Essex County cuts ribbon on brand-new lawn bowling facility in Watsessing Park

Essex County officials cut the ribbon on a brand-new lawn bowling facility for the Essex County Lawn Bowling Club in Watsessing Park.

News 12 Staff

Jul 24, 2020, 9:18 PM

Updated 1,361 days ago

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Essex County officials cut the ribbon on a brand-new lawn bowling facility for the Essex County Lawn Bowling Club in Watsessing Park.
The club is the only one of its kind in New Jersey to showcase the international sport that many may not have heard about.
“It’s absolutely gorgeous, as you can see,” says club member Skip Arculli. “It’s nothing like our old one, and Essex County has been very nice to us.”
Established nearly a century ago, the Essex County Lawn Bowling Club has produced some of the best lawn bowlers in the world.
“I am the last American to win a gold medal in the world championship,” says Arculli.
Since the club is the only active lawn bowling club in the state, the decision to renovate the facility was exciting for county officials.
“I was time to spruce it up, because we’re getting more and more teams that travel throughout the state, throughout the country to play,” says Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, Jr. “We want to make sure we have the right facility here in Essex County.”
Club president and Lawn Bowling Hall of Famer Colin Smith says that lawn bowling is similar to bocce.
“The only difference is the balls are not round. They have a running surface and curve, so the idea is to determine the speed you need to throw or roll the ball and how much it’s going to turn,” Smith says.
“The concept is to get as close to the little white ball and scoring has to be in sequence,” says Arculli.
“The sport is popular in the United Kingdom and Australia. There are only 8,000 participants in the United States. Smith says that he is hopeful that with the new and improved facility, the sport can grow.
“Expanding the capabilities to providing bowling for handicapped people. I think that’s going to be very important moving forward for the survival of the sport,” he says.
Lawn bowling is not an Olympic sport currently, but bowlers say that they will continue to push for the sport to be including in future summer games.


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