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Herefordshire

Short Mat Bowling Association

Home Committee Constitution Contact


County Team Sponsor

Establishing a New Club or Playing Group

The HSMBA encourages, and will assist with, the establishment and development of new clubs or playing groups in the County.

Short Mat Bowling is one of the fastest growing new sports, having only achieved formal recognition and organisation in this country with the establishment of the English Short Mat Bowling Association in the 1980s.  It is the perfect community based indoor sporting activity, played as it is in village halls, community and leisure centres on pre-marked rubber backed mats which can be rolled up and stored away when not in use. Players of all ages and abilities can enjoy both the social and competitive aspects of the game and also benefit from the healthy exercise.


The basic requirements for the sport are the availability of a hall, with a level floor, capable of accommodating one or more 45’ x 6’ bowling mats (or 40’ x 6’, the minimum permissible size, where space is an issue). As well as the playing mats the following equipment (per mat) will be required:


2 wooden fenders

2 delivery foot mats

1 wooden centre block

1 score board

1 or 2 Jacks (yellow, 32 oz heavyweight)



Players normally provide their own woods (bowls) but the Club may wish to purchase some sets of woods of different sizes or weights for new members to try before committing themselves to the purchase of their own. These need not necessarily be new woods as good, reasonably priced second hand woods are readily available.


Slipperettes can be sourced for use until players buy their own bowling shoes but members should be encouraged to purchase regulation bowling shoes at the earliest opportunity in order to protect the mats and increase their life. Bowling shoes must be worn when playing at any other club in friendly, league or competition games.


Mats and equipment are available to purchase, new or second-hand, or to hire in the first instance, and any person or group who is interested in investigating further can obtain more information from the County Secretary by e-mail or at the address below. The County Secretary can also provide a booklet entitled ‘Starting a Short Mat Bowling Club’ which contains more information on the game and the county organisation as well as useful contacts, suppliers’ addresses and guidance on establishing a club constitution.


The HSMBA can set up demonstration events for interested parties or groups, using either your own venue or the facilities of an existing club. We can also arrange for a County Officer to meet you to give you any assistance you may require in investigating or advancing the establishment of a new club.


Once a club is established we can help with group coaching and discussion on the rules of the game as well as providing advice regarding arranging friendlies with other clubs or, at the appropriate time, moving on to play in competitive tournaments or the county leagues.


Any club having the necessary equipment to play short mat bowls may apply for county membership to the County Secretary.  The annual club membership fee is £20.00. Forms can be obtained from the HSMBA County Secretary, Sue Stannard, Kings Lea, Kings Caple, HR1 4UD.


It is the prime objective of this County Association to promote and develop the game in the best interest of its members so why not come and join us. Contact any Committee Member in the first instance if you would like to discuss anything further or set up a meeting or demonstration event.