Chris Hornby (from left) Lill Langstrom, Lynda Bell and Joan Foster collect the balls after an end is finished. The ball is weighted on one side so the thrower can curve the ball from one end of the carpet around other balls to land close to the little white ball called the Jack.

SMART 55: Carpet bowling great exercise for mind and body

Carpet bowling is a great game for seniors to keep both their bodies and minds humming happily.

Carpet bowling is a great game for seniors to keep both their bodies and minds humming happily.

It is played with the aid of canes to move the balls around which is also handy if you happen to have mobility issues.

Played indoors, like conventional bowling, it is also a great winter sport.

In addition the physical activity required to throw the balls down the long green carpet that serves as the bowling alley, there is lots of strategy involved.

The trick with this game is that the balls are weighted on one side which allows the bowler to throw the ball with a long curving roll  from the outside of the carpet to the intended target at the other end of the playing field.

The game is usually played in teams of four, but at the Seniors Activity Centre teams can be two, three or four people depending on who shows up to play on that particular day.

The lead on the starting team throws a tiny white ball called a Jack down the alley to set the target for all other throws.

“It’s never over until the last ball is thrown,” said Ellen Wiege as the last game played at the Seniors Activity Centre Monday afternoon, finished with an astonishingly creative draw.

The game is played by Carpet Bowling Association of B.C. rules with penalty points assigned to each position if the Jack is accidentally knocked out of play: one for the lead, two for the second, three for the third and four for the skipp.

One point is scored in the positive for the team whose ball(s) land closest to the Jack without knocking it out of play.

Carpet bowling is great exercise for people of any age as regular player Pearle Geredzuk, now 90, who is featured on our cover,  will attest.

Carpet bowling is played at the Seniors Activity Centre on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

Seniors 50 and older can join the Seniors Activity Centre for just $20 a year and enjoy activities such as yoga, quilting, gentle fit, bridge, cribbage and other activities for a small participation fee of about 50 cents.

Lunches are also available for a small fee.

Williams Lake Tribune

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