Bringing the tournament to Norfolk was the brainchild of Potters Resort’s chairman and tourism innovator Brian Potter MBE, who sadly passed away in November 2014.
Trying to think of a way to increase popularity of Potters Resort and its fantastic midweek breaks, he had his ‘Archimedes moment’ in the 1980s and developed the winning idea of offering bowls breaks.
Initially, Brian and his wife, Judy, invested in two bowls rinks and the idea quickly took off. A further six long-mat bowls rinks and a large indoor sports hall suitable for a wide range of activities soon followed. But Potters midweek bowling breaks became so successful that eight rinks weren’t enough to satisfy the growing demand.
In the mid-1990s, Brian approached the World Bowls Tour and asked if they would consider moving the World Indoor Bowls Championships from Preston if Potters built a new facility.
The stadium officially opened in 1998 when Potters hosted the national England Ladies’ Championships.
The event was an enormous success and when the World Bowls Council saw the facility in action they moved the championships to Hopton the following year (1999) from it’s long standing home in Preston, this was also the first year that Potters Resort was open all year round.
Between Friday 11th and Sunday 27th January 2019, we are once again welcoming the world to Hopton-on-Sea as we roll out our famous blue carpet to host the Just 2019 World Indoor Bowls Championships.
The highlight of the indoor bowls calendar, we will be hosting bowls' biggest tournament for the 21st year running in our impressive 1,100 seat International Arena. The very best players from around the world, together with up-and-coming bowls stars, will descend in Norfolk for 17 non-stop days of bowls.
A range of short breaks and day tickets are available throughout the Championships, so you can be one of 20,000 spectators over the course of the Championships who experience the thrilling world class sport live. Choose from the exciting opening weekend as play gets underway, which also includes the Annual World Bowls Tour’s Awards and Gala Dinner evening, right through to the nail-biting final.
There’s four individual events during the Championships: The World Indoor Singles Championship, The World Indoor Pairs Championship, The Ladies World Matchplay and The Mixed Pairs World Matchplay.
In the 2018 Championships Ipswich’s Katherine Rednall won the women’s singles title, Mark Dawes won the open singles title, in the mixed pairs Jamie Chestney and Lesley Doig claimed victory, and Mark Dawes and Jamie Chestney won the indoor pairs. 2019 is set to be another electrifying year at Potters, with the final week being televised live by the BBC.