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Christmas bowls

From all of us at OLBA,  Enjoy the holidays and have a wonderful Indoor Season!


Looking for a last minute Christmas gift??

Why not buy a friend or relative a membership from your own club! Its a gift that will last all year.  


The 12 Days of Bowling Christmas

Thanks to Ken Armstrong (District 9)

Got an Item of Interest?

Send your articles, pictures, bowling tips and accounts of your accomplishments and those of others.  Put them in an email and send them to your Editor


Whats ON LINE this month:


Our Junior Bowling Aces

This December Three Canadian Juniors including Ontario's Owen Kirby, and Erik Galipeau travelles to Wales for the World Juniors. 

Junior Aces


Short Mat Bowlers Off to Sweden

The Canadian Short Mat Bowling Championships were recently held under the auspices of the CSMBA  Two bowlers from Kingston played and got an invite to Swden for the Worlds

Short Mat


Our Bowling Aces

In April 2018, Canada will be sending 10 of our best Bowlers to Australia to participate in the Commonwealth Games.  Ralph Ellis asked several of our champions to answer a few questions and we will publish their answers over the next few issues. This issue we highlight Ryan Bester.


Ryan Bester

  • 2016 - World Singles Silver Medalist
  • 2014 - Commonwealth Games Bronze & Silver Medalist
  • 2012 - World Singles Silver Medalist
  • 2007 - Atlantic Rim Singles Champion
  • 2006 - Commonwealth Games Bronze & Silver Medalist
  • 2005 - Asia Pacific Singles Champion
  • 2004 - World Pairs Champion

The Interview


Grants Grants Grants

Trillium announces new Grant application dates for 2018

Ontario Trillium Foundation


Growing Your Club

Marketing Membership and Grants!

We are here to help!

Growing Your Club


Umpires Wanted

Every Club or District needs a few umpires. The OLBA will schedule umpire clinics before and during the season.If you are interested, complete the application form to find out when the next clinic will be held.

Umpire information and Registration Forms


The Block Shot

How and when to use it

Coaching Guide


Greens Matter

To get and keep Bowlers at our clubs we need good greens with a good pace. What is the pace of your green?

Another article from "News and Views".


Greens Matter


Letters to the Editor



Member News and Notes 

News and notes for births deaths or achievments

News and Notes


How to Subscribe



Ontario Junior Bowlers are making their mark in the worlds

Owen Kirby and Erik Galpeau @ the Juniors
Canadian Bowlers at the WIBC World Indoor Bowls U25 Junior Championships held in December at the Newport Bowlng Centre in Newport Wales, included two young bowlers from Ontario, Owen Kirby, and Erik Galipeau as well as Emma Boyd from B.C.

Both Emma and Owen guided their mixed triples teams to the Championships where Emma with her partners, D Salmon (Wales) and M O'Hagan ( Scotland) beat Owen with his partners E Elmore (England) and E McIntyre (Scotland) 9-8, 8-6. Erik, also won the triples last year.

At this year's tournament there were 5 players that will be participating in the Commonwealth Games at the Gold Coast in Australia coming up in a couple of months So not only were our Juniors playing against the best U25 players in the world, they were also playing some of the best players in their respective countries. Erik had the honor of playing Dan Salomon from Wales. When Pricilla Westlake from BC won the World Bowls Singles Championship last spring in Australia, it was Dan the won the mens side SIngle Championship. Erik lost to Dan 7-6 and 8-4.

Erik Galipeau will also be heading to the U.K to play at Potter's Resort - the "Yankee Stadium" of bowls - in January to play in the WBT World Championships. Erik will be playing doubles with his coach John Bezear from Kitchener The pair won the PBA doubles championship back in the summer.  The two will be jonied by Gary Pickering at the Championships. Gary just returned from playing in the World Bowls Tour Scottish Open where he played very well. 

