Mel Hooper, a member of the Redlands Club, organized the Southern California Lawn Bowling Association in 1924 and acted in the capacity of president for three years.
By 1931 the Association had 9 member clubs: Angelus, Claremont, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Pachappa, Redlands, Riverside, and Long Beach. By 1933 Highland, Park, Holmby Park, Inglewood, Laguna Beach and San Diego had joined.
In 1959, with 17 affiliated clubs, the National Association was petitioned to name our Association the Southwest Division. Finally on October 1, 1967 Division status was granted.
The above information and a lot more is contained in the 1989 32‑page booklet pictured at right (click on it to download the 11 MB PDF). It was prepared by Arthur H. Hansen, a member of the Arroyo Seco & Pasadena LBCs, Southwest Division president in 1977, its secretary-treasurer 1979-85, and president of ALBA, the national organization, 1982-84.
In 1990, the South Central Division was formed from the clubs east of California that were previously members of the Southwest Division.
Want to know more about the Southwest? Read issues of the national magazine that began in 1962 - they're archived on the Bowls USA site! Each issue contains news of national, division and club events throughout the country.
Initially titled A.L.B.A. Bowls, the name eventually became Bowls USA.
The 1940-41 Southwest Yearbook contains lots of interesting division tidbits and insights about our past. Many of the clubs it mentions no longer exist or have changed markedly. Click on the image to download the 15 MB PDF file.
Archival 1940 video of lawn, duckpin and tenpin bowling on YouTube. The first 2 minutes and 50 seconds of the 9 minute 26 second clip include lawn bowling in Arroyo Seco and Laguna Beach.