Izij Bowls

Good sport to play, boring to watch, but it is the way the Izij create community so who cares.
— An Uganian
  Izij Bowls (In Izij: Ruvirahang) is a non-contact sport. It's objective is to roll weight balls so that they stop close to a smaller ball called a Firunaal (Lit: contraction of Iron berry, even if made of wood). It is played on spare land in rural areas, but can be played in plazas or or most surfaces for urban areas - especially in Luze as there are not Ruvirahang-dedicated areas unlike in the the Tixan region.  


Izij bowls is typically played on a vast unused piece of ground that is primarily flat, and the players themselves are responsible for dividing the field into parallel playing strips. In the most basic form of the game, known as Nas-Ruvirahang or singles, one of the two competitors will toss a coin to determine who will go first. This player will then start a new segment of the game by positioning the strip and rolling the target to the opposite end of the green to serve as a target. After coming to a stop, the firunaal is moved so that it is positioned in the middle of the playing area, and the players then take turns rolling their balls from the beginning of the strip towards the, therefore constructing the "head" of the firunaal.   It is common practise to dig ditches all around the field in order to demarcate the areas that are off limits to play. Other things might be used instead, depending on the time and place where the game is played, as well as whether or not it is played professionally.   A bowl's trajectory may take it outside the field border at some point, but it must come to rest inside the perimeter of the playing area for the throw to be considered valid. If a ball goes into the ditch, it is considered "dead" and is eliminated from play; the only exception to this rule is if the ball brushes the jack on its way into the ditch. Even if they fall into the ditch, the balls that have made contact with the firunaal are chalked with chalk so that the game can continue even if they are lost. In a similar manner, even if the Firunaal is knocked into the ditch, it is still alive as long as it is not out of bounds to the side, in which case the play must be replayed. After each competitor has delivered all of their balls (four in singles and pairs, three in triples, and two bowls each in fours), the distance of the closest ball to the Firunaal is determined (the Firunaal may have been displaced), and points are awarded for each ball that a competitor has closer than the opponent's nearest to the Firunaal. In addition, points are awarded for each ball that a competitor has closer to the Firunaal than the Firunaal itself. For instance, if a contestant has bowled two bowls that are closer to the jack than their opponent's nearest bowl, then the first competitor receives two shots and the second competitor receives one shot. The process is then repeated in order to go on to the next end, with the normal number of rounds in a game of Ruvirahang being twenty-one.  


When a player in a singles game reaches 21 shots, the game can be decided. Games can also be decided when a team (with no more than four players) has the greater score after a predetermined number of ends. Draws are also possible in games that are played to a predetermined number of shots. There is a chance that the game will end in a draw, but there is also a chance that the competitors will have to play an extra end in order to choose a winner. Before each game, these rules and regulations are always discussed.   The majority of the regulations stipulate that the victor of a singles match is the first player to reach the score of 21 shots. When it comes to the other types of competitions, such as pairs, triples, and fours, the winning team is the one that finishes with the most shots after all of the rounds. Most frequently, shorter games will be played at local events (often 10 or 12 ends). The captain of the squad always goes last in the game and plays an important role in directing his team's shots and strategies.


Author's Notes

Thought I would do something to make my great-grandfather happy! He was a bowls player until he had to give it up before the pandemic due to his legs packing in.

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