About : Officers : Fees : Teams : Gallery : History : Team Captains :  Constitution : Membership Form : Guide to the game : Notice board : Fixtures


 On Monday 18th March 2019 the Cluib held the Nancy Vaughan Triples competition.  Sadly due to illness and members being unavailable only 5 teams took part but nevertheless a good evening`s competetive bowling  took place.  The final was between Alan Russell with Ray Garbutt and David Pearson and Martin Bowes with Diane Pearson and Christine Noble with Alan Russell`s team taking the Cup.

Pictured below are - left to right, Alan Russell, David Pearson, Ray Garbutt and club chairman David Alder who presented the Cup.


The Club held the annual John Harforth Pairs competition on 17th December with nine pairs challenging for supremacy.  They played two games each of 30 monutes duration scoring two points for a win and one for a draw.  Two teams managed to score full points, Colin Spink with Pauline Brook and Pete Scott with Marcus Hollis.  In the deciding game the lead swung in each direction through the match but Pete Scott`s team timed it just right with a good win on the final end, winning by 7 shots to 4.   This puts new names on the trophy as neither has won this competition before.

Picture shows Marcus Hollis on the left and Pete Scott on the right.



 Helmsley Short Mat Bowling Club

 "Have you wondered what interest you can pursue during the winter months between October and March? Why not try Short Mat Bowling.

We play in the comfortable surroundings of the Town Hall in Helmsley Market Square.There you can be assured of a friendly welcome and all the help you need to understand the game."

We play socially and in various leagues competitively. Members cover a wide range of abilities from beginners to players who play at County level. Short Mat Bowling is suitable for any age.

Social bowling takes place on Mondays from 2.00pm. to 4.00pm. where light refreshments are available. There is also a session on a Monday evening between 6.30 pm. and 8.30pm. If you are not sure why not come along and watch.

Teams are entered in the Ryedale League and the Dales Short Mat Bowling League. 
To follow the progress of our teams or find out more about Short Mat Bowling in North Yorkshire click on to www.nysmba.com  or here for the Dales League and follow the links.

New players are welcome to come and join us and are offered free membership for 4 weeks to see if they wish to join us. Following on from this there is an introductory offer of half the usual fee for the remainder of the season. Spare sets of Bowls are available to try out the game, so no initial outlay is required.

Coaching is available should the need arise.

To make enquires about membership or any other matter contact the secretary Pauline Brook on 01439 770727, or the chairman, David Alder on 01751 430715.

   So, don't just sit there, come and see for yourself.











Current Officers of the Club:

Chairman:                David Alder,                                                                     
                               01751 430715                      

Secretary:               Pauline Brook
                                01439 771047

Treasurer:               Trevor Brook
                               01439 771047                    

 Fixtures secretary:   John Gray,

                                 01439 772124

 Child/Vulnerable Protection :      

Current fees:- Membership Fees are determined at our annual AGM in March, for the current year the

Fee is £....

                                 Members who wish to play in matches need to be registered with the NYSMBA and this

                                 adds £5.00 to the Membership Fee.

                              New members are given 4 free weeks then the membership fee is half of the full rate. 



Team Captain:

Ryedale League Colin Spink           01439 770703

Dales League                      Trevor Brook         01439 771047




 The John Harforth Trophy competition was held on 18th December 2017 with 10 teams of pairs entered.  Every team played two rounds each timed at 30 minutes.  Scoring was 2 points for a win and one for a tie.  Only two teams achieved 4 points so they played in a final match, again of 30 minutes but with the end played out after the whistle at 30 minutes.  It was a hard fought game with both teams on 8 shots going into the final end.  Colin Spink and Ray Garbutt won that end by one shot thereby taking the title and cup.  Runners up were David Alder and Carol Pyle.

Picture shows the winners with the trophy - Ray Garbutt on the left and Colin Spink.





The final event of the 2016/17 season was the Nancy Vaughan Triples which was held on Monday 27 March 2017. Five teams played two games each over 40 minutes with the two teams with the highest scores playing in the final. Winners were Trevor Brook with Barbara and Clive Richardson who beat Pete Scott, Christine Noble and Carol Pyle with a score of 7 - 2. It is ironic that in one of the qualifying games Pete Scott`s team scored 26 points.

Trevor Brook with the cup and Barbara and Clive Richardson.


On 19th December 2016 9 teams of pairs took part in the annual John Harforth Pairs Cup competition. Each team played two games in a round robin format then the two pairs with the most points played each other in a final. Winners were Pam Bradley and Brian Garbutt. who beat Colin Spink and Pauline Brook.. The picture below shows Pam and Brian with the cup.







