Team Selection Seems to be a Hot Topic!

Cambridge Park is enjoying the start of its Centenary Year and we are so pleased to see many members whom we haven’t seen for the last 12-14 months come along to play and enjoy the bar facilities.  Tomorrow, being 17th May and Roadmap Step 3, I am sure it will warm up considerably and we won’t want to be inside with our drinks unlike the last 4 weeks when it’s been bitterly cold in that wind!

Members come in all varieties – indoor, outdoor, combined and social.  Of the playing members, some want to practise on their own, some want to play with a friend, some want to roll up, some want to play competitive games, some can only play midweek, some can only play evenings and weekends due to work.  This is great because it means we are a club of human being members and not a factory of robots!

So, on to matches.  Teams are selected from those who sign up to play.  For the ‘big’ games, we will select the strongest team similar to football, cricket, rugby, hockey, golf, tennis, rowing, bridge, etc.  This does not necessarily comprise the best players as there is no point putting 4 skips on one rink which, on paper, looks strong but, in fact, has 3 players not playing in their strongest position, and leaves the other rinks without a ‘normal’ skip.  Similarly, a football club manager wouldn’t put his 11 best players on the field if 10 of them were forwards, leaving the goalie trying to scoop up at the back!

For League matches, there are restrictions.  Both R&B and SM have only recently allowed ladies to join the teams (pushing bowls a bit further into the 21st Century, weyhey!) and, not necessarily, in equal numbers to the chaps.  We have a happy band of ladies who are itching to play in these games but won’t be selected due to League rules  (grrr!!)

For club friendlies, teams are still selected from those who sign up to play.  We are trying to select them a week at a time to ensure that everyone who signs up in that week will get at least one game and not be left on the subs bench regularly.  We all have to take turns on the subs bench.  It’s only fair.  (Yesterday both subs were called in to play and we then had to get another at the last minute when a player dropped out sick!)

Bowls England have relaxed the rules for numbers on the green from tomorrow and we could have 48 playing.  When we set up Friday’s “Centenary Match”, we were restricted to 5 triples only, totalling 30 players.  We have 21 signed up, so I have asked Norman if he could ask our opposing teams if they could bring 4 players rather than 3 and we play rinks.  If they can’t, 5 x CP triples will play 5 x opposing teams and 2 more triples from Cambridge Park will play each other, so everyone gets to play.

Going forward, Richard H and Gordon have offered to help with team selection.  Great big thanks to them.  It is not an easy task when you’re juggling how many are required from how many who have signed up and who plays best in each position and personalities on the green.  Anyone who has had to select teams for any sport will know how difficult it is whether at school, club, county or national level.  They have to have a very thick skin!

“Why haven’t they put X in?  It’s ridiculous leaving  him/her out!”  I very much doubt I am not the only one who has made those comments more than once and will probably make them again.  Oh, I must be  human!

Anyway, I hope this explains a bit more on how it works.  If we get it wrong occasionally, I apologise.  We are all doing our very best for you, our members, without whom we would not have a club and that doesn’t bear thinking about!


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  1. Kevin Keown says:

    R&B League is completely open now so Ladies can play in any numbers on any rink . Check with Richard Hackwell to confirm.
    Kevin K
    Hampton BC

  2. D J Slaughter says:

    Thanks, Kevin. Richard came back and confirmed that it’s now open.
    What about Middlesex League? Is that just men?
    We’ve sorted out South Middlesex now!

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