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Kingston and Kitchener Ladies heading to World Short Mat Championships in Sweden


As reported by Judith Steinke

Have returned home from the Canadian short mat championships and thoroughly enjoyed the opportinity to participate in this well orgaized event. I want to thank my team mates June Hickman and Josephine Maclean for bowling with me. We made a lot of new friends and certainly learned a lot. If you want to see all of the winners of the events you can go to the JJ Short Mat facebook page. They have or will be posting names and photos of the medallists.

Unfortunately you will not find us on the winners list but ...... you will find June's name as well as my name on the list of team members who are heading to the World championships being held in Sweden in March 2018. We have been invited to join the team and compete as team mates with Mary Wesko and Theresa Kennedy from Burlington in the fours event. We are very excited to have the opportunity to represent Canada at this event.


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Marketing, Membership and Grants Workshops

The OLBA currently has a number of programs designed to build your membership that have been proven in day to day practice at several Ontario clubs. The OLBA will now come to your area to visit with your local clubs either on a group or individual basis to help adapt these programs to your local experience and get your clubs growing again. We can show you how to get more people through your doors and have a higher success rate in bringing them into the game.
In addition, grants season is upon us with the very important New Horizon's grants coming up in the spring. We can help teach clubs how to apply successfully and how to use New Horizons and the Seniors Community Grant Program to help build your membership and improve the overall experience at your club. By applying for all grants that are available federally, provincially and locally, the one small club, for example, added an average of $10,000 a year to its average annual income over the past 6 years. Your clubs could easily do the same. The trick is to apply on a regular basis with programs that suit the goals of the grant.
Help us help you. Forward this email to your local district contacts to help setup meetings either individually or as a group.
I am in Toronto and I work nights so I have some flexibility in arranging district or club visits.
My days off are Tuesday Wednesday until Dec. 16 and Thursday Friday from Dec. 17 to Feb 17. Saturday morning visits are also possible in the Dec. 17 to Feb 17 period.
Talk to your membership people and we can set up a time. It is important to start recruiting in curling clubs by February at the latest.
Ralph Ellis
OLBA Marketing and Membership Director


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Ryan Bester

Fun Facts

(from BCB)

If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life what would it be?


What is one thing that you can’t live without (besides bowls of course)?


What is your favourite bowls memory?

Winning the Canadian Fours with my two brothers and Father

How were you introduced to the sport of bowls?

Through family

If you could speak another language, what would it be?


Q: You have a won World Championships in pairs and have medaled in singles at several international events. How much does being a full time professional lawn bowler affect your game.?

Ryan: I am not a full time professional at the moment. From 2007-2011 I was at the Cabramatta Bowling Club. From 2012-Present I am the Bowls Co-ordinator at the Broadbeach Bowls Club. I work 5 or 6 days a week, but do get time off to play bowls in major competitions and to represent the club. Australia would be the toughest place to play in the world, due to the very high standard of play and excellent greens. Major Singles tournaments have helped me prepare for International duties for Canada. Being at a club that fully supports me has had a major effect in my bowls the last few years. Not having to be thinking about going into tournaments and having to win to earn money. Mainly playing against the best players in the World on a weekly basis has helped me achieve my success at the International level.

Q: Aside from just bowling, you have other duties at the Broadbeach Club in Australia. What functions do you perform for your club?

Ryan: Yes it’s a full time job at the club. I open up the club each morning. Setting up the bar and making the club ready for business. I am the Greens Director as well which puts me on the Board of Directors. I am involved in all major business decisions for the club. I run all major events, such as the World Under 25 Championships, Australian Open & 7 of our tournaments. As well, I am the Bowls Co-ordinator which involves selecting teams and running all our club championships.

Q: Would you rather win a World Bowls Gold medal in singles play or skipping the fours?

Ryan: Singles as it is the Blue Ribbon event. I actually think World Bowls should be a four person team. Then four players can play the singles, two pairs and one fours. It is not right that only one person can play singles from each country. Scotland has Alex Marshall, Paul Foster, Darren Burnett & Iain McClean who could all easily win gold medals.

