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Indoor Bowls Equipment – A Brief Guide to Wheelchair Bowling

The beauty of indoor bowls is that it is a universal game: it doesn’t matter whether you are young, old, able bodied or not, everyone can play. And, if you are looking for indoor bowls equipment, Bowls World is a one stop-shop selling everything from bowls, to clothing and accessories.

It’s hard to image that only a little over three decades ago it was almost impossible for wheelchair users to take up indoor or outdoor bowls. However, the 1980’s brought about a revolution in the sport for people with disabilities when the Bradshaw Bowls Buggy was rolled out into clubs across the UK.

The buggy came about when keen bowler Peter Bradshaw, a former Head of Art in a school in Portishead, Bristol, met retired professor and doctor David Peacock, a bowls player and wheelchair user. He saw that wheelchair users were restricted on where they could play, so this inspired Bradshaw to invent a specialist buggy that could be used on indoor and outdoor greens. The Bradshaw Bowls Buggy opened up the sport to a greater number of players and, for the first time, wheelchair users and able bodied players could compete on an equal level.

Although wheelchair bowling hasn’t been a Paralympic Sport since 1994, the game is played on national and international levels. Several big name tournaments are held across the globe and this includes the International Bowls for the Disabled World Championships, which was first hosted by Australia in 2007. The championships took place in Pretoria, South Africa, in 2011, when players from 11 different countries took part including Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand and Australia.

Bowls World offer a complete range of outdoor and indoor bowls and equipment for players all over the world. Our range includes anything from the newest bowls – such as Taylor Blaze Bowls, to branded and club clothing. We stock all the leading names including Taylor, Henselite and Drakes Pride.

Indoor Bowls Equipment – click here to buy lawn bowls equipment, accessories and clothing online.

Bowling for Wheelchair Users

Stoke Manderville, Aylesbury, is the birthplace of the British Wheelchair Bowls Association (BWBA), founded in 1982. Thanks to Bradshaw and Peacock, wheelchair bowls became popular both nationally and internationally and in the 1990’s the game was recognised first by the English Bowls Association (EBA) and then by the English Indoor Bowls Association (EIBA).

Although facilities vary from club to club, it is recommended that bowls clubs have at least three buggies – two for adults and one for youngsters – and ramps to allow easy access to indoor rinks. A quick internet search will help you find out where your nearest accessible bowls club is.

Wheelchair Bowls – The Rules

Wheelchair bowls, including indoor wheelchair bowls, follows exactly the same rules as for able bodied players. In addition to this, players also use the same lawn bowls and indoor bowls equipment.

The only real variation is that players can have a pusher to accompany them onto the green, but this person can’t speak to them during the game as this can be considered as ‘coaching’. Where possible, the pusher must leave the player during the game and wait at the bank, so they don’t cause a distraction.

Another rule is that, when the player bowls, one of the chair’s wheels must be at least on or over the mat. In addition to this, only approved wheelchairs can be used in bowling, such as the Bradshaw Bowls Buggy, which has wide wheels that are specially made so they won’t damage the surface of the rink.

As well as the above rules, wheelchair bowls players must follow exactly the same dress code as all club players. To find out what these are, it is important liaise with your local club, who will explain the dress code for matches.

Wheelchair bowls players are exceptionally skilful and are tough competition even against the best able bodied players.

Wheelchair Bowls – Why Take up the Game?

The beauty of bowls is that it can be played by people with a wide variety of physical and visual impairments. Not only is bowls a fantastic way to fitness and concentration, it is a great way of making new friends. In addition, lawn bowls and indoor bowls provide the satisfaction of being part of a team.

Wheelchair bowls is played by a wide range of players across the UK from youngsters to the retired. And, if you enjoy the sport, perhaps you may even get to represent your country at international level.

Bowls World

Bowls World sells a wide range of lawn bowls and indoor bowls equipment and clothing including: men’s, women’s and children’s bowls clothing, new and second hand bowls, as well as a variety of accessories and gifts. The clothing and equipment we stock is sold globally. Click on the link below for more information.

Indoor Bowls Equipment – click here to buy lawn bowls equipment, accessories and clothing online.

Henselite Bowls
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