played under a set of laws that did not apply to the country in which the games are being played. However, in such a case the onus of providing a Marker with a copy of the exact duties expected of him then becomes the responsibility of the host country.
Fortunately, many of the routine duties required are common to all codes and there is virtually no likelihood of them being varied so they can safely be listed as follows:-
Assisting to straighten the mat.
Aligning the jack.
Marking a toucher, or removing a prior chalk mark.
Removing a dead bowl.
Replacing a disturbance caused by himself.
Answering questions of fact.
Recording the score.
Advising the players of each progress score.
Seeing that the score board is correct.
Handling the completed and signed score card to the proper authority.
In addition, the Marker must never forget that the main purpose for his presence is to assist the players to enjoy the game, as well as to facilitate the actual play, by only answering the questions asked by the player next entitled to bowl. This should be done quickly and accurately so as to avoid the necessity of the players having to make a personal inspection of the head.
MARKER AS UMPIRE
It may so happen that a Marker is requested to also be the Umpire, and in some codes even his normal status is automatically virtually that of an Umpire. In either case it becomes imperative that he be well versed in the more comprehensive and important duties of this official. Under these circumstances he would be wise to have with him a copy of the applicable laws.
The status of a Marker and/or an Umpire varies considerably according to the code of laws that are applicable. In some, their duties are determined on the basic principle that under no circumstances are players permitted to disregard any law and therefore these officials are vested with initiative status. This enables them to intervene at any time should they observe any breach. This principle stems from the usual authority of similarly placed officials in other forms of sport which generally involve some degree of public support, particularly on an international level.
The opposite attitude is that Bowls is in no way similar to other games, it being essentially a participants' recreation, with little or no public appeal beyond the bowling fraternity. In this case, the players themselves are morally bound to observe the laws, but should a breach be mutually condoned then no official has any authority to intervene. These officials have a potential status which only becomes operative if a player requests their services. In this school of thought it is felt that the basic object of a match (excluding its personal enjoyment) is to determine a winner and therefore it is entirely a matter for the players to decide the precise manner in which the result is achieved. This can obviously vary from a walk-over, or forfeit, to the meticulous application of every law. Any form of initiative status of an official would be construed as an intrusion on the players' personal enjoyment of the game.
The differences between initiative and potential status are by no means rigidly observed in the various codes, as several contain something of both in a kind of compromise. The Marker may have the right to prevent the playing to an under length distance to the jack, whereas in other codes he may be expected to check the width of the rink and other matter-of-fact
details which are usually left to the authority in charge of the green and
are, therefore, taken for granted. Such variations may also apply to an Umpire. However, in any case the handy whereabouts of suitable measuring devices, etc., should be ascertained.
From what has been set out it will be realised that a Marker's services involve a thorough understanding of the game and the applicable code of laws and therefore the position should not be undertaken in a lighthearted manner.
There would appear to be little likelihood of a complete international uniformity of duties and status until the fundamentally divergent points of view have been satisfactorily resolved.
Up and down, walking, walking,
Often measuring, sometimes chalking.
Shifting mats-keeping score,
Thirty ends-may be more;
Aching back-tired of limb,
Cheers for others-none for him.
Night draws on darker, darker,
No one cares for he's the MARKER.
THE ROMANCE OF BOWL MANUFACTURE
The Late J. P. MUNRO
Are you wondering why we used the word "Romance"? Do you think that kind of word seems out of place associated with something prosaic like "Manufacture"? It's the right word! This is a story along classical lines-a story of triumph, of initiative, persistence and skill, of devotion to a cause. This is a story with no ending, but one that without an ending has brought happiness, enjoyment and relaxation to hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world. Unless this story could be written, the magnificent game of bowls, despite its rich tradition in history, would without doubt still be outside the grasp of the greater proportion of those to whom it has come to mean so much. This is a "Romance" right enough, a story of a success that has earned the gratitude of the whole international bowling fraternity.
Nobody knows when the era of wooden (lignum-vitae) bowls began in England, but it goes back many centuries. The island of San Domingo in the West Indies (where lignum-vitae comes from) was discovered by Columbus on December 3rd, 1492, so it is definite that the timber was unknown in England at that time. Lignum-vitae was introduced to Europe by the Spaniards in 1508, and it was probably brought to England by Sir Francis Drake either from the West Indies direct, or after being taken from the cargo of Spanish ships captured by him. Drake had equipped his ship, "The Pasha", with bowls and quoits for the recreation of his crew whilst resting on an island in the Gulf of Darien. Most probably the bowls were of lignum-vitae, and made by his ship's carpenters whilst waiting in the harbour at Plymouth during preparation for the voyage.
