Sarasota News Leader

12/13/2013

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MARKING 86 YEARS For the second year in a row, the city team has out-bowled the highly practiced club members. Photo by Genevieve Judge SARASOTA LAWN BOWLERS MAY NOT HAVE A HIGH PROFILE, BUT THEY ARE PART OF A LONG-TIME COMMUNITY TRADITION By Stan Zimmerman City Editor They bill themselves as participants in Sarasota's oldest organized sporting activity. The city's lawn bowlers have been rolling their balls across manicured lawns since 1928. They certainly predate another long-standing Sarasota sporting tradition — the Tarpon Tournament — by two years. While there was no great celebration, the bowlers invited some city staffers on Monday morning, Dec. 9, for some holiday cheer and the friendly second annual city versus club challenge. the city, with the club's members doing most of the physical labor. But the city and county participate as well, providing materials. In the summer, the county keeps the lawns alive. Recently, work-release prisoners from the county jail were transported in to build new benches and picnic tables for the bowlers and spectators. While lawn bowling is a year-round activity, it is an early-morning sport in the summer. But as with most Sarasota sporting venues, winter and spring are the months of highest use and interest. In March, for example, the The club's three "greens" — 120-foot-long Southeastern U.S. Championship is decided squares — are perhaps the best-kept lawns in on Sarasota grass. In February, teams from

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