Bowling Arm


This is a contraption used to assist the playing of indoor bias bowls. It allows the bowler to stand up fairly straight, and grip the ball in in a pincer like fashion in the rings, while allowing the easy release of the ball with a handle system which opens automatically under control by the player.

One day I visited my father, who is 87, who recently had a back operation which prevented him from bending too much. This means he could not bend fully to the floor to play indoor bowls, something he likes to do a few times a week. He borrowed a version of this bowling arm that someone else had made, which made his playing possible – and asked me if I could make hime one just like it. So I will not take credit for the design of the thing of which there are apparently a lot of in one form or another, only in the development of this particular one which is definitely a one-off.

So I made some notes, took photos and measurements of the one he was using, and set about making him a bowling arm of his own.

The end result is totally made from scratch and fully adjustable to fit the ball and any particular grip length. Made from steel, aluminium and plywood.  The spine is aluminium rod, the moving arm is 8mm rod with appropriate bits welded on, the ball griipping bit is made from a section of pipe – cut and hinged, with the rings on the end cold bent from 6mm rod. Handles are made fom 20x3mm flat bar bent to the right shape. The only parts purchased and not customised in any way are the spring, the adjusting screw on the moving bar, and a few other screws, everything else has been cut, ground, bent, drilled, tapped or shaped by me in the workshop.


Detail showing the handle section and adjustability. Handles are shaped pywood, stained and varnished.



The ball gripping end, shown prior to painting.



The handle end, shown prior to painting



More detil of the handle end with bare metal



The ball gripping end, showing the hand cut hinge, the rings and welded moving arm pivot



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