Cambridgeshire Short Mat Bowls

Cambridgeshire Short Mat Bowls

There has been more sad news from Tydd St Giles short mat bowls club in the last ten days as they have lost another two members but this had nothing to do with the current Covid-19 situation.

Cedric Eldred and Roy Godfrey both passed away following ongoing health issues.  They were long standing members of the club and our thoughts are with their families at this sad time.

23 April 2020

Sheila Ward

It is difficult to find the right words in these very surreal times but I have to relay the devastating news to you all that we lost Sheila Ward last night to Covid-19.  This is proving to be a disease which can strike anywhere but it really brings it home when it affects good friends in our bowling family.

As you will all know she was a member of Tydd St Giles short mat bowls club and a loyal bowling friend who was always there to help and to say she will be missed is an understatement.  

Our thoughts are of course with Geoff and his family at this awful time, made worse by the fact that we cannot physically be there to help.  We will not have the opportunity to say goodbye to Sheila but I am sure she will be in everyone's thoughts.

6 April 2020


Following the Coronavirus outbreak the CSMBA have decided that all competitions for the near future are to be postponed including the Harry Beeken Triples and Seniors fixtures.  It is hoped to rearrange the Harry Beeken on Saturday 13 June and new entry forms will be sent out nearer the time.

Cambs league fixtures will not be played for the next two weeks and the league season will be extended to the end of May.  This will be reviewed at the end of April with the provision of a further extension if required. Please keep June informed of any rearranged matches.

It is also recommend that club nights be suspended for the time being but should your club decide to play please use extremecaution when  handling the  bowls. Use "spray" chalk to mark touchers or nominate them, please DO NOT "lick" the chalk
as has been seen in the past.  Strict personal hygiene is of paramount importance for yourselves and others. You must act responsibly for everyone's  benefit and welfare .

Please follow the government guidelines and if you suspect  you have the Coronavirus symptoms you must self-isolate.

The  CSMBA  believes the welfare and safe being of all our members is very important.  These recommendations and  decisions have not been taken lightly but with care and consideration for each other and hopefully things will be back to normal within a few months.

With the threat of Coronavirus being ongoing  the committee will continually review the situation.

The CSMBA Committee
14 March 2020

What is Short Mat Bowls?

Welcome to the website for the Cambridgeshire Short Mat Bowls Association (CSMBA) where we hope you will find all the information you need to enjoy short mat bowls at any level.

If this is a game which you have not played before here is a brief overview.  Please also play the video above which shows a game between Alex Marshall and Ceri Jones.

Short mat bowls is played on a portable mat which is between 40 and 45 feet in length and 6 feet wide.  It is played indoors and can be accommodated in village halls, schools, sports and social clubs etc as the mats are rolled up for storage so do not need a permanent area.

You bowl to a smaller ball called the jack and the object of the game is for your woods to be nearer the jack than the opposition. However this involves skills and tactical knowledge which are gained the more you play.

The England Short Mat Bowling Association is the national body for the sport and was formed in 1984 with a nucleus now approaching 20,000 members. The game arrived in Cambridgeshire at this time and the CSMBA was formed. We currently have 18 member clubs with a membership over 400.

All our clubs adhere to the principles laid down by our Child Protection Policy and provide a safe and social environment for all ages.  For the competitive minded there are opportunities to play in various leagues and enter open competitions.

Bowls is an excellent way to keep fit, it can be played by all ages, sexes and abilities and is a very enjoyable way to spend your spare time and make some new friends.  

Why not give it a try - what have you got to lose?


I know that some of you wish to change the automatically generated password which is sent to you as it is very complicated to remember. To do this log in using the password which you have been given then click on "My Profile" under the log in box and go across to "Update my Profile".  Where it asks for your password enter the one which you wish to use in both boxes and then "Save Details".  You will now be able to use your own choice of password.  Any problems please contact me.


Due to the new government  guidelines issued today we now feel it is necessary to end the Cambs league season completely for 2019/2020.

This decision again hasn't been taken lightly.  With some village halls having closed completely  we do not want to put clubs under pressure to complete league commitments  while the effects of the Coronavirus situation continues putting members at risk of contracting the disease.

