Stan Hardman League

Stan Hardman League

Thursday Afternoon Bowls League

Thursday Afternoon Bowls League

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Due to the restrictions in place as a result of Covid-19 the League has been suspended until further notice.

The League was started during the 1980's and the committee, which is elected annually by the representatives of the participating clubs, is the governing body.

At that time the Basingstoke and District Bowling Association (BDBA) were finding it hard to get bowlers interested in playing in their competitions and Open Tournaments which had seen declining entries and in some cases cancellations. This had an impact on the income raised for its Benevolent Fund.

The league was an idea from Stan Hardman (a member of Howard Park Bowling Club) to form an afternoon league for retired bowlers, both female and male. Although at the beginning it was rumoured that the purpose of the league was to "keep the bowlers off the street corners", Stan had in mind a source of revenue for the BDBA Benevolent Fund. At that time there were no weekday afternoon league matches being played and, as the retired bowlers found it difficult getting picked to play in the evening league games, it provided a good opportunity for them to be able to play during the week. However, as it was a mixed league it did not get official recognition by the BDBA.

From a start of just eight teams, the league has grown over the years to the current position of 32 teams playing in four divisions. It is now administered independently from the BDBA with the league's elected committee being its governing body and it is no longer restricted to retired bowlers. The teams come from bowling clubs in the North East area of Hampshire, from Andover in the west, Four Marks in the south, Farnborough in the east and AWRE in the north. In keeping with Stan Hardman's original intentions of creating funds for good causes, any excess funds raised during each season after the payment of league expenses, are donated to local charities operating in the North East Hampshire area.