The Roland Starkie May Day triples tournament took place on Monday with 50 teams taking part

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Raring to go: Competitors in the Roland Starkie Triples Tournament, played at Carlisle Subscription on Monday
Raring to go: Competitors in the Roland Starkie Triples Tournament, played at Carlisle Subscription on Monday

The Roland Starkie May Day triples tournament took place on Monday when 50 teams took part on six greens throughout the county.

The Tournament commenced in 1979 and was part of the celebrations of Cumberland’s Diamond Jubilee year. No less than 96 fours took part in that first tournament, there being 12 teams on each of the eight different venues.

Although numbers today are much reduced, it is good to see that the tournament continues and it does provide a useful loosener at the start of the outdoor season.

For quite a number of years, it has been plagued by poor weather conditions but, on Monday, the weather was somewhat kinder, not particularly warm but at least it was dry.

I took part on the Subscription green which was a reasonable pace but I understand from comments from some of those also at Subscription that there are a number of greens which are far far slower.

Good luck to those playing on those greens.

The 16 qualifiers in draw order for the knockout section of the competition are as follow, T Sanderson (Shap) v G Steele (Castle Park); A Prince (Whitehaven) v E Orchard (Silloth); J Walker (Whitehaven) v P Cotterell (Wetheral); E Harrison (Whitehaven) v V Emmerson (Fitz Park); D Sampson (Appleby) v G Creighton (Aspatria); G Fox (Kirkbride) v D Bedlington (Wigton Park); M Foord (Wigton) v K Johnston (Courtfield); M Harrison (Penrith Friars) v A Wilson (Cleator Moor).

These games are to be played by June 6, the first named in each tie to offer dates and the games are to be played on neutral greens by agreement.

Carliol Leagues

Looking ahead, and one week today the Carliol League gets under way.

It has, unfortunately, in recent seasons been dominated by just two or three of the clubs in the league but last year a new handicap scheme was introduced to run alongside the normal league system.

The system has for some time been used in certain indoor leagues in Carlisle and has certainly ensured that interest in the leagues where there is quite a large gulf between the best and the worst is maintained throughout the season.

In its first season in the Carliol League, it certainly ensured that there was not a vast gulf between top and bottom, indeed on the last night of fixtures any one of five clubs could have won the Thursday League.

Hopefully, in the coming year, teams and their players will be more aware of how the handicap system operates and will go into each game with two targets to aim for.

Last year, the prize money was provided by a sponsor but, in the coming season, it has been agreed that the sealed handicap prize will be discontinued and the money from that competition will be allocated to the winners of the Thursday and Friday handicap leagues.

Just so players are aware of how the system operates, I can outline the basics here.

Each team will be given a handicap for the first game of the season.

The calculation of that handicap will be done by taking account of the previous six results. In this case, it will be the last six results from the 2016 season.

The following week the handicap will be calculated by using the first game this season and the last five from last season, the process continuing weekly for each successive week.

The last six weeks of last season saw Brampton score a total of 369 shots which equates to 62 shots per game, similarly Wetheral scored 383 shots which equates to 64 per game.

As Wetheral scored two more shots than Brampton, they have to give two shots start to Brampton.

Simples!

Next Thursday night, the fixtures are Brampton +2 v Wetheral, Courtfield v West End +18, Dalston v Subscription +6 and Holme Head v Stanwix +1.

Indoor Bowls

For those bowlers who can no longer manage the outdoor game, I am pleased to say that the Cumbria Indoor Bowls Club reopened yesterday for play at 10.00am to noon.

Next week the club will be open at the same time on both Monday and Wednesday.

The usual Jumble will be taking place but there are rinks available for booking.

If last year is anything to go by, those wishing to play should book in advance rather than just turning up as I have a feeling that there will be increased numbers this year.

The two sessions are of course open to both members and non-members and there will be light refreshments available up to 11.40 each day.

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