However, lignum-vitae became the popular timber for bowls manufacture in England and Scotland, by such makers as John Jacques & Son (established 1795), Thomas Taylor (1796), Peter Boardman & Sons (1850), William Lindop (1855), R. G. Lawrie Ltd., F. H. Ayres Ltd., Bussey &
Co. Ltd., the Taylor-Rolph Co., Slazengers Ltd., and others. Several of these firms still produce wooden bowls, although in recent years there has been a change in manufacture to composition bowls. The conversion of players in the British Isles from wooden bowls to composition bowls is a gradual but inevitable process. It has been recently estimated by a leading authority in England that the majority of wooden bowls will disappear from the greens in the next decade.
Bowling was first introduced in Australia when the early colonists, who had learn the art of bowling in England brought bowls with them. They played on a green built alongside the Beach Tavern at Sandy Bay, Hobart, in 1844. Perhaps there was something wrong with the concept of making a bowling green an adjunct to a bar, rather than a bar an adjunct to a green, because hotel greens which were equipped with imported wooden bowls appeared and disappeared in some numbers between 1844 and 1864. It might be said that bowling as an established sport really commenced in Australia when, in 1864, Alcock & Co., Russell Street, Melbourne, turned several sets of lawn bowls from lignum-vitae skittle bowls for the newly formed Melbourne Bowling Club.
In 1867, at Parramatta, New South Wales, Thomas Eddes turned for Alexander Johnstone the first set of bowls used in New South Wales. In 1869 David Johnston was in business as a bowls manufacturer at 29 Latrobe Street, Melbourne, and on the opposite side, at 34 Latrobe Street, E. C. Johnston, a billiard table maker, included bowl manufacturing as one of his activities.
English and Scottish makes of lignum-vitae bowls continued to be used in Australia until the first decade of this century, when a few sets of composition bowls, imported from England, appeared on the greens. The material and shape of the bowl was unsatisfactory, and consequently they were not popular on the Australian greens. About this time the sport began to feel the impact of a man destined to radically revolutionise the game of bowls-the man who, without doubt, Sir Francis Drake would select from everybody associated with the game as his First Mate- William David Hensell. He was to be associated with the development work in bowls manufacture for a brilliant 61 yeal -the period during which bowls became a fully matured internationally accepted sport.
William David Hensell was born in Richmond, Victoria, on January 2nd, 1882, and was educated at the Albert Park Stat School. At the age of 16 he was apprenticed to the wood-turning trade, but two years later (in 1900 to be exact) he transferred to Alcock & Co., billiard table manufacturers, then located in Russell Street, Melbourne. There he was taught the art
turning billiard balls, his tutor being Mr. W. J. Wood, who was a bowler and later on, the official bowls tester under Alcock & Co., who had been appointed by the Victorian Bowling Association on August 21st, 1901. Young Hensell was diligent and eager to learn, and his skill in turning the billiard ball was to help him later on when the turning and re-shaping of wooden bowls came into his hands. The game of bowls was making headway in Australia, but the wooden bowls then used were not stable, and they frequently required re-testing and re-biasing, particularly as a minimum bias bowl had been adopted by the Victorian Bowling Association.
Alcock & Co., of Melbourne, were appointed official testers to the Western Australian Bowling Association in 1902, and young Hensell was sent to Perth to do the testing, and there he remained for nearly seven years. It was during this formative period, without doubt, that his plans, later to revolutionise bowls production and the game itself, took their embryonic form.
Testing in those days was very primitive when the methods and equipment used today are considered. The equipment consisted of an ordinary billiard table, twelve feet long, with a wooden chute about two feet in length, with sufficient elevation to propel the bowl nine feet along the testing table, the slate bed of which was covered with billiard cloth only. The table gave only a crude indication of the bias of the bowl; and this caused quite a lot of concern because some bowls drew well on the green, but failed to pass the test for bias on the table, and vice versa.
