BUMPY RIDE: Bowls NSW reckons, “if successful at national level they would be ineligible to participate at world championships (the next best performed male would represent). Brigginshaw says this will mean a bumpy ride for the organisation. .
BUMPY RIDE: Bowls NSW reckons, “if successful at national level they would be ineligible to participate at world championships (the next best performed male would represent). Brigginshaw says this will mean a bumpy ride for the organisation. .

Bowls NSW ‘in for a bumpy ride’

WITH the shortened NRDBA pennant season due to start on March 7, clubs will be using the district championships as a warm-up for this competitive event.

The district championships will start this Saturday with the Open Fours at South Lismore, the Reserve Fours at Lennox Head, the Senior Fours at East Lismore.

The Open and Senior each have attracted eight teams.; the Reserves have six.

All eyes will be on Alstonville four in the Open. Skipped by the in-form Peter Taylor who has carried all before him this season, he has a team of G Hunter, W Nugent, D Perkins. They will face a Lennox Head four – T Collier, D. Hutchins, R Reid, P Sharp.

An interesting inclusion in the Open is the Conlan twins, highly capable youngsters who have been absent from the local scene for some time and return to make a formidable combination with Neil Burgess and Alf Boston.

This weekend’s fours will carry over into Sunday. The Reserves have one game starting on Sunday – N Wishart, R Gordon, J Heard, K Scott versus W Thatcher, G Ironfield, D Howell, K Watts.

THE Seniors section continues to draw support in the district pairs championship due to start on February 1. Eighteen teams have nominated in this category. Twenty teams will play in the Open and 12 in the Reserves.

The Open will start with four games at Evans Head on the Saturday and six next day. The Reserves also have four on the opening day at Ballina and two on the Sunday at 1pm. The Seniors will be played at Alstonville with two games on the Saturday and seven on the Sunday starting at 9.30am.

NRDBA match committee chairman George Newell has advised clubs of the pennant changes for this season.

He says: “The pennant dates have changed from those on the green card due to the fact that we are now having a six-week comp instead of 10 weeks. The pennant dates are as follows: March 7, 21, 28; April 4, 18; May 2, 9, 16 (if needed).”

SOUTH Lismore club is starting the year off with a three-bowl pairs tournament offering $1600 prizemoney. An unusual aspect is it will be four games of sets play, plus a knockout section. Each game will be two sets of five ends with a one end tie-breaker.

The tourney is called the Australia Day Open Pairs and it’s on an important day to celebrate our nation – Sunday, January 26.

Play will start at 9.30am and the entry fee includes lunch and after-game snacks. Entries can be phoned to 6621 3510.

MY VIEW … on international titles

WITH the advent of women being allowed into the once exclusive men-only domain of Bowls NSW it is entirely possible that a woman bowler could win a major state championship that has now been opened to both sexes.

If it happened I can just hear the male squawks.

Perhaps the women would be squawking, too.

If they got to win the Australian champion of champions, they wouldn’t be allowed to go on to world competition.

Bowls NSW says that if a female is successful at winning their Open club singles and/or the pairs, she can enter Bowls NSW zone/state champion of champions events and if successful in the singles they would go on to represent Bowls NSW at the Australian champion of champions finals.

“However,” the men’s state body says, “if successful at national level they would be ineligible to participate at world championships (the next best performed male would represent).”

Wow! Can you imagine the uproar if this happened – a woman champion who has to hand over her place to a second-placed man when it comes to representing their country?

The man who takes her place as second best wouldn’t be feeling too good about it, either.

The amalgamation of the sexes makes sense in our game but Bowls NSW had better prepare itself for a bumpy ride ahead.

BOWLS Australia and its official apparel partner BKL Sport have pledged support to sports clubs affected by the bushfire disaster. BK has launched a $60,000 fund to replace playing gear lost or damaged in the fires.

Bowls clubs known to have been affected by the fires so far are Malua (NSW), Lake Conjola (NSW) and Mallacoota (Vic).

Bowls Australia calls for donations to its Bowls Disaster Relief Fund and seeks applications for assistance from those clubs affected by the bushfires. The national body is committed to redirecting 100 per cent of all sums raised back to those clubs in need.

WAYNE Turley, Commonwealth Games gold medallist and current Tweed Heads bowls manager, has resigned from the board of Bowls Australia, a position he’s held since 2013.

Turley cited family and work commitments as the reason for leaving the job.

Says Bowls Australia president Darryl Clout: “Despite being inducted into BA’s Hall of Fame in 2017 as an athlete, Turley’s contribution to the sport has spanned far wider than just what he has achieved on the green. He has played an invaluable role in shaping the strategic direction of bowls in Australia.”

THE tiny Marlin Coast club, tucked away in the northern beaches of Cairns, sent a team to the women’s state pennant finals in Tweed Heads, 1800km away. They didn’t win a pennant but they were over the moon to get as far as the Queensland decider – to do it they had to win district and zone finals against all-comers.

“The strong winds at Tweed Heads were challenging,” says Colleen Thompson, “but these women with an average age of 71 years are stayers. When the odds were against them, they carried on and played their hearts out.”

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