Suffolk Carpet Bowls Association

Home Winter League Summer League Cup & Plate Championships Archive Gallery Calendar

In May 2018, New Zealand sent a team of bowlers over to Potters to play in our Festival of Bowls. Following that, we stayed in touch with our new NZ friends & paid for three of their mats & jacks to be flown over to the UK.

Their mats are shorter (22 feet) than our UK carpets, a lot thinner which makes them very fast & there is no centre block.

We were then offered & accepted some accommodation & the opportunity to play in their 2019 National competitions.

So on Sunday 2 June we flew to New Zealand, for what turned out to be an amazing fortnight, both on & off the mats.

The Nationals was played over eight days (8 – 15 June) in Rotorua, a few hours south of Auckland. There are singles, pairs, triples & fours events, where you have to win three out of four qualification games, to get through to the knock-out stages. Our aim at the start was to simply win a game, but we got close to qualifying in both the pairs & triples, just missing out on a third win. Finally in the fours, we got that elusive third win, qualifying for the knock-out games on the second day. We ended up losing to the eventual winners at the last 32 stage, but had surpassed our expectations.

Playing in the NZ Nationals was an incredible experience & a massive challenge. The venue had 80 mats, like nothing we have ever seen in the UK. The NZ bowlers were so welcoming, friendly & encouraging & have such a passion for their game. We also took the opportunity to do some sightseeing whilst we were there, New Zealand is such a beautiful country.

If you are a Facebook user, please take a look at our page (English Carpet Bowlers NZ Trip 2019) here for our blogs, videos & photographs.

If you want to see how the NZ game is played, then take a look at their Youtube site.

Thoughts are now turning to a potential return visit to New Zealand in 2020 for their Nationals (6 to 13 June). It is again being held in the North Island, in Whangarei, which is a couple of hours north of Auckland.
Whilst it is still just under a year away, accommodation needs to be booked sooner rather than later. Might you be interested in going?

Are you are interested in trying out the NZ game, we have two mats in Suffolk & one in North Cambridgeshire & can give your club a demo.

We are advised that more mats are available in New Zealand, if there is interest over here to purchase any.

Please email Neil Jolly ( if you are interested or would like more information.