In 1908 Alcock & Co., who were also the official testers for the New South Wales Bowling Association, lost the services of their tester, and the company transferred W. D. Hensell from Perth to Sydney. There he developed the first 36-foot testing-table, which was a big improvement on the 12-foot table, but it was still not perfect. Because of climatic conditions the wooden bowls shrunk out of their round shape, causing them to wobble, and to run very inconsistently when played on the green and when tested on the table. Realising that the obvious way to correct these bowls was to re-shape them, W. D. Hensell designed and perfected the first Australian machine to successfully re-shape shrunken and badly shaped bowls.
With this achievement, table testing became more of a success, but the technique of biasing and defective bowl correcting had still not been mastered, although considerable progress had been made in that direction. Bowlers could not appreciate the difficulties that at that time militated against good bowling. There, certainly, was the incentive and the opportunity for William Hensell to do something positive and constructive.
The battle against inaccuracy hadn't yet been won, but W.D. Hensell had started the long struggle destined to ultimately produce today's modern accurate, precision-built Henselite bowl.
At this time many new composition materials were being tried; they were relatively stable and free from many of the disadvantages of lignum-vitae. W. D. Hensell spent most of his spare time studying literature in connection with compositions. Eventually he came to the conclusion that vulcanite (hard rubber) was the most suitable composition available at that time for bowl manufacture.
Returning to Melbourne in 1918, W. D. Hensell was fortunate to meet Mr. Roberts, Works Manager of Dunlop Rubber Co., a keen bowler, who had brought his wooden bowls along for re-testing. This was a grand opportunity to exploit the ideas he had conceived, and after he explained the many advantages a hard rubber bowl would have over wood, and the potential demand for such a bowl, Mr. Roberts became impressed and responsive to Mr. Hensell's enthusiasm. As a result, after many experiments a round Ebonite ball approximately 5" diameter was produced, turned and made into a bowl.
When tested on the table, however, it was found to have an eccentric action, being heavier on one side, which caused it to be out of balance. Further experiments and more care produced twelve consistent rubber balls. They were turned into bowls - the twelve tested perfectly - AND RUBBER, BOWLS, THE FIRST IN THE WORLD, WERE BORN. It was obvious that the concept of a hard rubber bowl had become a reality and that sufficient progress had been made to justify the making of moulds and equipment for the manufacture of these new bowls.
In June, 1918, Mr. Hensell terminated employment with Alcock & Co., to start a business of his own at 386 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne, where he had fitted up the latest and most reliable testing-table and turning plant. Little did he imagine when he was so busy building his testing-table and acquiring plant, that he was on the threshold of a business career during which he would achieve his ultimate ambition -that of making the best bowl in the world, "Henselite", and being the largest manufacturer of lawn bowls.
The Dunlop Rubber Co. made arrangements with Mr. W. D. Hensell to turn, bias, and finish all their rubber bowls, after the company had moulded them. Before the end of 1918 the first vulcanite or ebonite bowls in the world were being used -and with success-on Victorian greens. Their advent created considerable interest and started a controversy as to the merits of the two types of bowl-the wooden and the composition. However, bowlers soon realised the many advantages of the composition bowl, and a change-over took place almost immediately, many leading players seeing fit to discard their old woods for the new rubbers. During the period from 1918 to 1924 the rubber bowl became so popular that the importation into Australia of lignum-vitae (wooden) bowls completely ceased, and Australia became an exporter of bowls.
In the early days of rubber bowls many problems had to be solved. Causing major concern was internal variation in the specific gravity of the rubber compound. This made it difficult to obtain the exact required weight for each size of bowl. The solution to the problem was to "load" the core of each bowl to the required weight and then cover it with a high quality ebonite.
As the game grew in popularity so did W. D. Hensell's business, and larger premises were necessary. Moves were made first to 347 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne, then to 9 Cobden Street, North Melbourne, and in 1937 to the present location at 16-22 Wreckyn Street, North Melbourne. These premises have since been enlarged, more adjacent properties bought, and in 1960 an additional storey was built on to the original building to provide a large modern suite of offices as well as to expand production area.
Further properties were bought and new showrooms, offices and warehouses built in 1979 which allowed for further expansion of the production area and the Australian distribution of other sporting goods.
