Crown Green Bowls

Learn to play Crown Green Bowls


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Items of note from yesterday’s BCGBA development meeting

I feel pretty positive after yesterday’s national development officers meeting. There are a lot of areas still needing attention, but some great individual things are being done around the country. I can see things generally moving the right way. And I can see the will is there amongst us… believe me we are all working hard. Just not coordinated enough yet for my liking!

I found the following things of particular interest.

1. Awards Scheme
After a specific request from the South Yorkshire development officer, the coaching team have been working on an Award Scheme from age 4 upwards.
The idea will emulate that used by British Gymnastics, and involve kids working to achieve certain ‘skill’ development starting from being able to roll a new age (foam) bowl without bouncing. At each stage badges and certificates will be awarded. It seems this will be trialled in certain areas this year with a view to national rollout in 2015.
I understand that the outline of the scheme will be shared with the #crowngreenbowls community for input.
If it happens, this is a great step forward. I hope this could be ready for North Midlands to use in 2015 and fully support it.

2. Club IDs
This year every #crowngreenbowls club will be allocated their own unique ID number, with a prefix identifying their county of primary affiliation.
This might not seem significant, but I view it as a first step towards a proper, centralised database of data about our sport. With this we can properly run and promote national campaigns for recruitment, coaching and more.
Don’t get me wrong the data is already around. But it’s very paper based (NR1 forms anyone?) and it’s only updated within leagues and counties, not nationally.
Get the data and give us access to it and we will make it sing!!!

3. Promo video
We were told that a promo video about #crowngreenbowls is to be made. A few hoops still need to be gone through, but it’s pretty much guaranteed. The positive thing is the language being used: ‘appealing to all’, ‘juniors to be featured’, ‘modern style’. Definitely no pensioners dancing to RnB please!!!
I think we’ll get to have an involvement to help steer it. Good!
I still have reservations about this not being part of a bigger, defined marketing strategy. But in the absence of that in the foreseeable future, I’ll take the video anyway. Lets get a great one made, get it shared online and in Social Media, and get some benefit!

In addition, there is going to be an improvement made concerning the way the national development officers’ work is reported. I hope this will be a website published report of activity. This will enable counties, clubs and bowlers to express their opinions on the activity so we can all help steer the future.

Finally, I got 2 items minuted at the end of the meeting. No actions taken, but they’re logged at least!

1. I believe there is a need for the BCGBA/development team to create a set of ‘best practice’ guides and design templates for their own use, and to help individual clubs. These should cover progression from a club starting out on a development journey, to those who already have established coaching and development in place. There are enough clubs, development officers and coaches with experience at different levels to achieve this. Knowledge is power!

2. There should be a national development officer role that sits on the BCGBA management committee. At present there is only a coordinator post which appears to be no more than admin and communication between officers. We need someone with bite to represent development on behalf of the officers group, and to help form and drive national initiatives, and access funding for them.

Onwards and Upwards!

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Update for County committee meeting

Here’s the short development report I presented at last night’s county committee meeting.


North Midlands Development Officer Update Feb 24th 2014

Prepared by Scott Crowther.


County development meeting: March 3rd.

A development meeting open to all clubs and individual bowlers from the North Midlands has been arranged for Monday 3rd March, 7.30pm at Bedworth Ex-Servicemen’s Club, Rye Piece Ringway, Bedworth, Warwickshire CV12 8JH. The meeting will be run by myself with help from Ian McLean from CSW Sport ( and will outline plans for 2014 in coaching, recruitment ideas, Clubmark and more.

Coaching workshop: April 6th.

A BCGBA Level 1 coaches training workshop has been organised for Sunday 6th April (venue and time TBC). It will be delivered by the regional coach, Bob Marsh. Spaces cost £10 and are available for between 4 and 8 people (3 already signed up). Two attendees at previous Level 1 coaching workshops (Scott Crowther and John Hatzer) will be assessed for their Level 1 accreditation on the same date. If successful, these will be the first BCGBA accredited coaches in the county.

National Development Meeting: March 22nd.

I will be attending a meeting of all the BCGBA development officers on March 22nd in Northwich. I am happy to raise questions on behalf of the county, if anyone wants to submit questions to me.


I have now received honorariums from the BCGBA for my work as a development officer. I plan to invest all of this into the county development together with the remainder of the budget provided by the North Midlands county committee last year. It is not yet decided what to spend the budget on, but the plan is to use some for bowls equipment that can be used by any club at public facing Open Days.

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North Midlands development 2014

it’s time to attack 2014!

So I’ve arranged a North Midlands development meeting at Bedworth Ex Serviceman’s club from 7.30pm on Monday 3rd March.
Address is: Rye Piece Ringway, Bedworth, Warwickshire CV12 8JH
Ian McLean from CSW Sport ( will also be along to explain what they do.
The meeting will go through development plans for 2014, and to collect feedback, input and ideas.
It is open to all clubs and any individual bowlers who are interested in attracting new players, coaching or funding.

The current agenda is as follows:

- introductions
- recruitment success case study (Glossop Bowling Club)
- club and public open days
- marketing and promotion
- junior development
- coaching
- Clubmark
- funding options
- AOB.

I hope you’ll find this of interest.
We won’t cover everything in one meeting, but from this initial meeting, hopefully we can forge some good plans and relationships to increase crown green bowls involvement in our county.

Onwards and upwards.

