A game for all, says champ

Taupo Times - - INDOOR BOWLS CHAMP’S BUSINESS TAUPO STYLE - ROBERT STEVEN

Indoor bowls is much like chess, the new na­tional sin­gles champ says.

Wayne Baker, an ar­borist from Hamil­ton, won in the open sin­gles cat­e­gory at the 2017 New Zealand In­doors Bowls Cham­pi­onships at the Taupo Events Cen­tre on Sun­day.

The na­tional cham­pi­onship – which ran from Sun­day to Fri­day – saw 1165 play­ers from across the coun­try com­pete in sin­gles, pairs, triples and fours matches.

The aim of bowls is to roll four balls down a mat to­wards the kitty [white ball], and to have one of your balls closer to the kitty than your op­po­nent’s ball.

‘‘It can be a strate­gic chess game – try­ing to out­play or out­wit your op­po­nent,’’ Baker said.

‘‘The key to play­ing well is con­sis­tency and be­ing able to judge the right weight and an­gles.’’

Baker started play­ing when he was young.

‘‘Mum and dad took us down to the lo­cal club when I was 12 years old,’’ he said.

‘‘Then I started play­ing at tour­na­ments across the coun­try, in Napier, New Ply­mouth and Christchurch.

‘‘When I was 23 years old, I won the na­tional pairs com­pe­ti­tion with my brother,’’ he said.

Indoor bowls was of­ten thought of as a sport for the older gen­er­a­tions, Baker said. ‘‘But it is a sport for all ages. ‘‘It’s a sport where you can play against your par­ents or even your grand­par­ents.

‘‘Any­one can play and any­one can win on the day,’’ he said.

Baker said un­like other sports, all the equip­ment is pro­vided. ‘‘It’s an easy sport to get into.’’ * Lake Taupo Indoor Bowls plays on Tues­days at Ro­tary House from 7pm.

The Devil joined two girls dressed as an­gels for the triples round.

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