THE EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS
The European Bowls Union was formed in 1995, as a unified international body combining both men's and women's bowling associations, with its main purpose , a recruitment campaign to promote the development of bowls within the European continent.
Almost immediately into action was the planning of the European Championships, and this took place in Guernsey Island 1997, sponsored by the Guernsey Tourist Board.
Eight nations participated in the first tournament—the four U.K countries with Guernsey and Jersey and with the first two newcomer countries from the continent, Spain and Holland.
In the biennial event the next tournament took place in Jersey in 1999, in which Israel participated for the first time together with additional newcomers Portugal, Cyprus and Isle of Man. Israel then finished in the 6th overall slot amongst the 12 nations.
Canary Island became the 13th member in 2001, and in the next tournament, a U.K "selected side" entered the contest to round off the tournament to and even number of participants (14), which allowed for two seven-up round robin sections.
Hosting the 2003, and 2005 tournaments was the Villamoura club in Portugal, with the 2007 and 2009 series scheduled for Cyprus.
A feature of the games is the participation of some of the world's greatest player, rubbing shoulders with comparative novices, amongst whom keen challenge is offered, often with unexpected giant-killing results.
Not unexpectedly, it has been the U.K home nations which have regularly filled the top four overall slots, the only exception being in 2003, when ISRAEL finished 2nd to England. In this series JEFF RABKIN was the overall winner of the men singles, solely unbeaten in games, and winning 11 of the 12 sets he played.