Lorne Carnes, a member at the Canadian Pacific Lawn Bowling Club in Victoria, delivers a practice bowl at the club, which kis off a COVID-friendly season on April 15. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)

Lorne Carnes, a member at the Canadian Pacific Lawn Bowling Club in Victoria, delivers a practice bowl at the club, which kis off a COVID-friendly season on April 15. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)

Lawn bowling pitched as a safe pandemic activity for Greater Victoria residents

Clubs in Victoria, Saanich, Oak Bay and more welcome new members

Residents looking for an outdoor activity to do with family or bubble mates have more options come April.

The Canadian Pacific Lawn Bowling and Croquet Club, which kicks off April 15, is one of 10 regional clubs preparing for play with protocols in place.

While its membership leans to retired folks, spokesperson Lorne Carnes said there are few options right now for younger people to get out and be active, while enjoying distanced social interaction.

“It’s a sport for all ages, but it’s a sport that older people can play as well,” he said.

RELATED STORY: Saanich teen serious lawn bowler

Draws, limited to 16 players, are at 1 p.m. Monday to Friday; 10.a.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, and 6 p.m. Wednesdays. Croquet is at 6 p.m. Thursdays and all day Friday and Sunday. Online registration is required.

For many people, the beauty of membership is its flexibility, Carnes said. “If you’re going on vacation, nobody cares. You sign up only when you want to play.”

Lessons are offered for newcomers.

Lawn bowling combines the scoring and strategy of curling with the motion of bocce. The bowls, as the balls are called, have a bias on one side that forces a curve. While regulars often have their own bowls, players can choose from the club supply, with various weights available.

The CP club dress code is whites, or the club’s burgundy colour. The longstanding rule was instituted long ago given the venue’s high-profile, tourist-friendly location behind Crystal Garden, Carnes said.

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Bowls South Island includes 11 clubs, mostly nestled in neighbourhood parks.

Victoria has three, including the CP club, the Victoria club in Beacon Hill Park and the Victoria West club in that park.

In Saanich, there’s the Lakehill club in Reynolds Park, the Burnside club at Hampton Park and the Gordon Head club in Lambrick Park. Other venues are in Oak Bay (Carnarvon Park), Central Saanich (Centennial Park), Sidney (Iroquois Park), Juan de Fuca (West Shore Parks and Recreation) and Cowichan in Duncan.

All clubs have strict COVID-19 protocols in place.

Find information on the CP club at downtownlawnbowling.ca and for a full list of clubs visit bowlsoakbay.ca/the-club/south-island-clubs.


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