Sport - Skittles

The annual Lewes skittles competition has been running in Grange Gardens since 1968, when ‘The Kings Head Kingpins’ walked away with the main trophy. It has become one of the mainstays of Lewes’ social calendar, and every year over 150 teams enter, attempting to underhand-roll 6-inch diameter wooden balls along a bumpy mat in order to knock down nine foot-high wooden skittles. “There must be some skill in it,” says John Burfoot of the Rotary Club, which organises the event, “because the same team has won for the last two years. But I can’t see it.” The team in question, Rolf’s Didgeridoos, have in fact won the competition five times in the last nine years, so he’s right: despite the bumpiness of the mat, and the non-roundness of the ancient balls, there is quite a lot of skill involved. Accuracy and power help.

As we go to press there is still room left to enter a team (which costs £18 for men and £15 for women, click here for details) on any day from Tuesday to Friday. Monday evening’s lanes are full. You must register at least a day before you play. Teams must be eight strong: each competitor gets to throw their three balls a total of five times. The best teams play again in the final on Saturday. There is a licenced bar set up for the occasion, and various stalls are set up with food and raffles. Spectators are welcome – there is a bucket for donations. All proceeds go to Rotary Club charities and the Victoria Hospital – usually about £10,000 is raised. AL

Lewes goes on strike for the skittles tournament
Southover Grange
When? 7pm-9pm, Monday to Saturday
How Much? £18/£15 for a team.

The Rotary Club of Lewes
(w) Website