Hopefully the new 2020/2021 season  will commence in the autumn with the divisions starting as they were at the start of the 2019/2020 season.  NO CLUB WILL GO DOWN OR UP as would have been the case if all games could have been completed.

We hope that everyone understands the severity of the situation we are 
in at the moment and pull together to come out the other side a united and better organisation.

CSMBA Committee
16 March 2020

I just want to make sure that you all know that you can show your availability for games in the calendar by using the website.  

Click on the drop down arrow next to your name at the top right hand corner of the front page once you have signed in and you will see "Match Availability".  Click on this and another page will come up with all matches and it gives you the chance to mark as appropriate.

This facility is useful to the County Captains when choosing their teams so the more of you who fill it in the better.



I am very grateful to a number of our members who have recently raised with me questions regarding the ESMBA personal accident (PA) insurance and its relationship to membership and the CSMBA.  I trust that I have provided answers to the individual questions raised but it may be useful for all who regularly view our excellent website to try and summarise.

Insurance can be a very complex field and I can only summarise what is within my knowledge.  We within the CSMBA committee do not have all the answers of course, but we can always seek the information needed from experts in the field on behalf of our membership.  I and my colleagues on the committee always welcome questions from any of our membership because this is part of our role as 'elected' committee members.  Insurance matters tend to be directed to me because I previously showed an interest in this field.

The personal accident insurance is provided by the ESMBA as part of a 'paid up' members’ registration fee. This is automatic and a direct benefit of affiliation. The CSMBA, via our own membership secretary, compiles membership details for Cambridgeshire and lodges those details at regular intervals with the  ESMBA registration secretary.

The ESMBA (PA ) insurance essentially offers cover to members whilst on premises in connection with organised short mat bowls activities, including commuting to and from destinations for that purpose.  The cover benefits are quite specific dependant on injury type or regrettably even death.  There are also weekly benefits potentially payable in respect of temporary partial disablement and a hospitalisation benefit. These details are published by the ESMBA on their website.  Any claims under the policy are to be made direct to the insurers and again these details are on the ESMBA website although we can assist members in the first instance should any need help in this regard.

As with all insurance there are cover extensions, exclusions and conditions as part of the policy schedule.

To clarify, it is the ESMBA who arrange the PA insurance cover as part of membership not county associations. We in the CSMBA play our part by updating membership details and making onward payment to the ESMBA for individual registration. At this time the CSMBA have 433 registered members but this figure fluctuates a little as registered clubs (for the greater good of our sport) are fortunate enough to recruit new members.

It is essential that clubs register all of their members and within Cambridgeshire it is part of our constitution: Rule 4 a).  As you all appreciate clubs having members that are not registered potentially risk subsequent claims not being supported by the insurers and none of us want to see that situation arise.  I am as confident as I can be that all CSMBA affiliated clubs do register all members but it is possible that inadvertently some 'members' or 'part members' may be omitted for what are thought by clubs to be legitimate reasons.

We are all aware of clubs that have different private club rules and arrangements regarding guests with new individuals trying the game for a few club nights. This is acknowledged, as in interim these 'new' people would not initially be regarded as 'paid up' members, but I urge all clubs to register all their members with the CSMBA membership secretary.  This process can be done at any time throughout the year as we are regularly updating the ESMBA registration secretary with member names and assigned/affiliated clubs.

To clarify, 'one off guests' playing short mat bowls are not personally covered by the PA insurance until they are registered with the ESMBA membership secretary. There would still be cover potentially provided under the civil/public liability insurance but this is a very different cover indeed to that of the PA insurance.

All affiliated clubs should by now have received invitations to renew their civil liability insurance premiums for 2020/2021 from the brokers Sutton Winson Ltd.   This unique scheme through the ESMBA represents very good cover for a competitive premium. The annual civil/public liability premium of just £35 remains the same as previous years and the ESMBA insurance is through Allianz Insurance PLC.

We are aware that some clubs insure stored bowls club equipment via respective Village Hall policies but those who do not could insure equipment through this ESMBA scheme for £15 per annum for each £1000 unit of cover.

The insurance is only open to affiliated clubs. Any club not currently affiliated but who wish to take advantage of this insurance scheme should in the first instance contact the membership secretary to affiliate to their local association.  The association invites all clubs playing short mat bowls in Cambridgeshire to affiliate for which there are many advantages, not least access to the scheme ESMBA insurance policies.

