Clemens Reiss first began playing lawn bowling more than a decade ago and is currently serving as the president of the Sarasota Lawn Bowling Club. Reiss and his wife, Carole, have been coming to Sarasota since 2001 and stay here from September through May and then spend the rest of the year in Chautauqua, N.Y. Here’s an inside look at this week’s Athlete of the Week.
How did you get into lawn bowling?
We were out walking by the water up in New York, and these people invited us to join in after watching them play a few times.
How long have you been playing?
For about 13 or 14 years. In the beginning I didn’t play very often, but now, I’ve gotten hooked on it. I might play three times a week now or a little more when there is a tournament.
How does the game work?
You toss a white jack, a hard white ball, to the opposite end and the person who bowls their ball the closest to the jack scores.
Do you have a position or specific spot on the team when you play?
You can play the game in singles, pairs, triples and fours. I usually am playing “vice,” which is the second highest position after “skip.” I just try to do my best to be consistent and follow the skip’s instructions to make sure I am helping the team score.
Do you have a favorite memory?
Actually, this last weekend we had the Southeastern Open and our team won the fours, and Sarasota, overall, wound up winning singles, doubles and fours in the men’s and doubles and fours in the women’s.
Is there somewhere you would love to lawn bowl?
I’d like to get up to Canada and get into some of the tournaments up there.
What is the best part of lawn bowling?
You get some exercise, but it is not overly strenuous, and you get to be outside in normally great weather. On warm days we get a nice breeze off of the bay. Also the friendships. Many of the people in our club are here at different times of the year and we go out to eat and do other functions together.