To achieve greater accuracy in the biasing of rubber bowls, it became necessary to revise many of the table-testing ideas. Improvements were made to the testing chutes, and the bed of the table was covered with a special billiard rubber, and a canvas, to give the same speed as that of a good running bowling green. With these improvements bowls could now be tested for both bias and balance (a new development which proved to be the most revolutionary innovation ever adopted for table testing). For the first time bowls could be accurately tested on the table under conditions similar to playing conditions on a green, whether fast or slow.
Contrary to the belief of many bowlers-and particularly those of the younger generation-the bias of a bowl is not brought about by extra weight on one side of the bowl, but by the shape of the crown or running surface, which is slightly higher on the non-bias side.
The faster a bowl is delivered the straighter it will run. As a bowl loses momentum, because of the shape of its crown, the bowl gradually changes its running surface, and the bias takes effect. Eventually it reaches its maximum draw as the bowl slows down and comes to rest.
Many modifications to the shape and crown of the bowl were made until it was improved to such an extent that it was more comfortable to hold than the old-fashioned wooden bowl. With these improvements the death knell of the old wooden bowl was sounded in Australia, as the performance of the new bowl was far superior.
The Australian Bowling Council's Laws of the Game then in force, permitted a maximum weight of (3 Ibs. 8 ozs.) (1.6kg) irrespective of the size of the bowl. Bowlers were quick to take advantage of the improvement in bowls and soon realised they could successfully use a much smaller bowl of heavier weight. With the old wooden bowl, if a reasonable weight were required, bowlers had to procure a large "pudding shape" set, which were too big for comfortable delivery or for reasonable control.
The Australian Bowling Council acted quickly and in 1922 appointed a bowls testing committee of four (Messrs. E. W. Walker, J. B. Grut, W. Barr of Victoria, and A. Moore, of Queensland), with Mr. W. D. Hensell as Technical Adviser, to thoroughly investigate this matter along with other problems. After months of experiments and tests carried out under various conditions on both tables and greens of all speeds, the committee made recommendations to the Council specifying bowls of standard shape, and a scale of maximum weights for each size. They also determined the minimum bias suitable for Australian conditions.
The Council approved, and the new scale of weights and measures came into operation on January 3rd,1926. Although the reforms seemed very drastic, a standard had been set, which was adopted by the New Zealand Bowling Association in 1938, and by the International Bowling Board in 1946 in a modified form to suit climatic conditions. It is obvious now that these reforms were based on broad understanding and vision; they were exactly what were required to stabilise the situation.
(In 1962, the International Bowling Board specified that the maximum weight of a bowl shall be 31b. 8OZ. (1.6kg.) and the A.B.C. amended its laws accordingly-reverting to the original weight specified in force before 1926. The "maximum weight -per size" laws were eventually dispensed with in all countries, thus permitting the maximum weight of any size bowl to be 31b. 8OZ. (1.6kg.).)
By 1930 very few wooden bowls were seen on the greens in Australia, as rubber bowls, which were being constantly improved, had superseded them. They were being extensively used overseas, too, particularly in New Zealand and South Africa. At this time the Dunlop Rubber Co. made a decision that was indirectly and unintentionally designed to usher in a new era of bowls development. They decided to turn and finish, as well as mould, these rubber bowls in their own factory at Montague, Victoria. In all W. D. Hensell had turned and finished for them 13,750 sets of Dunlop bowls, and in addition many thousands of sets of all makes had been re-tested, re-conditioned, etc.
Consequently his arrangements with the Dunlop Co. were terminated. His reaction was to conceive the idea of developing and making an entirely new bowl, ultimately to be named "HENSELITE" .
For ten years, W. D. Hensell had been training his son, Ray, in the skilled art of bowl manufacturing, and it says a great deal for the courage and determination of father and son that the name of Hensell didn't become bowls history at this time.
They immediately became a two-man research team, working with the objective of producing a new bowl, incorporating improvements in design and performance, made of a composition superior to rubber, less affected by heat and climatic conditions. Ever foremost in their minds was the ambition that the new bowl must be solid throughout, without any core, wear-resistant, tough and durable. This was quite an objective- but the Hensells, it transpires, were capable of the task.
About this time the "Plastics Age" was gathering momentum, and the Hensells quickly learnt of a Sydney firm that had just started to manufacture a plastic material with the frightening name of Phenol formaldehyde moulding compound. Its properties were outstanding, and it promised to be the ideal material for which they were searching.
