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Although Carpet Bowls and Short Mat are similar sports - both Bowls games played on a mat indoors, there are important differences both in the equipment and in the way that the game tends to be played from a social perspective.
Carpet Bowls is mostly played in community centres, village halls and social clubs. The mat is shorter at 30 feet and the clubs tend to buy and keep all the equipment for their members to use - including the bowls. Carpet Bowlers tend to treat the game more casually. The game acts as a good medium for local socialising and can be a valuable revenue generator for villages and community halls.
Short Mat Bowls is a popular and growing indoor version of the sport of Bowls. Players play with their own bowls and the inventors of Short Mat Bowls tried to maintain as many rules of the larger outdoor game as possible while playing on a smaller (45 feet) rink. Consequently bowlers who play Lawn Bowls in the Summer and who take the game more seriously tend to prefer Short Mat.
|Short Mat||Carpet Bowls|
|Bowls||Players normally use their own bowls which are full size - the same as used on outdoor lawns. Heavily biased bowls such as Drakes Pride Jazz bowls are preferred.||The bowls are smaller. Normally players do not own their own carpet bowls - they are provided by the place that runs the game.|
|Mat||45 feet||30 feet|
|Jack||A normal lawn Jack is used||A more expensive - extra-heavy Jack is used|
|Middle Block||18 inch centre block to prevent bowls being rolled forcefully.||12 inch centre block to prevent bowls being rolled forcefully.|
|Fenders||Fenders surround the ends of the mat - to maintain the idea and rules associated with balls that roll off the mat in a way that is consistent with bowls falling off the outdoor lawn into the 'ditch'.||Fenders are not used.|
Short Mat equipment t is a more expensive option for the club as the equipment costs significantly more even though bowls do not need to be bought.
Players often buy dedicated bowls for the game, too, meaning that the costs for the bowlers themselves is also greater.
Carpet Bowls is a more economical sport than Short Mat.
It is also less expensive for the players who do not need to buy dedicated bowls.
|Governing Body||English Carpet Bowls Association||English Short Mat Bowling Association|