Bowls Clothing Throughout the Year
The UK outdoor bowls season lasts from April until mid-September and then the game moves indoors in the autumn and winter to provide protection from the elements. As in all sports, there is a strict bowls clothing dress code to adhere to, which helps maintain discipline and gets players in the right mind-frame ready for the game.
Here we explore bowls clothing required throughout the year, to keep you comfortable while you play and adhere to bowls clothing etiquette.
Clothing for the Spring
Spring marks the start of the outdoor bowls season and as the British weather is so unpredictable, it is good to have a selection of clothing for all weathers. It can get chilly in the spring, particularly during the evenings when more competitive games such as league games are played.
It is advisable to have a good selection of knitwear and a jacket in the spring to protect against the cold. Warmer clothing can include ribbed or plain white pullovers or slip-overs, sweatshirts, jackets and a formal blazer.
You can expect rain at any time of year, so it is important to have bowls waterproofs at the ready for occasional downpours or light or scattered showers. A wide selection of waterproofs is available for men and women, including jackets and trousers, and some of these will also provide protection against the wind. Gilets, fleeces and reversible jackets come in a range of sizes and there is also an option of a three-in-one jacket for women with detachable sleeves and lining. This presents an ideal solution to changing weather conditions and is perfect for spring days when you are unsure what the temperature will be.
Ladies and men’s bowls jackets and trousers come in either Drilite or Ventilite fabrics and a selection of rainproof hats and caps are available.
Clothing for the Summer
Traditionally, ladies used to play on the green in the daytime and men in the evenings. This has changed in the last 20 years or so, as bowls has become more integrated. Generally more competitive league games are now played in the evenings and inter-county games on Saturday afternoons.
Summer bowls clothing is similar to indoor bowls wear and will include trousers, skirts and tops made from lightweight fabrics, although it is always good to have a jacket on hand for colder evenings.
In the UK, shorts are not permitted, but in countries such as Spain and Portugal, these are acceptable parts of the dress code.
During the summer months it is vital to protect yourself against the sun’s rays. Hats and visors are available for this and help shield your eyes from the bright light to help ensure better accuracy during play.
The options of bowls shoes are the same all year round; however, there is generally a greater choice for women and our range includes sandals which are ideal for the summer months, in white, grey or brown. There are also women’s trainers with a choice of trim, including pink.
Autumn and Winter Clothing
As the game moves indoors in the winter, this season’s clothing is much the same as summer outdoor apparel. This generally consists of lightweight trousers for the men and a white or grey coloured polo shirt.
Ladies may wear trousers or skirts, although skirts may be required for certain occasions. Shirts for men or ladies are usually white, but trim colours have been introduced in recent years. Grey can be worn as an alternative, but as a rule, the more official the occasion (such as a major competition) the more traditional the dress code.
Smooth soled shoes are a requirement for bowls games to protect the playing surface and to provide comfort. These were traditionally brown, but white and grey are also worn. Styles include lace-ups, slip-ons and moccasins for men or women.
Effect of Wind or Rain on Outdoors Bowls Play
In terms of play, rain will affect the green and make it ‘heavy’. This is a bowling term that basically means it makes the green slower as the grass becomes wet and spongy so the bowl does not travel so easily.
The rain also makes the bowls slippery, so you may require a wet grip glove or grip wax to hold the ball.
The wind does not cause too much of a problem in England, but it can hold up the bias slightly in a cross wind.
The wind poses much more of a problem to the game in countries such as New Zealand and Australia where the wind is quick and strong. Here you will need heavier bowls as well as clothing to provide protection against the wind.
The Main Manufacturers
The three main bowls clothing brands are Henselite, Taylor and Emsmorn. Australian company Henselite is a leading brand in clothing and footwear and is the biggest manufacturer and distributor of lawns bowls worldwide.
Internationally renowned Taylor Bowls is a 200-year-old Scottish family business with a range of bowls, bags, clothing and accessories including men and women’s clothing, waterproofs and rain hats.
Emsmorn is a leading name for quality bowls products in the UK and sell men and women’s clothing, bags, outerwear and accessories as well as waterproofs and headgear for indoor and outdoor bowls.
About Bowls World
Bowls World stock leading brands for indoor and outdoor bowls, including bowls equipment, clothing and accessories. We ship worldwide to the UK, Channel Islands, Ireland, Canada, US, Spain, Portugal, Tenerife, New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, South Korea and South Africa. Click here to view our range of bowls clothing.