Q: The 1st time that I met you. You were 13 years old. (My whites were older than you.) You were skipping your family fours team In the Ontario Finals. You won a silver medal that day. How did you handle the pressure at such a young age?

Ryan: No real pressure, even now in any big games, Bowls is just a game and we should enjoy it.

Q: Obviously. You get a lot of attention because of you’re strong striking ability. This does help market you. The Australians have labelled you the Master Blaster. Striking though is only a small part of the game. What do you feel are your greatest strengths on the lawn bowling green?

Ryan: Yes a lot of people used to think I could just drive. I don’t drive nearly as much anymore. Only when the greens get 16 seconds +. Driving doesn’t win you games but can help prevent you from losing. I think my biggest strength is just being an all around player. I can draw, drive and have learned the yard on shot on the Australian Greens.

Q: What is your weekly practice routine like for on green practice, physical fitness and mental training?

Ryan: Depending what is on, I play a lot and like to take breaks from the game to re-energize. When we play for the club and it is just on Saturdays. I will have a roll up Thursday afternoon and a pairs practice game on Friday afternoon. When big events are coming up I like to take a break so I actually want to play bowls for 2 weeks in a row.

Q: Here you get to rant for a while. Why do you dislike the respot rule and sets play vs the traditional rules?

Ryan: Re-spot is by far the worst rule in the game at the moment. It changes the game completely. Bowls that are 20 feet heavy come into the game. It takes the drive away and too much luck in the game. Sets play was brought in for tv. The PBA is okay because they get money for it. For Worlds & Commonwealth Games the focus should be on finding out who the best players in the World are. Not to get a game done in 2 hours.

Q: You play at a very rapid pace. Do other players try to alter the rhythm of the game to put you off your pattern?

Ryan: Yes. I have learned there are many mind games people can play in the game. You must learn to use it to your advantage and turn the tables on your opponents when gamesmanship comes into play.

Q: What is the most exciting game that you have ever played?

Ryan: Most exciting game would be pennant or Premier league here in Australia. It is 3 rinks of 4 and add up the scores. Every time we play the strong Helensvale club it is very exciting.

Q: The Commonwealth Games in 2018 will be at your home club in Broadbeach. How much of an advantage is this for you?

Ryan: It will be a huge advantage. The last few International events have been dominated by the host country. The greens at Broadbeach will be very good though, so less of an advantage because of that. But being familiar with the surroundings and the little things the wind plays will help me for sure.

Q: Do you have a favourite green to play on?

Ryan: 15 or 16 seconds is perfect

Q: Most of your success has come outdoors. Do you play on any Australian indoor surfaces?

Ryan:I don’t go into the Australian Indoors because it is sets play and respot.

Q: What is the biggest prize that you have won in lawn bowling?

Ryan:Biggest prize is the world Pairs. Most money is $8000.


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Lan Bowls  Give it a try!



 By PETER BRIMBLE - England's Bowls Champion

(reprinted from Bowls USA Newsletter October 15, 1964)

It is often said that the block shot is hardest in the bowler's repertoire. There is something in it, but I believe many players use it too often.

There are two reasons why blocking IS not easy. First, it necessitates bowling to an empty part of the rink with no objects to assist you.

Second, the bowl is wasted if it does not finish exactly where it is required.

The obvious use of the block shot is t? impede your opponent when you are tn a favorable position, but it has at least two other uses which are often ignored.

It can be used to force your opponent to play a shot which he does not favor and, most important of all in my opinion, It acts as a visual obstruction which will distract all but the most experienced.

When can the shot be used to greatest advantage? As a general rule when the green is heavy or wet and in singles play when you are lying game.

 In singles, on a fast green, it is very difficult to place an accurate block because the swing at the end of the bowl's run will add to the difficulties already mentioned.

Even if the bowl is played perfectly, It will not worry a top-class player because a fast green allows a great variety of shots and your opponent will simply play another shot.

However when the green is heavy, you can block to great advantage because an obstruction will prevent every shot except a full-blooded drive.

