Short Mat at Oak Bay

Short Mat Bowling at Oak Bay

Updated 2019-02-04 removing references to the shortened Fall 2018 session.   
Play buttonThis video clip shows 11 thrilling seconds of short mat play at our club! 🙂

For those who are familiar with the game at Oak Bay LBC, the usual links to calendar, bookings, etc., can be found at Short Mat Online. Those interested just in leagues or tournaments can refer to the new Short Mat Leagues and Short Mat Tournaments webpages.

For those new to the game at our club, read on below . . .

A general description of the game can be found on the main Short Mat page of this website. That page also has a link to a video where you can see how a (singles) short mat game is played. You may also find it helpful to talk to one of the current players and ask them how you get to play in one of our daily casual Daily Draw games in Anderson House.

We play the short mat game throughout the fall and winter months.

The annual short mat season is comprised of two sessions: the fall session lasts about 11 weeks from October to December; the 13-week winter session runs from January to April. A typical session consists of about 300 scheduled games. The current Fall 2018 session has been shortened to start on November 13, because of the Anderson House renovations.

All members of the club, including social members, are entitled to play.

Normally, if you wish to play in one of the four competitive leagues which run every session, you need to complete the Short Mat League Entry form  at the start of each session. 

If you intend to play in daily draw games ONLY,  you just book yourself into the daily draw game(s) of your choice. See “Booking Daily Draw Games” below.

We have two short mat rinks that can accommodate no more than twelve players at one time, so all games during the session have to be scheduled. The mat is open for play 24 hours a day, but the 12-hour booking period starts at 9:00 a.m. and is divided into six two-hour time slots for each rink, finishing at 9:00 p.m. If you wish to play outside those times, you can, but there is no reservation system for that.

More information about how we organize short mat games appears below.

Click on the headings below to open up the details. Any images will expand when you click on them. Click again to close the detail.

Games Format

Shortmat_logoWe play the short mat game according to the CSMBA Rules supplemented by our own Local Short Mat Rules.

We play singles, pairs and triples short mat games, with players having four, four and three bowls each respectively. A game is typically 18 ends for singles, 14 ends for pairs and triples. A singles game takes about 75 minutes, pairs about 100 minutes and triples almost two hours.

We have two pairs leagues and either one or two singles leagues each regular season: A Pairs, B Pairs, C Singles and D Singles. The leagues are “round-robin,” meaning every player in the league is scheduled to play every other player once during the season. There is a limit of 12 entrants per league, which requires 66 games to complete a round robin. A and C are considered the more competitive leagues.

One or more daily draw games are scheduled every day—at different times, depending on the day of the week. The short mat daily draws are similar to the lawn bowling daily draws of the summer season, except that no more than twelve players can play at the same time. Only the times of the daily draw games are scheduled; players book themselves into whichever games suit them. The list of players in each daily draw is available by clicking on the event time in the online Short Mat Calendar.

Every Wednesday there is a Women’s Drop-in session; the Men’s Drop-in is on Thursdays. These are the most informal sessions; you can come any time in the two-hour time slot and play as much or as little as you want. 

Short Mat Registration
Short Mat Registration Instructions

If you wish to play in the A, B, C and/or D leagues,you register for each three-month short mat session by completing the online Short Mat League Entry form.  The league entry form for Winter 2019 is available and closes December 9, 2018.

If you intend to play in Daily Draw games only, you just reserve a place in the Daily Draw game(s) of your choice by selecting it from the online Short Mat Calendar.

The regular Short Mat League Entry form, which we will use in the 2019 Winter Session, asks you to state your usual availability during a typical week, and then state exceptions, such as absences. The precise details of your availability each week can then be generated for all 546 time slots in the 13-week session. These data are then entered into a computer program which matches players for all their league games at a time when both sides are available.

You can see if you are currently properly registered by inspecting the List of League Players.  For all the details about enrollment, see the Short Mat Enrollment page.

Personal Schedules
Personal Schedules Page

About two weeks after the registration deadline for the next short mat session, each league player is provided with an individual listing of all his/her league game times.

Personal schedules are published once at the beginning of the season. After that, players manage their own schedule changes. They can then ask for these changes to be reflected in the online short mat schedule.

