• WINTER 2023


    Register early to avoid disappointment, as classes will fill up quickly! 

    Many in-person and online classes are available. Check out our course catalog for the most up-to-date schedule.

    You may download and print our Winter schedule under Course Catalog.  


    You can register for classes in person, by phone or here on the website.

    If you would like to take advantage of registering early, become a Patron. Click HERE for details or call (941) 361-6590 and we’ll be happy to sign you up.

    An ACE Patron is someone who wants to show additional support for the ACE program. For as little as $50 per year, an ACE Patron receives priority registration for a year, a free class/lecture each term (chosen by the ACE staff), and other benefits.

    If you have any questions, the ACE staff is ready to assist you at (941) 361-6590.


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    ACE is excited to be able to offer many classes Live ONLINE via Zoom. To view Online classes, CLICK HERE.

    Take advantage of our alternative ONLINE classrooms using Zoom. This way you can stay home or travel while still enjoying ACE classes – but this time in front of your home computer, tablet, or smartphone.

    Register as you have always done, and before the class starts, the instructor will email a link to you that will enable you to join the class.

    IMPORTANT: You do NOT need to set up a Zoom account or to provide Zoom with any personal information other than your name. For the best experience, we do recommend that you download the Zoom application on your computer, tablet, or smartphone and confirm that your device has a camera and microphone. 

    If you would like to participate in a Zoom practice session to test out your technology, please email us at

    We are always here to answer your questions. Contact us at (941) 361-6590 or


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    Posted by Ace Publisher on 12/14/2021



    If you’re bored with golf, or tennis elbow has you sidelined from the courts, shove those clubs and rackets into the back of the closet and try Lawn Bowling. It’s different, fun, sociable, and good outdoor exercise. 

    Plus, it’s good for you! Lawn Bowling is a low-impact form of exercise that improves coordination and balance, as well as self-esteem and confidence. The Sarasota Lawn Bowling Club (see Resources) offers free lessons for beginners, too! 

    How to Play 

    Lawn Bowling is played on either a flat or slightly convex green, divided into eight lanes called rinks. Play can be in singles or teams, with 2, 3, or 4 people on a team. The first person to play rolls a small white ball, about the size of a billiard ball (called the “jack”) onto the green at least 21 meters toward the end. The jack is centered on the rink, then successive players roll “bowls” – balls about 11-13 cm in diameter – trying to come as close as possible to the jack. Tape measures are essential for scoring! 

    History of Lawn Bowling  

    Lawn Bowling is not exactly the “sport of kings,” but it comes close! It was banned by a few successive kings of England in the 14th and 15th centuries because it competed with archery, which was essential to the national defense, but it eventually became a favored pastime of noblemen, who graciously allowed commoners to bowl on Christmas Day. Royal estates were all fitted out with bowling greens. Anne Boleyn enjoyed bowling, as did the first Elizabeth and, reportedly, even Queen Victoria! 

    Bowling may have been banned at times in England, but it was never outlawed in Scotland – which, of course, never considered itself part of Britain in the first place! In fact, Scotland is still considered to be the home of the modern game of Lawn Bowling. There may be more bowling greens in Scotland today than there are golf courses – and there are even indoor greens, so that enthusiasts can play during the cold winter months. Lawn Bowling is an international pastime as well; it is played in more than 40 countries. 

    Forms of Lawn Bowling date to ancient times. Archeologists of ancient Greece and Rome have recorded paintings on earthenware depicting people tossing stone balls and measuring the distance. The sport probably spread to Europe with the help of Roman soldiers or sailors. A biography of Thomas Becket refers to young men playing at bowls with stone balls. The oldest and longest surviving bowling green is at Southampton, which was established in 1299.  

    Bowling in America 

    There is evidence that Lawn Bowling was played by early colonists in America in the 1600s. George Washington was apparently an avid bowler and kept a green in good shape at Mount Vernon before the Revolutionary War. However, they were not the first: Archeologists have found stone balls (now resting in a Vancouver, BC museum) indicating that Native Americans played a game similar to Lawn Bowling centuries before.  

    According to, the game was revived in the U.S. in 1879 with the opening of a Lawn Bowling club in New Jersey. Soon others followed. In Florida, the St. Petersburg Lawn Bowling Club is the oldest formally organized club in Florida and tenth in the nation. Its clubhouse is on the U.S. Register of Historic Places. 

    The invention of the lawnmower in 1830 had paved the way for the smooth greens, established rules of play, and modern customs that helped define the way the game is played today. Some customs have relaxed a bit: For instance, traditional attire is all white, and some tournament players still adhere to that standard, but for regular play, you just wear what’s comfortable, though remember to use sun protection! Also, the balls (called “bowls”) used to be made from lignum vitae, a dense wood, which led to the term “woods” for bowls, but now they are routinely made from a hard composite type of plastic.  

    Interesting Side Note! 

     “Bias” is a technical term that was applied to balls made with a greater weight on one side than the other. It was first used in 1560, and bias would make the ball curve toward one side when thrown. This practice is now illegal, but according to, this was the first use of the term “bias” to mean “one-sided” in the figurative or legal sense that we use it today, as leaning to one side mentally. 



    Sarasota Lawn Bowling Club: How to Lawn Bowl 

    Bowls USA, Southeast Division: History of Lawn Bowls 

    Etymonline: Bias 


    Written by Patricia Rockwood, Instructor and Staff Writer, Adult & Community Enrichment 

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