The Abuelos Conejeros (Lanzarote Grandparents) Canarian bowling competition returns tomorrow, and will see 125 teams of pensioners battle for the title over at least 16 Wednesdays.
The bowling competitions are a fantastic spectacle, as male and female teams of bowlers, often wearing team uniforms , gather to challenge each other. This year, the competition will taker place at the Club Ajei in San Bartolomé.
Canarian bowls is the second-most popular sport on Lanzarote after football in terms of registered participants, and the Grandparents event is the most popular event on the island – a social event as much as a competition.
Sadly, the event was cancelled for two years during and after the pandemic, returning last year, when the title was won by Los Chicos de Nazaret (The Nazaret Boys) and the women from La Huerta Vieja (The Old Vegetable Garden) in Yaiza.
Canarian Bowls is played on a cancha (pitch) formed of picón and sand. There are usually wooden back walls, while the playing area is marked with string. The bowls weigh around a kilogramme each and are made of jatoba wood or a composite material. Older players prefer wood while competitive bowlers opt for the more uniform composite bowls.
A coin is tossed and the winning team chooses either to throw the small ball called the boliche or gets to pick the colour of bowls. Once the boliche is thrown the team that threw it then cast a bowl as close as possible to it. The other team then attempts to get closer. Turns are not alternate, but instead go to whichever team whose bowls are not closest.
Each side throws 12 bowls, usually three each for four players, and at the end of the game the team with the bowl or bowls closest to the boliche wins. If they have two or more bowls closest they’ll win two or more points. Games continue until one team reaches 15 points (women) or 18 points (men).
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