The Hertfordshire County Short Mat Bowls Association (‘the Association’) was founded in early 1999 from an initiative by the ‘Barnet and District Short Mat Bowls Federation’ (the ‘Federation’) of clubs in and around the London Borough of Barnet.
At that time, Hertfordshire had no County status within the English Short Mat Bowling Association so Federation players could not play in National and Inter-County competitions.
Many of the currently affiliated Association clubs - Cuffley Hall, Greenwood Park, Northiam, St Margaret’s, with others - formed the nucleus of the Association.
Invitations for affiliation to the Association to other interested clubs were circulated - Letchworth and Harpenden soon affiliated.
Many key individuals from that time still play, and some hold key roles in the Association to this day - Roy Duke, Peter Griffith, Jeanette Gaynor, amongst others.
A grant of £500 was awarded by the Hertfordshire Community Trust, and Hertfordshire Equal Opportunities awarded another of £1000.
County and Inter-County competitions were soon underway and he first match was played at the Greenwood Park Leisure Centre, St Albans on Saturday 25th April 1999.
The first home of the Association was the Gosling Stadium, Welwyn Garden City.
Playing mats, rubber mats and jacks were sourced - fenders and blocks were made by Tony Gaylor.
Ties, badges and a dress code was established and membership ID cards organised - regalia and trophies were also organised.
Team Selection and Umpiring was organised.
Insurance was implemented.
The first AGM was held at the Hatfield Indoors Bowls Club on May 12th 1999.
The Barnet Federation continued for some months, but with much of the management shared across both organisations it was subsumed within the County Association.
The ‘Barnet League’ Triples tournament played within the Federation became a County-wide tournament and is still played today.
In early 2001 the Association home moved to Hatfield Bowls club.