Rookie Rollers now accessible at home

by Lachlan Williams

With lockdowns and COVID restrictions still having an impact in parts of the country, Bowls Australia’s (BA) Rookie Rollers program has unfortunately been affected, with many planned sessions put on hold.

As with many things during this pandemic, this disappointment has quickly turned into an exciting opportunity.

BA’s Regional Bowls Manager (RBM) team has developed a list of Rookie Rollers At Home activities for students, young bowlers and families to give a go in lieu of participating in Rookie Rollers or heading down to their local club.

All the Rookie Rollers At Home activities can be completed at home with everyday items.

While it won’t be quite the same, the skills developed through these activities can still be transferred to bowls.

Give them a go, have some fun and maybe you’ll learn something new!

We would also love to see everyone giving Rookie Rollers At Home a go, so if you are trying out some of the activities, send a video through to lwilliams@bowls.com.au or shoot us a message via Facebook.

Rookie Rollers At Home Activity List

Download the Activity List here, or see below for the full list.

In place of a Rookie Rollers or normal bowl you can play with a tennis ball. If you would like to replicate the bias you can try taping half of the tennis ball.

If you don’t have a tennis ball you can attempt to create your own by scrunching up paper and using tape to replicate a round, ball shape. You can focus on making one side heavier to act as a bias.

In place of a jack you can use everyday household items. These can include: books, empty drink bottles, shampoo or conditioner bottles, pillows, towels, paper scrunched up like a small ball.

Roll Around The Clock

What you need

  • Chalk – to draw the clock or;
  • Papers – to draw and cut out numbers or;
  • Objects – to represent numbers on a clock
  • Tennis ball – to roll

How to play

Draw a clock or lay out the numbers of a clock in a circle and bowl to each number. You can’t move forward until you hit the target.

Change it

  • Time yourself and try to beat your/your remote classmate’s time.
  • Make your circle larger or smaller to make it more/less difficult.

Bowl The World Over

What you need

  • Pictures from around the world or;
  • Printer and paper – to find pictures and print or;
  • Draw places around the world you know/want to travel
  • Tennis ball – to roll

How to play

Put up pictures from different places around the world you want to travel to and bowl towards them, aiming to get as close as possible to them.

Change it

Adjust the distance so you’re bowling closer or further from the pictures

Bowl It Over

What you need

  • 5 x Targets – to knock over. These can be books, shampoo/conditioner bottles, empty drink bottles, anything that won’t break
  • Tennis ball – to roll

How to play

Set up your five targets at varying distances from your starting position. Aim to knock over the first target before moving to the next target etc.

Change it

  • Time yourself and make a competition between your class mates on who can knock over all targets the fastest.
  • Add more targets and try to knock them over in the same time frame.
  • Take targets away to make it easier

Bowls Yoga

What you need

  • Tennis ball – to roll
  • Target – object to bowl towards. Can be an empty bottle, a pillow, a book etc.

How to play

Downward dog – check the line to the target

Warrior 1 – arms raise in anticipation for the bowl

Warrior 2 – point the bowl at the target

Lunge and bowl – bowling the bowl towards the target

Change it:

Slow down the movements to concentrate on rolling towards the target, getting a bigger stretch.

Adjust the distance between you and the target

Tug of war chair game (2-person game)

What you need

  • Chairs – to roll under
  • Tennis ball – to roll

How to play:

Line the chairs up in a hallway with one person on each end of the chairs. Each person has a go of bowling under the chairs in between the chair legs. Each time the ball gets bowled all the way through to the other person, you get one point. First one to 10 points wins.

Change it

  • Adjust the distance between the chairs to extend the playing distance.
  • Take steps closer to or further away from the chair to make it easier or harder.

Roll into the square

What you need

  • Masking tape – to mark out a square or;
  • Chalk – to mark out a square or;
  • Objects – to create a square. You can use books, bottles of water/shampoo/conditioner etc.
  • Tennis ball – to roll

How to play

Create a square where you have room. May be the lounge room, hallway, outside. Set yourself a timer and aim to roll the ball into the square. Each time you get it in the square you get 1 point. Calculate how many points you got within your set time and try to beat it next time.

If you have more people in your household that want to play you can get into teams and make a competition. Each time the ball is rolled into the square you get 1 point.

Change it

  • Adjust the distance to the square to make it harder to easier.
  • Have a 20 second double or triple point fire round.
  • Place an object in the middle of the square and whoever gets closest to the object gets an extra point.
  • Blindfold to make it harder to more exciting.

Ramp Bowls

What you need

  • Tennis ball – to roll
  • Something Flat – Flat piece of wood, a book etc. to use as a ramp

How to play

Lay the something flat up against an empty coffee table and attempt to roll your bowl up the ramp to land on the table. Set a 2 minute timer. For every bowl you get that lands on the table, give yourself 1 point. After two minutes tally up the points.

Change it

  • Take a step back every time you land the bowl on the table.
  • Have a 20 second fire round where points are doubled.

Bowls AFL

What you need

  • Tennis ball
  • Targets – empty bottles, old cd’s/dvd’s
  • Tea towel – to use as a scoring zone

How to play

Set up the targets as ‘goal posts’ with the tea towel or towel set up behind the goals. Stand five paces back and aim to roll in between the middle goal posts to score a goal (6 points). The goal will only count if the ball stops on the tea towel. If the ball rolls in between the outer two zones, you score 1 point. If you have more than one player you can practice bowling to each other before rolling for goal. Tally up your points. 

Change it

  • Take steps back every time you get a goal
  • Practice bowling from different angles (move more to the right or left of the goals). 

Bowls Cricket (2-person game)

What you need

  • Empty bottles – to act as wickets
  • Masking tape, chalk or targets – to mark out a scoring zone with a target in the middle of the scoring zone. 
  • Tennis ball – to act as a bowl

How to play

  • Batter has to bowl their ball into the scoring zone. If the ball lands in closer to the front of back it is one run, if the bowl lands in the middle of the scoring zone close to the target it is two runs. Aim to make as many runs as you can. 
  • The bowlers needs to set up their empty bottle wickets and aim to bowl them all over to get the batter out. 
  • Batter tally’s how many points they made and swap. 
  • Whoever makes the most runs win. 

Bowls Basketball

What you need

  • Tennis ball – to act as a bowl
  • Tea towel – to act as a ‘hoop’ 

How to play

  • Set up the hoop close to a wall. Take five or six paces back and aim to bowl into the hoop. 
  • Use the wall as a backboard and try to roll the ball so it comes off the wall and into the hoop. 
  • Two points for every bowl in the hoop. 

Change it

  • Create a three point line with targets that is further away from the hoop. Try ten or 12 paces away. Every time a bowl lands in the hoops from here, it is three points and not two. 
  • Try scoring from different angles by bowling more to the left or right.