Cool Calgary: Lawn bowling no longer for retired folk

The Rotary Park Lawn Bowls Club has one of the largest membership in Alberta, with many Calgarians in their 20s and 30s getting into the game.

Team names like 'Lawn Ladies' and 'Great Bowls of Fire' set tone for fun game

Four-player team leagues play Monday and Wednesday nights at Rotary Park. (Meg Wilcox/CBC)

It's a hard game to master, but an easy one to play. 

"Everyone's laughing, you're high-fiving other teams and everyone's just having a good time," said Liam Nicol.

He regularly attends the Monday night foursomes at the Rotary Park Lawn Bowls, which was created after the Wednesday night league started busting at the seams. 

With 150 active members, it has become one of the largest clubs in Alberta. The bowling green is also fully licensed.

"It's nice to have a glass of wine, pop, or can of beer or cooler and play the game," said club president, Lyle Thiele.

Also, unlike the Calgary Lawn Bowling Club and the Stanley Park Lawn Bowling Club, no experience is necessary.

"It's really relaxed, everyone's super welcoming," said newbie member Sandra Slavik.

She says she was expecting the demographic to be an "older generation," and "a little more stuffy."

Thiele says on most nights, the average age is 38, but they also have people in their 20s joining. 

'Ditch, please'

Members have also been getting creative with their team names:

  • The Bowlsheviks
  • Ebowla
  • Winning by Touching
  • Great Bowls of Fire

Slavik's team name is "Ditch, please" while Nicol's is "Pharaoh's Balls." 

"Apparently lawn bowling originated in Egypt and so we went with the pharaoh. And because we're a bunch of guys — balls."

Their team mascot is a faux gold bust of Tutankhamun.

This summer, the Calgary Eyeopener is featuring people contributing to the "cool factor" of our city. If you know someone who is making Calgary cool, send an email to 

Some of the names of the teams at the Monday night fours league at Rotary Park. (Meg Wilcox/CBC)