Amended Constitution and Rules 25/03/2014

1.The club shall be known as the Helmsley Short Mat Bowling Club

2.The objects of the club shall be to promote and encourage short mat  bowling  for persons living in the Town or the immediate area where no similar facilities exist  and provide social bowling activities for those members who do not wish to participate in competitive matches.

3.Membership of the club shall be open to men, women and juniors on payment of the annual subscription in operation at the time of application. An appropriate subscription for junior members under the age of sixteen shall be decided by the Committee at the time of application.

4.The management of the club shall be conducted by a committee consisting of:  The Chairman, Secretary, Competitions Secretary, Treasurer and the Captains of Ryedale, Kyle Valley 'A' and 'B' Leagues.

5.The Annual General Meeting shall be held wherever practicable during the month of March and prior to the end of the Club's short mat bowling season.

6.A quorum for the Annual General Meeting, special meetings or committee meetings shall be one quarter of the members.

7.The Secretary shall keep a record of all decisions reached at the general and committee meetings and carry out all secretarial duties relating thereto. The Treasurer shall be responsible for the collection of all monies due to the Club, making all payments on behalf of the Club and shall submit to the Annual General Meeting a statement of accounts for the relevant year end.

8.The officers of the Club will be elected annually and the Committee shall have powers to make decisions on behalf of its members.

9.The Captains of the Ryedale, Kyle Valley 'A' and 'B' leagues will work together to harmonize the spirit and enjoyment of members of the Club and under the permitted rules of the various leagues, where shortages occur, and when requested to do so, will provide players to the other leagues whenever possible.

10.The laws of the game shall be those adopted by the English Short Mat Bowling Association in force at the time.

11.All members shall actively encourage new membership and particularly so in the case of juniors showing interest in the sport.

12Helmsley Short Mat Bowling Club is committed to promoting a safe environment in which children and vulnerable adulte can enjoy taking part in the game of bowls.
We believe that everyone has a duty of care towards the children and other vulnerable people, with whom they have contact, and to safeguard and protect them from abuse. This is both a moral and legal obligation. Everybody, whether administrator, official, coach, or bowler, involved in working with children, young people and the vulnerable adults has a responsibility to be informed about, and be able to recognise the different forms of abuse. They also need to know what precautions or steps should be taken for its prevention and what action to take if an incident occurs. 
13In the event of the Club ceasing to exist any assets after all liabilities
have been settled will be disposed of to a charity and the existing Committee members at the time will decide the appropriate Charity.

14Application for membership will be posted on the Club Notice Board for a period of seven days to obtain members views. However the final say will rest with members of the committee.




How to apply to become a member of Helmsley Short Mat Bowling Club.

 Click here for printable Application Form



 A History of Helmsley Short Mat Bowling Club

    In 1989 the Helmsley Town Hall Management Committee approached Helmsley outdoor bowling club to see if there was any interest in short mat bowling.  The initial interest came from when a small group were looking for a winter activity was invited to Ampleforth to try short Mat Bowling. After a few attempts at the game it became clear that there was sufficient interest to form the club.

   The Town Hall Management Committee offered not only to supply two mats but to allow the use of the Town Hall free of charge and on 22nd January 1990 the club was born with around 18 members.   Robin Carpenter was Chairman, John Harforth the Secretary and Jean Potter the Treasurer.
   They soon organised friendly matches with neighbouring clubs of Ampleforth, Slingsby and Welburn and it was not long before they formally set up the Ryedale League - the first such league north of York - in 1990.   In 1993 they were also one of the seven founding clubs of the Kyle Valley League.  The club still enters three teams in these two leagues to this day.
   The club has been reasonably successful, winning the Tilley Cup in the Ryedale League in 1996,1998,2003 and 2010, winning the Ryedale League in 2009/10 and the Kyle Valley Knock Out Cup in 2011.
   The club runs two internal competitions for members - the John Harforth Cup for pairs and the Nancy Vaughan Cup for triples.  Both are popular with members with almost everyone taking part.
Membership peaked in 2000 with 42 members and while current membership is slightly lower there are still sufficient members to run the three teams. However new members are always wanted and made to feel welcome.
   Organisation of the club in the early years was not on any formal basis and it was in later years the club structure was set up.