Similarly when the green is wet and the 'woods' are not drawing well, a well-placed blocker will shut out a hand completely.

The only other time I like the shot. is in singles when you are lying game or within striking distance of it.

The last shot for game in singles is an art in itself and I do not want to go into it too closely in this article; but the effective use of the block shot is an integral part of correct tactics.

The third use of the shot is to take your opponent's eye and this, in my opinion, is its most importrant use.

A bowl must travel at least 15 yards in order to be alive, yet I have never seen the situation arise where the distance has been queried. Incidentally, this is one of the occasions when a measure can be used before an end is finished.

The Law was designed to prevent a bow I being placed a few feet in front of the mat, thus completely blocking at least one hand.

Most block shots are placed too near the head, in which position they can be of more use to your opponent than to you.

In order to distract your opponent, the blocker must be as far away from the head as possible so as to offer a different dimension.

Even if he bowls without looking up the green, the obstruction has registered in his sub-conscious mind, and is equally as effective as if he has it in view as he bowls.


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From the pages of the February 2015

News and Views Newsletter:

Greens Matter

To get and keep Bowlers at our clubs we need good greens with a good pace. What is the pace of your clubs green?


Now is the Time to Reflect

Most greens keepers are beginning to think about spring, green grass and getting busy working on the greens. Maybe it’s not yet the time to get on the greens, but you still can get a lot done.

This is a good time to look back and reflect on what happened last season. Were you satisfied with your greens, or more importantly were the members satisfied with the greens? After all they are the ones paying the bills and the happier they are the better the club runs.

If you kept a daily diary of what was done on the greens you can always revisit it. See what worked for you and what didn’t.

I firmly believe that keeping a daily diary or log during the bowling season is a good way to keep track of what you have done to the greens during the bowling season. If you didn’t keep one last year I suggest you get started on one.

It’s not difficult. On the top of the page you start by registering The temperature, was it sunny, cloudy, raining and how much rain. Next comes the mowing, if you have two greens which green was cut and which way east west or north south.

Then you can add when you verticut and which way so next time you verticut you know to do it in the opposite direction.

When you fertilized what kind and how much.

You cannot put too much on your log. If you keep track of everything you do on the greens it will really benefit you or if you decide to resign it will be really helpful for whoever take over for you.

Now is also a good time to get your equipment serviced. If you can do it yourself that’s good but if you have to send any of it away this is the time to do it before the golf courses send theirs for service. Come April and May the service shops get very busy so get the work done now while you wait for the warmer weather. When the good weather arrives you will be ready and raring to go.

Plan on having a soil sample you should have it sampled every two years. The last couple of years I was looking after our greens I had a rep. from a fertilizer company come over to the greens and take core samples and check the condition of the turf. He sent these samples to the lab for testing. He received the result and worked out a schedule for me of what kind of fertilizer I needed and how much to use.  

This was very helpful as his report was written in plain language there was no guessing just following his instructions very simple. Some will charge you for this service but if you buy the material from them there is a good chance this service will be free.

So see you have lot to do before the weather is good enough to get working on the greens again. Until then if you have any questions or suggestions feel free to ask and we will try to answer them as soon as possible




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Letters to the Editor: 

Comments and quetions are welcome. (





Member News and Notes 

News and notes for births deaths or achievments




Disclaimer:The information and articles provided in this email represent the opinions of the articles author and should not be considered as endorsed by or policy of the Ontario Lawn Bowls Association OR it's Directors.

Ontario Lawn Bowling Assoc.

Box 1093
Tilbury, ON ​Canada
N0P 2L0​

John Fantin

Edith Pedden


Steve Schuknecht
​Director at Large

Ron Charles
​Director at Large

Ian Howard
​Director at Large

Wayne Harding
​Director at Large


Ken Simpson

Phillip Francis
​Vice President, 

Dave Burrows
​Director at Large

Tom Roth​
​Director at Large

Jason Currie
​Director at Large

Ralph Ellis
​Director at Large