Short Mat Bowls

REPRESENTATIVE:  Sylvia Kimbrey  T: 01305 260805     E:


The Short Mat Bowls Club meet at West Stafford Village Hall most Monday evenings from September through to May at 19.30.

Generally a membership of twelve or thirteen is maintained to make the game workable. If you would like to join us or come along to see what the game entails then please contact as above.

A History of Short Mat Bowls

The origins of short mat bowls are shrouded in mystery. Rumours have it that the sport was first played in Wales by two South Africans who came to work in the area. They had played bowls outdoors in South Africa and, perhaps due to the poor climate and the long close season in this country, they began to play a simulation of the outdoor game on a strip of carpet in a church hall. Some time later, they moved to Northern Ireland and took the new game with them. Rules and conditions of play were drawn up and the game soon became well established in the Province during the 1940’s in village halls as a way for outdoor bowlers to keep their “hand in” ready for the next season. The Irish Indoor Bowling Association was formed in 1961.


Short mat bowling was bought across the water to England in 1967 by George Dix who had been sent to Ireland five years earlier by his company to establish a works factory. George was encapsulated by the game from his first experience and saw the potential of the game as an activity to be offered to members of sports and social clubs in England. The word began to spread and George started to sell mats to local clubs.