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Development review of 2013

Here is a copy of the development report I submitted for the North Midlands county AGM held in January 2014. I was unable to attend this meeting, so provided the below which was read out at the meeting.

Development Officer report for 2013.
Prepared by Scott Crowther

Firstly my apologies for being unable to attend the AGM today.

From my perspective, the 2013 season was relatively successful. I found out a lot from other counties about what might work for our clubs, and I started to build various relationships to help us. On the other hand we lost around another 100 registered bowlers this season. I am determined to try and reverse this over the next few years.

To summarise 2013 activities, one Level 1 BCGBA coaching course was run with 4 existing bowlers attending. The Coventry Telegraph began to publish a few updates about our sport. We trialled 4 ‘taster sessions’ in Memorial Park, successfully introducing around 80 people to the game for the first time. And I built a relationship with CSW Sport, the local sports partnership, who ran a Clubmark introduction seminar and public bowls events in Bedworth and Coventry City Centre.

2014 will be about starting to apply this knowledge. Current plans include monthly public taster sessions in Memorial Park, encouraging all clubs to run regular ‘Open Days’, and using the Internet and Social Media to promote these. In addition I plan to buy additional equipment for clubs to use for taster sessions (particularly for youngsters), run further sessions to turn bowlers into coaches, and try to establish regular reporting in the press. Finally, I will help where I can with new initiatives such as starting a Junior league proposed by Roly Clegg at Colliery, and helping identify funding.

But it will work best if we all get involved. If you want to grow your club over the coming years, I need your help.
I particularly need someone to work alongside me, leading on the coaching side of things.
I need clubs who are willing to run regular Open Days and try new things.
And I need plenty of individuals to volunteer to help at public events and provide other skills such as flyer design or writing news articles.
My thanks go to those who got involved in 2013, particularly Dave Chapman and his family, and Standard Club for their assistance at the public events.

I am organising a development meeting for the evening of Monday 3rd March (venue is TBC), to share and discuss more details on development plans. But don’t wait until then, if you have ideas or want to get involved, please get in touch with me on 07886 672087

Thanks for listening.
Onwards and upwards!


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A new movement?

I’m currently working on a new public-facing website (‘Play Crown Green’), and have the @playcrowngreen twitter account operating. Hopefully by early 2014 they’ll both be ready. The intent is a single site and complementary social media to help promote our wonderful game to the public, and attract new players.

In parallel, Andy Dawson, Secretary of Glossop Bowls Club, is working on another site to complement the above – somewhere where Clubs can debate and share knowledge of success (or otherwise) of development ideas and best practice.

I hope clubs will find these of benefit. if you have any ideas, suggestions, or are willing to help, please let me know!


3 problems with the BCGBA national development programme

From the aforementioned development meeting, there were 3 specific things that bothered me. Maybe these are just my inexperience and lack of knowledge or because the needs for our county differ from the others. I doubt it though given the chats I had with a couple of my counterparts.

1. National coordination. Although we are a national development group, there appears to be no coordination or priority of activity across the counties. There is a loose set of objectives against which our success should be measured but it is wide open to interpretation. We are each left to make our own decisions for our own counties. Whilst this has the advantage of leaving me to my own devices, I feel I will suffer by not having any consistent delivery plan on a national level.
Imagine successful businesses. Do they leave their regional representatives to undertake their own campaigns at will, or do they follow a focussed national campaign plan and work to it with local knowledge applied on top?
As an example, one of our criwn green bowls counties is doing some great and admirable work with disabled people. I am just not convinced that this meets the immediate issues of declining membership numbers or green closures. Which is the priority? I know where I think it lies right now.

2. Shared knowledge. Related to the above is the lack of information being shared on successes and failures. As a newcomer (without the benefit of a predecessor), I expected to be able to refer to some ‘best practice’ guides or case studies of what has been tried in other counties for me or for the clubs I am trying to help.
But this doesn’t appear to exist other than in other dev officers’ heads. I raised this as an action I felt needed addressing but I am not sure there is a mechanism to deliver this, or any way for someone at national level to take ownership of such a task.
It’s not clear to me how our dev group can get anything passed up to the national committee for action. It seems to be down to us as dev officers to get on with it.

3. Communication. This is the most vital element of all. Communication with the dev team is currently restricted to 2 face to face meetings a year, for which we are all required to provide a written report. It turns out that one other dev officer sends reports in to the BCGBA every month (a great idea), but I’ve never seen these. In the 12months I’ve been in post, the only communication I have had from the BCGBA is about the face to face meetings.
Communication to the wider public about crown green bowls is also non existent at a national level. Counties and leagues and clubs are left to do their own thing. Some do well, most don’t. We are bowlers, not marketers! There is no way that an individual club, league or county could drive a sport campaign to gain major website, newspaper or TV coverage. We need national campaigns.
I also got a glimpse into the wider structure for communication from the BCGBA down to club and bowler level. At present BCGBA info is passed to county representatives, to league secretaries, to club secretaries, to bowlers. Plus PDF newsletters posted to the BCGBA website (or were until the chap doing it stopped back in June and no replacement has been found).
This is a desperate situation. Bowlers feel distanced from their league and county committees. But they are disconnected from the BCGBA by an absolute mile. This needs fixing.

These are just my thoughts and observations. I have no solutions to offer right now although I have ideas I am trying for 2014 with the help of others.

If you have ideas, please share them!


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