Short Mat Schedule
Calendar page

The Short Mat Schedule is published online at the start of each session. It shows every scheduled league game and the daily casual Daily Draw games for the 50-60 players who usually register for short mat.

Players consult the short mat schedule to: verify when they are scheduled to play a league game; see when Daily Draw games are scheduled; and to find vacant spots on the schedule for rescheduling purposes. To make it easy to identify your games, the schedule is colour-coded by league.

As soon as the schedule is published, you will be able to book a place in Daily Draw games to complete your personal short mat schedule for the session. You can also book your own private games in vacant slots.

The online schedule is kept up-to-date with any changes throughout the session.

Player Codes
Personal Codes Page 3

Before the start of the season, you will be assigned player codes.

If you are playing in the B pairs league, you are assigned a code such as “B10,” meaning that you are a member of pair #10 in the B Division. You may also be playing in the C singles league, in which case you will also receive a C code.

So each player can have up to two codes, e.g., A03, C11. Codes are used instead of player names on the Short Mat Seasonal Schedule.

A league game between players whose codes are C03 and C07 would appear on the schedule as ‘C03 v C07′. The List of Player Codes for the current season is always available online and on the Anderson House notice board.

During the pre-season registration period, once you have registered you can check your status on the List of League Players (There is a possibility that your codes may change anytime up to the start of the session.)

Daily Draw Schedule

There will be at least one casual daily draw game every day at 11:00 a.m., unless preempted by a tournament. The formats of the games vary depending on the number of players.

In the Winter 2016 session, we introduced a men’s drop-in session and a women’s drop in session. The format for these sessions is not specified; it will be up to the participants as to the game formats they prefer.

The following times have been chosen on the basis of popularity over the past few sessions.

Here is the normal weekly schedule for daily draw games for both the winter and fall sessions. It is possible that these games might occasionally be cancelled—if they conflict with a tournament, for example. The online calendar will always have the up-to-date schedule.

Schedule of Daily Draw and Drop-in Games

  Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun


—- —- 9:00 a.m.
9:00 a.m.
—- —- —-
Daytime Draw  11:00 a.m.. 11:00 a.m. 11:00 a.m.. 11:00 a.m. 11:00 a.m. 1:00 p.m. 11:00 a.m.
Evening Draw —- —- 7:00 p.m. —- —- —- —-

Booking Daily Draw Games
Triples Bookings Page

We use the RSVP system for booking places in the Daily Draw. RSVP allows you to make a booking by clicking on the calendar entry for the game you want.

When you wish to book yourself into a casual daily draw game (which is the indoor equivalent of the summertime Open Draw), you first consult the online short mat calendar to see the times when the Daily Draws are scheduled.

You will see that there are eight Daily Draws each week, at least one every day and two on Wednesdays.

Click on the game you want to play in. A pop-up window will appear that instructs you to click on the title of the window.

A screen will appear for your game, confirming the date and time and giving you the opportunity to reserve a place or cancel a previous booking. You can also see who else has already booked in this game. Your own booking would be immediately added to the list of players.

Short Mat Tournaments

We usually plan to hold club tournaments on two of the weekends in both the fall and the winter sessions. We also stage a multi-day interclub invitational tournament at least once a year. For tournaments, we usually lay down a third mat in Carnarvon House to accommodate more players. The format of each club tournament is decided when enrollments close, but it is typically a one-day pairs or a triples tournament, depending on the number of entrants. We have also played team cutthroat tournaments in the recent past. 

A typical one-day triples tournament has a schedule such as this. Pairs tournaments are very similar.

In a short mat cutthroat tournament, players are divided into three-person teams that compete against each other. You will play three or four 40-minute games over two days. With the minimum 12 players, you play three of your games against members of two other teams and one game where two people on one team compete against a single player from another team. With 18 players, you play against members of other teams in every one of your games.

Watch for a website announcement and register early! These tournaments have been known to fill up within 24 hours.

The Lakehill Lawn Bowling Club holds a multi-club short mat tournament every February. Oak Bay is usually allowed to enter two teams. If more than two Oak Bay teams want to enter, we stage a playoff to decide who goes.

Now that you have discovered how the short mat game operates at our club, you can find all the information that you need to be a short mat player summarized on the Short Mat Online page.