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Short Mat Bowling

During the winter, after the outdoor bowls season has finished, we play Short Mat bowls in our beautiful 1930's clubhouse. This runs all through the winter from September until the start of April and is open to everyone, regardless of if you bowl outdoors or not. We have members of the Short Mat section who play outdoors, don't play outdoors and many who used to play outdoors but find they haven't the strength to play the green anymore. Short Mat is a fun and very social game and many find it a welcome distraction from the wind and rain of the long winter days.

What is Short Mat Bowls?

Short mat bowls is similar to outdoor bowls in some ways but also a very different game in many other ways. Like outdoor bowls the aim of the game is still the same, get as close to the jack as possible with as many shots as you can. Instead of playing on a green, it is played indoors on a mat roughly 40 feet in length with a wooden block in the centre of the mat at the halfway mark. You must bowl around the central block to get to the jack, which is trickier than it sounds as you cannot bowl off the edge of the mat or touch the block. The weighted jack is not bowled, but placed at varying lengths decided by the skip, on a centre line at the other end of the mat. The position you bowl from is fixed and your feet must be kept inside a specified area in front of the mat. Like outdoor bowls, there is a ditch area at the end of the mat that woods must stay out of unless they are a touching wood or the jack. Games can be played at singles, pairs, triples and fours. 

Short mat is a very social game, arguably more social than outdoors given that it is played in a close and intimate environment. It is a great way to keep your hand in over the winter months and for some people is their main bowling game. Either way, a lot of fun is had and everyone is always welcome.


We run 3 weeks of free special introduction sessions on Sundays to teach prospective new players how to play Short Mat. If you are interested feel free to come to the Short Mat meeting (dates found in the news section) and ask for more details, or otherwise contact the Short Mat Captain and they will be happy to advise you.

Social Bowling

Social bowling takes place every weekday and is open to players of all abilities.
Details of session times can be found here

League Bowling

We run 1 team in the Dorset Short Mat League called the Broadstone Kites and they are in Division 3, having been promoted 2 years in a row. The team consists of a fours and triples rink and matches are normally played at home on a Friday evening starting at 7pm.

Why not come along and have a go – you will be made most welcome.

Contact the Short Mat Captain - Maurice O'Brien – 01202 693893 - for further details.

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