In the event of any non-affiliated club wishing to seek further information about the CSMBA then please contact the secretary to arrange an informal chat in the first instance.  The committee are fortunate to have designated members who are prepared to visit clubs to promote and encourage the sport of short mat bowls throughout Cambridgeshire and its border clubs who are already registered or considering registering with the CSMBA.  Any club wishing to take advantage of a personal/site visit should initially contact the County Secretary.

All contact details for post holders are available via the contact section on this website.

Happy bowling and lets all hope for another successful year for the CSMBA and its many organised events and competitions.


David Wilcox

County Treasurer

28th January 2020

County A Team Squad 2019/2020
Barry Fox
Brenda Waling
Charlie Waling
Colin Buck
Chris Plaice
Dave Wilcox
Dawn Fincham
Derek Retchless
Geoff Ward
Jane Stanford
Jayne Thorpe
Jean Retchless
Jeff Saunders
Joe Peters
Josie Charter

Kevin Stanford
Linda White
Liz Mitchell
Lynn Parker
Margaret Rea
Mary Fox
Maureen Bell
Rob Bonello
Roly Fincham
Rosemary Cooper
Rosemary Richardson
Sandra Smith
Sheila Ward
Sue Thompson
Viv Hempsell
Ladies Squad 2019/2020

Ann Circus
Anyta Francis

Dawn Fincham
Edna Ruggles
Elizabeth Gay
Gwen Siggee
Jackie Saunders 
Janet Goff
Janet Hinson
Jane Spriggs
Jane Stanford

Jayne Thorpe
Jean Thorpe

Jenny Mortlock
Josie Charter
Joyce Needham
Judith Bendon
Julie Dumbarton
Liz Mitchell
Lynn Parker
Maggie Bond
Margaret Newton
Margaret Pearce
Margaret Rea
Maureen Bell
Rita Payne
Rosemary Richardson
Sandra Deller
Sandra Smith
Sue Thompson
Vera Emery
Viv Hempsell

Seniors Squad 2019/2020

Alan Francis Lynn Parker
Anyta Francis Margaret Newton
Barrie Newton    Margaret Pearce
Barry Fox    Margaret Rea
Brenda Waling Mary Fox
Charlie Waling Maureen Bell
Colin Buck Muriel Ellinor
Dave Wilcox Patrick Bretagne
Dawn Fincham Rob Bonello
Derek Retchless   Roly Fincham
Evelyn Perfitt    Ron Ellinor
Geoff Ward   Ron Welsh
Gerry Russell Rosemary Cooper
Gwen Siggee Sandra Smith
Janet Russell Sheila Hillier
Jayne Thorpe    Sheila Page 
Jean Retchless   Sheila Ward
Joe Peters Sue Thompson
John Hillier Ted Croucher
John Page   Val Ware
Joyce Needham Vera Emery
Judith Bendon    Viv Hempsell
Linda White  
Liz Mitchell  



The committee has commissioned a new batch of lapel badges which are now available for purchase.  The association has purchased 51 of the new design badges which are only available from me.  The new round lapel badge is 30mm in diameter and bears the association logo and the full association wording.  The logo is on a black background with a Cambridge blue surround and all badges have a safety pin fitting for easy securing to Jackets, coats, bags or shirts.

The badges are available for purchase at just £2.50 each, which covers the manufacturing costs plus a modest profit per badge.  The committee has kept the cost as low as possible for the benefit of all members but the badges are open to all interested parties.

The new badge has been assembled by a company in Cambridgeshire in order that we stay local and support county businesses.

I recently attended a committee meeting and promptly sold 20% of the stock to members before having the opportunity to pass the badges to Linda so they have at least proved popular in both design and price.

Please continue to cheer up the County Treasurer by purchasing quickly.

Dave Wilcox
County Treasurer
DateEvent Name 
Sat 26 Sep 2020 09:30Cambs Ladies v Suffolk Ladies Open event details
Thu 08 Oct 2020 09:30Cambs Seniors v Norfolk Seniors Open event details
Sun 11 Oct 2020 09:30Suffolk (ICC) Open event details
Sat 24 Oct 2020 00:00Suffolk Weekend Open event details