Year Chairman  Secretary  Treasurer
2005/6 Eric Burrell  Len Bradley  Eric Burrell
 2006/7  David Buckley  Len Bradley  George Gibbs
 2007/8  John Armstrong  Len Bradley  George Gibbs
 2008/9  Len Bradley  Len Bradley  George Gibbs
 2009/10  Len Bradley  Len Bradley  George Gibbs
 2010/11  Len Bradley  Len Bradley  George Gibbs
 2011/12  Len Bradley  Christine Noble  George Gibbs
 2012/13  Len Bradley  Christine Noble George Gibbs 
 2013/14  David Alder  Christine Noble  George Gibbs
 2014/15  David Alder  Christine Noble  Ruth Pyle
 2015/16  David Alder  Christine Noble  Clive Richardson
 2016/17  David Alder  Christine Noble   Clive Richardson
  2017/18             David Alder                           Pauline Brook                     Trevor Brook



Team Captains:

Len Bradley was Captain of the Ryedale League team from 2005/6 until his resignation in March 2013. Geoff Clark took on the role of Captain for the 2013/14 season. Following on from Geoff Clark Colin Spink took over for the 2014/2015 season.
Trevor McKay was Captain of the Kyle Valley 'A' Team for three years from 2006/7 but due to ill health he stepped down at the AGM in March 2009, when Hylton Pyle took over. Hylton then captained our team when we moved into the newly formed Dale League for the 2016/2017 season
Geoff Clark was Captain of the Kyle Valley 'B' Team in 2006/7. Eric Burrell took over for the 2007/8 season but became ill and John Armstrong took over until his move to York. Geoff Clark resumed his role in 2008/9 and then Pam Bradley was appointed as Captain as from 2009/10. The "A and 'B teams were amalgamated into one team for the 2015/2016 season.
Barbara Johnson was Fixtures Secretary for a few years but retired at the 2008 AGM. John Gray was then appointed to the position.





 #Past seasons








The Nancy Vaughan Triples 2014


Nancy Vaughan Triples 2014
Eighteen members entered this years Nancy Vaughan Triples Competition which was played out on the evening of Monday 3rd March 2014.

To ensure the competition could be completed on one evening the 6 teams were drawn to play three games of 30 minutes each with the highest scoring teams playing each other in the final. Teams skipped by Colin Spink and Alan Russell reached the final with Alan Russell's team just edging a win by one shot. Pictured is Alan Russell on the far right with his team of John Gray, left, and Colin Lofthouse in the centre.




Alan Russell and Pam Bradley, winners of the John Harforth Pairs competition held at Helmsley on Monday 9th December 2013 with their trophy.  Twelve teams took part in the competition during which competitors each played two games in two groups with the winners of each group playing each other in the final.  Runners up were Hylton Pyle and Christine Noble.                         


 Spectators watching intently as the final for the Nancy Vaughan Triples reaches it`s climax at Helmsley Town Hall.



 Then Chairman, Len Bradley (second from right) presenting the Nancy Vaughan Cup to winning Skip, Pete Scott on 12 February 2013.  Also in picture are Brian Garbutt (left)  and Pam Bradley, the other members of Pete`s team.



 Colin Spink and Pam Bradley being presented with the John Harforth Pairs Challenge Trophy by Chairman Len Bradley (right) in December 2012.

 Helmsley`s team of Jean Swiers (holding the cup), and from left to right, Pam Bradley, David Alder, George McDowell, Pete Scott, Hilda Thomas and Len Bradley were the 2012 winners of the Kyle Valley Knock Out Cup. 



 Guide to the game

The game is played either as singles, or teams of 2, 3 or 4 players. Depending upon the rules for the match each player will play with either 2,3 or 4 bowls each.

The Bowling Mat:  The game takes place on a long narrow mat, which measures approx 45 feet long and 6 feet wide. 

A small ball, called the jack is placed at one end of the mat and positioned on the central line.

A small block of wood is positioned in the centre of the mat which players have to bowl around without touching it. This block prevents players from bowling directly at the jack so encouraging more skilful play.

When bowling players must keep one foot on the delivery mat and the second foot must stay within the two white lines on either side of the delivery mat. Players on opposing sides play their shots alternatively until all of the bowls have been played. This whole process is called an 'end.' Matches have a set number of ends. Where games have more than one person on each side there needs to be an order of play. The 'lead' player bowls first and the 'skip' bowls last, between there are 'seconds' or 'seconds' and 'thirds.' 

Upon completion of an end, the bowl or bowls judged to be nearest to the jack build up the score for their team. When the score is agreed the jack and delivery mat swap places and a new end begins with the winners of the previous end leading off.










 Notice board