Initial inquiries were disappointing, as this material could only be moulded to a thickness of l/2'', whereas a solid moulding at least 5" in diameter and weighing 31/21bs (1.56kg) was required. Surely, they said, there must be some way to mould this material into bowls. Nobody could stop them that way! Someone had said much the same thing about rubber once.
Undaunted by early failures, they decided to continue experiments with the technical assistance of Dr. Lang, an authority on this type of plastic. New formulae and sample batches of material were made, different techniques tried and discarded. Eventually Dr. Lang perfected a special moulding compound, and from it the first solid one-piece plastic bowl was made-THE "HENSELITE" BOWL.
A new bowling era had commenced. History was made, not only in bowls manufacturing, but in the plastics industry, as manufacturers all over the world were astounded when the "Henselite" achievement became known. Even today it is believed that the plastic bowl is the largest solid mass of phenol formaldehyde compound moulded.
Plans were then prepared for the making of the intricate moulds and the installation of the necessary moulding plant to make the new bowls. Many difficulties and problems were encountered before it was possible to start manufacturing on a production basis. Perfection was eventually achieved, and in April, 1931, the first set of Henselite bowls was produced. When used on the green, they were acclaimed by everyone who tried them. It was obvious from this moment that the new bowl was outstanding in appearance and performance, and was superior in every respect to any other make of bowl.
At this time Australia was in the throes of a depression, and the name "Henselite" was new and almost unknown. Despite this, there was an immediate demand for these new bowls. They were available in black, mahogany and chocolate, with discs of several colours, making them most attractive.
The fame of "Henselite" rapidly grew. Top-line bowlers changed to "Henselite", and demonstrated their superiority by winning most of the important championships. Sales increased to such an extent that plant and production had to be enlarged to supply the demand.
Trial orders were sent to South Africa and the immediate reaction was astounding. Repeat orders soon followed. The demand for "Henselite" soon spread to the British Isles, New Zealand, Canada, U.S.A. and other countries. Regular shipments are now exported to the British Isles, South Africa, New Zealand, Canada, United States, Zimbabwe, Hong Kong, Japan, Fiji, Malaya, Kenya, New Guinea, Norfolk Island, South America, Israel and Holland. HENSELITE BOWLS PREDOMINATE IN EVERY COUNTRY WHERE BOWLS IS PLAYED.
More developments followed. Previously all bowls had inserted discs; these were liable to become loose, crack and fall out. In 1937 the "Henselite" Uni-Disc Bowl was introduced. This incorporated the discs as an integral part of the bowl. Engravings of initials or distinctive designs are engraved on the bowl and filled with lacquer of various colours. It was not long before this innovation was copied by other manufacturers.
In the same year the first "Henselite" all-white plastic jack was produced. Centreless ground to high precision, these jacks are perfectly round and have superseded the old china jack, which was irregular in shape, chipped easily and was generally unsatisfactory. The moulding of these jacks from Urea Formaldehyde moulding powder was in itself an outstanding achievement.
After having spent 45 years perfecting the art of bowl testing, and pioneering the manufacture of bowls, W. D. Hensell retired from active business in 1944. The responsibility of management and the designing of new plant and equipment of sufficient capacity to cope with the postwar demand for bowls fell heavily on the shoulders of R. W. Hensell. He had made and installed an entirely new moulding plant to be used in conjunction with a new process of electronic pre-heating requiring elaborate and complex equipment- and capable of high production.
A series of automatic high precision turning and biasing machines were also designed. When they were completed and installed, the production of bowls was resumed after the war years, on the 6th February, 1946. This new plant proved so successful that for the first time in the world it enabled the mass production of bowls more accurate than was ever before thought possible.
Mr. W. D. Hensell passed away at the age of 77 in August, 1959. The bowling world thus lost the services of a man responsible to a great degree for its growth and development. Prior to this R. W. Hensell's two sons became associated in the business, and the company of R. W. Hensell & Sons Pty. Ltd., was established.
In 1959 Ray Hensell again surprised the bowling fraternity by announcing a new "Henselite" Super Grip model. This was re-designed for improved performance, and as the result of new formulas, developed after extensive research, the moulding compound was impregnated with special additives to greatly improve the "grip", giving it a velvety "feel", particularly under wet and cold conditions. It also removes the necessity of frequent polishing. Now proved, this new model has been acclaimed as a further step forward in bowl perfection.
Constantly it has been a continuing story of more research, more plant, more production and more world-wide acclaim for a bowl that has given the game and its players such pleasure and satisfaction. Climatic conditions, types of grass and green surfaces vary considerably in different countries. Consequently, special models of bowls are made to suit these conditions. In New Zealand, for instance, the greens are undoubtedly the fastest in the world, and windy conditions are common. As a result, the New Zealand model bowls have a flatter crown, with slightly less bias than Australian bowls. South African greens were usually hard and bumpy, and a special heavyweight bowl is used to suit these conditions. In the British Isles, greens are invariably wet, soft and heavy. To get the best results a lightweight model bowl is used. All models comply with the respective regulations of each bowling country.
This study of overseas bowling conditions is a constant one, and many overseas trips have been made to study bowling conditions in different countries and to ensure maximum performances of every "Henselite" model.
Most bowlers will be staggered to learn that, in order to supply bowls suitable for the different conditions existing in various countries, a total of 678 models of "Henselites" are made in numerous sizes, bias, shapes, weights and colours- excluding the several thousand different engravings covering a multitude of categories and colourings.
Over recent years the game of Indoor Bowls, in various forms, has met with increasing popularity, and "Henselite" Indoor Bowls are again foremost in demand for playing this rapidly growing game. The range of bowls manufactured has been extended to provide miniature carpet bowls, round indoor bowls, biased indoor bowls, as well as the bowl jacks to suit each type of game.
The sales story has been a spectacular one. When World WarII started in 1939, annual sales had topped 4,000 sets. From 1942 to 1945 the whole plant was devoted to the war effort, and there was no production of bowls. After the war, new staff had to be completely trained, new modern plant was installed to allow potential production of 10,000 sets per annum. In 1946, 9,500 sets were produced. This production figure was well behind demand. With steady increase of plant and factory space, 15,000 sets were produced in 1947, and 20,000 in 1948. The story continues, with constant growth of the game itself, and expansion by R. W. Hensell & Sons Pty. Ltd. At the end of 1960, the production for the year exceeded 33,000 sets per annum. This, of course, is in lawn bowls only, and excluded the many thousands of sets of indoor types and jacks. More than 1,000,000 sets of "Henselite" bowls have now been produced using more than 6,500 tons of moulding compound, specially processed for the requirements of the various models of bowls.
The production figures are much higher than the output of all other bowl manufacturers in the world put together. To R. W. Hensell & Sons Pty. Ltd., must go the undisputed honour of being not only the largest manufacturer of bowls but of achieving the distinction of producing the world's best bowl.
Mr. R. W. Hensell retired from active business in 1976 and passed away at the age of 72 on 6th March, 1979.
A milestone in the history of "Henselite" bowls was celebrated on 13th March, 1980, when the 4,000,000th "Henselite" bowl (1 million sets) came through production. Now suitably mounted and proudly displayed, it perpetuates the hopes and fears, the toil and worry, the brilliance and the determination of the two men. William and Ray Hensell. It symbolises a game started by Sir Francis Drake or his contemporaries-something that has grown to be more than a game, more than a means of relaxation and pleasure. It represents a pursuit that has become a cement in the mixture of man and man-an influence towards peaceful co-existence between nations.
Australian industry regards "Henselite" with pride . . . they are setting a valuable example in exporting more than 50% of their production to 24 overseas countries-truly an excellent contribution to Australia's export trade for which the company received Australian Government "Awards for Outstanding Export Achievement" in 1963, 1972 and 1982.
An era was ushered in by William David Hensell and developed in the true Hensell fashion by Raymond William Hensell who brought precision into bowl manufacture to the ultimate of perfection.
There are two more Hensells, Bruce Raymond (Managing Director) and Graeme Westcott (Director) actively engaged in the business, now operating as Henselite (Australia) Pty. Ltd., and already in this "computer age", have brought automation and computerisation to bowls production and time will, no doubt, show us further new ideas they will develop. The Company expanded into the distribution of sporting goods in 1977 being exclusive Australian distributors for a wide range of products.
In November 1983 the Company purchased a b manufacturing complex in Cumbernauld, Scotland, where it produces the range of Almark Lawn Bowls and Henselite Crown Green Bowls for the U.K. market.
What further contributions the fourth generation of Hensells Alastair and Mark who are now working in the company make to our wonderful traditional old game will be watched interest.